IEM Katowice 2017 Prediction
Final results and analysis
What a crazy tournament! SK and Virtus.Pro went out on the group stage while Immortals and Heroic reached the semi-finals. Who could predict that? Also the group stage format contributed a lot to these surprises, but in the best of five final the experience and map pool diversity of Astralis prevailed. We certainly can learn with what happened at this tournament and still improve in the future, despite our success at this tournament. In a total of 35 predictions we managed to get 25 right, but most importantly we got 953% of stake profit. So if you had bet 10% stakes of your bankroll in every game you would have almost doubled your bankroll!
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Day 5 – Finals 05/03/2017
If Astralis on the final is no surprise only the most enthusiasts of Faze could say that they could reach the final of a tournament with just only 3 days of preparation since Niko is in the roster. Faze has been showing a really great potential of this roster and they won comfortably against Immortals 2-0 in the semi-finals. Another impressive thing in that match was their Inferno, which can give them an edge over Astralis if they don’t ban it on the final.
Astralis has also shown great composure defeating Heroic, the surprise of the tournament, with a double 16-12 on Train and Nuke. Device has been playing really well in this tournament and it’s going to be hard for Faze to stop them. On the other side Niko has also been on fire and Allu and Kioshima have also raised their bar and are playing really good in this tournament. Rain has been somewhat underwhelming for a player of his capability, but Karrigan is showing that he already knows how to work with this new roster. Curiously Astralis will face their former in-game leader Karrigan which was kicked from the team before gla1ve joined and Astralis take the top 1 spot in the world once again. Also it’s important to note that this final will be in a BO5 format.
In this tournament Astralis have played six different maps, only not playing Cobblestone. Faze haven’t played Cobblestone either and they also haven’t played Nuke. Faze went right away to the semi-finals and so Astralis have played two more maps than Faze in this tournament. Excluding the group stage tiebreaker, which they lost against Faze, they only have lost Cache against Immortals, and won all the other 8 maps they have played. Faze have lost on map all tournament too, precisely Train against Astralis, winning all the 6 maps they played.
In this final I expect Astralis to ban Cobblestone and Faze to ban Nuke. While Faze ban is almost obvious, Astralis can take the surprise path by leaving Cobblestone in the mix and probably banning Cache. Astralis know that Cobblestone is also one of the weak spots of Karrigan, and Faze’s best map is Cache, so the doubt is whether they will make a gamble on Inferno or if they will play against Faze in their best map.
The other maps will be very interesting. Train should go the way of Astralis, like it did in the group stage, and in Overpass and Mirage Astralis have some advantage also. Inferno will be pretty much 50/50, since both teams haven’t played it that much. So if Cache is on the mix we will probably have Faze and Astralis being favorites on one map, while in the other 3 Astralis would have some advantage in two of them. If Cobblestone replaces Cache, then we would see Astralis as clear favorites on Train, with some advantge in 2 of the other 4 maps.
I think that either way Astralis should win this. Niko is playing with a lot of freedom but it appears that Rain is struggling with this, and has been playing slightly different roles from what he used to do. This against a team like Astralis, which is very well organized could open some doors for Astralis to win the maps. Niko is obviously capable of winning some rounds by himself but I don’t think he would be able to do it on 5 maps, and I think that is what Faze needed to happen to win this match. However I think that after Karrigan adapt all the roles between the team in the next month or so they will be capable of challenging the top teams as a new top 3 team in the world.
With the odds being 1.6/2.3 in favor of Astralis I think that it’s very profitable to bet on them to win this match.
Prediction – Astralis @ 1.6 (final score 3-1, win 60%)
Day 4 – Semi-finals 04/03/2017
Faze vs Immortals
Finally the semi-finals are on their way, and if Faze were a semi-surprise to get this far we can’t say the same against Immortals. There’s been a lot of surprises in this tournament, mostly due to the best of one format on the group stages, but also because apart from Astralis none of the top 3 teams in the HLTV rankings right now played solid CS. Immortals and Faze both qualified in group A with 4 wins and 1 loss, with Immortals losing to Faze and Faze losing to Astralis. Faze then won the tiebreakers to automatically qualify for the semi-finals while Immortals had to go through the hard path and defeat North to get this far. The history says that teams that automatically qualify to the semis never win the tournament, but is this a curse about to be broken?
