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North vs Vitality: Esports Betting Analysis @ IEM Katowice 2019 EU Minor.

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IEM Katowice 2019 is the first Major of 2019 and it promises to be one of the best Majors in Counter-Strike till date. The IEM Katowice 2019 will start in February, but the Minors are all set to start on the 16th of January. The Europe and CIS Minors start on the 16th, while the NA and Asian Minors will start on the 22nd of January 2019.

The CIS Minor will have a lot of competition between the top teams. It includes teams such as Gambit Gaming, Team Spirit, Winstrike, Avangar, Pro100 and Nemiga. The teams are all very evenly matched and every match in the CIS Minor is of extreme importance. The teams are all extremely strong and the outcome of the matches depends heavily on the map vetoes and the match-ups on any particular day. The opening matches are all Best of One matches and the subsequent matches will be Best of Three.

The 3rd Place Play-in Stage will feature four teams in participation. Only two teams will move forth to the Major. This will take place on the 27th of January at the ESL Arena in Katowice. It is an opportunity for the teams who just missed out in the Minor to find themselves in the major.

Format

Group Stage:

  • Two double-elimination formats (GSL) Groups
    • Each group has four teams
    • Opening matches are Bo1
    • All following matches are Bo3
  • Top two teams from each group advance to the Playoffs

Playoffs:

  • Double-Elimination bracket
  • All matches are Bo3
  • No Grand Final is played

Prize Pool:

  1. 1st Place: $30,000 [IEM Katowice Major 2019 New Challenger Status]
  2. 2nd Place: $15,000 [IEM Katowice Major 2019 New Challenger Status]
  3. 3rd Place: $5,000 [IEM Katowice Major 2019 New Challenger Status]

Broadcast Talent

North Gaming

North Gaming Roster:

  • Philip “aizy” Aistrup
  • Valdemar “valde” Bjørn Vangså
  • Markus “Kjaerbye” Kjærbye
  • Casper “cadiaN” Møller
  • Nicklas “gade” Gade

The Danish organisation has consistently featured some of the new and upcoming talents in the Danish region. While never reaching the very top, they do show occasional glimpses of excellence. Indeed, they were one of the few teams to manage to defeat Astralis at their peak during a big LAN event in 2018. The North roster is made up of several well-known Danish players, but they seem to be unable to make a huge impact with their current roster.


Kjaerbye has been consistent on the North roster.

The biggest problem for North Gaming remains their inability to hit their shots. Despite having strong players on their team such as Valde, Kjaerbye and Cadian; the team is not able to win their aim duels. This leads to the rest of the team playing from a disadvantage for most of the times. It results in a huge gap for the rest of the team to fill.

The team won the IEM Katowice Closed qualifier after defeating Space Soldiers with ease. Their strength lies in their map pool which is significantly better than most of their teams. However, they need to ensure better implementation of their strategies in order to win their matches. They are up against Team Vitality, which is increasingly looking like a force to contend with. The player Zywoo has been making waves on the team and reaching upwards of 80 frags in a series to lead the team to victory, despite having poor performances from the rest of the team.


Cadian is leading the North roster as they head into the Minor.

Gade is another payer who has lifted the team’s performance over the past year. He has been able to make huge plays for the team as they move past others in their performance. However, with North Gaming, the biggest impact has to be their shot-calling and the team’s performance.

North Gaming is strong on a certain set of maps. Their performance on maps such as Dust2, Nuke and Inferno are extremely strong. The team’s performance on these maps stems from their excellent CT squad. Their ability to hold down certain areas of the map in a very defensive format is what allows the opponents to make mistakes. North Gaming rarely makes mistakes on their CT side and their defensive approach to their CT side is what ensures that they rarely make mistakes. However, it also allows for opponents to read them thoroughly.

Vitality


Vitality Roster:

  • Nathan “NBK-“ Schmitt
  • Dan “apEX” Madesclaire
  • Cédric “RpK” Guipouy
  • Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut
  • Alex “ALEX” McMeekin

Vitality is the team that is the talk of the current season. The team’s performance has evoked some really strong responses from the community. However, it is not the entire team that is receiving all the praise right now. After all, Zywoo is doing most of the heavy lifting on the team. He was able to single-handedly help Team Vitality win their previous matches in the EU Minor. Zywoo is a talent that has shown exceptional individual skill level and we hope to see more of him in the future.

