The eighth season of the ECS kicks off on Thursday. This is as high profile as CS:GO tournaments come, with the top four teams in the world in action. We break down the reasoning behind our predictions for these games.
Evil Geniuses (1.35)
EG are the second-best CS:GO team in the world, in terms of ranking. They have been in sensational form in 2019. Massive tournament victories are testament to that dominance. As the year draws to a close, Evil Geniuses will be keen to keep that pressure on the rest of the CS:GO world with performances of substance on the big stage. The ECS is one such stage. EG will, however, have to neutralise the brilliance of Jame. If they can do that successfully, this Avangar team will find it extremely hard to get past the holistic efficiency of Evil Geniuses.
Team Liquid (1.44)
This is a tricky game for Liquid. NiP have been in solid form, which has seen them rise into the top 10 teams in the world, at No. 9 currently. However, Liquid have been one of the best CS:GO teams globally for a long period now. That just doesn’t happen. It takes plenty of consistency, class, skill and resources. Liquid have had a woefully under-par year. They would want to put that behind them by proving they can beat solid teams like NiP in best-of-one encounters, a format in which the underdog always has a fair chance of winning. Besides, Liquid have won five of six maps against NiP.
Astralis lost their No. 1 ranking to Evil Geniuses for a short duration. Such was their grit and determination that they quickly earned that title back. Now deservedly the best CS:GO team in the world, rankings-wise and otherwise too, Astralis are going to be hard to dislodge. Device, Dupreeh and Magisk have led this team effectively right through the year. Sharks Esports, ranked 38, have another thing coming after primarily facing middling opponents in the run-up to this tournament.
Out of all four matches, this has the likeliest possibility of an upset. It’s not that Fnatic are a bad team, but MIBR are an excellent team as well. When two solid teams are up against each other in a best-of-one fixture, the underdog is always the more prudent option on account of the greater payout. The all-Brazilian roster of MIBR has plenty of experience in Fer and Fallen. MIBR also have wins against Evil Geniuses and Avangar in their last four matches, which holds them in good stead going into this game.