Astralis (-1000)

Astralis are the favorite at this event by far, which is obvious from their -1000 odds. They’ve been the best team in CS:GO for the last year or so, dominating every other team at every level of competition. Now they have arrived in Katowice ready to join the company of back to back Major winners.

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What Has to Go Right

Keep on Keeping On

Astralis has very little to prove as a team. They destroyed the Legends stage, with an event best round differential through their five games. They have the best IGL, the best support/clutch player, one of the most efficient superstars in the game, there are very few weaknesses in the team to be exploited.

Gla1ve and Zonic have helped to turn this team into a well oiled machine. As long as they continue to do what they’ve done all last year, and avoid any silly upsets, they should sweep the bracket pretty easily.

Device Has to Be Device

Device was the top rated player in the last stage of the Major. But what makes him such a transcendent player is his efficiency. In the legends stage he had a tournament best K/D difference, and a tournament best in opening kills. It isn’t just that he gets a lot of kills, he also rarely dies.

Device is the only player in the top five for opening kills per round and success in opening duels. Not only is he top five, he’s the number one in both metrics. That means, per round, he took and won more opening duels than any other player at the event, by a sizable margin no less.

He plays a very fluid style of AWPing which allows him to apply pressure throughout the map. This helps enable his teammates as the opposing team must dedicate utility to flash back a hypothetical AWPer.

What Could Go Wrong?

Still Rusty

This isn’t a very long list of potential downfalls. The major one I can think of is they haven’t played very many games since they player break. Whoever they meet in grand finals, presumably Liquid, is more likely to drop games before the grand finals, which may give them a momentum advantage and the chance to de-rust a little more.

Astralis also haven’t been tested in any of their games. They played a throwaway best-of-three against Liquid at the iBP Masters, and they had one close map against Renegades, but they haven’t had grand finals level mental pressure applied in months. They could have softened up since last December, which could give their opponent a mental edge.

Gla1ve Might Still Be Sick

Earlier this week Gla1ve tweeted out that he was feeling under the weather, which obviously could be a concern seeing how Counter Strike relies heavily on peak reaction time and communication.

Luckily, he has since tweeted that he’s been feeling better, but this illness still could have impacted their practice time, which could be a serious disadvantage in a series where every little bit counts.

It’s pretty silly to pretend like Astralis isn’t going to win this tournament. I would look into props if you want to actually make any money off of them, as there’s little value in betting on an overdog favored by this much.

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