The ESL One in New York kicks off on Thursday with a round of best-of-three matches. With both Astralis and Liquid in action, we take a look at the props and match winners to back.
1st map - 1x2: Team Liquid (1.31)
Starting off a massive tournament well is an important factor for the world’s highest-ranked CS:GO team. There is so much quality right through Liquid’s roster. Elige, Twistzz and Naf all have more than 0.70 kills per round in the last three months. Liquid are unbeaten in Inferno (seven maps) and Nuke (six maps) in the past three months, while they’ve won nine of 10 attempts in Mirage. Form and quality is undeniably on Liquid’s side. They will be keen to start quickly and put Eunited away from the first map.
NRG Esports (1.39)
Apart from being ranked No. 3 in the world, there is a lot more going in favour of NRG.
First, personnel. All of NRG’s starters have a positive K/D ratio in the last few months. Brehze, Cerq and Tarik have all been in fine offensive form. On the other hand, Faze have just Broky in solid form of late.
Second, form. In NRG’s last five best-of-three matches, they’ve lost just once, to the dominant Astralis. Faze have lost four of their last five matches, two of them were BO3s.
Third, the map match-up. NRG have the edge in all maps against Faze in the last three months. NRG have won 86% in Dust2 (seven maps), 80% in Mirage (five maps), 83% in Inferno (six maps), 64% in Nuke (11 maps) and 71% in Train (seven maps). Faze aren’t even close to that consistency.
Map handicap: Astralis -1.5 (1.46)
It’s going to be hard to see any team even come close to Astralis. Even Liquid don’t have the same offensive firepower as this team, as was evident at the Berlin Major. OpTic, ranked 21 in the world, won’t be too pleased with their initial match-up at ESL One. Device, Dupreeh and Magisk should turn up from the outset, and help Astralis cruise to a 2-0 victory in the opener.
G2 Esports (2.15)
While Ence are slightly better on paper, G2 are no pushovers. Ence have been slightly disappointing in recent times, in terms of consistency. G2 have won two of their previous three matches, while ENCE have won one of their last five. There are some offensive concerns in Ence too, which G2 might capitalize on. G2 have also been stunning in Dust2, winning 92% of their previous 13 attempts.