The 1-2 bracket starts up tomorrow, with three games on the board. This is the penultimate round of the stage and will eliminate three more teams from contention. This round will take place on Saturday in the wee hours of the morning Eastern time.

All the odds are pulled from Betway, as always, and we recommend placing your bets there or on any of these approved sites:

The Games

ENCE (-200) – G2 (+140)

It’s strange that ENCE is such a heavy favorite in this game. They looked good in the New Challengers stage, but so far in the New Legends stage they’ve dropped games to Renegades, HellRaisers, and BIG. They have a -10 round differential and their best players are slumping. Their highest performer so far in this stage has been xseveN, which isn’t reassuring.

Not that G2 have looked much better mind you. They also have a -10 round differential along with losses to Na’Vi and MIBR with a close win over BIG. Shox has severely underperformed in all of their games, and kennyS is really the only thing keeping them afloat.

G2 are going to ban out ENCE’s best map Train, and ENCE are likely going to ban out Cache. This means the first two games will probably take place on some combination of Dust 2, Mirage, and Overpass. The two teams are relatively well matched in their map pools, which should lead to a competitive series and a likely map 3.

Although, there is an argument for ENCE banning out Dust 2 instead. Dust 2 is far and away G2’s best map, with an 80%-win rate over 15 games played. If they feel even semi confident in their Cache, they might be better served to removing G2’s staple, to see if they can catch them off guard.

I would probably take ENCE here, although not by much. If we see a vintage kennyS performance here I could see the game swinging in G2’s favor, but I think it’s far more likely the Finns pull together and press on into round 5.

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FaZe (-400) – compLexity (+255)

FaZe start to look a lot more respectable when you consider Renegades as one of the best teams at the event. A 14-16 loss to RNG, and a 13-16 loss to AVANGAR aren’t the best look in the world, but it’s certainly better than compLexity’s record. While the NA squad has only dropped games to Astralis and MIBR, they’re one of the weakest looking teams at the event.

This match isn’t even really a consideration for me. FaZe at -400 provides no value, and I don’t see a roadmap for compLexity to get into this game in a meaningful way. I’d expect a 2-0.

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Cloud9 (-200) – HellRaisers (+140)

Cloud9 might have the best win in the 1-2 stage, which is pretty sad. They upset MIBR in the first round on Inferno, and then lost to Astralis and Vitality. They have one of the better round differentials in the 1-2 group, and they put up a strong performance against Vitality in a 14-16 loss. Yes, they did get 16-0’d by Astralis, but can you really blame them? Astralis were on the best CT side map, in a CT dominant meta, playing against a team missing its actual IGL.

HellRaisers have the worst round differential of any team that’s competed so far in this stage, with only a 16-12 win over ENCE to their name. HR does have some of the better fraggers in the 1-2 group in woxic and ISSAA, along with one of the best remaining IGLs in ANGE1, but I don’t know if that will be enough to carry them over a surprisingly resilient Cloud9.

Cloud9 has a pretty significant map pool advantage, which should play a big part in this best-of-three. They’ll likely ban out Dust 2, which is their permaban and one of HR’s better maps. The big question is if HR will leave Nuke in the pool. Neither team really plays it, and it’ll be interesting to see if HR float it or if they are willing to play something like Cache.

I think I talked myself into HellRaisers for this series. Cloud9 has had a better tournament so far, but HellRaisers has a minor firepower advantage and a major IGL advantage.

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