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Heroic vs Red Reserve: Esports Betting Analysis @ Starseries & I-League Season 7 EU Qualifier

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Sponsored by ArcaneBet

This betting prediction is sponsored by ArcaneBet, an esports bookie with a betting platform where you can bet on your favourite teams across multiple esports titles—including DoTA 2, CS: GO, League of Legends, Vain Glory, Call of Duty, and more. Want to gamble on the winner of the match? The winner of the first map or the team to get the first kill/round? ArcaneBet is the way to master your trade as one of the best bettors and predictors worldwide.

Use code 100ARCANE on your first deposit to get an extra 100 EUR/120 USD on your bet

The Starseries & I-League tournament returns in 2019 with a bigger prize pool and excitement for the event. It has a prize pool of $500,000 which is a significant improvement over its previous editions. The increase in the prize pool mainly comes from wanting to stay relevant in the CS: GO scene. We will see many top teams participating in the event. The event has a total of sixteen teams. Twelve teams have received a direct invite to the tournament. The remaining four teams come via online qualifiers. Each of the following regions has its own online qualifier and will send one team to the Main event.

  1. North America
  2. European Qualifier
  3. CIS Qualifier
  4. Asian Qualifier

This match is the semifinals of the Starseries & I-League Season 7 European Qualifiers. The winner of this match gets a chance to possibly qualify for the Main event. They still will have to win more matches if they win against their opponents. Heroic and Red reserve play after defeating their opponents with relative comfort in the quarterfinals.

The StarSeries & i-League returns for its 7th Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Season. The tournament will feature an increased prize pool of $500,000 USD. For the seventh season, StarSeries will return to the best-of-three format for the Swiss stage – which StarLadder describes as “the most successful and objective system” – after the previous event used a best-of-one format in the opening stage.

BroadCast Talent

Format

Group Stage:

  • March 30th – April 4th, 2019
  • 16 Team Swiss System Format
  • All matches are Bo3
  • Top 8 Teams proceed to the Playoffs
  • Bottom 8 Teams are eliminated

    Playoffs:
  • April 5th – 7th, 2019
  • Single-Elimination Bracket
  • All matches (excl. the final) are Bo3
  • The Grand Final is Bo5

Heroic

Heroic Roster:

  • MODDII
  • E3tag
  • Friberg
  • Aciilion
  • Mertz

The Danish and Swedish mixture of players makes up the heroic roster. This team has seen the addition of Friberg and Moddii as they make up for a fantastic mixture of Swedish and Danish players.

Mertz is the player who can make or break this team. While they might not crumble if Mertz does not perform to his best. However, when he does put up a big number, Heroic looks exemplary and really strong. The Heroic roster has the talent and the necessary experience to possibly even take down some Tier One teams. But they are woefully inconsistent and that is the biggest reason why they are not yet a Tier one team right now.

Friberg’s presence on the team shows how the team can gel together. They are extremely strong and Friberg always keeps the team’s spirits at a high level. His attitude is the reason why the younger players will come together and try their best to perform really strong.

For Heroic, their map pool is significant opposite that of Red reserve. While Red Red Reserve is good on maps like Cache, Dust 2, Train and Overpass; Heroic’s performance is better on maps such as Inferno and Nuke.

Red Reserve

Red Reserve Roster:

  • Hampus
  • Disco Doplan
  • FreddieB
  • Draken
  • RustY

The Red Reserve team recently lost two members to Fnatic. Although it’s been almost two months since the roster change, they are definitely feeling the impact of the roster change till now. The loss of Brollan and Twist took away considerable firepower from the roster. Their inability to play at the same level if quite evident in their recent matches.

The current roster for Red Reserve still sees a lot of hope. They have likes of Disco Doplan. freddieB, Draken on their team. Many of these players are on the verge of transitioning into becoming the best players for Sweden. As such, it is important for them to assert their dominance in this match and lower tier tournaments.