Sure, Faze is obviously the favorite in this match up. They have been a team much more consistent than Immortals, played all majors since they were Kinguin and despite not winning tournaments they usually upset some good opponents in them. Now with Niko they seem even stronger and it looks like Karrigan is giving Niko all the freedom he wants, building their game around him. With a player of such quality they showed great strength in the group stage and really impressed only with 3 days of preparation.
Immortals have switched Felps with fnx and despite losing a great talent they have acquired a experienced player who can be a figure to the rest of the team. It seems like fnx is calming the team in the pressure moments, contributing also with his experience and stability. Despite letting North scare them after in the first two maps of the best of three they have showed great mental atitude and won Cobblestone in a comfortable fashion against a team that won 3 games on the group stage on this same map. However they really don’t have that much experience playing semi-finals of tournaments and they usually crumble in the deciding moments, haven’t taken the next step to be considered a really solid team so far.
The odds right now reflect Faze favoritism being 1.4/3.01. In the 7 maps they played against each other after Karrigan has joined Faze they have won 5, losing only two maps to Immortals, both on overtime curiously. Just one of the other 5 maps was really a close game, ending up 16-13, while all the other Faze victories were pretty comfortable against them. I expect Faze to pick Mirage in this one, which they already won two times against Immortals in the past (16-11 and 16-2), while Immortals should pick either Cache or Train. Since I think that the other vetos will be Nuke, Cobblestone and Inferno they will be ended up playing either Overpass or Train. Both are good maps of Faze, especially Overpass where they already defeated Immortals twice in the past, and on Train they lost on the overtime against Immortals, and won the tiebreaker in the group stage against Immortals. So, basically Immortals already lost two times against Faze in this tournament.
With things being said my pick will be Faze @ 1.4. I think that they are tactically superior, have more firepower and have more experience than Immortals on these stages, with the exception of fnx of course. Also, Faze seem very motivated with Niko on the team and this seems to be the missing piece to make them a consistent top 5 team in the world from now on.
Prediction – Faze @ 1.4 (final score 2-0, win 40%)
Astralis vs Heroic
For the second semi-final we have a danish affair. Heroic has been the surprise of the tournament and they either grind out their opponents in close games or lose the maps without putting up real fights. They actually have gone through the group stage with a -12 rounds won ratio, so this pretty much confirms what I’ve said earlier. Snappi said in an interview that since they only have Jugi on the roster for 9 days they really didn’t had time to prepare accordingly to the tournament and are playing with very freedom. That obviously has their advantages and disadvantages. First, this can allow you to surprise your opponents with outside the box or risky plays, but the downside is that since those plays are made up on the fly your team cannot back you up most of the times if they are wrong, and can cost you the round.
This is very important since I think that Astralis along with SK are the best teams in the world at being cautious, gaining info on the enemy and clearing out corners. In my opinion I don’t think there will be many rounds in this match where Astralis will be caught of-guard and if Heroic wins a map it will be due to some critical duels won by them that can reset Astralis economy. Don’t take me wrong, Heroic certainly have talents, especially Valde, Niko and Jugi, but Astralis have advantage in pretty much every department. Heroic have 3 maps in which they are good at: Nuke, Overpass and Cobblestone. Of all the 5 games they played in the group stage they have played these 3 maps in 4 of them, playing mirage one time (getting destroyed by SK). This contributed a lot to their presence in this stage of the tournament, however, Astralis is also specialist in Nuke and Overpass. Also, Astralis will probably ban Cobblestone and Inferno. Cobblestone is not a very strong map for Astralis, and neither Inferno, but Inferno is not going to be picked from Heroic either. This leaves Heroic to ban only one map between Cache, Mirage and Train, before Astralis make their pick.
I feel like Astralis is going to pick either Cache or Mirage, while Heroic will obviously have to pick between Nuke and Overpass. This leaves us with the third map being almost certainly Nuke and Overpass, since Heroic will surely veto Train in their last ban. So, we will end up with 3 maps in which Astralis are very strong, and 2 maps in which Heroic are very strong also, but one in which they are very bad. This will give a huge advantage to Astralis.
These 2 teams haven’t played head-to-head since gla1ve joined Astralis, but historically they played 4 maps, in which 3 were won by Heroic. I think that this information is really not valid anymore because those matches occurred between August and September of 2016 which corresponds to Astralis biggest slump to date, having to kick Karrigan from the team and bringing up gla1ve from Heroic because of those results. Astralis look like a very very different team now and Heroic have only 3 players in their lineup that played those matches, losing gla1ve and kicking Friis during that time.
