BIG vs Nemiga
ESEA Premier Season 37 Europe
BIG will be coming into the match priced as favourites around 1.20, which is not surprising. They have been one of the better EU teams for the past couple of months, albeit they have proven to be a bit unstable at times, losing matches to the likes of forZe, sAw, and FunPlus Phoenix.
BIG recently finished Flashpoint 3 in fifth place, which looks bad. But if you consider BIG only lost matches to eventual finalist in mousesports and NIP, their run isn't that terrible, and they should be coming into the game in lukewarm spirit.
Nemiga, on the other hand, are nothing special; they are your typical tier 2 CSGO team. They have won only 47% of their matches in the last three months. That's that much worse if you take into account that Nemiga are not really playing against a tier 1 opposition; their results mostly come from playing in the leagues like Funspark ULTI, ESEA, Dell Gaming League,...
Nemiga attended a "tier 1" event called EPIC League CIS 2021, however, there were way too many issues with the tournament, so I wouldn't consider any results from it suitable for evaluation. The last time these two teams met was more than a year ago, where they played a single BO1, with BIG winning 16-13 on Inferno.
The match was so long ago that it's not even worth mentioning. With the likes of Artem 'iDISBALANCE' Egorov and Igor 'lollipop21k' Solodkov in their ranks, betting on Nemiga surely can't be overlooked here.
BIG mostly likely won't be 100% focused for a lower-ranked tournament such as this one, + the unpredictability of the online era of CS is the perfect recipe for an upset. Regardless, I don't actually expect Nemiga to come away with a win here; even if the Germans don't put 100% into the match, they should come out ahead.
That said, taking a map of a not-so-focused opponent is definitely not out of reach. BIG should win, but Nemiga will make it competitive. 2-1 for BIG!
KOVA vs HYENAS
Spring Sweet Spring 3 Regionals
HYENAS have played only five matches since forming the team. That run saw them defeat Nemiga (2-0) and against Entropiq (2-0), but they weren't as successful against Lyngby Vikings (0-2), FunPlus Phoenix (0-2), and Anonymo (1-2).
HYENAS as a team are nothing special, a tier 2 team that consists of past "has-beens" who teamed up with a young player Frederik 'Fessor' Sørensen.
Bookmakers are expecting a clear victory for HYENAS here. But so far, HYENAS have yet to shown anything that would make me consider betting on them. They might have some veterans who played in tier 1 teams, but almost all of these players were either booted from their previous teams or were free agents, so there was no real quality to be found here.
KOVA might not be in the best of form, having won only 43% of their matches in the last three months, but at least they have a solid map pool. That should give them an edge over HYENAS, who are basically a new team with questionable motivation to put in work to prepare themselves for this bout.
You can bet on KOVA to make it interesting, and while a win for KOVA is definitely not impossible, I recommend a safer option with a +1.5 maps head start. KOVA to win 2-1!
ViCi Gaming vs PSG.LGD
ViCi Gaming made it through the WePlay AniMajor Wild Card stage with a 2-3-0 record and a fairly solid 7-3 map difference. They have slipped a couple of times, but it wasn't like they played poorly overall. They were also the only undefeated team at that stage, which counts for something.
Heading into the WePlay AniMajor main stage, ViCi weren't viewed as strong contenders to top the group, and they have yet to prove us otherwise. In four games played, ViCi crushed Team Liquid, drew the next three against TNC Predator, Team Spirit, and Evil Geniuses, and won their most recent bout with beastcoast, which are not terrible results, but it definitely could be better.
PSG.LGD have been showing great form this tournament. Unlike ViCi, who had to battle their way through the Wild Card stage, PSG.LGD earned a direct invite to the main group stage as the second-seeded team from China.
In six games played, PSG.LGD beat beastcoast, Team Liquid, TNC Predator and Evil Geniuses, yet managed only a draw against Nigma. Although they won't be ending this stage with a perfect record, you can't deny that PSG.LGD are in great form.
PSG.LGD met with ViCi six times in 2021 and won all but two fixtures. Their only loss against ViCi happened in April, while their sole draw came at the end of March. Although PSG.LGD proved to be the better team, most of these head-to-head meetings were very close - including their last two, which ended in a 2-1 victory for PSG.LGD.
These two Chinese teams know each other extremely well and usually produce close fixtures. I don't believe this one will be any different.