Astralis vs Fnatic
ESL Pro League Season 13
With their losses against Team Liquid (1-2) and Endpoint (0-2), Fnatic are now locked out of advancing into the next stage of the competition and have thus concluded another tournament run outside of the top spots. Seeing Fnatic struggle is nothing too shocking nowadays, or at least since the start of the online era of CS.
Not only are Fnatic struggling to perform online, entering ESL Pro League with a new player in Jack "Jackinho" Ström hasn't done them any favours, as they now also lack synergy. It remains to be seen what Fnatic's next plan is, however, it seems likely they will look to freshen up their roster with a couple of new signings.
Astralis enter the final match of the group stage with a 3-1 record, having bested the likes of Liquid (2-0), Virtus.pro (2-1) and Endpoint (2-0), while their only loss so far came against Evil Geniuses (1-2) in the opening round. Astralis are a team that needs no special introduction and while they might no longer be the undisputed best team in the world, the Danes are still significantly stronger than Fnatic.
These teams last met in October 2020, when Astralis won 2-1 with 16-12 on Inferno, 7-16 on Dust2 and 16-7 on Overpass. Even though that fixture happened a while back, Astralis are still the stronger team and I would even argue they're in much better form than the Swedes heading into this match. Astralis to win 2-0!
Evil Geniuses vs Endpoint
ESL Pro League Season 13
Evil Geniuses started the tournament with a huge 2-1 win against Astralis, but they did not need long to return to their old ways, with two back-to-back losses against Virtus.pro (1-2) and Fnatic (1-2). Although a fairly strong team, I am not too surprised seeing EG struggle, considering they've recently signed Owen "oBo" Schlatter, who is a great addition, but he'll need a bit more time to find his place in the team.
I expect EG to get better in a few weeks, but as of now, they're not looking too sharp, which is why I don't believe they will have an easy time against Endpoint. And that is even though Endpoint are individually not nearly as strong as EG.
Endpoint enter this match with a 1-3 record, having beaten Fnatic (2-0), but lost against Virtus.pro (0-2), Liquid (0-2) and Astralis (0-2). Endpoint are clearly not good enough to compete at this level, but they've shown enough for me to say they can make EG struggle a bit.
Endpoint have reached double digits in all but two of their maps so far, and that includes series against Virtus.pro and Astralis. Whether those numbers are enough to justify saying Endpoint are as strong as EG is up to debate, but due to EG's shaky form I can imagine Endpoint stealing one map off them.
EXTREMUM vs Nordavind
Snow Sweet Snow #3
You don't really need to think too much about how this game should go and even though the betting odds make it easier to figure out which of the two sides is the favourite, I expected EXTREMUM to be priced even lower than how they are.
EXTREMUM might not be an organisation that will sound familiar for those following only the top-tier CS:GO tournaments, but if we look at their players, you might recognise a few names. EXTREMUM's core is essentially assembled from the former 100 Thieves roster (previously Renegades) with the addition of Hansel "BnTeT" Ferdinand and the same coach in Aleksandar "kassad" Trifunović.
Nordavind enter this match with a fairly impressive 8-2 record in their last 10 outings, however, we have to note they haven't faced any tough opponents in that stretch. The only two notable wins Nordavind have managed over the last two weeks came against KOVA (16-8) and LDLC OL (2-0), yet even those results are nothing to write home about.
EXTREMUM's record across their last 10 (5-5), is not looking nearly as good as that of Nordavind. However, unlike the Norwegian side, EXTREMUM had to face much tougher opponents, so it wouldn't be fair to criticise them too much for their 50% win rate.
The quality gap between these two sides is massive and even though EXTREMUM are not in stellar form, they shouldn't be losing games like this one with the experience they have. Bet on EXTREMUM!