Today we are looking at the Group A opening match of the CS: GO VulkanBet Invitational between the French team LDLC and the Polish Virtus.pro, kicking off on Wednesday at 14:00 CET.
VulkanBet Invitation is an online tournament where a total of eight teams are split into Group A and Group B. The group winners and runners-up will then advance to the best-of-three playoffs with a single elimination. The champions take home $10,000 from the $20,000 prize pool.
LDLC are a newly formed French team, consisting of former Space Soldiers In-game leader Engin “MAJ3R” Kupeli along with former Team EnvyUs trio (Vincent “Happy” Cervoni Schopenhauer, Alexandre “xms” Forté and Christophe “SIXER” Xia) and Rodolphe ‘roden’ Bianco, who joined on trial basis.
They attended Charleroi Esports tournament a couple of days ago, where they managed to win one BO3 match against FrostFire, while losing two matches against Sprout (4-16 and later 2-1 in a BO3 match). They also played at the GG.BET Sydney Invitation in Match, where they failed to win all three matches against devils.one (16-14), Movistar Riders (16-13) and forZe (19-17). All three matches were pretty close so not everything looks bleak for the French.
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Virtus.pro are also coming from a disappointing run at Charleroi Esports, where they played a total of two matches and lost both, 16-14 against GamerLegion and 2-0 against G2. The team made a roster change before their trip to France, benching Mateusz “TOAO” Zawistowski in favour of a young player Arek “Vegi” Nawojski, trying to fix some of their issues, but nothing really changed in terms of results, as it is apparent that this team needs further changes.
They played some online games with the new player, but losses against teams like NoChance, Nemiga and Sprout do not exactly fill me up with confidence. I would not be surprised if there is an announcement in the near future about the team’s disbandment. Historically VP were never an exclusively Polish organization and they do have the money to buy all the young talent in the CIS region.
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LDLC vs Virtus.pro winning and betting predictions
Looking at the odds, Virtus.pro are considered favourites, priced around 1.55 for an outright win, while LDLC can found priced as high as 2.40. Considering this is a BO1 type of a match and the first game ever between two teams that are in somewhat bad form, the value lies on LDLC.
Over/Under market is in favour of the match going Under 26.5 rounds, priced around 1.80, which is about right. I do not expect a really competitive or long match, the team with a strong start will probably be able to hold their lead and win the match.
As for our prediction, we have to side with LDLC here. There is not a lot that separates these teams in terms of team play (although VP does have a higher skill ceiling) and considering the nature of BO1 matches, the match should be pretty open and LDLC will fancy their chances. Take LDLC to keep it close!
Prediction: LDLC +3.50 rounds at BetOnline