However, all is not good for Team Vitality. The remainder of the team seems unable to make an impact. This stems from the bigger French problem where we have multiple stars having no impact on the International scene. Players like NBK, Apex and RPk have been impressive in the past for France, but their current performance is way below their average.


Apex is the player that we will focus our attention on. The player is one of the most talented individual players in the French scene. However, he has not lived up to his expectations in recent months. The lack of performance from the player inadvertently affects any team that he is a member of. The player requires the attention and the support of the rest of the team. As such the organisations tend to field a very supportive roster around him. But when Apex continues to disappoint as a player, it becomes the root of the problem for the team. We tend to see Apex as a star player, but he does not have performances like Zywoo does currently for the team.


Coming to Zywoo, what happens to Vitality when Zywoo does not have God-like performances? The player has been individually carrying the team on his shoulders for a long time. He has been reaching nearly 80 frags in three maps and that is not an easy number against quality opposition. How do we see Vitaliy moving forward, they are definitely major attendees by judging their calibre. The team’s performance relies heavily on Zywoo stepping up. We have seen a French team implement this playstyle in the past. However, as we see this team move forward, we have seen the previous playstyle not work out great for Titan, which had KennyS as the world’s best player on their team. Right now, Vitality is probably the favourites to win this match over their opponents. They have the momentum going for them and Zywoo is definitely in great form. However, we have to see how the two teams interact with each other especially when it comes to the map picks.

Prediction:

Vitality is the better team amongst the two. They do have a very weird playstyle which relies heavily on Zywoo putting up huge numbers. However, the team has been doing quite well, because Zywoo is performing at near the top of his game. He might not be the most articulate when it comes to post-matches interviews, but within the server, it is his domain. The player will remain the principal focus for the team as they want to enable him to perform at his peak.

We recommend a bet on Team Vitality for this match.

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Runaway vs Element Mystic: Esports Betting Analysis @ Overwatch Contenders Korea 2018 Seaosn 3.

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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 Overwatch Contenders scene recently got a revamp when Blizzard announced the addition of three new LAN events for the calendar year. These LAN events will be held during the off-season/break between the Overwatch League matches. This will ensure maximum exposure for the matches. This will indirectly benefit the teams and the players. As we head into Overwatch Contenders 2018 Season 3, the Korean matchup is in its Grand finals. Element Mystic and Runaway will face off against each other in the Grand finals. For Runaway, this will be a wonderful opportunity to get the silverware. The Korean Overwatch scene is full of competition as most o the top teams are looking to hire talent from the Korean Contenders scene.

Mostly this has to do with their insanely high skill ceiling and their work ethics. The OWL bosses are impressed with their dedication for the game and their regiemen ahead of the Overwatch LEague. There is a reason why the majority of Overwatch League players Korean and that does not seem to be coming to a stop any time soon. The Korean players are always going to be in demand and for many western players; they might just need to learn Korean or allow themselves the liberty to adjust to the Korean player style and practice regimen.

The Korean Finals of the Overwatch Contenders will be a Best of Five match series. Runaway and Element Mystic will play against each other on these maps ensuring that the viewers and the fans get the best possible experience. You can catch all the action live on Twitch.

BroadCast

Korean Broadcast

English Broadcast[edit]

The match will take place at the FreecUP Studio in Seoul. The teams will play in one day and the winner gets the prize money of 30,000. However, it is the recognition and the path to pro coming to an end for these players which is a bigger prize. The teams will need to ensure that they put their best foot forward in this match. It has the potential to make or break their career.

Runaway

Runaway Roster

  • Nam-jin “Gangnamjin” Gang
  • Sung-jun “QoQ” Yu
  • Tae-sung “Mag” Kim
  • Jae-gon “LeeJaeGon” Lee
  • Dong-jae “Schwi” Lee
  • Hee-Su “Heesu” Jeong

The Runaway teams cannot receive a mention without mentioning the team owners and their mentors in Dae-hoon “Runner” Yoon and his wife Flowervin. The two have been pillars for their payers and ensured the best possible contracts and facilities for their players in their capacity. Paying for the players with their own money, in the beginning, the couple had to face hardships and were almost on the verge of going broke for their own personal finances. However, with renewed determination, they decided to make it work and the players themselves helped the couple to live their dreams. In turn, the couple were able to motivate the players with the right mental framework and provide them with a platform to ensure that the players are able to pursue their goal of becoming a professional Overwatch player at the highest level.


