The Esports action continues on Monday, August 16th as our resident Esports guru Michael Lee takes a look at matches from the ESL Pro League Season 14 for all three of his best bets of the night.
ESL Pro League Season 14
ESL Pro League Season 14 will begin with a match between Bad News Bears and Heroic, who will meet for the first time. Bad News Bears entered the tournament as one of the outsiders, which doesn't surprise me, but I don't believe they will go down quietly.
Bad News Bears have the right to feel confident about this matchup, even though they're facing the eight-best team in the world. Although the North American team have yet to defeat a top-10 team before, we have to acknowledge that they have been playing in ESEA just a week back, while Heroic haven't been involved in an official match since Intel Extreme Masters XVI – Cologne.
This will be Heroic's first match after the player break, and situations like this usually introduce some volatility, mainly because teams are a ring rusty and need to play a few games to warm up. Heroic will likely win, but since this is the first match of the tournament, a smaller stake on Bad News Bears +1.50 is worth a look.
ESL Pro League Season 14
Team Vitality entered 2021 as number one in the CS:GO global rankings but have since dropped down to as low as 12th before breaking back into the top-10 before this tournament. The French roster are now ranked ninth in the world.
Team Vitality have not won a single tournament in 2021 and are clearly struggling with consistency. Their best result of the year came in January when they finished third at BLAST Premier: Global Final 2020. Since then, their only notable result happened at Intel Extreme Masters XVI – Summer, where they lost to OG in the semi-finals.
Seeing Vitality struggle as much with a player like Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut in the team should make you wonder what's happening. And the only reasonable explanation is that something isn't clicking, or they maybe have internet issues.
ENCE are nothing special, and they are not a team that is capable of competing for the ESL Pro League title. However, they are good enough to capitalise on Vitality's struggles and are a decent pickup at 2.43. You can also take over 2.5 maps at 1.95 on PickleBet.
ESL pro League Season 14
Astralis are still viewed as one of the top teams in the world, but I am not as excited about this team as some seem to be. They might be the most successful team in the history of CS:GO, but the current iteration of Astralis is miles from the "prime Astralis" which we saw in 2018-2019.
The Danish squad’s achievements in 2021 are nothing that would make you excited about them. Yes, they have managed a top-four finish in Cologne, but that was their only decent tournament placement since January when they won silver at BLAST Premier: Global Final 2020.
In the seven tournaments that followed, Astralis never finished better than fifth-sixth.
Like Astralis, Team Spirit aren't exactly world-beaters, but this is still a decent team. They finished third in the StarLadder CIS RMR 2021 in July (behind only world Natus Vincere and Gambit Esports) but didn't show up at IEM Cologne, where they finished in 13th-16th.
This is a match between two teams that seem equally strong, making it difficult to say which will come out ahead. I expect a close series that will get decided in the third map.
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