Counter Strike: Global Offensive headlines the esports action around the globe this Thursday night and our gaming expert Michael Lee is back with a full preview and betting tips for some of his favourite matchups across the ESL One Cologne and the Eden Arena Matla Vibes Cup events.
ESL One Cologne 2020 Oceania
Renegades and ORDER last met at the start of the month in the upper bracket finals of DreamHack Open Summer 2020 Oceania, where Renegades came away with a very close 2-0 victory. The series started with Renegades claiming a series lead with 16-10 on Mirage, but faced tough resistance on Vertigo, where ORDER forced overtime, yet still managed to come out ahead with 19-16.
Joshua "INS" Potter was the player of the game with 63 frags and 1.48 HLTV, whereas Jireh "J1rah" Youakim was the only player on ORDER who had a somewhat solid performance with 54 frags and 1.18 HLTV. His teammates, however, all ended the series with negative ratings.
The fixture was very close and it's fair to say that had Ricardo "Rickeh" Mulholland and Karlo "USTILO" Pivac stepped up for their team, ORDER might have even won. Even though Renegades hold a substantial 16-5 H2H map lead with ORDER, their most recent clashes were very close, and I expect to see another close affair this time out as well.
I'm not ready to believe ORDER could come out ahead, but based on their recent performances, they should win at least their own map pick. Bet on ORDER to keep it close!
Eden Arena Malta Vibes Cup 9
MiBR are entering this match with a poor 0-5 record, which they have accumulated with losses to Team Liquid (0-2), FURIA (0-2), G2 Esports (0-2), FaZe Clan (1-2) and Wisla Krakow (1-2). While we would not criticise them too much for losing to the likes of G2, Liquid and other top-tier teams, it's hard to be overly optimistic about a roster that lost to Wisla Krakow.
To make matters worse, MiBR are dealing with internal issues on top of the shaky form and since there are no signs of any improvement, it's safe to say MiBR will have a hard time escaping the downright spiral they have found themselves into.
HellRaisers, on the other side, are set to enter this match with a 2-3 record from their last five, which includes wins against HONORIS (2-1) and Galaxy Racer (2-0) and losses to Natus Vincere Junior (0-2), K23 (1-2) and Gambit Youngsters (0-2). While their results indicate they are, in theory, in better form, HellRaisers faced significantly weaker teams than MiBR.
HellRaisers are just not a good team and while they are facing the shaky MIBR, there is zero to no reasons to believe the CIS squad will stand a chance. MiBR might not be as strong as they were years ago, but they still field enough individual talent to win here and avoid another humiliating result.
Eden Arena Malta Vibes Cup 9
Gambit Youngsters and forZe last met only a few days ago in the Group D Winners' match of the Eden Arena Malta Vibes Cup 8, where we saw Gambit edge out a 2-1 win with 13-16 on Overpass, 19-17 on Inferno and 16-13 on Dust2.
Dmitry "sh1ro" Sokolov was the best player on Gambit Youngsters that day with 77 frags and 1.25 HLTV rating, while Bogdan "xsepower" Chernikov and Andrey "Jerry" Mekhryakov did most of the heavy lifting on the side of forZe with 60 frags and +1.10 HLTV rating.
As the final results of the match would suggest, the series was very close and there are arguments to be made forZe should have won 2-0, had they not choked on Inferno and lost in overtime. Since their last meeting took place less than a week ago, we can expect a similar game this time out as well, meaning a close fixture that can end either way.
Bearing in mind the last match was 50/50, it makes the most sense to side with the underdogs here. ForZe could have won the first match with relative ease so it makes no sense for them to be priced at such high odds, which is why we will bet on forZe to get their revenge.
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That's it! The 2020 AFL regular season has come to an end and Brisbane's Lachie Neale has surely done enough to secure the 2020 Brownlow Medal with another brilliant game in Round 18. Let's take a closer look at our Round 18 Brownlow Medal vote predictions! read more
There's just one more round to go in the 2020 AFL season. Round 17 has completed and the Brownlow votes are locked away. It was a quiet round for those at the top of our Brownlow leaderboard, but there were a couple of stand out performances this weekend. Let's take a closer look at each match with our Round 17 Brownlow vote predictions. read more
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