Season 8 of the Esports Championship Series comes to a close this week, with the finals set to kick off on Thursday, November 28 at Esports Stadium in Arlington, Virginia. Let’s look over the teams, their strengths, their weaknesses and their CS:GO betting odds for the opening four fixtures.
Evil Geniuses vs AVANGAR
Thursday, November 28 – 9:00 CST
Evil Geniuses enter this bout as heavy favourites (-370.37) and it is hard to see them as anything less than a far superior team to AVANGAR (+249).
The North American organisation suffered a crushing defeat against mousesports (0-2) in the Asia Championships 2019 quarter-finals last weekend, which was just one of many questionable results this star-studded team has put up in recent times.
While EG’s defeat against mouz did not inspire much optimism, they are still a much better team than AVANGAR, who have struggled since their runner-up finish at the StarLadder Berlin Major.
We can’t expect any surprises here. EG need to redeem themselves following a poor display in China and a strong start at the ECS Finals is exactly what they will look to achieve.
Prediction: Evil Geniuses to win – -370.37 at BetOnline
Astralis vs Sharks Esports
Thursday, November 28 – 12:00 CST
If the odds at ESB’s top esports betting sites are anything to go by, the clash between Astralis (-1666.67) and Sharks Esports (+658) will be one of the biggest mismatches of the year.
There is not a lot to be said about this bout, except that Astralis are far superior to Sharks Esports in all aspects of the game. While the Danes are no strangers to upset defeats, the chances of that happening here are extremely small.
Sharks, while a respected team in their own region, will have a hard time walking away with anything here. While upset wins are fairly common in best-of-one matches, we see no value in backing Sharks to produce a miracle here.
Prediction: Astralis to win – -1666.67 at BetOnline
Fnatic vs MiBR
Thursday, November 28 – 13:30 CST
The second fixture of Group B features two old enemies in Fnatic (-204.08) and MiBR (+148), who are bound to make sparks fly at the Esports Stadium.
The reformed and reborn Fnatic are flying high since their title-winning run at DreamHack Masters Malmo in October and will look to keep the momentum going as they aim to re-establish themselves as one of elite CS:GO esports teams.
While Fnatic crashed out of StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 8, where they suffered a 0-2 defeat against EG in the final, they managed to produce a title-winning run at ECS S8 Europe only a few days later to keep their wheels spinning as they enter the ECS Finals.
MiBR had a much worse experience at StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 8, where they crashed out of the tournament fairly early. It was Fnatic who defeated MiBR in the Group A losers’ final, so the Brazilians will enter this bout hungry for blood.
While MiBR recently defeated EG at the Asia Championships, we can’t help but feel like it was a complete fluke. Luckily for us, that result has inflated the odds on Fnatic, who are priced very generously to win their opening fixture.
Prediction: Fnatic to win – -204.08 at BetOnline
Team Liquid vs Ninjas in Pyjamas
Thursday, November 28 – 14:00 CST
The last match of the day will see Ninjas in Pyjamas (+174) take on Team Liquid (-243.9) in what is tipped to be a one-sided affair.
Team Liquid are seen as the stronger side in this bout and there is no reason to think otherwise. While they have dropped in form since their rise to power last summer, TL are still one of the top three teams in the CS:GO pro scene.
It is worth noting TL lost to NiP (11-16) at the start of November when they met at BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen 2019. That said, we would not put too much emphasis on that match as TL clearly underperformed on the day.
While it is tempting to back NiP to produce another at odds, we would advise against that.
Prediction: Team Liquid to win – -243.9 at BetOnline