Two iconic organisations in the world of Esports will clash in the opening round of Group A matches. Astralis have seen high levels of success already in 2019 but were recently knocked out by Furia during their underdog showing last time out. Cloud9 have had roster issues so far this year. This has caused them to struggle as they could never find a flow, this will be a true test of their quality.
After an unbelievable 2018 season, Astralis kicked off 2019 just as strong. They picked up two championships and two second-place finishes by the end of March but since then have fallen off slightly for their standards. A 5th place finish at Blast Pro Series Miami and ECS Season 7 Finals has sparked debate about who the best team in Counter-Strike is now.
Astralis have opted to miss out on a couple of events recently, something that is becoming a more popular trend for teams. They have skipped events, so they can put more dedicated time into practice. One issue that exists within CS right now is constantly traveling to the mass number of events. This hinders the number of true practice teams can get.
Astralis are a dangerous team filled with raw talent and experience. This means you can never write them off as contenders for an event. However, it will be interesting to see how well they perform after having time to regroup and come up with fresh strategies.
Their nightmare period appears to be coming to an end. From near the end of 2018 until March this year, Cloud9 has had a disaster when it comes to securing a stable roster. With regular changes and attending many events, the team never had time to gel together and often fell apart.
Now that they have locked in their roster and had time to prepare, many are keen to see what level they can perform at. Their roster is a mix of young, upcoming talent alongside experienced players that know what it takes to win.
As it’s a best of 1 series in this case, I think we can expect to see a closer match as it should be a map both teams are comfortable on. You can grab a +7.5 round handicap for Cloud9 at 1.81 odds which could be a good move. This means they only need to win 9 rounds for the bet to come through.