Draken has already played on top-tier teams such Fantc in the past. His experience and raw skill with the AWP has been crucial to Red Reserve’s performance. They need Draken to make aggressive plays on multiple areas of the map. As such it is important for Draken to set the pace of the series. Without him putting up big numbers or at least putting up the pressure on their opponents, it is important for the team to provide Draken with the space needed to make such plays. However, Draken can be a very inconsistent player. He is very vocal on social media about their opponents, he adds a certain flair to the game. However, his inconsistency does not allow Draken to always put up the same face. He is responsible for his own game and we hope to see him perform really well, especially when it comes to lower tier teams such as their opponents for today.

Now the Red Reserve team is made up of several other members. They succeed cause they have the ability to provide the best synergy amongst themselves. Hampus Poser is the In-Game leader on this team. His role does not receive its due exposure as he is responsible for making the team perform together. Red Reserve’s roster is a symbol of great performance and synergy. Their map pool is very good.

The Red Reserve team is extremely comfortable on maps such as Cache, Dust 2, Train and Overpass. The team’s superior aim comes in effect during the matches on these maps. The open nature of Cache and Dust 2 allows for the team to play to its strengths. On Train and Overpass, Hampus definitely has the bigger role as he is responsible for making some amazing mid-round calls.

Prediction:

Nuke will be a key element of this matchup. The Danish – Swedish mix is very good on Nuke and as such it will be a key veto for Red reserve. They have not much experience when it comes to Nuke. it shows in their past performances. Since every team only gets one veto, we wonder where Red Reserve will decide to veto. They can choose to veto Nuke and then heroic will pick Inferno. Or Red Reserve could decide for the third and final map. Their advantage comes in the map pool and they need to use their superior map pool to their advantage.

However, all is not lost for Heroic as their experience is significantly higher than that of Red reserve. While the players are currently strong on only a few maps, they are not really ignorant or weak on other maps. Over the course of their careers, they have played on almost every map with a huge significance. They are also looking very strong right now, as the core of the roster has been together for quite some time. We recommend a bet on Heroic for this match.

 

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Fnatic vs North: Esports Betting Analysis @ ESL One Cologne 2018

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Sponsored by ArcaneBet

This betting prediction is sponsored by ArcaneBet, an esports bookie with a betting platform where you can bet on your favorite teams across multiple esports titles—including DoTA 2, CS: GO, League of Legends, Vain Glory, Call of Duty, and more. Want to gamble on the winner of the match? The winner of the first map or the team to get the first kill/round? ArcaneBet is the way to master your trade as one of the best bettors and predictors worldwide.

Use code 100ARCANE on your first deposit to get an extra 100 EUR/120 USD on your bet.

Introduction

ESL One Cologne begins on the 3rd of July and it will continue for a period of 6 days. The annual event, which is a marquee tournament in Counter-Strike history has seen the best teams participate regularly. It has a prize pool of $300,000 and features 16 teams competing at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne.

ESL One Cologne has seen the top teams victorious at the event. For several years, this tournament was a Valve Major. It might no longer be a major, but it truly determines the best teams in the CS GO Scene at the time. ESL One Cologne will see the battle for supremacy between several teams for the second spot. With Astralis comfortably sitting near the top of the rankings with their dominating performance, we have several teams including Faze Clan, Mousesports, and Na’Vi competing for the rank 2 position.

In addition to this, there are newly formed teams such as G2, Mibr which can always spring up a surprise. They already have the potential but just need to showcase results for themselves. ESL One Cologne will be streamed live on Facebook.

Format

Credit to Liquipedia

  • Group Stage: July 3rd – 5th, 2018
    • Two double-elimination format (GSL) Groups
    • The initial matches are Bo1
    • All following matches are Bo3
    • The top three teams from each group advance to the playoffs:
      • Group stage winners advance to the Semifinals
      • Group stage runners-up advance to the Quarterfinals as the High Seeds
      • Group stage 3rd place teams advance to the Quarterfinals as the Low Seeds
  • Playoffs: July 6th – 8th, 2018
    • Single-elimination bracket
    • The Quarter Finals and Semifinals are Bo3
    • The Grand Final is Bo5

Fnatic vs North

Fnatic

Fnatic Roster:

  • Xizt
  • Flusha
  • Krimz
  • JW
  • Draken

Fnatic is one of the biggest names in Counter-Strike. The organization which held the mantle for the best team in the world for a prolonged period of time during 2015 saw some roster and organization changes henceforth.  However, they have not been able to replicate the same level of success since then. The current Fnatic roster retains the core of the team. The trio of Flusha, Krimz, and JW are joined by former NIP players Xizt and Draken.

