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Counter Strike Global Offensive: ESL One Cologne 2018 Day 2

Today is day two of the ESL One Cologne 2018 Counter Strike Major. Last years winners, SK Gaming will be represented under a new name, MiBR (Made In Brazil). The red hot favourites to win the event are without a doubt – Astralis, and, the odds reflect this. With some questionable sides at this event, lets break down the day of games.

Team Liquid v North

If Liquid play anywhere near the level that they did yesterday, this will be a quick 2-0 for North, who almost pulled off the improbable comeback on Inferno against Fnatic after being on the losing side of a 12-3 half, to finish 16-14 losers. Liquid on the other hand, were thoroughly handled by local team BIG, 16-7 on Dust 2 with only Elige looking like he came to the event to play – at one stage, having more total frags than the rest of the Liquid line-up. However, it looked like a strategic move by Liquid in order to drop down to the lower bracket and aim for a potentially easier run to the finals. North are no easy beats, and, the loser is going home. Team Liquid will more than likely want to avoid Dust 2 here as it is one of North’s stronger maps.

Expected map selections:
Team Liquid select – Mirage
North select – Nuke
Left Over – Overpass

With this trio of maps – it looks like it could very much be a three map contest. It really depends on whether or not an interested Team Liquid come to play.

Best Bet – Match Total OVER 2.5 Maps @ $1.85/-118 on Unibet

Renegades v B.O.O.T[d]s

Yesterday, Renegades shot out to a big, unexpected lead of 9-1 against MiBR, and, then as expected, fell to pieces and ended up losing outright. Now, they find themselves in a must win clash with B.O.O.T[d]s in order to stay in this tournament. Ustillo, Jkaem, Jks, Nifty and Azr will all need to be at their best here, if B.O.O.T[d]s best player Benkai is switched on today, it could make this match-up a lot more interesting. The Boys’ have a big advantage on player for player skill, and, this will be the difference maker between the two teams. Expecting that Renegades will win 2-0 isn’t the biggest longshot. However, the Boy’s have been so inconsistent it is hard to suggest betting on them. However, it is going to be the most best option here.

Expected map selections:
Renegades select – Mirage
B.O.O.T[d]s select – Cache
Left Over – Dust 2

This potential map cycle plays into Renegades hands if B.O.O.T[d]s were to go down this road with their selection, Cache is a 50/50 map, where Renegades would have the edge on player skill and playing it more recently.

Best Bet – Renegades to win 2-0 @ $1.85/-118 on Unibet

FaZe Clan v MiBR

This is the battle to determine our futures bet on the winner of Group B. If FaZe win here, as expected, then, it will send them through to the next part of the tournament as the group B winner. MiBR just scraped through after almost getting blown away by Renegades, when they originally had a 9-1 lead that MiBR clawed back. However, again, on a one-for-one skill grading, FaZe have the better side, and, regardless of map selection, FaZe will hold the edge on each map in the pool bar Train, which is a 50/50 type of map for these two sides.

Expected map selections:
FaZe Clan select – Mirage
MiBR select – Inferno
Left Over – Train

With this map rotation, it will be very difficult for MiBR to win Mirage, as that is one of FaZe Clans top maps, and, they are also very strong on Inferno, but, MiBR can’t afford to throw a different map in just because it is one of their opponents weaker maps. They need to play to their strengths and throw caution to the win if they want a chance.

Best Bet – FaZe Clan to win 2-0 @ $2.25?=125 on Unibet

Mousesports v ENCE

Unexpectedly, ENCE knocked out Swedish giants, Ninja’s In Pyjamas in their first knockout match, now, they face a tougher assignment in Mousesports. Mousesports also suffered a shock of their own, losing to an out of sorts G2 in their last match to qualify for the playoff bracket. Today, they are in a must win scenario against a side that is at a lower level of individual skill and are in a game that they are expected to win. However, the communication issues with new player Snax was on show against G2 and that isn’t something that Mousesports can fix overnight. Expectation here is that those issues hang around today and, make Mousesports bring the best out of their individual skill players. ENCE are significantly outmatched on a one for one player grading as well as an experience and strategy level. Mousesports will win this battle.

