The first round of the Extreme Masters in Beijing kicks off on Thursday morning, with Astralis and the newly-formed 100Thieves in action. Take a look at the teams to back.
Map handicap: Astralis -1.5 (1.16)
There will be a bit of soreness for Astralis after they lost their top spot in the CS:GO rankings to Evil Geniuses. They are now back in the stride of professional Counter Strike, and will be looking at this IEM Masters in Beijing as an opportunity to make up some ground. They start against Vici Gaming early on Thursday morning. Vici are ranked 47 in the world, without the experience or depth that is absolutely required to compete against this Astralis team.
Team Vitality (1.12)
Had this not been a tournament as big as the IEM Masters, the outlook would’ve been very different. However, this is one of the biggest stages in CS:GO. Vitality are undeniably the more superior team, in terms of skill of personnel, confidence, form and most other match-ups. Zywoo has been one of the primary reasons for that upward surge. He averages 0.82 kills in the last three months. Most of that offensive output has come against some of the best teams in the world. Vitality cruised past Tyloo in Inferno 16-7 in their last meeting at the DreamHack Masters in Malmo.
Evil Geniuses (1.39)
Evil Geniuses have the burden now. They are the world’s top-ranked CS:GO team. They have been in stellar form in recent times, which has resulted in several titles. Here’s a breakdown of their form in all maps:
That’s confidence in their favour. In terms of form, EG have won their last five matches too.
Ence Esports (2.04)
100 Thieves are back in CS:GO after they announced they acquired the Renegades roster. There is plenty of quality in both these teams, but there could also be some nervousness around the new franchise. 100 Thieves are a proud esports franchise and there could be some latent anxiousness around starting well. Ence, on the other hand, will be more solid. Ence will be led by Allu, with able company in the form of Sergej and Sunny. Ence will also take plenty of confidence from their recent win against Fnatic, a team in good form, 16-7 in Mirage.