We’re now down to the final eight teams of this exciting major, meaning it’s time for the playoffs. While not every qualifying team came from the clear-cut favorites, most influential community personalities pegged one or two of the less-likely sides to advance. These are not the sort of upset flukes we’ve seen at previous majors – which bodes well for the quality of the games at the business end of the tournament.
Best Teams To Keep An Eye On – IEM 2019 Best CSGO Teams
NA.VI And Faze Clan – Exciting CSGO Match
NA.VI against FaZe Clan opens up our playoff bracket, a fascinating encounter between two teams who were rightly classified as titans over most of 2018. These two teams seem to have missed a step or two in recent months. Neither side was particularly impressive over the course of their New Legends Stage appearances, even with rosters of such stature. Lagging far behind Astralis we have Liquid, the latter lagging in terms of the quality on display (and rightfully failing to clinch 3-0 seeds instead of those sides).
While it’s clear that neither teams are at their best – s1mple and co. haven’t really impressed against their one top-quality opponent, Liquid. The communication issues seem evident even from a viewers’ perspective, while FaZe once again barely made it out of the New Legends Stage. This is the business end of the tournament, which could prove to be a bit of a boost for the experienced veterans on both sides.
Still, their diminished state could very well imply that this one’s going to come down to which star player can carry their team more effectively. NA.VI feels like a fairly straightforward pick this time around because s1mple’s numbers were better than Niko’s throughout the event, and s1mple isn’t burdened by IGL duties.
ENCE And Liquid – The CSGO Hard Upset
It may not have been as “EZ 4 ENCE” as the Finns would have liked so far, but they’ve managed to claw their way into the playoffs the first time they qualified for the major – a very impressive achievement. Nevertheless, it’s quite likely that this will mark the end of the road for allu (ENCE’s player) and his merry men as Liquid seem impeccably good so far in 2019.
Liquid has an elusive tournament win, and both Astralis’ and NA.VI’s scalp in best-of-three matches in the calendar year. It’s really difficult to find viable arguments for an upset win here – so much so that even Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) feel more likely to burn the storybook than ENCE does.
Ninjas In Pajamas (NiP) And Astralis – IEM’s Underdog
Historically, NiP used to have an excellent record against Astralis and the Ninjas actually are surprisingly effective against the world’s best side. NIP has been winning against them a surprising number of online matches and notable games, like their tussles at the FACEIT Major’s first stage and BLAST Pro Copenhagen. Make no mistake, f0rest and co. (NiP) are still the clear underdogs, especially in a best-of-three series – because none of these upset wins came in a best-of-three series.
However, there are other reasons to assume that Astralis may not be at their highest levels just yet. Their first two wins in the New Legends Stage came over Complexity (one of the weakest teams in the competition) and Cloud9. While their 16-0 demolition is an impressive scoreline by itself, consider how disrupted that particular lineup was:
- Playing without their in-game leader
- Missing out on their coach
Couple these with the fact that they’ve failed to close out a 12-3 lead on Mirage against Renegades plus their loss to Liquid in the final of iBUYPOWER Masters. With this you may find the +441 odds for a NiP win (as per MyBookie.ag) too enticing to ignore.
MIBR And Renegades – Pedigree Vs Brawn
One way to look at the MiBR versus Renegades game is to treat it as a battle between pedigree and brawn. It seems like FalleN’s men (MIBR) are on the upswing despite their upset loss to Cloud9 in the first round. MIBR put up progressively better performances as the event went on, securing a spot in the playoffs.
Being able to pace yourself like that can be very important in a long tournament and the Brazilians started to showcase some truly explosive Counter-Strike gameplay by the end of the New Legends Stage. As impressive as the Aussies’ run is, securing their first appearance in the top eight in the history of the majors coming all the way from the minor qualifiers, this feels like a bridge too far, especially at +139.
A Look Beyond Quarterfinals For CSGO IEM 2019 – Betting Odds
|CSGO – IEM Katowice Odds
|Bet Now At MyBookie
|Natus Vincere (NA.VI)
|Bet Now At Bovada
|Natus Vincere (NA.VI)
If the favorites end up winning all four quarter-final matches, the top four teams per HLTV would form the field from the semis onwards. It’s amazing what impact proper seeding can have on a tournament like this. This is important to keep in mind from a betting perspective going forward as its presence or lack thereof clearly serves as a reliable indicator of upset potential.
It’s also worth mentioning that every playoff team belongs to the top nine of the world by the same criteria as well (at the time of writing). But those stats were clearly affected by the updates made since the end of the New Legends Stage. The new-found popularity of the AUG has shook up the metagame of CSGO, the scoped rifle’s increased viability makes counter-terrorists more likely to triumph overall, an important aspect to keep in mind when you consider in-play CSGO betting.
If an underdog managed to rack up a lot of T rounds on any map that isn’t Cache, they are more likely to be able to close the game out than they may have been previously, at least as long as no balance changes are made.
CSGO Betting Is Ripe For Action
The CSGO circuit is only getting started for the year – three prestigious LAN events will be on the calendar in March:
- WESG 2018 Global Finals
- BLAST Pro’s São Paulo outing
- StarSeries i-League Season 7
More exciting games and betting opportunities are to come – so far, 2019 is looking like a tantalizing year for CSGO and especially for CSGO betting.
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