The opening two fixtures of Group B at the CS:GO Champions Cup Finals will take place this Thursday at InterContinental Arena in St Julian’s, Malta. Here are our betting picks and match predictions, with odds from BetOnline.
Hard Legion Esports vs Team Spirit
Thursday, December 19 – 11:30 CET
Hard Legion (-121.95) are slight favourites for their first fixture. While they technically defeated Team Spirit (-108.7) in the European Champions Cup in late November, the match was a walkover. That result put HL into the finals, where they bested BIG 2-0 to claim the title.
After that title-winning run in European Champions Cup, Hard Legion defeated GODSENT 2-1 at United Masters League Season 2 and lost 20-22 to Hellraisers in a round-of-16 thriller at the IEM World Championship European Open Qualifiers.
Since their forfeit against HL at the end of November, Team Spirit have beaten HAVU (2-0) and GODSENT (2-1) at SECTOR:MOSTBET to secure a spot in the grand finals. However, they fell short at the ESEA S32 Global Challenge last weekend, losing to forZe (14-16) and Riot Squad Esports (1-2) to end the tournament in fifth-sixth place.
Based on their recent results, there is not a lot to separate the two teams. That being said, Team Spirit have a slight edge because of their deeper map pool and better form ranking. It should be close, but we will side with Spirit to clinch the win.
Prediction: Team Spirit to win – -108.7 at BetOnline
G2 Esports vs BIG
Thursday, December 19 – 14:30 CET
G2 Esports ($1.42) head to the Champions Cup Finals following a solid run at cs_summit 5, where they claimed a silver medal after losing 1-2 against the surging mousesports in the grand finals. While losing to an in-form team is nothing much to worry about, what will annoy G2 is that they swept mouz 2-0 only three days earlier in the group stage.
Other than their two meetings with mouz at the cs_summit, G2 also defeated FURIA 2-0, drew with OG and MiBR, and defeated Virtus.pro twice, on the final day of the group stage (2-0) and in the semi-finals (2-1).
While G2 were making waves at cs_summit 5, BIG (+174) were struggling to find their form at DreamHack Open Sevilla, where they finished dead-last alongside Gambit Youngsters.
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BIG played only two fixtures in Spain and failed to impress in both. They gave up a 9-6 lead to lose in overtime to North and the copped a 0-2 sweep in their elimination match against Movistar Riders.
The last meeting between these two sides took place in mid-November at ESL Pro League S10 Europe, where G2 won 2-0. Neither roster has changed since that bout, which suggests the balance of power remains mostly the same.
BIG are in terrible shape right now and will struggle compete at this tournament. The line for this match is set at 4.5 rounds, which G2 are more than capable of covering.
Prediction: G2 Esports -4.5 rounds – -105.26 at BetOnline