The likes of ENCE and Fnatic are set to duke it out in Espoo, Finland at Elisa Masters
This year’s Elisa Masters will be played in Espoo, Finland. The event will feature teams such as Fnatic and ENCE, who will look to bounce back after falling short at the major in Rio.
The event will kick off on November 16th and runs through November 20th. Let’s dive into the format.
The group stage will be played in BO1 round-robin format, with two groups of six. Plenty of matches to look forward to, and thus plenty of betting opportunities.
The groups are as follows
- Bad News Eagles
Once the group stage has concluded, the top three teams in each group will advance to the playoffs. The group winners will advance straight to the semi-finals, whereas the rest of the teams will start in the quarters.
The playoffs will feature a BO3 single-elimination bracket, with the winner claiming $100,000 and a spot at the IEM Katowice 2023 Play-In.
- 2 BO1 Round-Robin Groups
- Winners Advance to Semi-Finals
- 2nd and 3rd place Advance to Quarter-Finals
- BO3 Single-Elimination Bracket
Initially, BIG came into this tournament as one of the favourites alongside ENCE and fnatic. However, after news broke that their star AWPer syrsoN is set to miss the entire tournament after testing positive for Covid-19, their chances have been hurt quite significantly. They should still be able to field a respectable roster, with faveN making his return to the roster after being absent at the major, but without syrsoN they have much lower upside.
ENCE failed to make the playoffs at the Major after falling to the eventual finalists MOUZ in the last game of the groups. However, there were some promising signs for ENCE at the major. Especially from their new AWPer, SunPayus. The Spaniard had a standout performance in their 2–0 upset over Vitality at the major and he could be a difference maker for ENCE at Elisa Masters. If he can replicate his recent form, ENCE may just claim the trophy in Finland this week.
Fnatic went out in the quarter-finals at the major, falling to the eventual winners, Outsiders. In groups, they beat both ENCE and BIG, two of the strongest teams who will be at Elisa this week. As such, one can make a strong case that they should be the favourites to win the entire thing. As a team, they are well-rounded. Similar to the likes of Heroic, they do not have any clear weaknesses, as every single player on the roster has the ability to put up numbers.
Bad News Eagles
Bad News Eagles from Kosovo are worth highlighting after yet another solid major performance. They breezed through the Challengers Stage with an impressive 3–0 record. In the Legends Stage, they were eliminated after losses to NaVi, Spirit and ENCE, but they did pull off one of the upsets of the tournament as they eliminated FaZe in a 2–1 win. These guys have a tendency to show up on LAN, and in BO1s they have proven to be quite formidable. As such, they could be in with a chance of glory at Elisa.
GamerLegion had a solid opening to the Challengers Stage at the Major with two BO1 wins, but they then absolutely bottled it as they went 0–3 in the remaining games and were eliminated as a result. In that stretch of games, they failed to win a single map. However, it is worth noting that two of these losses came against Natus Vincere and FURIA, two of the stronger teams in the competition. With that said, they need to have a better showing if they want to have a chance at this event.
Astralis have just acquired device from NiP, but they will be without the star AWPer at this event. In his place comes Kristou, and Astralis now fields a lineup which includes two former academy players. For that reason, their upside is quite limited, and they will need a performance of the ages from blameF if they want to win this event. That isn’t out of the question though, as the great Dane has been a monster for most of the year so far.