Expected map selections:
Mousesports select – Mirage
ENCE select – Train
Left Over – Inferno

With this map pool, Mousesports would hold a big edge on Mirage and a slight edge on Train, which would add value to a 2-0 win. However, the communication between the team isn’t on point at the moment, which could easily effect their executes on a map like Train. Skill level here will be crucial and a big game from Oskar is required for Mousesports to win here.

Best Bet – Mousesports to win 2-0 @ $2.25/+125 on Unibet

Fnatic v BIG

Unlike yesterday, BIG will not be afforded the opportunity of their opponent throwing for a lower bracket run. Fnatic are hungry after a string of disappointing efforts. BIG are an easy target, and, at this stage of the tournament, they are one you would like to have on your road to the semi’s or the quarters, that is exactly what lies ahead here for Fnatic. BIG got a win yesterday solely on the fact that Liquid had one player putting in effort and four that were only focused on what teams were headed to the lower bracket with them. Smooya is a rising start in the awp scene, however, he is against a season veteran in JW here, he will struggle if they go toe-to-toe.

Expected map selections:
Fnatic – Mirage
BIG – Dust 2
Left Over – Inferno

With this map rotation, BIG will be able to get Dust 2, or possibly Nuke, depending which way they select, after that, it should be routine for Fnatic, who are the better side on a one for one skill level.

Best Bet – Match Total OVER 2.5 maps @ $1.90/-112 on Unibet

Cloud 9 v Natus Vincere

Yesterday, Na’Vi looked horrible in their shock loss to G2, especially after winning the first half of the map. This is a must win situation for both teams, and, Cloud 9 have less firepower to match up with Na’Vi here. Na’Vi will look to their big hitters S1mple and Electronic in order to get the job done here, especially with S1mple going somewhat missing of late for the Ukrainian outfit.

Expected map selections:
Cloud 9 – Cache
Natus Vincere – Overpass
Left Over – Mirage

Na’Vi are favourites coming into this one, even after a rather poor effort against G2, losing a lot of key rounds you would normally see them walk in. With that said, Cloud 9 are really hurting having Styko in their team lineup, and, for this reason, Na’Vi hold a significant edge in this one. Na’Vi are not that great on Cache which could see Cloud 9 steal a map if that falls in rotation. However, both Overpass and Mirage would be heavily skewed in Natus Vincere’s favour.

Best Bet – Natus Vincere -3.5 handicap map @ $1.90/-112 on Unibet

Futures Bets
To Win Outright – Astralis @ $2.30/+130 on Unibet
Group B Winner – FaZe Clan @ $2.50/+150 on Unibet
Map with highest % of T wins – Dust 2 @ $3.50/+250 on Unibet

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Counter Strike Global Offensive: ESL One Cologne 2018 Day One

Today marks the beginning of the ESL One Cologne 2018 Counter Strike Major. Last years winners, SK Gaming will be represented under a new name, MiBR (Made In Brazil). The red hoot favourites to win the event are without a doubt – Astralis, and, the odds reflect this. With some questionable sides at this event, lets break down the opening games of day.

Astralis v Team Ence

Astralis, easily are the favourites to win ESL One Cologne, and, in all likelihood, they will walk away winners. Their first test comes against finish side, Ence. Aleksib, the former Havu Gaming member has recently started to perform at the level needed at for Ence, and, Aerial will need to be at his best for Ence to stand a chance here. With Xypx9. Dupreeh, Device and Magisk on the lurk, there isn’t really much too look forward to if you are one the Ence roster tonight. What we have seen from Astralis in their opening rounds at tournaments is that they like to drag their first game out to warm up – the line is at -6.5, and, it isn’t advised to bet on this match, as with Astralis and their first Bo1 game, they have often dragged them out for a bit of early practice. Expect to see the same here.

