This week’s betting tips highlights a solid favorite in the ESL Pro League for CS:GO, and some of the upset potential in the Overwatch League.
We’ve teamed up with Rivalry to provide weekly insight on some of the upcoming esports matches that might be worth betting on for those looking to spice up their viewing experience. With the ESL Pro League marching on and the Overwatch League heading into the final week of Stage 2, there are options whether you’re looking for a fairly safe bet or seeking a dangerous underdog for a high-risk, high-reward option.
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Play It Safe
Photo: Team Liquid
CS:GO – ESL Pro League
Team Liquid TO WIN vs Luminosity
When: Wednesday, March 21st, 00:10 UTC
Odds: 1.32 vs 2.92 – Bet HERE
Team Liquid might well be the best North American Counter-Strike team right now, and that’s despite Cloud9 having a Major title under their belts. The addition of ‘NAF’ , himself in career-best form, has reinvigorated the team and helped them secure a victory at cs_summit 2, third-place at the latest StarLadder and top-four at IEM Katowice.
Online competition is not the same as playing at events for a variety of reasons, which is why it’s often ripe for upsets – as a result, you can often get favorable odds on underdog teams who might well have a much better chance of victory in an online setting than they would otherwise.
Luminosity themselves are a team having a solid online season so far, currently sat above multiple teams with more compelling offline records than the Brazilian squad. In this case, however, Team Liquid should be a fairly safe bet.
They currently sit at 8-0 in the ESL Pro League, a record which includes some big victories over the likes of Cloud9 and SK Gaming. With a well-rounded roster of individual talent combined with a fundamental approach to the game that has proven consistent, Liquid outclasses Luminosity by every metric.
If you’re looking for a safe bet in CS:GO this week, this is about as good as it gets in online competition – the only kind running right now – if you want any return on your money at all.
Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
San Francisco Shock TO WIN vs Boston Uprising
When: Friday, March 23rd, 01:00 UTC
Odds: 2.64 vs 1.39 – Bet HERE
On paper, it looks like San Francisco Shock should be the underdog in this match. Both teams entered the Overwatch League to low expectations from most analysts, but while the Shock were unable to change many minds in Stage 1, by the end of the first stage Boston were competing for a playoff spot.
Right now, however, these teams seem to be trending in opposite directions. Recent weeks have seen the Shock looking more polished than ever, while Boston has spent Stage 2 largely in disarray. They might have things back on track to some degree with a win over LA Valiant in week four, but certainly the Uprising aren’t currently the force they were in Stage 1.
There’s another aspect to this match to be excited about, though, and one that makes it a must-watch for Overwatch fans even if you’re not betting on the outcome. The San Francisco Shock have confirmed that this match will be the debut of their newly-of-age star, Jay ‘sinatraa’ Won.
When teams were forming for the Overwatch League, sinatraa was one of the hottest talents in the west. The Shock managed to secure his services on a reported $150k contract, despite his being just seventeen years old – too young to play at the start of the season.
As well as his shee talent, in sinatraa the Shock potentially have a powerful curveball to throw at Boston, given that there’s no way of researching what San Francisco looks like with sinatraa in official games. Unlike other roster additions, however, sinatraa has been with the team all season, and they’ve known exactly when this date was coming – meaning they’ve had plenty of time to prepare for playing with him.
All things considered, there’s a case to be made that this match is really a fifty-fifty, which makes the odds on the Shock fantastic for those willing to take a bit of a risk.
Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
Houston Outlaws TO WIN vs Seoul Dynasty
When: Thursday, March 22nd, 21:00 UTC
Odds: 4.27 vs 1.15 – Bet HERE
It’s safe to say the Outlaws aren’t in their best form of the season right now. In Stage 1, and for the briefest of moments at the start of Stage 2, Houston looked like a team who could be a legitimate top-tier squad, the best western team contending with and sometimes beating the all-Korean titans.
Unfortunately, Stage 2 hasn’t been as kind to the Outlaws. They’ve struggled to adapt to the meta, are arguably in a more general slump of team performance anyway, and their lack of a truly elite Tracer player seems to have been hurting them more than ever.
It’s therefore unsurprising that the odds favor Seoul quite heavily, but while an upset might seem unlikely, it’s certainly not beyond the realm of possibility. As demonstrated by their exceptional Stage 1 performance, and their victory over London Spitfire at the start of Stage 2, Houston has an exceptional ceiling.
When these two teams met in Stage 1, it was only a narrow victory for Seoul despite the absence of Houston’s star player, Jiri ‘Linkzr’ Masalin. This time around, the Outlaws should be at full strength – now it’s just a question of whether that strength is still enough to match up with the Dynasty.
At the start of Stage 2, the Dynasty were heralded as perhaps the best team in the league, looking more polished than they had at the end of Stage 1 and in a meta that better suited their star players. Once again, however, as the stage has advanced they’ve looked progressively less impressive.
As far as the concerns about Houston’s Tracer deficiencies are concerned, this is also a match that might be a little less daunting than some of the other elite teams. The Tracer players for Seoul have certainly looked more impressive in Stage 2 than Stage 1, but the team doesn’t boast one of the true gods of the hero, like New York Excelsior and London Spitfire do.
Neither team has a hugely formidable opponent in their other match of the week, so they’ve got space to put their best efforts into facing each other. That should perhaps favor Seoul, who typically thrive on extra preparation, but Houston have two very recent examples of how to defeat the Dynasty to study, courtesy of New York and London in week four.
If you’re simply trying to predict the winner, Seoul are definitely the obvious choice in this match. Houston has proven that on their day they can hit hard enough to take down the best teams in the league, however, and if you believe they can pull it off you’ll be well-rewarded for your faith.