The performance of this team and their results heavily depend on the performance of the Fnatic core. The three players have already shown us their peak, and that is unchallenged so far in Counter-Strike. But as far as the current form goes, they are not really at their peak. The Fnatic roster did win some big tournaments in 2018, including IEM Katowice and WESG. IEM Katowice was an impressive performance led by Golden, now a substitute on the team. There were plans to remove Golden prior to IEM Katowice, but the sudden spurt in the trophies and victories made Fnatic organization to push their decision down the line. With Golden now on the substitute bench and possibly looking for a new organization, the new Fnatic roster has little to no experience together.

Draken has to be the guy to help Fnatic over the edge. Bet at Arcanebet

Indeed this will be Draken’s first map together with the rest of the squad. Draken has a very aggressive performance as an AWPer. It is confusing why they picked up Draken on the team when they have JW on the roster. However, Draken could just be the infusion of young blood and upcoming talent that they need. They have entailed Xizt as their In-Game Leader. Xizt’s IGL performance on NIP was limited due to the resources he had at his disposal. NIP’s refusal to change their core for such a prolonged period of time definitely impacted their results and performance.

Xizt has also been performing really well in his personal capacity as a rifle. He has had several clutch situations, where he helped Faze Clan when he was a stand-in. His personal performance, new talent available for the In-Game leader definitely will help him to surprise the naysayers.

North

North Roster:

  • MSL
  • Aizy
  • Valde
  • Mertz
  • Kjaerbye

North is the second best Danish roster in Counter-Strike. Constantly living in the Shadows of the world’s best team, Astralis, North has been improving dramatically over the years. The current roster has been together for almost six to seven months now. They have had ample time to gel together and put up great synergy and coordination.

Team North is currently ranked 8th on the HLTV world rankings, but there seems to be a huge gap between the top five and the rest. While North does put up surprising performances at times, they have not really been in the same league as the top CS GO teams. North has been playing in lower tier tournaments, so their performance and titles have to be taken with a grain of salt. They last won the Dreamhack Open tours 2018, a tournament with Tier ⅔ teams at best.

MSL’s in Game leadership is one of the best, but his form on an individual level is highly questionable. It is not rare to see In-Game Leaders suffer from lack of personal performance. But MSL has been at the bottom of the list. But despite his lower than average performances, North still retains the eight position on the world rankings. The rest of the team, especially when it comes to Aizy and Kjaerbye have been really consistent and strong. Kjaerbye and Aizy, former Astralis members do have the experience of playing at the top level. Their experience along with the obvious talent on the team is what makes this team extremely strong. But they don’t have much practice against the top teams and that is a big disadvantage for them.

Prediction:

Both the teams have had varied results when it comes to head to head matches. While Fnatic has won 8 matches, North has won 5 against Fnatic. This is pretty much balanced as much as the difference between the teams goes. The Fnatic roster has way more experience amongst themselves, however. The team with the likes of Xizt, flusha, JW, and Krimz consists of several veterans on the team. While they have been consistently average, it is Draken who can be their trump card in this tournament. Fnatic’s roster has changed quite a bit and that is going to affect their synergy and coordination for this matchup.


North, on the other hand, is quite stable compared to Fnatic. There is not much difference in rankings or team performance. The stability of Team North is what makes them an endearing pick for us. We recommend a medium sized bet on Team North for this match.

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Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. mousesports CS:GO Esports Betting Analysis @ Dreamhack Marseille

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Sponsored by ArcaneBet

This betting prediction is sponsored by ArcaneBet, an esports bookie with a betting platform where you can bet on your favorite teams across multiple esports titles—including DoTA 2, CS:GO, League of Legends, Vain Glory, Call of Duty, and more. Want to gamble on the winner of the match? The winner of the first map, or the team to get the first kill/round? ArcaneBet is the way to master your trade as one of the best bettors and predictors worldwide.

