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 League of Legends Pro League and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Snow Sweet Snow #3.
Esports Betting Tips: Monday, March 22nd
Rare Atom vs Royal Never Give Up
LoL Pro League
Royal Never Give Up picked up an important win on Saturday, when they swept Top Esports 2-0 to reclaim the top spot on the standings ahead of the last week of LPL Spring. The game was relatively close, but never did it seem like RNG were not in control of what was happening. Perhaps Top should have won Map 2, but it really all came down to which side made fewer mistakes, and on that day, that team was RNG.
It was a huge win for RNG, but it doesn't necessarily mean they're the undisputed best team in the league. When juggernauts like this meet, it's a matter of which side will make more hero plays so while I can give RNG praise for winning, it's not like this team is invincible.
Rare Atom are 10-4 on the season after suffering a devastating loss against LGD Gaming last Monday. With that loss, their chances of finishing the split inside the top-two are essentially zero, however, they can still end in top-four if they can step up and take down RNG and EDward Gaming in the final week of the regular season.
Rare Atom have proven to be a very solid team, however, they have one major weakness and that is their early-game. The most efficient way to defeat RA is to grab an early lead and snowball on them, which is something RNG should be capable of if they approach the draft the right way.
That said, the betting odds on RNG are way too low for us to take the side of the favourites, whereas RA's lack of consistency makes it hard to trust the outsiders. I'm taking Over 2.5 maps for this one, since both teams have a legitimate chance to win, but I don't believe either is consistent enough to walk away with a clean sweep.
Invictus Gaming vs Victory Five
LoL Pro League
Victory Five took down FunPlus Phoenix on Saturday to keep their playoffs dreams alive, and are now set to face Invictus Gaming, who can't afford to lose if they're serious about making the playoffs. Invictus Gaming enter this match as massive favourites, which makes sense, since they're individually a much stronger team than V5, however, they're also much more inconsistent.
IG are the type of a team that will defeat anyone, but also lose to any team in the league and you can't really know what version of IG you will get on any given day. Across the last three weeks, IG defeated ThunderTalk Gaming (2-0) and Bilibili Gaming (2-0), but lost against Top Esports (1-2) and Rare Atom (0-2).
Victory Five, on the other side, lost against Suning (0-2), JD Gaming (0-2), Rare Atom (0.2) and Top Esports (0-2), but won the aforementioned match with FPX (2-0). Their recent win would suggest V5 have found their stride and are capable of defeating much stronger teams, but I wouldn't overreact to that series.
V5 simply had a good plan on how to defeat FPX that day and drafted a composition that denied all of FPX's strengths. The question here is whether V5 can surprise IG as well, and while I believe there is a chance IG fall apart and lose, the fact of the matter is that V5 are facing a team that is desperate for a win, whereas their last notable win came against a team that had no real motivation to do so.
Invictus Gaming -1.5 Maps
K23 vs Copenhagen Flames
Snow Sweet Snow #3
K23 and Copenhagen Flames will clash on Monday, March 22, in the opening round of Snow Sweet Snow #3. These sides last met in December 2020, when K23 won 16-9, which marked their second consecutive head-to-head win against CPH, who they beat 2-1 only a day prior during MIDNITE Nine to Five 7 tournament with 7-16, 16-13 and 16-12.
Having won both of their last two meetings, K23 should enter this match confident they can recreate those results and even though a lot of time has passed since then, the teams haven't made any notable roster moves that would tip the balance of power in the other direction. While I believe CPH are a solid team, tournaments like that usually see more puggy-style games, where K23's superior firepower should prove to be the difference-maker.
PickleBet offers 1.73 on K23 which is good enough for me to recommend that bet, but since I don't expect to see a clean sweep, a bet on Over 2.5 maps could prove to be a better choice at higher odds. K23, while a better team, are not very efficient on Vertigo and Overpass, which are two maps CPH should be winning, considering those are also two of their best maps with 73% and 69% win rate respectively.
Outside of winning either of the two maps, I wouldn't trust CPH to do much more. They have struggled against K23 before and I don't see a reason why that would change here. For those looking to make this match a bit more interesting, a bet on K23 to win 2-1 (correct score) is the way to go.