Over the years. Runaway has fielded several teams and we have never seen a single negative comment about this owner couple. They form the identity of the Runaway roster and are responsible for the players’ well-being, their mental and physical comforts. They keep the players as their priority and that is why they are highly regarded in the Korean Overwatch community. Being a former player on the team himself, Runaway has experienced what it means to be like when it is regarding treatment from the team owners.


However, the team does have some very talented players on the team. These players are definitely one of the best in the Korean region and that is why we are seeing them in the Grand finals of the Overwatch Contenders 2018 Season 3. They will battle it out against Element Mystic, which is a team that they have managed to win against in the recent past. There is little doubt that Runaway is the favourite to win this match and Contenders 2018 Season 3.


LeeJaeGon’s addition to the team definitely improves their backlines by a tremendous margin. The young Korean player is extremely talented and has great awareness of his position vis-a-vis the opponents DPS position. This new meta is not dangerous for support players and as such, we will see him in action all the time. He has a wide range of heroes that he can play. While his favourite characters include Lucio and Mercy, we have also seen him on the Zenyatta and Ana when required. However, he prefers characters which don’t require the best of aim. His strength lies in his positioning and his call-outs to the rest of the team which can ensure that they take the right decision in the next couple of seconds. With the GOATS meta taking precedence still and looking forth to ensure that this style will continue in the Overwatch League, it is important for the player to have great communication and synergy with the rest of the team. The player has a good view of all that is happening and can make the right calls on the team, even though he is not technically the In-Game leader of the team.

Speaking of the In-Game Leader, we don’t know who the In-Game Leader is on the team. The team has great synergy and the players are all having excellent communication with each other. They have a great understanding of each other positioning.


However for Runaway their performance always boils down to their tanks and their DPS players. The previous editions of Runaway have all fielded world class players on these roles and they have been crucial to the team’s success in Contenders and in other tournaments. For this match; Runaway has Schwi and Heesu on the DPS role. The two players have been with the organisation since October 2018 and have developed great synergy with each other. They can ensure coordinated attacks and choose their target with ease. Their ability to constantly deal immense amounts of damage in coordination with the rest of the team ensures that the teams can put forth a really synergized attack phase.

Runaway is a team that will rely extensively on its coordination and team synergy in order to get a foot ahead in this matchup. It is their advantage, and they would definitely want to use it to their benefit. It will be interesting to see what the map orders are since they can have an adverse impact on the initial matches and ultimately the team’s confidence ahead of the Grand Finals.

Element Mystic

Element Mystic Roster:

  • Yeong-han “Sp9rk1e” Kim
  • Ki-hyo “Xzi” Jung
  • Jae-hyeon “Alpha” Sin
  • Han-been “Hanbin” Choi
  • Young-hyun “Takoyaki” Lee
  • Dong-hyun “Unique” Yoo
  • Hwan “Fixme” Lim
  • Dong-ha “Doha” Kim

Element Mystic is a team that has always been a strong component of the Korean Overwatch scene. They have always been in the Top Four of the previous editions of the Overwatch Contenders. They reached the semifinals in Overwatch Contenders Korea 2018 Season 2.

The team had a nearly flawless Group stage, only losing to Meta Athena in the Groups, Even this loss, was a very close loss with a 2-3 scoreline. The team mostly dominated the Overwatch Contenders Korean scene with 4-0 wins over their opponents in the Group stage. Apart from their loss to Meta Athena and the one map loss [ they won the series 3-1 ] to StormQuake, there has been little opposition to this team in their run to the finals.

They cruised through the quarterfinals and the semifinals 3-0 over Geekstar and StormQuake with ease. The team has displayed excellent coordination and synergy to reach their high-points in the series till now. The team’s performance over the course of the past few months has only seen their individual and team performance increase to the optimal level. Right now, Element Mystic is one of the stronger teams in the Korean region.l There is a lot at stake in this match which will put their players firmly in the eyes of the Overwatch League scouts. It is important for the players and the team owners to ensure that their players receive maximum visibility in this match. They need to win this match and secure themselves as the champions of the Overwatch Contenders 2018 Season 3.

