Champions Cup will take place between December 19-22 and it will be one of the last CS:GO tournaments of the year and the last A-Tier event slated to be played before 2020. The tournament will feature eight teams from all over the globe who will compete for the largest slice of US$300,000 at InterContinental in St Julian's, Malta.
Present at the tournament, we will see ENCE, FURIA and G2 Esports who have all been invited, alongside TYLOO, BIG, Hard Legion Esports, Movistar Riders and Team Spirit, who all qualified for the event via regional qualifiers.
The teams will begin their Champions Cup Finals venture in two double-elimination (GSL) format groups, where all initial matches will be played as best-of-one (Bo1), while all the following will be played as Bo3. Top two teams from each group will then advance into the playoffs, which will continue using a Bo3 format for all fixtures, which will be played in a single-elimination bracket.
Now let's take a look at the teams, betting odds and our predictions for Champions Cup Finals.
Movistar Riders ($22 at Skrilla) qualified for Champions Cup Finals by finishing third-fourth at European Champions Cup, which, while a solid achievement in its own regard, Movistar RIders did not look too sharp throughout the event. Not only did they finish third in the group stage, behind DreamEaters and OpTic Gaming, they also lost the consolation playoffs and had to fight their way through the lower bracket. All in all, Movistar Riders failed to convince us with their performances. They might have finished among the top four, but it was anything but smooth sailing for them.
Team Spirit ($13.50 at Skrilla) are priced lower compared to Movistar RIders, but just like their Spanish counterparts, Team Spirit failed to impress in the European Champions Cup. Much like Movistar RIders, Spirit fell out of their group and fought their way through the lower bracket. While they did see more success in their venture, Spirit produced some very close matches against teams that are objectively weaker compared to what they will face at Champions Cup Finals. We don't see any reason to bet on them here, as Spirit are simply not up to par with the remaining teams.
Hard Legion ($13.50 at Skrilla) are priced as sixth favorites to win here and we believe that's fair. While they did win the European qualifiers, Hard Legion simply fail to inspire much hope they have the needed quality to go the distance. While they have some solid results behind them (7-3 record in last 10), most of their wins came against significantly weaker teams. Getting out of the group will be hard for HL, let alone finishing deep in the playoffs.
We don't like the idea of placing a bet on TYLOO ($10.50 at Skrilla) partially because there is some uncertainty whether Hansel "BnTeT" Ferdinand will remain with the team once the tournament starts or will he leave for Gen.G. Without BnTeT, TYLOO will lack some serious quality on top of an experienced IGL. If he happens to remain with the team, TYLOO could make it to the playoffs and possibly even break into the finals, however, we would not like to risk our money here despite very generous odds.
BIG ($9.30 at Skrilla) are priced very generously and we believe eSports bookmakers might slightly overrate the Germans here. While by no means a weak team, BIG have not been too convincing with their performances lately. Their only notable result came in January 2019 when they finished third at ELEAGUE CS:GO Invitational. Since then, however, BIG have been playing very poorly and the fact that they lost to Movistar Riders (0-2) at DreamHack Open Sevilla less than a week before Champions Cup Finals will take off does not help their cause. Based on their recent performances, we don't have high hopes for BIG and neither should you. Avoid betting on them.
G2 Esports ($4.80 at Skrilla) are priced as one of the main favorites to win here and that is in our eyes completely fair. While a team with some solid individual talent, G2 have not been too solid recently. The biggest problem we have with them is their inconsistency, which has plagued the team for months now. They have produced a mixed bag of results in recent weeks, which does bring a level of uncertainty when it comes to predicting their final placement. That being said, they are arguably stronger compared to FURIA, BIG and other underdogs which leads us to believe they can make it to the finals. Skrilla has them priced at $2.40 to reach the finals, which are in our books good enough odds for us to take a chance with them.
Much like G2, FURIA ($5.60 at Skrilla) have a mixed bag of results behind them, yet it's worth noting their performances are far worse. Not only have FURIA lost to G2 (0-2) at cs_summit 5, they put up some questionable performances against forZe (1-2) and Tricked (14-16) at DreamHack Open Winter. FURIA have not been good in a while and we don't believe that will change here.
ENCE ($2.70 at Skrilla) are priced as heavy favorites to win the tournament and while they might not be one of the elite teams in the CS:GO world, ENCE have been putting up some solid results recently. Their most recent tournament was Asia Championships where ENCE finished second. En route to the silver medal, the Finns defeated ViCi (2-0), mousesports (2-1) and MIBR (2-1), but ultimately lost to mousesports in their second meeting (0-2). As we see it, ENCE are without a doubt the strongest team here, with the only team that could seriously threaten to defeat them being G2 besides a possible upset in the opening best-of-one fixture. The $2.70 odds on ENCE to win are in our eyes fair and good enough for us to back ENCE here.
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