Use code 100ARCANE on your first deposit to get an extra 100 EUR/120 USD on your first deposit! 

Use code 100ARCANE on your first deposit to get an extra 100 EUR/120 USD on your first deposit! 

Introduction

Dreamhack Marseille 2018 is going to be one of the most interesting events in CS:GO to date. A lot of top teams have been shaken up by roster changes (primarily FaZe Clan and SK Gaming), and a lot of roster turmoil for other teams (Natus Vincere) makes the favorites for this event quite unclear. Without a top team like FaZe Clan or SK Gaming to dominate the soil, anyone can claim the championship with their own. The recent roster additions have yet to be tested on LAN, so it is unclear if online results could set a concrete precedent to each team’s level coming into this LAN.

While mousesports and Astralis can be considered the clear favorites for this tournament, primarily due to recent results and that both teams have yet to change their roster. Both teams have played consistently and for the better, with Astralis being able to get out of their slump with the addition of Magisk and mousesports having won V4 Future Esports Festival over Virtus.Pro. Apart from that, there’s also fnatic, but their online results have been mixed since winning WESG and IEM Katowice; part of this may be due to roster turmoil over Golden’s status within the team.

Boasting a $250,000 prize pool, Marseille also has an untested competitor from Asia, with TyLoo coming to prove themselves with a potent AWPer in xcurrate leading the squad. With their upset potential from StarSeries along with rivals Renegades, anything could happen at Marseille. In a time where dominance is uncertain, Marseille might just turn out to be an exciting event with these new rosters in the field.

Happy betting from EsportsBet, and let’s get into the esports betting analysis and prediction for this bookie match! Make sure to bet wisely.

Prize Distribution

  • 1st – $100,000
  • 2nd – $50,000
  • 3rd-4th – $22,000
  • 5-8th – $10,000
  • 9-16th $2,000

Broadcast Talent

  • Host:
  • Analysts:
  • Commentators:
  • Reporter:
  • Remote Commentators:

Format

  • Group Stage: April 18th – April 20th, 2018
    • Four double-elimination format (GSL) Groups (4 teams each)
    • Opening & Elimination matches are Bo1
    • Winners’ & Decider matches are Bo3
    • Top two teams from each group advance to the Playoffs
  • Playoffs: April 21st – 22nd, 2018
    • Single-Elimination bracket
    • All matches are Bo3

Credit to Liquipedia

_________

Sweden Ninjas in Pyjamas (powered by EsportsBet)

  • Sweden GeT_RiGhT
  • Sweden REZ
  • Sweden draken
  • Sweden f0rest
  • Sweden dennis
  • Sweden pita (coach)

Two of the 2012 Ninjas in Pyjamas core is left: the legendary duo of GeT_RiGhT and f0rest. Having swapped Xizt for dennis after an abysmal cs_summit 2 run, Ninjas in Pyjamas went on to the playoffs of IEM Katowice, eventually losing to Team Liquid in a best of three. One could say that their results have slightly improved, as the Ninjas in Pyjamas have secured their spot in the ESL Pro League Finals in Dallas; ECS has been different for them, as they’re currently in the middle of the pack with a slim chance to make the finals.

Having removed Xizt should be seen as a huge improvement for Ninjas in Pyjamas. An IGL with inconsistent individual performances and team results overall, it was time for NiP to throw a spanner of the works and shake up their lineup. With the addition of dennis, not only does the team bring a refreshed structure with new coach pita, dennis himself is a pivotal player that can single-handily win rounds with his pistol play. fnatic’s dominant run with dennis on the roster was contributed to by his high kill rate on pistol rounds, which helped fnatic on the majority of their dominating games and comebacks.