Ninjas In Pyjamas v Cloud 9

Both are organsiations in free fall. NiP have struggled to be consistent for the last 12 months now, and, even adding a good young talent in Lekr0, they still haven’t really put a good foot forward in regards to preparation for this event. The certainly won’t be an NiP magic at this event. For Cloud 9, they are in a similar boat, bringing Skadoodle back out of retirement didn’t change much, adding Mousesports castaway Styko won’t change things, and the continued lack of input from Automatic isn’t helping them at all. All in all, this game reads as two teams that are going to struggle against one another, and at the event overall. With that said, NiP hold a big edge in pistol rounds due to the Denis factor. Apart from that, it really is anyone’s game.

Best Bet – Match Total OVER 26.5 Rounds @ $2.00/+100 on Unibet

Natus Vincere v G2 eSports

G2 are still struggling to find themselves after all the recent roster changes and player sales, basically rebuilding the old roster that use to win things has been what G2 has been working on, bringing back Shox, KennyS and adding coach Smithzz. Still, no consistency and are struggling just about everywhere, this boot camp they said that they went on, won’t change much as their first opponent is Na’Vi, who are coming of a big win in the Asian Championships. Expecting the momentum of Na’Vi to keep rolling here and they handle business against a struggling G2 side.

Best Bet – Natus Vincere -3.5 round handicap @ $1.72/-139 on Unibet

Mousesports v Gambit

Mousesports finally did what we have been calling for them to do now for over six months, and, that is to cut the weak link that was Styko. Unfortunately, they added Snax from a very underwhelming Virtus.Pro roster. Snax may have been one of the games best two years ago – but, has really left something to be desired this year, but, that could have something to do with the expectation of losing as a Virtus.Pro member. Mousesports did above what was expected with a stand-in at the ESL One Belo Horizonte event, and, are expected to perform even better considering that get their best player Oskar back for this event and lose their worst in Styko. Gambit, haven’t been overly iompressive, have won games here and there, but, the addition of MiR from Vega Squadron has really helped them in the fragging department. On a one for one skill matching, Mousesports are better than Gambit, but, new player in, and, communication issues to be expected, this game could finish at 16-11 or 16-12.

Best Bet – Match Total OVER 26.5 rounds @ $2.25/+125 on Unibet

FaZe Clan v B.O.O.T[d]s

FaZe are not going to mess around here, they start off with one of the easier opponents in the entire competition, the round line reflects this, and irrespective of what the map rotation lands on, FaZe should beat the Asian qualifiers by more than 9 rounds. The line is set at -7.5 which is more than achievable for FaZe, but, just in case they lose a pistol being overconfident, it will be safer to take the match total under market. Not really much information needed here, FaZe are that much better than their opponent here.

Best Bet – Match Total UNDER 26.5 @ $1.65/-154 on Unibet

Renegades v MiBR

MiBR formerly known as SK Gaming, have a winnable matchup here agains the Australian side who have really fallen off the wagon since their coach left due to a falling out with jkaem. The leadership hasn’t been their for the Boys, and, they find themselves against a re-branded and hungry MiBR first up. Unless this map falls on Inferno or Train, Renegades will ultimately struggle in getting this win – or even covering as they team play and communication just hasn’t been there. With that said, MiBR haven’t been overly good either, and were only able to get a surprise win on home soil because the crowd was telling them where opponents were hiding. They won’t have that edge in Cologne, but, must beat beatable teams to be taken seriously. Renegades are beatable.

Best Bet – MiBR -4.5 handicap @ $1.85/-118 on Unibet

BIG v Team Liquid

Another replay of the Belo Horizonte beatdown that Team Liquid dished out is to be expected again here. BIG may be the home side here, being the German representatives, but, on a one for one skill level, team strategy level and communication level, Team Liquid are far superior. A -4.5 handicap is a soft line because BIG are the home side, that won’t mean much though, as the North American top seed will be able to get the job done here against BIG, for the third time in less than a month.

