ESL ProLeague Finals: First Playoff Spot Showdown Esports Predictions, Betting Tips & Odds

Adam Boothe

Wednesday, June 19, 2019 3:07 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jun. 19, 2019 3:07 PM UTC

Some surprises moved into the lower bracket rather quickly, which teams can steady the ship and still make a run?

<div><p>Tournament scheduling usually makes writing between days difficult; books do not post lines at the same time and matches are sometimes not known until 12 hours before they kick off! This week we'll get a chance to peek at a couple, however.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;PLAYOFFS SECURED!&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;We beat &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/heroicgg?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;@heroicgg&lt;/a&gt; on Vertigo and Inferno and we're ready for the playoffs. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Time to face &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/NRGgg?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;@NRGgg&lt;/a&gt; on Thursday to battle for the direct semifinal spot 💥&lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/ToTheStars?src=hash&amp;amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#ToTheStars&lt;/a&gt; ✨ &lt;a href=\"https://t.co/36k6O6jFbY\"&gt;pic.twitter.com/36k6O6jFbY&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Astralis (@astralisgg) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/astralisgg/status/1141092048357011456?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;June 18, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n\n"}[/]</p><h2>Astralis v NRG</h2><p>Given how many international events both of these organisations attend, they surprisingly almost never faceoff. Additionally, this will likely be the last time as Daps, their former IGL, has already been replaced by, Stanislaw, yet has still had to stand-in for NRG at this tournament due to ESL rules. I think most of us would have assumed this to be a hindrance to their team chemistry, but it doesn't appear this has been the case and they have cashed as a small favorite in both their opening matches against teams with comparable skill level and form; Fnatic and G2. I was on both of the European squads at around even odds and though they both had their share of chances, NRG made fewer mistakes in critical rounds. Astralis, on the other hand, started their tournament off against Cloud9 and Heroic, rolling with relative ease. Though neither the struggling North Americans nor little Danish brothers got to double-digits, there was a much looser, bordering on the sloppy, style of play from the world #2 than we are used to seeing. It's hard to blame them for this given they were never really in doubt of losing any map and had the added benefit of a better economic start in each half of all three.</p><p>Alright, let's get to the breakdown. Astralis is a team that is typically very conscientious when approaching the veto. They won't just outright ban their 'permaban' if they don't need to; we saw this against Natus Vincere last year with Cache. Additionally, since the addition of Vertigo, they have the potential to be a true seven map team. And as of yesterday, we can confirm they've put in at least a moderate amount of work into the newest competitive map. Going against NRG it would make the most sense for the Danes to ban Train or Mirage in the first phase. The North Americans can then have their choice to play the Danes on either Inferno or Nuke. There really is no 'right' option here, however, I think Daps and co need to roll the dice once again on the Astralis' once-upon-a-time 'gimme' being susceptible. That said, the mind games with Vertigo could play a factor. I would be very surprised to see Astralis pick it into NRG who have played it despite dropping both instances.</p><p>While it's clear to me that NRG has shown great team play to close out those maps against Fnatic and G2 yesterday I'm not ready to price them at 55% to take one of two maps against Astralis. In my view, the odds [only up at Betway currently] dictate one of two plays; either Astralis -1.5 or NRG on their own map pick. Despite Astralis loose, lurking style they should be a team that can fall back on a deeper playbook than the Americans.</p><h2>Bet:</h2><p><strong>-Astralis (-1.5) @ 1.85 [<a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=3e56a0bf-7bdf-4fe1-b9a6-d22c7cc3dd2c&amp;f=1" target="_blank">Betway</a>]</strong></p><p>I haven't made this wager yet as I would like to see what the other books open up at. Will tweet out what I am on later tonight [@lockeqwerty]!</p></div>
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