Michael Lee is back with another duo of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive betting picks for the second round of WePlay Academy League Season 3. Today, he takes a look at two Group B matches between Mouz NXT vs Eternal Fire Academy and VP.Prodigy vs FURIA Academy.
Esports Betting Tips: Tuesday, January 4th
MOUZ NXT vs Eternal Fire Academy
WePlay Academy League Season 3
MOUZ NXT are the defending WePlay Academy League champions, having won both of the last two iterations of the league. On the other side, Eternal Fire Academy is a newly formed squad with no official names on their record.
With Natus Vincere Junior losing two of their best players and no other academy team showing any signs of improvement, MOUZ NXT are the clear favourites to win their third WePlay title. In fact, there aren't many teams you could consider capable enough to cause them any issues, and Eternal Fire Academy definitely don't seem like one.
Regardless of how it may seem, Eternal Fire Academy have the element of unknown on their side, which could come in handy as they kick off their WePlay Academy League Season 3 campaign against the strongest team of the tournament. And while I don't expect the Turkish squad to cause an upset, I also don't believe MOUZ NXT will walk away unharmed.
This will be MOUZ NXT's first match since December 8, when they lost against ECSTATIC in the Malta Vibes Knockout Series #4 semi-finals, meaning they've been out of action for nearly a month. And after such a long break, MOUZ likely won't be playing at their best.
Given the circumstances, we can take Eternal Fire Academy with a +5.5 round handicap at 2.20 and feel good about it. It's unlikely that the outsiders will cause an upset, but winning 11 rounds should be within their reach.
Map 1 & 2
Eternal Fire +5.5 Rounds
VP.Prodigy vs FURIA Academy
WePlay Academy League Season 3
VP.Prodigy could only manage a top-six finish in both of the last WePlay Academy League seasons, so things can only go up for them as they get ready for the third attack on the title. But, on the other hand, perhaps things could still get worse for VP.Prodigy. They could be as bad as FURIA Academy.
The Brazilians were the biggest disappointment of the first two tournaments. Although no one expected them to dominate, even fewer could foresee that FURIA Academy would finish both seasons in last place.
In WePlay Academy League Season 1, FURIA Academy finished eighth with a 3-11 record. And they were just as disappointing in the second season, finishing without a single win (0-2) and with a negative 13 round difference.
Hoping to find more success, FURIA Academy made several roster changes, which includes the departure of Lucas "honda" Honda and the benching of Guilherme "piria" Barbosa. To fill in the gaps, FURIA signed Kaue "kuaez" Kaschuk and Henrique "HPS" Soares.
We don't know much about either of those two players, but we know that FURIA Academy started winning games with their new lineup. In December, they made it to the quarter-finals of BLAST Rising LATAM 2021, and they won both of their games at the Gamers Club Liga Série A: December 2021.
Although they didn't need to face any tough opponents in either tournament, most of the attending teams are stronger than your average academy roster.
Like FURIA Academy, VP.Prodigy have made a few adjustments, signing Nikita "Xersion" Sergeyev and Evgeny "delis1onn" Plottsov, who rounded up a new six-man lineup in December.
VP.Prodigy were seen competing at ESEA Season 39: Main Division - Europe: Playoffs in December, when they won against Prima (2-0) and eSuba (2-0) but were no match for ROYALS (0-2) and VELOX (1-2), which is a fairly mediocre result.
I prefer FURIA Academy slightly, but I don't believe they will dominate unless they end up playing on Inferno. A bet on over 26.5 rounds seems like the smartest bet since you can't separate these two teams based on the players' talent, and even if you could, the one-month break won't do either team any favours.