The 31st season of ESEA MDL is back, featuring 18 of the best Australian CS:GO teams fighting for the glory and the title of the champions from April 29th until June 21st.
With the last season finishing barely a month ago, the results can give us a good insight on how the upcoming season will turn out.
Last time out, it was ORDER who ended up as the champions after a dominant performance in the group stage, which they managed to extend into the playoffs, when they defeated Athletico (2:1), Breakaway (2:0) and Grayhound (2:1) in the finals. As the defeated team in the finals, Grayhound ended up 2nd, wiping their tears with a $3,000 prize. At third and fourth place, we saw Breakaway Esports and Chiefs Esports, who both suffered 2:0 defeats against finalists in the semi-finals.
For Season 31 we will welcome Genuine Gaming as a newcomer to the league after the promotion from Season 30 Open. Other than that, the other teams remain the same, which can also be said for their goals, which are to end up the season on top.
The winner of the Season 31 will not only be crowned the champion and take home the lion's share of the prize pool, they will also get themselves into the S31 Global Challenge, which will be played from July 10th-14th with 8 teams from Europe, Australia, North America and Brazil.
But which teams have the best chance of ending up on top, and who can stop them on their way to the glory? To answer that we need to start at the beginning, which is Week 1 of ESEA Season 31: Premier Division – Australia. Check out our preview and betting tips below!
Although there will be 18 teams in this league, there are only three teams who are potentially able to lift the trophy. Those teams are Grayhound, Chiefs and ORDER.
Let’s start with the current champions, ORDER, who are at the top of their Group C at the ESL Pro League Season 9 Asia league for a reason. They managed to win all three matches they played against Athletico, Breakaway and Paradox. ORDER won 2-1 against Atletico, 2-0 against Paradox and 2-1 against Breakaway. Looking back, ORDER reached the finals of the IEM Sydney 2019 Oceania Closed Qualifier, but they were outplayed 3-1 by their rivals Grayhound in the finals.
Chiefs and Grayhound are in the same Group D at the ESL Pro League Season 9 Asia, which gives us a great insight on how these two teams perform. Grayhound are at the top of the group with three wins against Ground Zero, Chiefs and AVANT. Chiefs are just below them, with two wins coming from beating AVANT and Ground Zero. Looking at Chiefs most recent achievement, they managed to win IEM Sydney Derby 2019 by beating Breakaway in the finals and that’s pretty much it. The failed to qualify for the IEM Sydney, as they were eliminated by ORDER in the Consolidation final.
As for our prediction, we have to go with Grayhound. They look like the best team out of all 18 that will compete in the ESEA Season 31. They qualified for the IEM Sydney 2019, which is quite a big tournament for team of this calibre. In addition, they also qualified for the ESL Australia & NZ Championship Season 8 Finals and are probably the favourites to lift the trophy. With a new coach in Neil "NeiL_M" Murphy, they have a lot to prove and a team to do so, which is why we will back Grayhound.
We will take a look at three matches today.
ORDER V MARKANDLARRY (Justice)
Markandlarry, now known as Justice, will play two games. One against ORDER and the second one against AVANT. Just like any other new team, they lack experience, so I expect them to struggle in the earlier weeks. ORDER should be able to close this one pretty quickly, as I doubt there will be more than 21 rounds at this match.
MARKANDLARRY V AVANT-GARDE
As mentioned previously, Markandlarry (Justice) are a new team with problems new teams have to face, which is why I believe they will be having hard times in the upcoming weeks. AVANT-GARDE should be a class above their opponents in this match and their experience should be too much for Justice to handle. Just like the match against ORDER, I expect AVANT to close this one rather early, with no more than 24 rounds played.
DOWNFALL V GENUINE GAMING
I feel like Genuine are much bigger favourites that the odds suggest. Sure, its still BO1 format, but the last official match Downfall played was in July 2018 and their current roster is not even finalised yet! On the other side, Genuine achieved some impressive BO3 victories against AVANT, Atlethico, Ground Zero, Jade, so they also deserve some praise. All in all, Genuine come off as a better team compared to their opponents, and with the team they possess, I feel confident saying Genuine will beat the line!
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