Each one of their former players has moved to the Overwatch League, and just like Runaway; this is also a team well-known for their nurturing of young players. However, it does not have a family look like Runaway does, instead, it is a corporate look; sometimes that is exactly what layers need to push them over to the next level.

Sp9rk1e and Xzi are the primary DPS on the roster. The team has added Doha very recently, but we don’t know what combination of the players they will be fielding. This will be an interesting challenge for Runaway who don’t really have any substitutes on their team. It brings ahead a huge advantage for Element NMystiuc as they could have focussed much of the past week in trying out new combinations in an attempt to surprise Runaway. After all, with their limited roster, Runaway cannot really hope to field different combinations and surprise their opponents in this match.

The tank lineup for the team will have importance in the current meta of the GOATS meta. They need to ensure that the time of their focussed dive is important and they are not caught out of position. After all, for most, the GOATS is just a more focussed dive meta. The team’s decision making and how they handle the versatile Runaway roster will be important ahead of their matches.

The two teams are very evenly matched and it will be interesting to see how they come out ahead of this match. They have had one week to counter-strategize their opponents. With Runaway’s limited roster and Element Mystic’s relatively younger team; this match is going to be a roller-coaster ride for both.

Prediction:

The two teams have met each other in the very recent past. The series between Element Mystic and Runaway saw Runaway take home the series with a 3-1 victory. While one match is not an indication of the teams’ performance, it definitely gives us a hint towards their current standings in the overwatch scene. The 2018 Contenders Season 3 will be an important measure for the two teams to put forth their best foot forward. They want to ensure maximum visibility for their players and th organisation as well. Winning the Contenders is the best way to do this, and possibly be scouted by the Overwatch League talents who will be present at the venue.

Since Korea is the hotspot for new talent into the Overwatch League, the Overwatch League teams will be looking to making new signings. There might be drastic changes mid-season as we saw during the last year. For now, Runaway does look to be the better team. Coming off a slightly better roster; they also have the likes of Runner and Flowervin supporting them through every stage of their journey. They are veterans in the Korean Overwatch industry now and have helped several amateur players come up with amazing performances in the past. The likes of LeeJaeGon are definitely going to make an impact in this match. We recommend a bet on Runaway for this match.

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Mousesports vs Optic Gaming: Esports Betting Analysis @ IEM Katowice 2019 European Minor.

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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.

IEM Katowice 2019 is the first Major of 2019 and it promises to be one of the best Majors in Counter-Strike till date. The IEM Katowice 2019 will start in February, but the Minors are all set to start on the 16th of January. The Europe and CIS Minors start on the 16th, while the NA and Asian Minors will start on the 22nd of January 2019.

The CIS Minor will have a lot of competition between the top teams. It includes teams such as Gambit Gaming, Team Spirit, Winstrike, Avangar, Pro100 and Nemiga. The teams are all very evenly matched and every match in the CIS Minor is of extreme importance. The teams are all extremely strong and the outcome of the matches depends heavily on the map vetoes and the match-ups on any particular day. The opening matches are all Best of One matches and the subsequent matches will be Best of Three.

The 3rd Place Play-in Stage will feature four teams in participation. Only two teams will move forth to the Major. This will take place on the 27th of January at the ESL Arena in Katowice. It is an opportunity for the teams who just missed out in the Minor to find themselves in the major.

Format

Group Stage:

  • Two double-elimination formats (GSL) Groups
    • Each group has four teams
    • Opening matches are Bo1
    • All following matches are Bo3
  • Top two teams from each group advance to the Playoffs

Playoffs:

  • Double-Elimination bracket
  • All matches are Bo3
  • No Grand Final is played

Prize Pool:

  1. 1st Place: $30,000 [IEM Katowice Major 2019 New Challenger Status]
  2. 2nd Place: $15,000 [IEM Katowice Major 2019 New Challenger Status]
  3. 3rd Place: $5,000 [IEM Katowice Major 2019 New Challenger Status]

Broadcast Talent

Mousesports

Mousepsorts Roster:

  • Chris “chrisJ” de Jong.
  • Tomáš “oskar” Šťastný.
  • Robin “ropz” Kool.
  • Miikka “suNny” Kemppi.
  • Martin “STYKO” Styk.

