We're kicking off a new week with a big evening of Esports action as our resident Esports guru Michael Lee has delivered his best bets from around the world. Tonight's action comes to us from Funspark ULTI 2020 and the ESL One Eastern Europe Season 2 Lower Division.
Funspark ULTI 2020
The first Funspark ULTI 2020 match of the day will serve us with an exciting CIS derby between forZe and Virtus.pro. These sides last met in December 2020, when forZe won 2-1, but I don't expect to see the same result this time out.
A lot can change in four months, and it's fair to say that a lot has indeed changed since these two teams last clashed. For once, forZe are no longer the same powerhouse they were then, whereas Virtus.pro have emerged as one of the best CS:GO teams in the world.
Although the CS:GO community has accepted the results from online CS:GO don't mean much in the greater picture, the fact of the matter is that we're still in the online era of CS. So you can't really look down on teams that do well.
Virtus.pro enter this match as IEM Katowice finalists and world no.5. ForZe, on the other side, are ranked only 46th with no notable achievements in 2021. The last time forZe achieved something worth noting was in December when they finished third at DreamHack Open December 2020.
ForZe enter this match with a 4-2 record since the start of April, which seems good enough. That said, the only teams forZe beat in that stretch were 1win, Movistar Riders, and two amateur teams in SAWO Esports and Newbies.
ForZe have not only been playing in much weaker competitions throughout 2021, but were also largely unsuccessful at it. Virtus.pro are just way too strong for forZe, who I expect will come away from this match empty-handed.
Funspark ULTI 2020
Even though we're at the stage of the competition where only the top eight teams are present, it does not surprise me that Complexity are viewed as huge favourites over HAVU for Monday's match. The American-based organization might have had a few iffy showings in 2021, but they haven't disappointed.
Most recently, Complexity were seen competing at ESL Pro League Season 13, where they picked up five wins in eight games played. That run includes 2-0 sweeps of OG (twice), FunPlus Phoenix, Renegades, Natus Vincere, and even a 2-1 victory over the current world no.5 team in Virtus.pro.
Unfortunately, Complexity's remarkable run came to a sudden stop in the quarter-finals, where they got eliminated by Ninjas in Pyjamas. Regardless, Complexity proved their worth and are slowly emerging as one of the top European teams.
HAVU's performances across the last couple of months weren't all that bad, but it's hard to say the Finns really impressed anyone. At the start of April, HAVU won Funspark ULTI 2021: Europe Season 1 without any real issues, but given the quality of teams they faced, that's hardly a huge achievement.
Earlier last week, HAVU were also seen at Elisa Invitational Spring 2021, where they suffered two huge defeats against Apeks (3-16), and SKADE (0-2). Some may say HAVU did not put in too much preparation for those bouts, but that's not an excuse for losing against B-Tier teams.
Complexity are simply a better team all-round that should be winning this match with ease. This should be an easy 2-0 victory for the favourites.
ESL One Eastern Europe Season 2 Lower Division
B8 will clash with NoTechies on Monday, April 19, to kick off the second week of the tournament. It will mark only the second time these two sides will meet on the battlefield, and the first time since January, when NoTechies won 2-0.
B8 have since completely rebuilt their roster, and so have no Techies, so we shouldn't overreact to that result. Still, it's NoTechies who enter this match as the favourites, which might make a lot of sense since they field better players
NoTechies lost their ESL One opener against Nemiga (0-2), which was not a good start. But then again, B8 haven't looked too good in their opener against Prosti Esli either, which they lost 1-2.
B8's loss to Esli marked their first match in over a month, so they should be a bit ring rusty heading into Monday's match. NoTechies, however, are in an even worse position, seeing how their bout with Nemiga was their first match since February and the first time we have seen their new roster in action.
Considering NoTechies put together their squad just under two weeks ago, it's hard to expect any outstanding performances from them, even though they field very strong pieces. B8 might lack the quality, but they at least have the needed synergy to not look like a complete mess.
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