Gambit vs Illuminar
DreamHack Open November 2020
Gambit have been on fire as of late and have not only won 85.2% of their matches across the last three weeks but also enter this match on a 13-game winning streak during which they defeated the likes of Nemiga, SKADE, Espada, Virtus.pro, sAw and other teams of similar quality.
Gambit have not long ago won the Nine to Five 6, DreamHack Open November 2020 Europe Qualifier, LOOT.BET Season 8 and finished inside top-two at the DreamHack Masters Winter 2020 Europe Closed Qualifier. Their last "big" tournament was the IEM New York 2020 CIS where Gambit locked in a fifth-place finish after they got eliminated by the Natus Vincere.
Illuminar enter this match after a successful run through the ESL Polish Championship Autumn 2020 which effectively makes them the strongest Polish CS:GO team, but I would not rank that achievement too highly since the Polish scene has not been strong for half a decade.
With all due respect, Illuminar are nothing more than a tier-2 team with a 54.5% win rate across the last three months. While we can respect them for their achievements domestically, they are still a class below Gambit, who should win with ease. Bet on Gambit to win 2-0!
Heroics vs Endpoint
BLAST Premier Fall 2020 Showdown
Heroic and Endpoint last met about a month ago at the DreamHack Open Fall 2020 where Heroic recorded a commanding 2-0 victory with 16-10 on Vertigo and 16-10 on Train. Much of Heroic's success that day was thanks to Martin "stavn" Lund and René "TeSeS" Madsen, who both performed admirably well and ended the series with 1.47 and 1.42 HLTV rating respectively.
On the side of Endpoint, Shahar "flameZ" Shushan was the only player with a somewhat solid performance. He ended the series with 39 frags and 1.04 HLTV rating, while the rest of his teammates all failed to break the 1.00 HLTV line.
The previous convincing win alone is enough to make me believe Heroic will in again, but it's also important to mention that these two teams have been playing on a completely different level for most of the year. While Heroic battled some of the best teams in Europe (Ninjas in Pyjamas, Team Vitality, GODSENT, North...) Endpoint were competing mostly against tier-2 teams such as sAw, Nexus, Secret, Vexed and other of similar quality.
Suffice to say, there is a massive gap between Heroic and Endpoint, meaning anything less than a 2-0 win for Heroic will be a massive shock. Bet on Heroic to win 2-0!
Alliance vs mudgolems
EPIC League Division 1
Alliance made little to no effort to impress with their performances at the EPIC League Division 1 and enter this match with a 1-4 record and a very poor -4 map differential. That is quite disappointing, considering Alliance made a solid run at the ESL One Germany 2020 where they won the group stage and then went on to defeat OG (2-0).
In their defence, almost no top team has looked good at EPIC League so perhaps it's time for one of the underdogs to shine. One of the teams that have shown potential to impress are mudgolems, but I am still waiting to see more from them before we can talk about a possible attack on the title.
Mudgolems are 2-3 after five games, which is not exactly terrible since they managed to defeat Team Nigma (2-1), Vikin.gg (2-1) and Just Error (2-1), and have on top of that forced Team Secret to three maps (1-2).
The odds offered on this match make a lot of sense since Alliance did not look convincing enough to be priced as the favourites. At the same time, odds mudgolems are high enough for me to consider them as a solid bet.
Virtus.pro vs Vikin.gg
EPIC League Division 1
Virtus.pro sit atop of the EPIC League standings and for a good reason. They have beaten all teams that stood in their way which includes one of the tournament's alpha dogs in OG (2-0), as well as Team Nigma (2-0), meaning there are really only two teams left in the mix that could potentially derail VP and those are Team Secret and Natus VIncere - neither of which have looked very good thus far.
That, however, is not to say Vikin.gg are not a strong team and a worthy opponent. They might have one of the least impressive rosters at the tournament, but despite that, they are one of the hottest European Dota2 teams in the scene as of now. They have won the BTS Pro Series Season 3: Europe/CIS in September, to which they added a trophy from DOTA Summit 13 Online: Europe & CIS.
Vikin.gg also did not look too shabby at the EPIC League Division 1 either, since they have already beaten both of the main favourites in Secret (2-0) and OG (2-0), as well as Team Liquid (2-1) and mudgolems (2-1),
While I am not ready to believe Vikin.gg are one of the top favourites to go all the way, they have proven to me that they have the needed tools to cause problems to Virtus.pro. Bet on over 2.5 maps!