Best Bet – Team Liquid -4.5 handicap @ $1.95/-105 on Unibet

Fnatic v North

The most difficult match on the opening round of games to try and predict. If the map falls on an open brawler like Mirage or Overpass – Fnatic hold the edge 60-40, any other map, it really is a true 50-50 set up. North are their own worst enemy 90% of the time, executing poorly and missing shots that could win rounds, where Fnatic just try to take too many one on one duals expecting to come out superior. Both sides like to throw away team members with un-necessary peeking and aggression, which is why it is difficult to see a winner here. One thing that looks like though, is both sides reaching 11 wins – unless of course, it is one of the two previously mentioned maps.

Best Bet – Match Total OVER 26.5 rounds @ $2.00/+100 on Unibet

Futures Bets
To Win Outright – Astralis @ $2.30/+130 on Unibet
Group B Winner – FaZe Clan @ $2.50/+150 on Unibet
Map with highest % of T wins – Dust 2 @ $3.50/+250 on Unibet

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IEM Sydney Intel Extreme Masters Day 3 Coverage

Today marks the first full knockout day for the 2018 IEM Sydney Extreme Intel Masters event. After a solid day yesterday, including multiple plus money winners – we return today to replicate that success.

Day Three Round Analysis

MVP.PK v Mousesports

This is going to be a closer match than many expect. Mousesports looked like they didn’t belong at the tournament yesterday as Astralis made a mockery of them. Mousesports will need to bounce back today against an emerging Asian side that has some real talent individually. Expectations here though are that even with Styko continuing to pull down the quality of this roster, that they still have what it takes to beat MVP.PK straight up with a 2-0 result.

BEST BET – Mousesports -1.5 Match Line @ $1.65/-154 on UNIBET

NRG eSports v G2

G2 had somewhat of a resurgence yesterday, almost beating out Fnatic, but, ultimately fell short. That match was closer than it should have been, and, some rather poor errors of judgement on an individual level led to G2 having a chance on the first and last maps. DOn’t expect a red hot NRG to afford similar opportunities here. CerQ is one of the most sort after players and, if NRG don’t offer him a decent enough contract to stick with the side, he will most likely move to a tier one team in order to get more LAN experience. G2 have KennyS in a similar role, but, CerQ is playing much better. This is definitely a game that NRG eSports could take.

BEST BET – Map 1 OVER 26.5 rounds @ $1.80/-125 on UNIBET

Cloud9 v Faze Clan

You wouldn’t think that this would be a sentence you would read about these two sides, but, both don’t look like tier one sides, and are really going to be offering a really poor game here today. The scoreline might show a good game, but, in all likeliness, it is a poor match from a skill stand point and Cloud 9 are able to steal a map due to Faze playing a redundant style of Counter Strike that worked a year or so ago, but, really doesn’t in today’s game. The best bet here is for this one to go to three maps.

BEST BET – Match Total OVER 2.5 Maps @ $1.90/-110 on UNIBET

Renegades v Tyloo

The surprise package that is Tyloo, will be hoping that this golden run will continue by beating the best side left from the Australian scene, despite Renegades playing in the ultra competitive North American circuit. Tyloo will be hoping that big games from the likes of BnTet and Captain Mo continue to happen as Ustillo and Azr continue to wreak havoc for the Boys. However, both teams look poised to win their own map picks here and, we lean more towards Renegades winning this one outright.

BEST BET – Match Total OVER 2.5 Maps @ $1.85/-118 on UNIBET

Astralis v Fnatic

This will be a walk in the park for Astralis after what they showed yesterday. Fnatic made too many errors against G2 and these are things you just can’t do against a side like Astralis. Krimz may be playing out of this world individually, but, players like JW and Flusha are really in and out of form, and, you can’t have an form on inconsistency against Astralis. Likely maps pool will be Dust 2, Cache and Train. It would be a big mistake for Fnatic to let Astralis take Overpass, that would be an instant 1-0 start. Regardless of what Fnatic pick, it is hard to see this being anything other than a quick 2-0 for Astralis.

BEST BETS
Astralis to win 2-0 @ $1.60/-157
Astralis -4.5 Map 1 @ $2.00/+100
Both bets on UNIBET

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