The odds are favoring Astralis right now @ 1.2/4.3. Those odds are really low, but so is the chance of an upset in this match in my opinion. I really don’t see Heroic being capable of defeating the current best team in the world in a best of three and the fact that Astralis have already knocked out Navi who was one of their biggest rivals to win this tournament will motivate them and they are probably win the all tournament in the best of five final also.
Prediction – Astralis @ 1.2 (final score 2-0, win 20%)
Day 3 – Quarter-finals 03/03/2017
Immortals vs North
One of the surprises of the tournament and one of the teams that has been gaining recognition as a force to be reckon with. Immortals went 4-1 in their group, while North went 3-2 in group B. Immortals have won against Optic, Astralis, Nip and Fnatic, losing only to Faze in the process. North were in the stronger group theoretically and won against Virtus.Pro, Navi and Cloud9, losing to SK and Heroic. One particularity of their matches is that North has played Cobblestone 4 times in the groups, having all the their 3 wins on this map. They also played Nuke against Heroic, which they lost in overtime.
Immortals have amazingly played 5 different maps in the group stage, and even Train in the tiebreakers. They obviously lost Train and also Overpass to Faze.
Historically these two teams never played against each other. Despite North having a great trajectory so far since Magisk joined the team I think Immortals look a lot stronger now with fnx back on the team, and now they have an extremely experienced player to lead them. With the odds of Immortals winning this one @2.73 I think that we have to take a risk in this one, even if we consider North to obviously be favorite in the match up. I think that the fact that Immortals have played almost all maps in the group stage against good competition makes them more prepared in that sense then North and we might see an upset here.
Prediction – Immortals @ 2.73 (final score: 2-1, win 173%)
Astralis vs Navi
This is kinda like an anticipated final of this tournament and a repeat from the quarter-final of the last major. Astralis ended up 4-1 in the groups, while Navi won 3 games and lost 2. Astralis won against Faze, Fnatic, Optic and Nip, losing to Immortals, while Navi won against Cloud9, SK and Virtus.Pro and lost to Heroic and North. Sure, Navi had faced and won against the two finalists of the last big tournament, but the truth is that Navi has been very underwhelming in best of three formats for some time now. In fact, they have lost against Astralis in this format in the last major, and lost 4 out of 6 maps against them since gla1ve has joined the team.
Both teams have played 4 different maps in the tournament, but in my opinion Astralis have a better and larger map pool. Also, Inferno returned to the map pool recently and Astralis already played it in the group stage against Fnatic, winning on overpay. Navi havent played the map at all and will probably ban it in the vetos instead of banning other strong maps of Astralis like Train or Overpass which can give an edge to Astralis. The odds are really close at the moment, but like I said before, Navi usually shows a lot of strength during the groups and then they fall in the play-offs, so I’m picking Astralis to win this one @ 1.73.
Prediction – Astralis @ 1.73 (final score: 2-0, win 73%)
Total of day 3 – win 246% of stake (2 right predictions, 0 wrong predictions)
Day 2 – 02/03/2017
Sk vs Cloud9
An american match to start day 2. SK has signed Felps last month and it seems that they are playing a little bit more agressive due to this. However, this doesn’t mean that they are playing worse. In fact if there’s something that can describe SK is their regularity. Since they won their first major they only dropped out on the group stage of a tournament once. That is really remarkable. With Felps on the lineup they have played 15 maps, winning 13 of them, and losing only to Virtus.Pro. In those maps they have defeated Immortals (2), Complexity (2), Tyloo, Cloud9, Navi (2), North (2), Virtus. Pro and Rush (2). So this lineup already proved themselves against tier opposition and came out on top most of the times.
Cloud9 didn’t qualified for the major and played 11 maps since then, winning 8, against Rush (2), Nip (2), Winterfox (2) and Renegades (2). They have lost against SK and Nip (2). The team has been inconsistent for a long time and it appears that they need all 5 players to be in their top in order to defeat top opposition.
Since Autimatic joined Cloud9 they have played 8 maps against SK, winning only 2, in the final of ESL Pro League Season 4. This was by far their best tournament in a long time and they are not in that type of form since then. I really don’t expect Cloud9 to upset in this match, since SK have a bigger map pool and more skilled players and tactical depth in their game. The odds right now are 1.31/3.5 in favor of SK, which might seem low but it really is still profitable in my opinion to bet on SK.
