We break down three of today's matches in ESL Pro League, including a spicy matchup between device's Astralis and ZywOo's Vitality.
Spirit +1.5 (1.49)
Both of these two teams are coming off impressive wins, with Complexity beating NiP and Astralis, while Spirit pulled off the upset against Vitality. This will be the first time Complexity and Spirit square off, which is surprising when you consider that they both grind quite a bit. Assuming that they stick to their usual bans, we should see a combination of Inferno, Nuke or Mirage. While it is hard to argue against Complexity being the favourite in this matchup, Spirit’s map pool does help close the gap a little bit, making them an interesting play at the longer odds.
Outside of a single BO1 at DreamHack Masters last year, there is no history to go by with these two teams. With mousesports being a respectable Nuke and Dust2 team, they will have a solid chance of taking their map choice here against the Ninjas. mousesports have looked a lot better since woxic’s departure, so perhaps a change in personnel was enough to revigorate this squad. Surprisingly, they have decided to put karrigan on the AWP over chrisJ. He has looked a bit shaky on the AWP at times, but they have been successful on the server so it seems unlikely that they will change it for this match. Inferno seems like the most probable map choice for NiP, but it would be a very interesting play to go for Vertigo or even Mirage, since this would likely give NiP a bigger advantage on the third map in the series. Sadly, Vertigo has quickly fallen out of favour with NiP, but if they have the balls to go for it they would be in a nice spot to take this series. I don’t mind taking a shot at mousesports here as the underdog on the first map of the series if you can catch a good number, but I do favour NiP to take this series overall.
Astralis have a huge edge in this series throughout 2020. With the exception of a BO1 loss with their inferior lineup that included JUGi and Snappi, they have been close to flawless, beating Vitality in four BO3s - three of which were 2–0 sweeps. Astralis are still doing their weird roster changes alá League of Legends, and they switched Bubzkji out for es3tag in their last match. es3tag impressed, posting a team-high 38 frags in a 2–0 sweep against FaZe, so it would not be surprising if they picked him again. Dust2 and Nuke have been the most commonly picked maps between these two sides, and while it actually sets up decently well for Vitality, they have really struggled to beat the Danes on these maps. In fact, they haven’t exceeded 10 rounds on their map pick of Dust2 once against Astralis this year. While it is true that Vitality have stepped up their game on Dust2 recently, it is hard to justify a bet on them with this in mind.