Mousesports is a team that has not found its groove after they brought back Styko to their roster. The mistakes of the organisation cost the roster deeply in 2018 as not only did they lose their groove, but they can’t seem to find it anymore. The mousesports organisation thought that adding Snax to their team would easily mean more tournaments, more victories and silverware. The reality was a harsh check for the team they are definitely not putting up big numbers anymore.


The Mousesports roster lost to Valiance 14-16. While the scoreline might suggest that it was a close match, the fact that they lost Mirage presents a worrisome indicator for most of the team. Mirage is always considered to be a favourable map for Mousesports and they have traditionally defeated some of the best team in the world on this map. You can never count out Mousepsorts on Mirage and so their loss to a lowly team such as valiance definitely raises some eyebrows.


The map was extremely close with 7-8 scorelines on both sides of the half.Unfortunately for Mousepsorts they only managed 7 rounds on either side of the map ensuring that they reached only 14 rounds. Surprisingly, it was ChrisJ who was leading the scoreboard for the Mousesports organisation. The stars on the team definitely failed to have a huge impact in this match. In fact, the youngsters in Sunny and Ropz highlighted the bottom two spots on the table. They were unable to win several of their aim duels and more often than not were the entry frags when it comes to Valiance. The mousesports roster lost several easy and economy rounds which should have been easy wins for the team. Their inability to be prepared for the surprise tactics and gameplay by Valiance cot them dearly. Some would even argue that the team was giving too much respect to their opponents, something that is great against stronger teams.


However, when you are up against a team like valiance which has little to no International LAN experience, you need to prepare yourself for their style of play. ChrisJ is carrying the team’s weight on his shoulders; however, for the team to succeed, it is necessary that he can comfortably sink back into his role as the In-Game Leader. The other players on eth team namely Oksar, Sunny and Styko need to start getting more rags and their names up on the scoreboard. Ropz has mostly been a support player who performs well, so his individual performance is not something that is under question right now.

However, Sunny’s lack of aim at Katowice is definitely surprising and more so it is perplexing for the team. Maybe Mousesports should start changing his position on the map in order to provide him with favourable matchups. If Optic Gaming identifies the weakness on the Mousepsorts we will have ourselves a strong series here.

Optic Gaming

Optic Gaming roster:

  • Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke.
  • René “cajunb” Borg.
  • Marco “Snappi” Pfeiffer.
  • Jakob “JUGi” Hansen.
  • Ismail “refrezh” Ali.

Optic Gaming had a very poor start to their EU Minor after they ran into Team Vitality. The French team does not have much experience in big LAN events, but they are definitely showing whey they can be one of the best teams in the world. With Zywoo on their team, they are putting up huge numbers in their matches [ match ] so far. Despite having only 22 kills, it was the nature of these kills which brought Zywoo to the forefront in everyone’s attention.

However, this match involves Optic Gaming and the Danish roster is not really as bad as their previous match suggests. The team displayed excellent synergy on most occasions, but they would lose their individual aim-duels to the French team. For example, a classic take on Dust 2 A-Long meant that they needed the Tunnels control. However, as soon as they lost the Tunnel control, they were stuck on the Long side of the map. They had some questionable usage of grenades such as deciding not to smoke the cross-over from A-long to the site. But their knowledge that Vitality was on the eco [ and they just needed to clear out the close range angles] meant that this was a wise decision. It worked out splendidly in their favour, something that cannot be said for the rest of the map.


Individually, we did not see K0nfig step up in a big way. He is one of the heavy hitters on this roster and it is imperative that the player puts up big numbers for Optic Gaming. Surprisingly, Refrezh was also absent from the scoreboard and was giving company to Snappi at the bottom. His inability to put up big numbers meant that the team could never get the head-start that they required in order to take down Zywoo and co.

The Optic Gaming roster has had just a fortnight with Refrezh [ possibly less time of practice]. As such their performance needs to be taken with a grain of salt. The lack of practice clearly shows as they must have prepared only on a handful of maps. Their decision to go forth with Dust 2 against Team Vitality is a decision that was taken after Dust 2 I considered to be a relatively neutral map. However, the French have always been strong on Dust 2, back from 2013 days. They were always favoured to win on Dust 2, even against some of the best teams in the world at the time. As we head into this match, it is necessary for the Optic Gaming roster to bring forth their best game forward.