Prediction – SK @ 1.31 (final score 9-16 lose 100%)
Virtus.Pro vs Navi
This one is going to be one of the best matches of this stage. Virtus.Pro are in their peak form, reaching the final of the Atlanta major and winning Dreamhack Masters Las Vegas 2017. This roster has played together for more than 3 years now and it’s very difficult to stop when their confidence is on. I can’t really say much more against their opponents, because they play all the top teams on a weekly basis, and have been on top of them for some months now.
Navi looks like they still haven’t found their identity yet. Since S1mple has joined the team we have seen a lot of inconsistency. A good example of this occurred during the Atlanta major where Navi won 3-0 in the group stage, becoming almost every predictors favorites to win the title, and then they lost in the quarter-finals. S1mple is a star player, but in Navi he can’t pick the awp as many times as he wants and his performance dropped a little bit, compared to when he was with Liquid. Navi have won just one tournament with this roster (ESL One New York 2016), despite having in theory one of the best line ups in the world.
They have won 5 out of 8 maps played against Virtus.Pro since S1mple is on the team. However in some of those matches Virtus.Pro were having a very big slump in their performance. With the odds being 1.7/2.1 I think we have to go with Navi to win the match. They are capable of everything, and usually play very good at the start of the tournaments. However, this is gonna be a close match.
Prediction – Navi @ 2.1 (final score: 16-9 win 110%)
North vs Heroic
North has been a really consistent team in the last months, especially since Magisk has joined the team. Now with Aizy they have even more firepower, in theory. North reached the quarter-finals of the Atlanta major, losing 2-1 against Virtus.Pro in a very close match. Since the major they have won 7 maps and lost 3. They have won against Fnatic (2), Optic (2), Gambit (2) and Complexity, losing only to SK (2) and Optic. With the exception of Complexity all the other teams that played against North are on different level from Heroic.
Heroic has recently added Jugi to their lineup, playing 15 maps since then, winning 9 and losing 6. On these 15 maps they haven’t played any top 10 teams, winning against LDLC, Fnatic Academy (2), Alternate Attax (2), Penta, iGame (2) and Rogue. They have lost against Rogue (2), iGame, Vega Squadron (2) and LDLC. Heroic have had a good run during mid 2016, but since then they have lost gla1ve to Astralis and benched Friis. The team seems very different from what it used to be at those times and they don’t play against a lot of tier 1 competition on a regular basis like what North do.
Head to head these two teams only played two maps since Magisk joined North, and haven’t played with Jugi on Heroic. Those two maps were won by North 16-8 and 16-10. However Heroic have a good map pool against North and if they play a map like Nuke or Cobblestone they can upset. The odds of Heroic winning this match are 3.36, so it seems to me that is more profitable to try to bet on the underdog, because North odds should be a little higher than what they are right now.
Prediction – Heroic @ 3.36 (final score: 19-17 – win 236%)
SK vs Navi
Since we have already described these two teams and their recent form let’s look at what could influence this match up. The Navi line up has remained the same for almost half a year now, while Felps recently joined SK. However SK proved that the team can work with almost any capable player on the fifth spot, reaching semi-finals and finals of tournaments with fnx, fox and Felps in these last 6 months. We can also note that in the Atlanta major Navi have run through SK, winning 16-3 in the group stage, however this was only 1 of the 2 map wins they managed to get against SK since S1mple joined the team, having lost 5 other maps in the process. Two of those 5 maps were already with Felps in the lineup of SK.
In my opinion SK have a bigger map pool and should take this map, but I won’t rule out Navi, because they have already shown us that they can be a really explosive team from time to time. With the odds being 1.67/2.23 favoring SK I think that we have to bet on the consistent side of things, and SK at the moment are a lot more consistent than Navi.
Prediction – SK @ 1.67 (final score: 12-16 lose 100%)
Heroic vs Cloud9
I think that this game will be really good for Cloud9 to regain some confidence since they should lose to SK in the first game. Cloud9 is always a team with great expectations, while Heroic are mainly trying to get more experience and maybe one or two upsets against bigger teams. Even without their players having their peak form (with the exception of maybe Stewie2K) Cloud9 are superior in firepower to Heroic and also have a better map pool.
Historically Heroic and Cloud9 have played 4 maps against each other, with Cloud9 having won 3 of them, however not with Heroic current lineup. Changing Jugi with Friis gave Heroic more firepower but I have a hard time seeing Heroic take this one, especially with the odds being 1.71 to bet on Cloud9 to win. I think that the odds of Cloud9 should be between 1.5/1.6, so we have to take this opportunity.