 

dennis at the helm may be the breath of life the Ninjas needed (Credit: Fragbite)

Over time, with the additions of REZ and draken beforehand, we’ve seen a shift in roles for the old guards too. GeT_RiGhT has moved on towards a traditional supportive role, whereas f0rest has been shown to play anchor and entry fragger when needed. On the other hand, most of the star roles have been handed upon the youngsters of REZ and draken, both of whom have shown signs of individual brilliance—especially draken—at major events in the past. On T side, expect the Ninjas to play slowly and wait for REZ/draken to get a pick, then playoff the man advantage and enemy information.

Can draken single handedly power Ninjas in Pyjamas to a win and win you your esports betting money? (Credit: Metro)

The Ninjas are best when teams give openings or try to exploit them with aggression, to which the Ninjas counter easily. On the CT side, REZ and draken generally play anchor roles, with both of them being part of the NiP double AWP setup whenever utilized. On the other hand, GeT_RiGhT and f0rest play anchor roles on sites, with dennis usually opting to play rotational spots such as arch on de_inferno.

Albeit, their opening match against SK Gaming was very shaky, with the Brazilians capitalizing on the Ninjas’ mistakes and making a mini-comeback on SK Gaming’s CT side. Luckily, thanks to some even more costlier mistakes from the Brazilians, the Ninjas capitalized on SK’s weak economy and strung together some rounds. If Ninjas in Pyjamas can’t find a way to single handedly dominate a game without having to rely on a star performance from draken, they might be in trouble against an all-out slug-fest mousesports.

Ninjas in Pyjamas’ trademark maps so far have been de_cache and de_train. Surprisingly enough, their form has deteriorated from their trademark map, de_nuke, as shown by recent losses to North and LDLC in the ESL Pro League. Yet, de_cache has also been an ace in the sleeve, which might be pulled out, should their opponents be unwise.

 

Europe mousesports (powered by EsportsBet)

  • Netherlands chrisJ
  • Czech Republic oskar
  • Estonia ropz
  • Finland suNny
  • Slovakia STYKO
  • Ukraine lmbt (coach)

mousesports, in terms of recent form and achievements, are actually the team that should be the favorites to win Dreamhack Marseille. In 2018 alone, they are one of the two teams (along with fnatic to have won more than one international event on a tier 1 scale (V4 Future Esports Festival and StarLadder i-Series) and have yet to make a roster change to their current lineup since then. Consistently, they have proven time and time again to be a deadly roster to this date.

When you think about stars on this team, it’s usually oskar that is considered to be the hard carry. But, anyone on this team can pop off, and even chrisJ has proved to do it on his specialty map, de_mirage. ropz is the cool headed clutch player, suNny can be a mad dash fragger and pop off absurdly on crunch-time maps, and STYKO is that support rifler who can support and frag on a consistent basis. Overall, the team relies on unusual setups and aggression, as seen from their aggressive pushes on de_mirage mid and their forward A hold against Valiance in their opener.

Will mousesports be the first team to win 3 international titles in 2018? (Credit: mousesports)

The opener was a bit of a shocker, as Valiance almost pulled it back from a 13-2 deficit (flashbacks to QBF if you’re a mouz fan) to defeat mousesports. Luckily, mousesports won 16-13, but it was a match that was way too close for comfort. Albeit, mousesports were in control for most of the game, but it is clear that nerves and cockiness did get in their hands throughout the match.

On their map pool, mousesports are the strongest when it comes to de_mirage or de_inferno, whereas they handle themselves considerably on the rest. de_mirage has been their staple map for a long time, but mousesports have been known to play all 7 maps in the current pool with general consistency.

Arguably, esports betting odds will have them as the favorites for this match, and don’t be surprised to see esports sites and percentages in favor of them. mousesports are arguably the strongest team coming into Marseille, and their esports results and form recently have to show for it.

Prediction

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IEM Oakland 2017 CS:GO: Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) vs. FaZe Betting Analysis, Odds, & Predictions

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Sponsored by ArcaneBet

This betting prediction is sponsored by ArcaneBet, an esports bookie where you can bet on your favorite teams across multiple esports titles—including DoTA 2, CS:GO, League of Legends, Vain Glory, Call of Duty, and more. Want to bet on the winner of the match? The winner of the first map, or the team to get the first kill/round? ArcaneBet is the way to master your trade as one of the best bettors and predictors worldwide.

