EPICENTER XL is about to enter its playoffs stage and just eight of the initial 12 teams are left in the tournament.

The matches they will play over the next three days provide a lot of excellent betting opportunities, but before we take a look at them, let’s see how the Group Stage ended.

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Group Stage standing tables

Group A:

  • 1st place: Team Liquid (5 W – 0 L)
  • 2nd place: PSG.LGD (4 W – 1 L)
  • 3rd place: FlyToMoon (3 W – 2 L)
  • 4th place: Mineski (2 W – 3 L)
  • 5th place: compLexity Gaming (1 W – 4 L)
  • 6th place: Team Empire (0 W – 5 L)

Group B:

  • 1st place: Virtus.pro (4 W – 1 L)
  • 2nd place: OG (3 W – 2 L)
  • 3rd place: Team Secret (2 W – 3 L)
  • 4th place: paiN Gaming (2 W – 3 L)
  • 5th place: Newbee (2 W – 3 L)
  • 6th place: Natus Vincere (2 W – 3 L)

In Group A, compLexity Gaming and Team Empire were eliminated. In Group B, the teams that didn’t make the cut were Newbee and Natus Vincere.

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Analysis of the teams

Mineski

Mineski hasn’t looked great so far at this event, which is a surprise. Quite clearly, the new game patches caused a lot of problems for the DAC 2018 champion, who almost didn’t make it out of Group A. The team suffered three defeats, losing against Team Liquid, PSG.LGD and even FlyToMoon. Its victories came against two very weak opponents so they’re not relevant at all. If it doesn’t change something quickly, Mineski will likely be eliminated in its first Lower Bracket match of the Playoffs.

Overall, Mineski is sitting in fourth place within the Dota Pro Circuit rankings with 3150 points.

Virtus.pro

Although it somehow managed to lose another match against Natus Vincere, Virtus.pro won Group B with four wins and just one loss and has looked very strong overall. The team is no doubt set for success in the Playoffs but will need to get past PSG.LGD in order to remain in the Upper Bracket.

Overall, Virtus.pro is ranked the number 1 team in the world at the moment with almost 8000 points. Solo and his squad are already qualified for The International 2018, but they still need to adapt to the ever changing meta and prove themselves at Dota Pro Circuit LAN events.

Team Liquid

Team Liquid proved to be at the top of its game at this event, winning all five matches during the Group Stage. In particular, two of the opponents it defeated played in the Grand Final of the last Major, Dota 2 Asia Championships 2018. These teams are Mineski and PSG.LGD.

Overall, Team Liquid is sitting in second place in the Dota Pro Circuit rankings table and is practically already qualified for The International 2018. Going into the Playoffs of EPICENTER XL, we fully expect Team Liquid to repeat its amazing run from the previous two years and win a third title at this event.

PSG.LGD

PSG.LGD is another team that obviously trained very hard for this tournament and is probably the third strongest participant left in the competition (the other two are Team Liquid and Virtus.pro). Except for Team Liquid, PSG.LGD defeated every opponent it faced in Group A and will start the Playoffs in the Upper Bracket.

Overall, PSG.LGD is sitting at number eight in the Dota Pro Circuit rankings and is probably determined to get a top four finish at EPICENTER XL, in order to increase its chances of finishing the season among the top eight teams and get a direct invite to the next TI.

Team Secret

For a team that’s currently sitting at number third in the Dota Pro Circuit rankings table, Team Secret has looked surprisingly weak so far at EPICENTER XL. It’s hard to tell what the problem is, but the newer patches seem to have completely messed up Secret’s playstyle. Puppey and his squad are still trying to adapt to the new meta and the fact that they’re not there yet is obvious when the team loses against the likes of Na’Vi and OG.

paiN Gaming

PaiN Gaming barely made it out of the Group Stage with a surprise victory against Natus Vincere. Its record at the end of the Group Stage was 2 W – 3 L, but the fact that it won against Na’Vi and Newbee is still an impressive accomplishment for a South American team. No doubt, the addition of w33 to the roster has proved to be a great decision.

OG

In spite of struggling throughout the entire season and losing its position one carry player a short while ago, OG looked fairly strong during the Group Stage and took second place in Group B. The three teams it defeated were Natus Vincere, paiN Gaming and Team Secret. As it was expected, OG lost against Virtus.pro, but then suffered another defeat against Newbee, which was a pretty unexpected result considering Newbee’s bad form.

OG is the weakest team in the Upper Bracket and will almost surely lose its first match against Team Liquid.

FlyToMoon

FlyToMoon is one of the tournament’s dark horses and finished in third place in Group A. Few people expected this unknown CIS team to advance to the Playoffs and yet here it is. We’ll have to see how far it can go into the Playoffs, but it’s likely that its run will end with its first match of the Playoffs, against paiN Gaming.

Betting predictions

FlyToMoon (3W-2L) vs. paiN Gaming (2W-3L)

FlyToMoon is pretty much at the same level of skill as paiN Gaming, even though the South Americans have more experience as a roster. The reason why I would bet on paiN Gaming here is the following: not only do they have a lot more experience playing together as a roster, they also defeated two strong teams at this event. They beat both Natus Vincere and Newbee, who in turn defeated a number of other strong teams. That alone suggests that paiN Gaming has some pretty good strategies and excellent synergy within its roster.

Still, Arcane.bet sees FlyToMoon as the favorite, putting the odds for this match at -126.58 – -106.38 in its favor. After seeing both of these teams’ Group Stage matches, I believe that the situation is reversed and would bet on paiN Gaming to grab the victory.

Betting prediction: paiN Gaming to win.

Team Secret (2W-3L) vs. Mineski (2W-3L)

This will be another close match with a completely unpredictable outcome. For some reason, Team Secret is seen as being stronger than Mineski, even though it got the same result (2 W – 3 L) while its group was easier than Mineski’s. It’s true that both of these teams have looked much weaker than expected at EPICENTER XL, but I believe Mineski is actually the stronger side in this encounter.

Arcane.bet puts the odds for this match at -181.82 – +133 in favor of Team Secret but again, the situation is likely just the opposite, making this a great betting opportunity.

Betting prediction: Mineski to win.

Team Liquid (5W-0L) vs. OG (3W-2L)

The difference between these two teams is absolutely enormous at the moment so I don’t see how OG could possibly upset Team Liquid is this match. Regardless of what statistics you want to look at (tournament form, overall form, head to head record etc.), Team Liquid is at least one tier above OG and should quickly end this match without dropping a single map.

Arcane.bet puts the odds at -454.55 – +296 in favor of Team Liquid, which is incredibly high on Liquid’s side, given the match format (Bo3) and the skill difference between these two sides. Practically, you’re getting a 22% profit with a chance to succeed of more than 90%.

Betting prediction: Team Liquid to win.

Virtus.pro (4W-1L) vs. PSG.LGD (4W-1L)

This will be undoubtably a close match that could go either way, even though Virtus.pro is considered to be the clear favorite. VP certainly is slightly stronger than PSG.LGD, but certainly not enough to justify these odds.

Arcane.bet puts the odds for this match at -294.12 – +208 in favor of Virtus.pro and at these odds, you should consider betting a smaller amount on PSG.LGD. Especially if you’re using a long-term betting strategy to optimize profits. For the amount of risk that you’re taking (which isn’t that great to be honest), a 208% profit is absolutely huge. And PSG.LGD has at least a 40% chance of winning this match.

Betting prediction: PSG.LGD to win.

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