Prediction – Cloud9 @ 1.71 (final score: 16-7 win 71%)
Virtus.Pro vs North
Looking at North’s trajectory we can see that they have become on another level since Magisk joined the roster. They have played 15 maps against Virtus.Pro with him in the lineup, winning 7 of them and losing 8. Right now Virtus.Pro are really confident again and they are always dangerous when they play like that, however their last games against North have always been close, and North want revenge from the Atlanta major loss against them in the quarter-finals. I think that this is gonna be a very close match, and an upset is very likely. With the odds of North @ 2.7 I think that this is a good opportunity to bet on the underdogs. Virtus.Pro are still the favorites to take the map of course, but right now I don’t think that their odds aren’t really profitable in the long run.
Prediction – North @ 2.7 (final score: 16-13 win 170%)
SK vs Heroic
Well, in my opinion this is going to be a really easy game for SK. Even despite their lost against Heroic in the only map they have played heads up (on IEM Oakland 2016) I think that Heroic only have a real chance in this match if they won both pistol rounds, and even so it would be hard to beat them. SK has the second best map pool of all teams, behind Astralis in my opinion, and Heroic only have 2 or 3 good maps, which SK can ban. I don’t think Heroic will get more than 10 rounds in this one.
Looking at the odds we can see that SK are obviously the favorites, with the odds being 1.27/3.5. 1.27 is still a good odd, considering that Heroic doesn’t play against tier 1 competition often and SK only play tier 1 competition. I don’t see SK losing this one.
Prediction – SK @ 1.27 (final score 16-5 win 27%)
Virtus.Pro vs Cloud9
Virtus.Pro are in their best form in years with Cloud9 being some steps down of their form when they won in Brazil against SK. Also, Virtus.Pro are almost like Cloud9’s nemesis, since Cloud9 only managed to win one map against them ever, back in 2015, and it was in a 2-1 best of three loss. The odds obviously also reflect this at 1.5/2.47, favoring Virtus.Pro.
This one should also be a fairly easy game for Virtus.Pro, since Stewie2K’s mastermind games really don’t have any effect whatsoever against Snax.
Prediction – Virtus.Pro @ 1.5 (final score 16-4 win 50%)
Navi vs North
Well, this is a hard one to predict. In my opinion this is almost a 50/50 game, with Navi having advantage on the firepower and North having advantage in the tactical aspect of the game. These two teams have face each other in 7 maps since S1mple and Magisk have joined their rosters, with North having a surprising record of 5 wins and 2 losses. North are one of those teams that nobody expects to be in the finals of tournaments but that are capable to upset the favorites, while Navi are one of those teams that are always considered to reach the finals but that fail to do it the majority of the times, even if they look strong in the first stages of tournaments.
MSL really knows how to counter Navi really well and even with less firepower they can really make an upset on this one too. Actually I would be really surprised if North don’t win at both Virtus.Pro and Navi. They will almost certainly upset one of those teams in my opinion. Since the odds are skewed in favor of Navi in this match (1.65/2.21) I think that we have to bet on North here.
Prediction – North @ 2.21 (final score: 16-12 win 121%)
Virtus.Pro vs SK
This is almost like an anticipated final in a best of one form. I really can’t favor one over the other team in this one. Virtus.Pro have advantage in momentum right now, having won against SK in the final of Dreamhack Masters Las Vegas, but SK also want revenge on them and they have the roster to do it. Historically they have played 20 maps against each other, with Virtus.Pro winning 12 of them, while SK only managed to win 8. Also, since SK have won their second major they only managed to win 4 maps, losing 10 against Virtus.Pro. Virtus.Pro seem to be one of the few teams that can play at SK’s level in a consistent basis, but SK is the best team at coming back from lost tournaments. Since winning their first major they have only lost once in a tournament without reaching the semi-finals, so they are as consistent as it gets.
It’s really hard to choose, and for me it’s a 55/45% game in favor of Virtus.Pro. However I really think that the desire to have revenge is gonna be superior to the desire of beating SK once again. With the odds being 1.82/1.95 in favor of Virtus.Pro I will chose SK to win this game.
