Dexerto has teamed up with Rivalry.gg to bring weekly insight into the world of esports betting.
Whether you’re a newcomer or esports veteran, looking to play it safe or go for the riskier plays by supporting an underdog, we take a look at the most promising options and why you might want to back a particular team.
This week we look to the CWL Pro League for a strong favorite, but return to League of Legends for the turbulence that often breeds upset potential.
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Play It Safe
CWL Pro League
Red Reserve TO WIN vs Evil Geniuses
When: Wednesday June 27th, 19:30 UTC
Odds: 1.51 vs 2.30 – Bet HERE
Red Reserve currently tops Division A of the CWL Pro League, while FaZe find themselves near the bottom of the standings. An entire event has been held since those positions were originally established, and Red has certainly proven themselves worthy of their lofty position.
At CWL Anaheim, Red Reserve were in perhaps their best form of WWII so far. Having convincingly topped their group, Red stormed through the winner bracket before narrowly losing to eventual champions Rise Nation in the winner bracket finals.
There were several moments at which the slightest change might have resulted in a trophy for Red Reserve, and though they ultimately fell short, Red undeniably established themselves as one of the most dangerous teams in the world.
FaZe Clan picked up a very respectable top-six finish at Anaheim, but the Stage 1 Pro League champions didn’t look back in world-beating form. As a new hierarchy has been established in the wake of mid-season roster changes, FaZe seems to have settled into the tier below the true championship contenders – a tier Red very much sits in right now.
A battle between two of the top teams in the world in one of the most competitive seasons in the history of the franchise is never going to have a clear-cut outcome, and FaZe Clan is absolutely capable of taking a victory here.
It seems, however, that Red Reserve is on a hot streak with their current line-up, while FaZe Clan has cooled off a little and doesn’t look likely to replicate the immense peak that won them a trophy. In the first week back from CWL Anaheim, Red look like a strong bet here.
Royal Never Give Up TO WIN vs Invictus Gaming
When: Saturday June 30th, 11:00 UTC
Odds: 2.03 vs 1.65 – Bet HERE
Royal Never Give Up versus Invictus Gaming is the heavyweight battle of the 2018 LPL. For most of the Spring split, iG were the league’s dominant team, a strong favorite to take the title after finishing the regular season with an incredible 18-1 record.
That one loss, however, was to RNG, and when the pair met in the semi-finals of the playoffs it was once again Royal that walked away victorious. RNG went on to win the LPL title, and consequently represented China at the Mid-Season Invitational.
There too Royal were victorious, claiming a second MSI title for China and marking a historic moment for the region in international League of Legends.
Coming off of their MSI triumph, Royal Never Give Up suffered defeat in their very first game of the LPL Summer, falling to JD Gaming. Their subsequent three matches, however, have been clean sweeps for Royal.
Invictus might have had their championship aspirations crushed in Spring, but one playoff defeat doesn’t mean this team is no longer a threat. They’re currently undefeated at 4-0, and are likely to remain one of the powerhouse teams of the LPL.
Given that the odds actually suggest that iG is distinctly favored here, however, taking Royal to win is practically a no-brainer. At worst, this match is a toss-up, and at best you can make a case that the odds should in fact be reversed. Matches between such heavy hitters will never be certain either way, but if you’re feeling lucky then RNG looks an excellent team to back this week.
SK Telecom T1 TO WIN vs Kingzone DragonX
When: Thursday June 28th, 11:00 UTC
Odds: 3.49 vs 1.23 – Bet HERE
SK Telecom T1 remained the prevailing force in both Korean and international League of Legends for nearly three years, but by the end of the Spring 2018 split they had been thoroughly usurped by Kingzone.
Kingzone’s spring season was so dominant that many were already talking about the potential of this team to go down as an all-time great, but at the Mid-Season Invitational – an event that should have been their coronation as kings of world LoL – the team fell short, denied by China’s Royal Never Give Up.
Whether it’s the massive meta shift or simply Longzhu having been rattled somewhat by falling flat on the international stage – a result that is becoming an unfortunate habit for several members of this team – Kingzone hasn’t been quite as dominant in the early stages of LCK Summer. Barely three weeks in, they’ve already lost as many matches as they did in the entirety of the Spring split.
Kingzone isn't collapsing by any means, but they do look mortal, something that couldn't often be said for them in Spring. Here, they'll be facing an undoubtedly inferior team, but one that looks to have been sharpening its blades recently, enough perhaps to strike a fatal blow in this series.
After a 0-4 start to the split, SKT has claimed victory in its last two matches, most recently defeating the formidable KT Rolster. Encouragingly for SKT fans, a big part of that win was a hard carry performance by Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok, a flash of the immense potential of the greatest player of all time that hasn’t been seen quite so often in recent months.
It’s clear that SK Telecom still has problems as a team, and Kingzone undoubtedly remains the stronger squad overall. In a world in which the meta has thrown teams off balance and Faker can once again force wins almost single-handedly, however, there’s enough of a chance for SKT to make them a decent choice for those looking for more risk in return for a bigger potential payoff.