CajunB has played alongside some of the best Danish players in the region. He has been a part of most of the strongest teams in the Danish region, including several of the current Astralis roster. The player is a decent aim with the rifle and he maintains his consistency on the team. His ability to hold down certain areas of the map on his own and the consistent trade frags mean that he is crucial to the team’s performance. While we don’t expect him to start leading the board anytime soon for Optic Gaming, the level-headed player needs to maintain his performance to ensure that Optic do not suffer a loss once more.

Overall Optic Gaming is a well-rounded team. They have the necessary elements to make it past the Group stage, however, they also have several faulty pieces right now. A lot is expected off Refrezh; but if he fails to deliver once more, it is up to the rest of the squad to pick up their individual performance and give him the space necessary to find his own groove.

Prediction:

On paper, it does seem like Mousesport should win this match. They have better talent, better pas results and are a more consistent lineup. Their experience of playing with each other in the past when they were a much stronger roster will definitely come in handy as they prepare for this elimination match. However, the fact remains that the Moseports roster is not having the best results of late. They are a team that can achieve much more, statistically, they are easily favoured to win the EU Minor. However, their individual players are not in form right now; which is why we are witnessing ChrisJ at the helm of the scoreboard.


Despite having players such as Sunny, Styko and Oskar, it is surprising to see ChrisJ at the top. He needs to concentrate on his In-Game Leadership more as much as allowing the others to find more favourable trades and boost their confidence. If the team starts performing, there is little that others [ except for Zywoo and co. ] can do to stop the Mousesports roster.

Optic Gaming is a team that is still very fresh and raw. They have added Refrezh to their team on December 31st. While that was the day the announcement was made, the team has been playing with him for a few more weeks. That hardly gives them 1 month with the new roster. It is not enough time for them to prepare themselves on multiple maps. So this match will come down to how the team has prepared on certain maps and whether they are able to take on Mousesports on these maps. The Optic Gaming roster is strong on certain CT sided maps. SoMousepsorts will need to veto to their strengths and not try to counter draft the Optic Gaming side.

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Mousesports vs Valiance : Esports Betting Analysis @ IEM Katowice 2019 European Minor.

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.

IEM Katowice 2019 is the first Major of 2019 and it promises to be one of the best Majors in Counter-Strike till date. The IEM Katowice 2019 will start in February, but the Minors are all set to start on the 16th of January. The Europe and CIS Minors start on the 16th, while the NA and Asian Minors will start on the 22nd of January 2019.

The CIS Minor will have a lot of competition between the top teams. It includes teams such as Gambit Gaming, Team Spirit, Winstrike, Avangar, Pro100 and Nemiga. The teams are all very evenly matched and every match in the CIS Minor is of extreme importance. The teams are all extremely strong and the outcome of the matches depends heavily on the map vetoes and the match-ups on any particular day. The opening matches are all Best of One matches and the subsequent matches will be Best of Three.

The 3rd Place Play-in Stage will feature four teams in participation. Only two teams will move forth to the Major. This will take place on the 27th of January at the ESL Arena in Katowice. It is an opportunity for the teams who just missed out in the Minor to find themselves in the major.

Format

Group Stage:

    • Two double-elimination formats (GSL) Groups
      • Each group has four teams
      • Opening matches are Bo1
      • All following matches are Bo3
    • Top two teams from each group advance to the Playoffs

Playoffs:

    • Double-Elimination bracket
    • All matches are Bo3
    • No Grand Final is played

Prize Pool:

  1. 1st Place: $30,000 [IEM Katowice Major 2019 New Challenger Status]
  2. 2nd Place: $15,000 [IEM Katowice Major 2019 New Challenger Status]
  3. 3rd Place: $5,000 [IEM Katowice Major 2019 New Challenger Status]

Broadcast Talent

  • Analysts:
    • SPUNJ (Chad Burchill)
    • Pimp (Jacob Winneche)
    • natu (Joona Leppänen)
    • Bleh (Sudhen Wahengbam)

Mousesports

Mousesports Roster:

  • Chris “chrisJ” de Jong
  • Tomáš “oskar” Šťastný
  • Robin “ropz” Kool
  • Miikka “suNny” Kemppi
  • Martin “STYKO” Styk

The Mousesports roster is one of the most interesting CS: GO teams right now. They have brought together the former roster with the hopes of replicating their success in the past. However, the new roster [ or the old roster as is in this case] has not been able to replicate their past performance.