Prediction – SK @ 1.95 (final score: 14-16 lose 100%)
Navi vs Heroic
The difference between these two teams is huge and historically they only played 4 maps against each other. Navi won 3 of them, with Heroic beating Navi back in October. Since then Heroic has changed two players and this roster is weaker than the previous one, in my opinion. Heroic has been having the praise of some csgo commentators since Jugi joined the team, like Thorin, but I can’t really see Heroic winning this one, or even upsetting one of the top 5 teams in the world in this tournament. With the odds being 1.31/3.28 in favor of Navi I think that it’s still profitable to bet in Navi in this one. Also, Navi have won 2 maps against Heroic on the qualifier to this tournament, winning 16-9 and 16-4.
Prediction – Navi @ 1.31 (final score 12-16 lose 100%)
North vs Cloud9
Cloud9 has been very overwhelming since they won ESL Pro League Season 4 finals, and it seems that if they keep doing it for one or two more tournaments there’s going to be roster changes in the future. North has remained very consistent since Magisk has joined the team, and they are still playing at a pretty good level with the addition of Aizy.
These two teams have only played once against each other, back in October, precisely in ESL Pro League Season 4 final, with Cloud9 winning the map, and later the tournament. However the level of both teams has really changed and the odds right now favor North 1.62/2.25. Tactically North are superior, skill wise I also have to favor North right now, since MSL has stepped up recently and Shroud, Skadoodle and Autimatic are not in their prime. I will have to take North in this one, and their odds are fairly decent.
Prediction – North @ 1.62 (final score 16-12 win 62%)
Navi vs Cloud9
These two specifically rosters have never played against each other. In 2016 they have played 4 maps against each other, with Navi taking 3 wins and Cloud9 winning one when Slemmy was still in the team. After Slemmy left the team improved a lot with Autimatic and Stewie2K becoming the in-game leader. However it seems that Stewie2K likes to play a more aim-based type of game, since Cloud9’s roster is pretty made out of good aimers. Navi in this regard still has advantage over Cloud9, and advantage on almost every team in the world. Also, they have an enormous advantage in the map pool and the tactical side of the maps.
The odds at the moment are 1.37/3.08 and I think Navi will take this in a comfortable manner.
Prediction – Navi @ 1.37 (final score 16-6 win 37%)
SK vs North
This game can be a crucial one to both teams to get out of the group stage. This group B is very strong and North will probably have lost some games and need this win to decide their group standing.
In head to head confrontations SK has won 7 out of 10 maps, with two of these losses being in two best of three that SK has still won. SK and North have very similar styles, with SK having some advantage on the map pool and the firepower. With the odds being 1.57/2.36 in favor of SK I think that there’s very profitable to chose SK in this one.
Prediction – SK @ 1.57 (final score 16-8 win 57%)
Virtus.Pro vs Heroic
At this stage Virtus.Pro have probably already enough wins to get out of the group stage and Heroic will probably be out of the tournament. Heroic’s stronger maps will probably be banned from Virtus.Pro and with such a wide map pool they will have a great advantage over Heroics, without a doubt.
Virtus.Pro have won the only map they ever played against Heroic 16-9, back in September. With the odds being 1.27/3.57 I think we still have to go with Virtus.Pro in this one.
Prediction – Virtus.Pro @ 1.27 (final score 14-16 lose 100%)
Total of day 2 – win 441% of stake (10 right predictions, 5 wrong predictions)
Day 1 – 01/03/2017
Optic vs Astralis
Very good match to start the tournament. Optic had a very good end of 2016 winning Eleague Season 2 precisely against Astralis (2-1), and then Astralis bounced back winning against Optic in the final of ECS Season 2 (2-0). Since gla1ve joined the team Astralis had very good results, ending up winning the Atlanta major in which Optic didn’t get past the group stage. It’s also worth mentioning that Optic recently lost their in-game leader Stanislaw, having Hiko now on the lineup, and they have been playing very shaky with Hiko, to say the least.
In head to head maps we can see that Optic won only 2 of the 8 maps they played against Astralis since gla1ve was on board, and those two maps were on the 2-1 final victory in Eleague Season 2. This was the first tournament they played with gla1ve and he was on the team for only a few days, so we have to focus more on the recent confrontations and Astralis have the advantage there. The closest map they played of those 6 Astralis wins ended up 16-12, so we can see that Astralis is really on a superior level against Optic right now.
With the odds being 1.33 for Astralis right now I think we have to go on them to win the match, and it should be in a very confortable fashion.
