It's playoff time! We give you some tips for tonight's action, including why Xeppaa has a good chance to pop some heads in their match against Liquid.
Heroic Map 1 (1.94)
Heroic and Complexity have faced off twice so far this year, with both teams each taking a win. Interestingly, these are two teams that tend to ban the same map, namely Overpass. With neither team unlikely to pick Overpass, they may be tempted just to leave it in and ban some of their opponents better maps, and this is what happened the last time. Heroic banned Dust2, while Complexity banned Train. I would say that Heroic benefits the most from this type of scenario, as they will be able to ban Dust2 and then pick either Inferno or Train, whichever one is available. This leaves Complexity with the option of picking Mirage or Vertigo, both maps that Heroic would be more than happy to play. I regard Complexity as the stronger overall team, and it is possible that they have a creative solution to this, but it is hard to ignore Heroic’s apparent advantage in the map veto. Heroic should pick first here as the lower-ranked team, and I like them to win or cover the spread on their map choice.
Vitality Map 2 (1.45)
Sprout have been one of the surprises of the tournament so far, and they will now take on Vitality who dismantled FaZe in their last match. I would expect Sprout to pick Mirage here, and they will be a live dog on this map since this is Vitality’s weakest map in the pool. Vitality have several options to consider. Nuke is one, but they may be tempted to pick Vertigo despite the fact that they rarely play it. Vitality have amassed a 100% win rate in eight matches on Vertigo against some pretty formidable opposition, including strong Vertigo teams such as NiP and G2. They were also willing to pick this against Complexity earlier in the tournament, and this would be another decent spot to do so since it is Sprout’s weakest map in the pool. Sprout will have a decent shot at the upset on Mirage, but Vitality will be big favorites here on their map choice.
Liquid Map 2 (1.32)
Chaos will be the biggest underdog on the board in this matchup versus Liquid. Chaos were actually able to take down Liquid in DreamHack Masters earlier in the year, but Liquid were quick to revenge that loss in a 2–0 win in DreamHack Open Summer. Inferno and Mirage have been the maps in both prior meetings. However, Chaos may be tempted to pick Nuke, where they would have a better shot at the upset. If they do, the round handicap may be in play on Chaos. However, the best betting opportunity will likely be on Liquid’s map choice. Chaos failed to break double digits on Inferno in both prior meetings with Liquid, and it is hard to see why Liquid wouldn’t pick it here against Chaos considering their past success.
Pick: Xeppaa $2 LINE - Xeppa Over 50% Headshot % (1st Map)
Mirage and Inferno are the most probable maps this series, and Xeppaa has averaged well above a 50% headshot percentage on both of these maps (58.1% on Mirage, 57.1% on Inferno). Xeppaa also covered the spread on this prop line in both prior meetings with Liquid on Mirage (60.7% & 72.7%). Xeppaa came in clutch for us in their match with 100 Thieves, beating the prop line by 2.6%, so I see no reason why we wouldn’t go back to him here.