The team already has several well-known players on their roster. The likes of ChrisJ, Ropz, Oskar, Sunny and Styko; each of them has proven their worth in the past. ChrisJ is the crucial element in the team. He has donned multiple roles for the organisation and has gone from being the star on the roster to taking a backbench on the team. In the current roster, there was little doubt that he was the person to oversee the performances of the players. His individual performance does not speak volumes and is not comparable to his past. However, he can help the team develop and grow into a much stronger team as the In-Game leader.

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

The Mousesports roster is relatively young. With the likes of Ropz and Styko on their team, they do not lack firepower. Ropz is a player who has been relatively quiet on the team. However, that is only because he is not needed to make a huge impact on the team’s performance. The rest of the team does seem to be carrying most of the weight of the team’s efforts on their shoulders. What they do need is a stable performer and the team has several players capable of the same.

Oskar has been one of the most consistent performers in the game for mousesports. For multiple years, Oskar’s addition has enabled the Mousesports roster not to worry about his performance. He can have a huge impact on the round when necessary, but what is more important is that his low is also not that bad. The player can play with the rifle as well as the AWP. His versatility and consistency make him a very important player for the Mousesports roster. At the same time, I’ve heard rumours that he is difficult to play with making him a staple on the Mousesports roster. Whether it is due to his nature or otherwise, Oskar remains an integral part of the Mousesports roster.

Styko recently came back to Mousesports from Cloud9. It is important that the player can ensure good performances overall. Before he left the team, [ was replaced by Snax] he was a star performer on the team. However, once he made his trip to North America and back, he does not seem to be at the same level of performance anymore. The player has the capability to make it big in CS: GO, but he needs the adequate support infrastructure and synergy with the team to succeed.

Valiance

Valiance roster:

  • Nestor “LETN1” Tanić
  • Nemanja “huNter” Kovač
  • Nemanja “nexa” Isaković
  • Rokas “EspiranTo” Milasauskas
  • Otto “ottoNd” Sihvo

The Valiance team is a mixed team made up of several relatively unknown and lower skilled individuals than their counterparts in this particular match. The Valiance roster has players from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Lithuania.

The team has a diverse map pool and they have a focus on maps such as Nuke and Cache. On Nuke, they have an 88% win-rate. Their comfort on this map stems from their excellent CT side. They have excellent communications and it can vary between very aggressive CT side on Ivy or the B Bomb site. They can also play passively allowing the enemy to come into their trap. This variety in their playstyle enables them to have a huge advantage over their opponents.  

They are also equally good on Cache, however, here it is their T side and the chaos that they sow into the opponents that puts them ahead. The Valiance roster, however, does not have much practice against stronger teams. They are usually put up against much weaker rosters in the Tier ⅔ scene and that is the result of their insanely high map win rate. As such, their performance in this match should always be taken with a grain of salt. They are not at the same level as Mousepsorts in this match and if they lose [ which they should ] it shouldn’t come as a big surprise.

Valiance has their task cut out for them if they do end up making an impact. This particular match is a Best of One matchup. We have already seen a few upsets at the esports tournaments and hence this match becomes all the more important. There is a possibility for Valiance to make an upset, but realistically they shouldn’t stand a chance.  

Prediction:

There is little doubt that Mousepsorts is the better team in this matchup. On paper, they should easily win this match and have no chances of losing. However, this is a Best of One match-up and as such the chances for an upset are always there. Recently Syman won their match against Gambit and that was a massive upset

Mousesports should take this game as seriously as they can. They are a team which has great potential. The team’s success in the past year has seen them emerge as a strong contender. However irrational decisions by the management and the lack of voice amongst the players meant that the team’s results came down to almost nil by end of 2018. They will look to start 2019 on a high and this is their first match of 2019. We recommend a bet on Mousesports for this match.