Prediction – Astralis @ 1.33 (final score: 16-12, win 33%)
Nip vs Fnatic
This game is very promising. Both teams were in a rough shape at the last tournaments and are trying to bounce back. Fnatic recently brought back Flusha and JW, having the same lineup that was very successful in the end of 2015, after Pronax left the team. However since Flusha and JW joined the team hey were only able to win 6 maps, losing 6 too. The 6 map wins were against G2 (3), Mousesports (2) and Misfits, losing against Virtus.Pro (2), North (2), Mousesports and Gambit. So, since G2 is very shaky at the moment we can see that against good opponents Fnatic hasn’t really won any maps so far.
Nip has the same lineup since the beginning of 2016, but they have been very inconsistent. They managed to win 2 tournaments in 2016, but one of them was with Maikelele standing-in. For the first time they didn’t qualified for a major and this seems that these next tournaments can be crucial to decide if the team will change players in the near future. However we can say that they had a lot of bad luck in 2016 with Pyth’s injury and the visa problems that let him out of MLG Columbus, with Threat playing as a stand-in. In the last 11 maps played, Nip only managed to win 3, against Cloud9 (2) and Tyloo, losing to Astralis (2), Cloud9 (2), Mousesports (2) and Heroic (2). This is really a very poor record for both teams and I really think this could go either way. Also, these two teams haven’t played head to head since the last roster changes.
The odds right now are at around 1.6/2.4 with Fnatic being the favourites. Since I think that with the recent form of teams this will be basically a 50/50 game I think we should bet on Nip for the win @2.44.
Prediction – Nip @ 2.44 (final score: 14-16, lose 100%)
Astralis vs Nip
We already talked about these two teams. Astralis have one of the best map pools of all teams right now and Nip will have a very hard time on this one, in my opinion. They have played 7 maps against each other with the current rosters, with Nip winning only 1 of those 7 maps 16-13, and losing all the other 6 with not even close scores. So my pick for this one will be Astralis with the odds being 1.35 right now.
Prediction – Astralis @ 1.35 (final score: 28-24, win 35%)
Faze vs Immortals
This would be the first tournament for Faze with Niko in the lineup. Faze have really grown a lot as a team since Karrigan joined, having very good results in the tournaments they played, playing good even against very though competition. Niko is obviously a star player and skill-wise is even better than Aizy in my opinion. I think that with Niko on the team Faze will have to change some dynamics and build their game around Niko and Rain to get the most of this lineup. Since Niko seems to have a very humble personality I think he will adapt to the team very fast and they will surely be a force to be reckon with in the near future. It’s important to say that even with a stand-in (jkaem) Faze played very decent at Dreamhack Las Vegas, losing 2-1 against Navi in the group decider.
Immortals have recently lost Felps to SK, bringing FNX to the lineup. Since Fnx joined they have played 13 maps, winning 9 of them, losing only to SK (2), Optic and Team Liquid. However, the games that they have won were against CLG (2), Team Liquid (4), Luminosity (2) and Optic. Team Liquid and Optic have recently changed players and I don’t believe that they are on the level that Faze is right now. Also fnx has been very inconsistent and lackluster on their recent games which won’t help, since he is their most experienced player and Immortals tend to play bad in the important tournaments.
Head to head Faze have won 3 out of 5 maps since Karrigan joined the team, losing both maps on overtime. With the odds being 1.44/2.63 favoring Faze I think that’s profitable to bet in Faze.
Prediction – Faze @ 1.44 (final score: 16-6, win 44%)
Optic vs Immortals
We already covered Immortals recent games. Optic have won 6 of the 10 maps they have played since Hiko joined the roster. Those wins were against Selfless (2), Renegades (2), North and Immortals. With their current line-ups Optic and Immortals only played 2 maps head to head, having won one and lost won, with almost the same scores.
This will be a very even game in my opinion and the odds reflect that. The odds are 1.42/2.71 favoring Optic right now. I think that Optic have the advantage of having more experienced players in these bigger tournaments, but it’s hard not to choose Immortals with these odds.
Prediction – Immortals @ 2.71 (final score: 16-8, win 171%)
Fnatic vs Faze
This will be a very good match to watch and a though to predict. As we had already said Fnatic has been playing somewhat poorly, while Faze is having a good trajectory. However with Niko on the team we always have the question of time adaptation and we can’t really be sure in what manner this factor will affect the game.
The odds are favoring Faze right now @ 1.77, while Fnatic has around 2.10 odds. I think that since key players of Fnatic like Olofmeister and Dennis have been lackluster in a really long time now we have to favor Faze in this one.
