It feels like an eternity ago that we were previewing the last CS:GO Major event, the FACEIT London Major, but it’s finally time again for the best Counter Strike players in the world to face off in the next major instalment, the IEM Katowice, kicking off this Thursday.
We did extremely well in our FACEIT London betting tips, picking not only the winner, Astralis, at odds of $2.62, but also picking NaVi to finish runner up in the ‘betting without Astralis’ market at great odds of $8!! We’ll look to continue our hot ESports form as we preview the IEM Katowice below.
It’s becoming increasingly hard to look past the Danish supersquad that is Astralis to win any major tournament these days. As a five-man squad, they have put together a ridiculous resume that includes wins in five of their last six majors and of course the big win in the FACEIT Major back in September. In fact, over their last 28 series, they have lost just 4 on both LAN and online, cementing themselves as one of the best, if not the best, CS:GO roster of all time.
With Astralis opening at just $1.90 to win the tournament, it’s hard to see them being beaten, however, for the purpose of hopefully finding some value in this tournament, we are going to search for a few dark horses that we think might be able to cause an upset in Poland.
The last team to beat Astralis in a series was Team Liquid, and coincidentally it came in Astralis’ last match just a few weeks ago in the iBUYPOWER Masters 2019 Grand Final. The new look Team Liquid that features former Major winner with Cloud9 ‘Stewie2k’ looks to be one of Astralis’ main threats in this tournament and comes into the event with fantastic form.
Team Liquid have lost just one of their last seven series, dating back to the ESL Pro League Finals, and over that period boast wins over top 10 ranked teams in Astralis, MIBR, NaVi and NRG. Team Liquid will be desperate to avenge a 2-0 semi-final loss to Astralis at FACEIT London and with new star fragger Stewie2k on the roster, we think they have the tools to do so.
Our value pick for IEM Katowice comes in the form of Ukrainian squad Natus Vincere. Currently ranked No.3 in the world, NaVi made the final of the FACEIT London Major and followed that up by making the final at all three of their LAN tournaments since. They finished 2nd at the EPICENTER 2018 to FaZe in October, won the BLAST Pro Series in Copenhagen in November and finished 2nd to Astralis at the BLAST Pro Series in Lisbon in December.
Since Astralis’ rise to power, NaVi have been the perennial bridesmaids of CS:GO which begs the question as to why they would be the fifth favourite to win this tournament behind Astralis, Liquid, FaZe and MiBR. We think they have a great chance of reaching the final once again in Katowice.
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