Faze Clan vs Ghost Gaming : Esports Betting Analysis @ IBuyPower Cup Masters IV

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Faze Clan

Faze Clan roster:

  • Håvard “rain” Nygaard
  • Nikola “NiKo” Kovač
  • Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovács
  • Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer
  • Dauren “AdreN” Kystaubayev

The Faze Clan roster is one team which always garners a lot of attention of the Counter-Strike community. The members of Faze Clan include some of the best players in Counter-Strike. The likes of Guardian, Niko and Olofmeister have all made a name for themselves in their previous teams.

However, the biggest change tot eh team is two-fold. They recently let go of Karrigan [ who is on Team Envy ]. Replacing him on the team is AdreN who has been instrumental and a key component of several CIS teams. His experience and different style of play will be crucial to determining the next course of action for Faze Clan in the future months. The team has provided us with some amazing plays over the past year. They have been able to make exciting plays which are helped the individual skill ceiling on the team.

Guardian is one of the best AWpers in the game and over the past year, we have seen him improve his individual performance. Guardian’s performance in 2018 has been steady which is not the same that can be said for the rest of the team. Guardian is known to play extremely aggressive when it comes to the AWP. It really depends on his individual confidence, however, the player is at a much higher skill level than his counterparts.

What would be really interesting would be the performance of the team in synergy with AdreN. The Kazakh player has not had much experience playing on an international team. He is a veteran in Counter-Strike coming from various top tier CIS teams in the past. He is also a Major winner [ after winning the PGL Krakow Major 2017]. However, of late, his individual performance has seen a downward trend. It possibly has to do more with Gambit’s overall lack of performance than an individual downward trend.

NiKo and co. want to avoid another situation similar to the aftermath of the ELEAGUE Major

There are many elements at play in this new-look Faze Clan roster. The team’s performance over the past few months notwithstanding, we do expect them to easily win over Ghost Gaming. However, the manner of their victory will be crucial to determining the final outcome of the tournament. Faze Clan is a top tier contender for the tournament and if they are not able to comfortably win against a weaker team such as Ghost Gaming, then they have a problem on their hands for the upcoming IEM Katowice 2019 Major.

Ghost Gaming

Ghost Gaming roster :

  • Matthew “Wardell” Yu
  • Yassine “Subroza”‘ Taoufik
  • Joshua “steel” Nissan
  • Kenneth “koosta” Suen
  • Jason “neptune” Tran

The Ghost Gaming team is made up of several well-known North American players. Players such as Wardell, Subroza and Koosta are interesting additions to the team. At the same time, they also have Steel, a player who has received bans by Valve due to his involvement in the IBuyPower incident [ several years ago ]. Since this is not a Valve event, John Nissan will be able to play in the tournament without any problems.

Steel is the In-Game Leader of the team and that is a very interesting move. The player has a lot of experience. He was one of the members of the original IBP roster which made huge waves for North American counter strike. With time, ofcourse there have been other teams putting up big results in the scene, but Steel has been a consistent involvement in the scene. It is only recently that he was allowed to play on the team and Ghost Gaming picked him up.

Several of the team’s members had a promising future a few years ago. They have high individual skill ceiling. But their current roster does not help them achieve the type of results that we have known them to produce. The team has a good upper limit, but they need Koosta to step up his individual game. We know he can put up big numbers as an individual. The player has played for several teams in the past such as  Team Liquid, CLG, Torqued etc.

He has an uncanny ability to have a good spatial sense of the opposition’s positioning.

Overall, this team has the capability to turn into a strong roster, but their current form is nowhere near to close to take down Faze Clan.

Prediction

On paper, the two teams might have a chance against each other. However, Faze Clan has a lot of practice with the top teams of the world. They have produced excellent results and the addition of YNK as their coach and AdreN as their new player will definitely help the team to provide better results. They have had individual performances but as a team, they need to put forth the best foot forward.

Faze Clan is the best roster on paper and they should be able to take down Ghost Gaming with relative ease. The skill difference is just too wide for Ghost Gaming to overcome. Considering how important it is for Ghost Gaming to make it deep in this tournament [it’s their last with this lineup before the Major] we will see some spirited action by the NA team.

We recommend a bet on Faze Clan for this match.