Here we are, the last big event of the season. Well, I guess the Champions Cup technically starts two days after, but that’s an A Tier event rather than an S Tier according to Liquipedia, so we are going to call this the last big event of the season.
I suppose it doesn’t really matter though. You’re here for the picks, not for my intro. So without further ado, here are the odds from Betway.
As usual, we’ll start with the favorite, work our way down until we reach a team that has no chance of winning (probably forZe here, assuming you’re still giving some Major credit to AVANGAR).
Man, what a month for Mousesports. They originally didn’t even qualify for this tournament, they were added when Fnatic dropped out of the event to elongate their break, and now they’re the favorite.
What’s even crazier is, they probably should be. What with a faltering EG and a famously shaky Vitality, the European mix looks primed to win their third S Tier in a row, which is… really strange.
In fact, the only other team to do that this year are Liquid. That’s pretty rarified company for a team that wasn’t even on the radar at the beginning of the year. Mousesports have gone from a team with high firepower, and even higher potential, to a tried and tested world beater.
A lot of that has to do with Karrigan’s leadership, which seems to finally be taking hold, in conjunction with an uptick in performance from across the board. I spend plenty of time gushing about Mouz’s superstar trio of young guys, who have all put up monster performances in the last month. In fact, their last two LANs have resulted in MVP awards for ropz and woxic, which is not something that happens all that often. But I feel as though I’ve been remiss in not mentioning ChrisJ enough. That guy really is the heart of this team, he steps up in big moments all the time, he’s super impressive.
Anyway, my point is this isn’t that. Mousesports are real, they’re deserving favorites at this tournament, and they’re going to be a problem come Major time for anybody and everybody.
I cannot believe I got drawn into this. I’m livid. How long have I been an avid shox hater? If you’ve been reading me with any frequency, you’ll know the answer is a long time. And I still got suckered into this team. I thought he’d give them a second playmaker, he’d play a smaller role and help facilitate ZywOo when necessary, maybe he’ll help RPK return to his G2 form.
Since adding shox they’re 24-25 with losses to just about everyone you can think of. Fnatic, FaZe, 100 Thieves, Furia, NiP, Astralis – okay, that one isn’t bad. Still, not what you want to see out of the new French Superteam. In those 49 games, ZywOo has a Rating of 1.22 with a 1.31 K/D. Next best is shox at 0.93, with a K/D of 0.96.
Just to play my own devil’s advocate, maybe it’s too early to judge these guys. Shox has only been on the team since late September, and they’ve only played four events, with a second-place finish in Malmo to show for it. As I said, these guys are still brimming with potential, although it’s more like Andrew Wiggins than Giannis Antetokounmpo.
I really don’t know. I don’t have a great read on these guys. What I do know, is that they’re unlikely to breakout here, and even if they do, Mousesports has the weapons and the IGL to counter the two-headed dragon that is ZywOo and shox.
Evil Geniuses +300
EG are freaking me out. After a momentous re-introduction to the scene, winning ESL One New York decisively over Astralis in their first tournament under the EG banner, it looked like they were here to stay. They made up the third team in a well-defined top three, joining Liquid and Astralis. It looked like they were going to make good on it too, with a top placement at StarSeries Season 8.
Unfortunately, they’ve looked lackluster since then. Their last four tournament runs were ended by FaZe, Mousesports twice, and Astralis, which has left them out of four Grand Finals in a row. Those four tournaments have seen a significant drop in Rating from all three of EG’s stars, with Ethan’s 1.10 at the CS:GO Asia Championships being the highest Rated performance from any player, at any of the last four events.
This kind of slump is not something to be taken lightly, especially when it’s trending through the whole team.
A slump from just CeRq, for example, would be nothing to be worried about. He’s always been an up and down player, and EG can work through his down events even though he’s arguably their best player. When everyone on the team is performing below expectations, that points to a more serious problem.
I’m hesitant to pin this on Stanislaw, as I think he’s one of the most capable IGLs in the scene right now. If I had to guess at a root cause I’d say fatigue/burnout, although even that’s sort of flimsy. EG have had time off in the last two months, although maybe not as much as they’d like. If the problem is fatigue, the two-week break between the EPL Finals and EPICENTER might help.
If I were a betting man, and I like to think that I am, I’d bet on EG losing at EPICENTER. They’ll limp into the new year, and put themselves back together before the Rio Major in May of next year.
It’s been a tough year for Na’Vi. They started off with a Semi Finals finish at the Katowice Major, which was followed up with a win at StarSeries Season 7. After that, things started to go downhill. Months of middling results led to Zeus’ retirement after BLAST Pro Moscow, which meant Boombl4 taking up the IGL mantle, moving s1mple to rifle, and the return of GuardiaN.
While interesting on paper, the GuardiaN experiment has been an abject failure so far. GuardiaN has been averaging a 0.98 Rating thus far, which is abysmal. Even with the rest of the team performing at a high level, with s1mple at almost 1.30 and electronic at 1.13, the investment in GuardiaN’s AWP sinks their chances of doing much on the server. Unless we see a drastic turnaround from the former superstar, I can’t imagine things will get much better for Na’Vi.
Ahh, Heroic. The little, little brother of the Danish scene (wait, North are still better than these guys, right?) are starting to look a little feisty. While their player transaction’s over the course of 2019 look like a Tolstoy novel, it seems as though they’ve landed on a solid roster.
Since adding cadiaN in early October, Heroic have been beating Tier Two teams in Europe with surprising frequency, and have some (relatively) impressive results. They pushed Fnatic to the limit at the EPL Finals, have wins over Mousesports and North, and have taken maps from Vitality and EG.
Wow, this is already the most I’ve talked about Heroic in a long time.
Once in playoffs, they’ll probably be facing EG, assuming everything goes like I think it will. Is that an unwinnable match for them? ..honestly, I don’t think so. Keep an eye out for that match up, I bet there will be some juicy odds. They’re not really a contender here though. Sorry Danes.
I feel like I have to talk about AVANGAR, both because I’m an unashamed AdreN fan and because they came in second place at the last Major. Can you believe that? Second. At the Major. That Astralis, Liquid, EG, Vitality all attended. They made the Grand Finals.
Anyway, these guys aren’t good. They won BLAST Pro Moscow somehow, but since then their best win is taking a map off MIBR at the CS:GO Asia Championships. Not impressive.
*forZe (+3000) and EHOME (+10000), I think we can stop here.
I like Mousesports here. +200 is pretty good odds for a team on a hot streak like theirs, and everyone else in attendance is either Tier 3, slumping, or too thin to deal with the full frontal assault that is woxic, frozen, and ropz. That’s a lock.