Prediction – Faze @ 1.77 (final score: 16-11, win 77%)
Optic vs Fnatic
This game will be very important to Fnatic since they can show that they can win against one of the hot teams of the end of 2016, gaining confidence in the process. We have to agree that Optic is weakened right now and Fnatic will try to take advantage of that. The odds are favoring Fnatic at 1.57/2.28 right now, and I think this is the correct choice to make, since individually the Fnatic players are stronger than the Optic players, and both teams are lacking the tactical aspects of the game right now.
Prediction – Fnatic @ 1.57 (final score: 16-10, win 57%)
Astralis vs Immortals
Astralis are really good against tier-2 opponents and they rarely lose in these situations. Also, they have never lost against Immortals and their previous rosters, winning the only 2 maps these teams played against each other. Immortals have primarily been playing against tier-2 opposition, while Astralis have been playing the top teams in the world on a weekly basis.
With the odds being 1.4/2.75 in favor of Astralis I think that this one is really easy to predict.
Prediction – Astralis @ 1.4 (final score: 16-12, lose 100%)
Astralis vs Fnatic
Like I said before Fnatic has been lacking a lot on the tactical side of the game. This, for me, is gonna be crucial in this match-up, since Astralis is the most well structured team right now and all their players can compete with the Fnatic players in terms of skill. I really don’t see Astralis lose this one unless Dennis makes one of his hero pistol rounds and give Fnatic both pistol rounds.
The odds are favoring Astralis @ 1.45, which I think is very profitable.
Prediction – Astralis @ 1.45 (final score: 19-17, win 45%)
Nip vs Faze
Faze is been playing really well and Nip isn’t at the moment. However since Karrigan joined the team Faze only managed to win 3 maps versus Nip, losing 4 in the process. Nip seems to be one of those teams that Karrigan really can’t handle very well, since when he was in Astralis they will rarely beat Nip.
The odds for Nip are 2.55 right now, and I think that they should be at around 2/2.2. For this reason I think it’s more profitable to bet on Nip even thinking that Faze has some advantage here.
Prediction – Nip @ 2.55 (final score: 6-16, lose 100%)
Optic vs Faze
Both these teams have new players in their line-ups, but Optic has lost their in-game leader while Faze has acquired a star player like Niko. Even though Optic has won 4 of the 6 maps they have played against Faze the fact that they lost their in-game leader make them seem a really different team. Hiko haven’t had a lot of time to implement his ideas on the team, while Faze looked very well structured even with a stand-in the last tournament. With the odds being 1.47/2.54 in favor of Faze I think we have to go with Faze to win this.
Prediction – Faze @ 1.47 (final score:, 16-12 win 47%)
Nip vs Immortals
I think the odds on this game (1.92/1.81) are really good to bet on Nip, even with their recent poor results. Like I said before, Nip are very experienced while Immortals are really young and have a new player on the team. This for me will be crucial and I would be really surprised if Nip loses this won. Head to head they have played 4 maps, with 2 wins for each side. However, there are only 3 players on Immortals that have played in those 2 map wins.
Prediction – Nip @ 1.92 (final score: 14-16, lose 100%)
Astralis vs Faze
This won’t be a easy game for Astralis, but their all-time records against Faze in heads up show us that Astralis are Faze nemesis. In 9 maps played, Astralis have won 7, and since Karrigan is on the team they have won 2 maps and Faze only 1. The odds are also good to bet on Astralis right now with them being 1.55/2.54.
Prediction – Astralis @ 1.55 (final score: 16-8, win 55%)
Fnatic vs Immortals
Fnatic will have a very good advantage skill wise against the Immortals players and unlike other teams Immortals aren’t really tactical wizards, so I think that the skill of the players will be the crucial factor in this match. The odds are favoring Fnatic right now at 1.62/2.36, which I think that are the correct odds for this one. However, like I said I think Fnatic has advantage in this one, so a bet on the favorites is the right call.
Prediction – Fnatic @ 1.62 (final score: 14-16, lose 100%)
Nip vs Optic
Heads up Nip has the advantage on this one, having won 5 of the 7 maps that they ever played against Optic. With the odds being 1.78/1.98 favoring Nip I think we also have to go with Nip on this one. I really don’t see a bright future for Optic without Stanislaw and Hiko is not what I think it’s the most suited in-game leader for the team.
Prediction – Nip @ 1.78 (final score: 16-13, win 78%)
Total of day 1 – win 142% of stake (10 right predictions, 5 wrong predictions)