Even with the Katowice major on the horizon, the lower levels of the Counter-Strike world continue to chug along. Though online-only events lack the prestige of their LAN counterparts, and most top teams are occupied with preparations for the biggest tournament of the year right now, there are still events to look at and money to be found. After all, you won’t be the only one who knows a bit less about the participating teams – the bookmakers will be just the same!
LOOT.BET Hotshot Series is a brand new initiative by Quickfire and an interesting CS:GO betting opportunity for those looking to find an edge on the lower rungs of the scene. An interesting selection of pan-European sides – including some regulars of tier 2 LAN events – are competing for their share of $16000, and while the upset potential is even larger when playing over the internet, some sides are clearly a class above the rest of the field here and could definitely warrant a punt.
The first notable side of the sixteen-team field has to be the ex-Fragsters roster, currently in free agency after their team’s disbandment with the turn of the new year. The Danes have made some very impressive runs over the course of 2018 in the open LAN circuit – making it to the semis of both DreamHack Open Austin and DreamHack Open Valencia –, also putting up decent results in the Polish eight-team Games Clash Masters and the StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 6 finals where their two losses came to major participants in the form of NRG and eventual finalists Vega Squadron. They’re currently in the shop window and have all the incentive needed to try their best in this event.
Meanwhile, Syman Gaming were looking to bounce back from their disappointment at the Katowice CIS Minor, which could have made them a decent bet on LOOT.BET Hotshot Series Season 1. As it turns out, neither they or pro100 made it out of their group, which seems to indicate that forZe and Tricked Esport – the teams that bested the two minor participants – could very well make it to the business end of this tournament. Name recognition itself is not going to help you here: with so many smaller teams regularly going over massive overhauls and swapping the majority of their roster, the fact that you may remember names like ALTERNATE aTTaX or Epsilon Esports from days long gone does not at all indicate success. CS:GO royalty is a thing, but not on this level.
The LOOT.BET Hotshot Series Season 1 finals run until February 9th, giving you ample opportunity to educate yourself further about these lesser-known sides. With most parties’ attention fully focused on the major, these lesser-known event can provide nifty little edges if you’re willing to put in the time and research required to gain a better understanding of the lay of the land. Some of these teams could very well deliver breakout performances sometime in 2019 – identifying them early on can be a great source of profit.
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