Another big night of esports action coming up this Thursday night, headlined by the continuation of the ESL Pro League in the Counter Striker: Global Offensive title. Michael Lee is back with another preview and betting tips for his favourite matchups below.
ESL Pro League Season 12 Europe
AGO have yet to show any solid form at the ESL Pro League, seeing how they only managed one win in their last five against Heroic, but lost against the likes of OG, BIG, AGF and Winstrike. While the 0-2 defeats against OG and BIG were expected, their 2-1 triumph against Heroic was impressive, to say the least.
AGO are currently ranked no.41 in the world and have won 56.8% of their matches across the past three months, which is quite an impressive feat. However, AGO played mostly weaker opponents such as HONORIS, Galaxy Racer, Winstrike so perhaps we should take their win rate with a grain of salt.
Natus Vincere have played three games at ESL Pro League and won two against BIG and GODSENT. They, however, fell flat against ENCE, which was quite disappointing.
Even though NaVi hold a 60% win rate across the last three months and they even managed to win WePlay! Clutch Island back before the player break, the Ukrainian side looked very shaky as of late which does not convince me they will manage to defeat AGO with ease.
NaVi are without a doubt the better team individually, but since they are prone to dropping maps even against weaker teams that are of the same quality than AGO, I am confident saying the Poles have a legitimate chance to cause an upset. I would not risk it and will instead go for a safer +1.5 map bet on AGO.
ESL Pro League Season 12 Europe
BIG are 2-3 in their last five with wins against OG and AGO and defeats against Natus Vincere, Ninjas in Pyjamas and Sprout. Despite their somewhat shaky form, BIG are still holding onto a very impressive 77% win rate across the last three months.
Like BIG, Heroic went through some sort of resurgence in recent months which culminated with an ESL One Cologne title last month. Heroic are also 3-2 in their last five with two wins against Vitality and one against G2. Even though we can't deny Heroic lost to ENCE and AGO, they looked very solid in their recent win against G2 so perhaps they found their old form.
BIG and Heroic met three times in 2020 and so far, BIG managed to win all three series with a perfect 6-0 map differential. Having said that, all six maps were very close seeing how Heroic managed double digits in all but one.
Last time they met was a couple of weeks ago in the grand finals of DreamHack Open Summer 2020 Europe, where BIG bested Heroic 16-11 on Overpass and 16-12 on inferno. The main actors behind BIG success that day were Tizian "tiziaN" Feldbusch and Ismailcan "XANTARES" Dörtkardeş with 40 kills and 1.13 HLTV rating. On the side of Heroic, it was Nikolaj "niko" Kristensen who stood out with 40 frags and 1.10 HLTV rating.
Even though BIG won the last match with relative ease, I expect a much closer match this time out. If Heroic can repeat what they have shown against G2, this will be their match to lose, so there is definitely value in siding with the Danes.
ESL Pro League Season 12 Europe
G2 won three games in their last five against GODSENT and OG (twice), but they also lost to Heroic twice. G2 hold a 61% win rate across the last three months, which suggests they're in good form.
ENCE, on the other end, have played only three games since the end of the player break and managed to win two against Heroic and Natus Vincere, but slipped up against GODSENT, which was a bit of a let down in my book.
ENCE and G2 last met in July during cs_summit 6 Europe in a meaningless match which belonged to G2 who won 2-0, but since that match was a ninth-place decided, I suspect ENCE did not put much effort into it. Still it’s fair to mention that G2's Nemanja "nexa" Isaković was on fire with 44 frags an amazing 1.62 HLTV rating while his teammate Audric "JaCkz" Jug managed an equally impressive 1.49 HLTV rating and 40 frags.
Prior to this match, all previous meetings between G2 and ENCE were close and since four out of the last five games saw all three maps played, I expect to see something similar to happen here. bet on Over 2.5 maps.
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