Use code 100ARCANE on your first deposit to get an extra 100 EUR/120 USD on your first deposit! Limited time offer!

Use code 100ARCANE on your first deposit to get an extra 100 EUR on your first deposit! Limited time offer!

Introduction

IEM Oakland will be another part of ESL’s Grand Slam series, where the teams with the most Grand Slam tournament wins have a chance of winning a bountiful $ prize (courtesy of ESL). The competition is fierce, especially with the unexpected entrance of steel to Liquid, SK’s hot start with boltz, and Renegades replacing the stagnant Immortals at the event.

Many questions remain to be asked, such as OpTic’s ability to compete at the top with their European all-star lineup or FaZe’s ability to claim a 2nd Grand Slam title and continue their dominant form from the past few months. With CS:GO having a unique esports scene due to all teams having the capability to defeat each other, prepare for a round robin group stage that has yet to reveal its surprises!

The winner takes home $125,000 and extra cash from winning matches in the group stage, who will it be? The current favorites are SK Gaming, Astralis, and FaZe, but can some of the sleeper teams dethrone the three kings? Find out soon!

Format 

Credit to Liquipedia

  • Group Stage
    • Two round-robin format groups (6 teams each)
    • All the matches are Bo1
    • In Regulation winners receive 3pts
    • In Overtime winners receive 2pts, losers receive 1pt
    • Top team in each group advances to the semifinals
    • Second and third teams in each group advance to the quarterfinals
  • Playoffs
    • Single elimination bracket
    • Quarterfinals and Semifinals are Bo3
    • Grand final is Bo5

_________

Ninjas in Pyjamas

  • draken, GeT_RiGhT, Xizt, f0rest, REZ

The Ninjas of draken and REZ continue to have their highs and lows, whereas f0rest has made himself the clear cut star of the team alongside draken. GeT_RiGhT and Xizt put up admirable performances on occasion, but it’s now a matter of finding consistency and translating it into results.

Luckily, the Ninjas come into the tournaments having qualified for the ESL Pro League Odense Finals. It puts a huge break to the Ninjas, who have long sought a considerable result—considering the standards and expectations pressured towards the Swedes. But, considering their inconsistency and their ability to find a fluid strategy/aim based style, this may be a re-learning experience for the Ninjas.

Since they have not been on LAN for a while, the Ninjas surprisingly topped their group, with their only hiccup being a blown lead that equated into an overtime loss to SK Gaming on de_cobblestone.

The last time these 2 met, Ninjas in Pyjamas won in a bo3 to take the championship of the last IEM Oakland tournament.

FaZe Clan

 

 

  • GuardiaN, NiKo, olofmeister, rain, karrigan

FaZe Clan have cemented themselves as the undisputed best team after rolling the competition at ESL New York, where they limited teams to less than double digit round wins throughout their championship run. As of recent, they’ve been faltering, especially after their EPICENTER run, where they struggled against a stand-in tethered SK Gaming, a pug-heavy Gambit, and a toppled Virtus.Pro.

At Oakland, though, FaZe have seemed to regain their senses, having cruise controlled their way through the round robin and securing a semi-final berth. Coincidentally, their only loss in the group stage is to Gambit, who have been eliminated in the quarter-finals by Cloud9. With Gambit gone, the only threats that remain are SK Gaming and Cloud9 themselves.

Much favoring the aim-heavy meta, FaZe Clan have an arsenal of play-makers on their team, which can make unfavorable situations favor their own. Regardless of the situation, their skill with deagles and rifles make them one of the most dangerous teams to exist in the entirety of CS:GO’s esports timeline. Topped with their aggression and the tactics of IGL karrigan, all of FaZe’s players have the capability to single handedly change the game on their own. Their only competition seems to be that of Gambit, whose unpredictable and aim-heavy style counters that of FaZe’s.

