There’s never a lack of esports events around the world to peruse and have a punt on. The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive scene is back in full swing with top teams competing recently in the ELEAGUE Major, DreamHack Las Vegas and they’ll soon take the stage at IEM Katowice.
In the latest volume of the ESI Gambling Report, we have a look at who’s offering what with regards to ante-post ahead of the CS:GO in Katowice.
IEM Katowice – Outright
We had a look across a multitude of bookmakers to see who’s offering what odds on IEM Katowice before next week’s competition gets underway.
Surprisingly, GG.Bet are not best priced on any of the teams to take home the title. Perhaps even more surprising is that Ladbrokes are best priced for three teams, and William Hill for four teams. Traditionally their esports offering has been average to poor, so it’s good to see them offering odds ahead of competition here. Betway are not best priced for any team at all.
The CS:GO scene is arguably still in a transition period; with recent roster shuffles adding to an already incredibly competitive scene. With some of the rosters knocking about now, we could be in for the most competitive era of CS:GO yet.
Add to that the removal of Dust 2 (if you’ve ever played Counter-Strike, this is the map you’ll know) from the competitive pool and reintroduction of the new-look Inferno with seemingly paper-thin walls then IEM Katowice should have it all.
The favourites (Astralis, VP, SK, Na’Vi)
For the favourite backers, there’s arguably three/four hot contenders for the title in Katowice. Virtus.pro come off victory in Las Vegas where they defeated ELEAGUE Major winner’s Astralis on their way to the Grand Final where they conquered SK Gaming. The other team that made up the top four in Vegas was Natus Vincere.
At 7.50 best price on Na’Vi we wouldn’t touch them as they just s1mply (pardon the pun) don’t look good enough. GuardiaN looks too inconsistent and is yet to rediscover his best form and they simply haven’t yet clicked with superstar s1mple in the team. Take a pick of the other three who are all best priced at 6.00 on Hills or B365 and they’re the more likely winners. Should SK Gaming return to competition even better than at Vegas with their new player they could conquer VP in the final. Meanwhile, Duncan “Thorin” Shields’ love affair with Astralis is not yet over and if you irrefutably follow the CS historian then they may be worth a punt.
The hopefuls (Fnatic, FaZe, North)
Here’s three teams that are pretty intriguing. All three teams have undergone changes to their roster which could all elevate the teams to a higher level. FaZe picked up the immense talent of Nikola “NiKo” Kovac from mousesports and this will be his first tournament with the new squad. He effectively carried mouse through to the playoffs in Vegas before parting ways, and if he can bring the same level of performance to his new team with the existing talent in FaZe then they could be a force to be reckoned with. FaZe at 11.00 on William Hill is one of the better value picks out there pre-tournament.
F.C. Copenhagen sponsored North have taken ex-FaZe man Philip “aizy” Aistrup in place of Ruben “RUBINO” Villarroel and whilst some cast doubts over the replacement and how he would gel with the play-style of Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke they put in a solid performance in Vegas. Before their semi-final against SK Gaming, they tweeted that some of their squad had come down with the flu and that can only have impacted performance. Should they continue to build form then 13.00 on B365 or Dafabet could be great value.
Fnatic, Fnatic, Fnatic. They’ve gone back to a roster that gave them great success in the past with JW, KRiMZ, Dennis and Olof all back together. The bookies are as unsure what to think of the new but old roster as we are. They’re as short as 7.00 which seems way too short but also out at 11.00 on Ladbrokes. They didn’t look overly brilliant in Vegas but they’ve had some more time back together now so we could see the dominant force of old. It may just be slightly too early for them now, though.
Our big tip of the day is not to touch Ninjas in Pyjamas with a barge pole. Simply put, the team look in dire need of roster switch-ups as they continue with no recognised AWPer. The roster needed to bounce back after failing to qualify for the ELEAGUE Major with a big performance in Vegas yet the same problems remained and although they stumbled into the playoffs they were swatted aside by Astralis in the most comfortable of manners. How they’re priced as low as 13.00 we don’t know. It’s worth keeping an eye on the odds of teams against them as there could be value in backing against NiP in most match-ups. You can get North for the same price as NiP and they’ve showed infinitely more as of late.
Immortals, Optic, Heroic and Cloud9 are simply put, weaker teams. Although the odds are slightly longer, we wouldn’t expect any of these teams to have a run into the latter stages of the competition.
Esports Insider says: It’s set to be an intriguing tournament out in Katowice. Personally we can’t look past SK,VP or Astralis but an outside bet on FaZe or North would be our next shout.