We will see a battle of giants commence today as Vitality take on Gambit in the ESL Pro League playoffs. We break down that match as well as NiP vs. OG in our betting preview of Day 3
OG and NiP haven’t played in a BO3 since 2020, and with NiP having switched up their map pool quite a bit since then I think there’s any point looking at match history for this one. The interesting part about this matchup in 2021 is that both of these teams now ban Vertigo at a very high frequency. This opens up for an interesting map veto.
NiP’s Map Choice:
NiP have been picking Ancient a ton and they are one of few teams in pro play that do just that. OG haven’t even played Ancient in official play so far, so they may be tempted to ban Ancient and float Vertigo hoping that NiP won’t pick it. However, while Vertigo is now NiP’s most frequent ban, they would still likely consider picking it against them in that scenario which would be a risk from OG’s side. This gives NiP a slight edge in the veto.
OG’s Map Choice:
OG have quite a few options. Inferno is probably their most probable map choice, but they could also choose to play Nuke or Dust2, two maps where NiP have struggled in the past. Normally, I’d say that Nuke would be the play for OG, but NiP have clearly improved on this map and are sitting on an 80% win rate with this new lineup on this map. The decider map in this series should likely be Overpass, a map that will suit both teams.
I think OG are the better side overall but I think NiP have the advantage in the veto which could be a deciding factor. While we are paying significant juice on the map exotics, I think this is a spot where you can consider taking NiP to win map one at 1.94, since they will likely have a pretty solid edge on Ancient/Vertigo.
This is a battle of giants as Vitality take on Gambit. We saw these two sides fight it out at IEM Summer back in June, where Vitality came out on top with a 2–0 sweep. Dust2 and Overpass were the maps in that series, but it is possible that we could see them switch up and play something else for this one.
Gambit’s Map Choice:
Gambit picked Overpass and lost the last time they played Vitality. Since this is a pretty common map choice for Vitality, I doubt that they go back to it here. I think it is far more likely that they go for a map like Mirage or Vertigo this time around. If I would guess, I would say that they go Vertigo considering their excellent form (9 straight wins) and the fact that Vitality lost Vertigo in the groups against Heroic.
Vitality’s Map Choice:
Dust2 and Overpass are probably the maps that Vitality are most likely to pick. Dust2 is the weaker map for Gambit in terms of overall win rate, but Vitality have struggled on Dust2 with Kyojin, so I think Overpass is the far more probable map choice.
I would say that Gambit have the edge in this series overall if they play their cards right in the veto. Vitality’s best shot at winning the series would be on the first two, but in the case of a decider, I think that the advantage is Gambit’s favour by a pretty significant margin. As such, I would say that Gambit on the ML here at 1.47 is the best play.