Prediction

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IEM Oakland 2017 CS:GO: Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) vs. SK Gaming Betting Analysis, Odds, & Predictions

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Sponsored by ArcaneBet

This betting prediction is sponsored by ArcaneBet, an esports bookie where you can bet on your favorite teams across multiple esports titles—including DoTA 2, CS:GO, League of Legends, Vain Glory, Call of Duty, and more. Want to bet on the winner of the match? The winner of the first map, or the team to get the first kill/round? ArcaneBet is the way to master your trade as one of the best bettors and predictors worldwide.

Use code 100ARCANE on your first deposit to get an extra 100 EUR/120 USD on your first deposit! Limited time offer!

Use code 100ARCANE on your first deposit to get an extra 100 EUR on your first deposit! Limited time offer!

Introduction

IEM Oakland will be another part of ESL’s Grand Slam series, where the teams with the most Grand Slam tournament wins have a chance of winning a bountiful $ prize (courtesy of ESL). The competition is fierce, especially with the unexpected entrance of steel to Liquid, SK’s hot start with boltz, and Renegades replacing the stagnant Immortals at the event.

Many questions remain to be asked, such as OpTic’s ability to compete at the top with their European all-star lineup or FaZe’s ability to claim a 2nd Grand Slam title and continue their dominant form from the past few months. With CS:GO having a unique esports scene due to all teams having the capability to defeat each other, prepare for a round robin group stage that has yet to reveal its surprises!

The winner takes home $125,000 and extra cash from winning matches in the group stage, who will it be? The current favorites are SK Gaming, Astralis, and FaZe, but can some of the sleeper teams dethrone the three kings? Find out soon!

Format 

Credit to Liquipedia

  • Group Stage
    • Two round-robin format groups (6 teams each)
    • All the matches are Bo1
    • In Regulation winners receive 3pts
    • In Overtime winners receive 2pts, losers receive 1pt
    • Top team in each group advances to the semifinals
    • Second and third teams in each group advance to the quarterfinals
  • Playoffs
    • Single elimination bracket
    • Quarterfinals and Semifinals are Bo3
    • Grand final is Bo5

_________

Ninjas in Pyjamas

  • draken, GeT_RiGhT, Xizt, f0rest, REZ

The Ninjas of draken and REZ continue to have their highs and lows, whereas f0rest has made himself the clear cut star of the team alongside draken. GeT_RiGhT and Xizt put up admirable performances on occasion, but it’s now a matter of finding consistency and translating it into results.

Luckily, the Ninjas come into the tournaments having qualified for the ESL Pro League Odense Finals. It puts a huge break to the Ninjas, who have long sought a considerable result—considering the standards and expectations pressured towards the Swedes. But, considering their inconsistency and their ability to find a fluid strategy/aim based style, this may be a re-learning experience for the Ninjas.

Since they have not been on LAN for a while, the Ninjas surprisingly topped their group, with their only hiccup being a blown lead that equated into an overtime loss to SK Gaming on de_cobblestone.

The last time these 2 met, Ninjas in Pyjamas won in a bo3 to take the championship of the last IEM Oakland tournament.

SK Gaming

  • TACO, coldzera, FalleN, boltz, fer

SK Gaming came in swinging in their first event with boltz, surprisingly winning the event at EPICENTER 2017. Beating FaZe Clan and a revolted Virtus.Pro along the way, the SK Gaming seen at the event saw a huge difference with boltz at the lurking position instead of felps. coldzera and FalleN returned to form, whereas boltz and fer seemed to fit their roles respectively.

At IEM Oakland, they made it through the groups with relative ease, albeit dropping their last 2 maps in the group stage. After defeating OpTic handily, SK Gaming now see themselves facing the Swedes of NiP in the semi-finals. Last time these two faced, SK Gaming lost in the grand finals after a close affair on the final map: de_cobblestone.

Many have critiqued TACO’s play at IEM Oakland. Being caught out on rotations and in many positions in SK Gaming’s time to play on the stage, many have questioned if he is still adjusting to the old SK play style. Regardless, SK Gaming are winning, but very uncomfortably. Most of their wins and losses have gone down to the wire, and shows a very vulnerable SK Gaming compared to the one at EPICENTER. Can SK Gaming pick it up?

 

 

Prediction

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