The ECS Season 8 Finals kick off with this match up. Evil Geniuses, a team who have won Championships but also crashed out of tournaments in recent months, face off against Avangar. Avangar are always seen as a potential upset team. With the inconsistencies Evil Geniuses have faced, this game could be interesting.
As mentioned, this roster has brought home a couple of Championships in recent months. They finished first at both ESL One New York and StarSeries & i-League Season 8. However, a 13th-16th finish and most recently a 5th-6th finish are clouding their overall success.
They can be an incredibly frustrating team to watch, and if you support them it must be a struggle. Evil Geniuses are filled with potential and raw talent. At times they execute this incredibly and can stomp any team in the world. However, all year long they have struggled with replicating this success and a regular basis.
I think they are actually in a pretty scary group for this event, and that might surprise some. They are paired alongside Liquid, Ninjas in Pyjamas and Avangar. The issue is, if they start off slow they could quickly find themselves fighting for tournament survival against a very strong team.
Everyone loves a good underdog story and Avangar brings the hype for the potential of one every single event. Recently, this potential became true. Back in September Avangar finished 2nd at the StarLadder Berlin 2019 Major. They were defeated 2-0 by Astralis in the grand final but that is nothing to be embarrassed by.
The additional of Adren from FaZe is certainly what makes this team tick. Having a player who has won events and been in high-intensity situations several times will aid them in every map they play.
With their ups and downs and continued footing as an underdog team, I never like to favour them too much. However, at this event, I believe they have a real chance of making it out of groups. In order for this to happen, it is vital that they win this opening game.
We are going to be in for one amazing opening game. It’s an difficult one to predict and the odds don’t make it any easier. I believe a +5.5 round handicap in favour of Avangar is the best option. This means Avangar only need to win 11 rounds and the bet will win.