Taking place between the 18th and 23rd of June, the season 9 pro league finals boasts a $600,000 prize pool to be spread across 16 top tier teams. The event will take place in Montpellier at the Exhibition Centre and the Sud de France Arena for the playoffs. So, who is most likely to take the trophy?
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Group Stage: June 18th – 20th, 2019
- Two double-elimination groups:
- Each group has eight teams
- The group stage is seeded based on the ESL CS:GO World Rankings
- Initial matches BO1
- All following matches are BO3
- The top three teams from each group advance to the Playoffs:
- Group stage winners advance to the Semifinals
- Group stage runners-up advance to the Quarterfinals as the High Seeds
- Group stage 3rd place teams advance to the Quarterfinals as the Low Seeds
Playoffs: June 21st – 23rd, 2019
- Single-elimination bracket
- The Quarterfinals and Semifinals are BO3
- The Grand Final is BO5
With that $600,000 figure up for grabs, here’s how the prize is split amongst the teams.
3rd – 4th $40,000
5th – 6th $20,000
7th – 8th $17,000
9th – 12th $15,000
13th – 16th $14,000
Astralis – 2.10
Liquid – 3.00
FaZe – 7.00
NRG – 12.00
MIBR – 15.00
Mousesports – 15.00
Fnatic – 18.00
Team North – 18.00
G2 – 34.00
HellRaisers – 51.00
Heroic – 51.00
Cloud9 – 67.00
Luminosity – 67.00
Grayhound – 101.00
TYLOO – 251.00
DETONA – 301.00
By the looks of things, Astralis is considered most likely to win the event just over Liquid. The rest the board seems fairly spread out with severe underdogs TYLOO, DETONA and Grayhound fair from favourites in the finals.
Odds taken from Betway at the time of writing.
Favourites to win
After producing an unbelievable set of results in 2018, Astralis set the precedent for the state of play leading into 2019. Despite losing out to Team Liquid at the iBUYPOWER Masters IV in January, their form wasn’t too badly damaged as they recovered quickly to win the IEM XIII Katowice Major in March, a tournament where they two-zeroed their way through the new champions stage.
Astralis is a team worthy of a secure bet, if you’re not looking to root for the underdog and want a clean safe bet then Astralis is the team for you. I’d recommend placing an outright for them to win the tournament as well as placing some on individual games, to make the most out of their dominant form.
Although Astralis has the form, the long-standing record of tournament wins and all the bookmakers backing them to win, Liquid won’t go down without a fight. They are no strangers to big money tournaments. Despite losing out to ENCE in the Major, they showed that they could take down the Finnish side, beating them 2:1 at the DreamHack Masters in Dallas.
Their record against Astralis however, is less than desirable for a team at their level. Out of the last 4 meetings with Astralis in Major tournaments, Liquid has won 1 and lost 3. Don’t rule them out for this tournament though. If you’re looking to make a bit more profit but also take more of a risk, then Liquid are the team to back.
Underdogs to Watch
As with all big money events, every team is there to prove they can play at the top levels of Counter-Strike and earn their share of the prize pool. These are a couple of teams that you might want to watch out for when making your bets.
Although they haven’t had the greatest of results recently, mousesports are experienced and know how to bring a fight to the bigger teams. They beat Liquid at ESL One New York late last year. They haven’t managed to take many maps of Astralis and MiBR in the past six months but that won’t stop them from trying.
Good team to bet on if the opponent is underperforming at the event. Even for just one map, mousesports will take it all the way to secure a victory.
Their recent record doesn’t show great things for NRG, they’ve lost to MIBR, Fnatic and even Vitality. However, their roster boasts some serious talent with AWPer Cvetelin “CeRq” Dimitrov and major winning IGL Tarik “tarik” Celik. These guys will be looking to build a name for themselves with the fairly new roster and placing as high as possible in this kind of tournament will do exactly that.
Bit more of a risky bet against the giants of Astralis and Liquid, but against MIBR, HellRaisers and the lower teams, NRG will produce a great performance.
The group stage and playoffs of the ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals should turn out to be a great week of Counter-Strike.
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