In this article, we will break down the format, the teams and the odds for the Champions Cup Finals.
There is still some CS:GO action left before 2019 comes to a close! In this article, we will break down the format, the teams and the odds for the Champions Cup Finals in Malta.
The Champions Cup Finals will take place in St Julian’s, Malta on December 19 and will feature a $300,000 prize pool.
The tournament will feature eight teams. ENCE, FURIA, and G2 have received direct invites, while the remainder of the teams qualified through the European and Chinese Champions Cup.
The Champions Cup will kick-off with a double-elimination group stage with four teams in each group. The opening matches will be best-of-ones, but the remainder of matches will be all best-of-threes.
Two teams from each group will advance to the playoffs, which will be a best-of-three single-elimination bracket.
The groups are as follows:
The Champions Cup Finals starts December 19 and runs through December 22.
ENCE are coming off a second-place finish at the CS:GO Asia Championship. The Finns topped the group with wins against ViCi and mousesports, and later went on to beat MIBR 2–1 in the semis. However, mousesports proved to be the better side in the rematch which awaited them in the finals. ENCE have yet to find much success with suNny on the team, but the field is weak enough that they deserve to be favorites here.
The Brazilians from FURIA bombed out of groups at cs_summit last weekend, but it needs to be said that they played all of their matches with their coach due to HEN1’s visa issues. HEN1 is one of their top performers, so I expect FURIA to perform a lot better at this event.
This will likely be TYLOO’s last event with BnTeT, who is heading over to the United States to play with the newly announced Gen.G roster. TYLOO have started to play a bit better in recent months, making the semi-finals at the CS:GO Asia Championship with wins against G2 and MIBR. They have also taken maps against the likes of mousesports and FaZe. I think that TYLOO are definitely a dangerous team in the opening BO1 match in particular, and if they play as they did at the CS:GO Asia Championship, they could easily beat teams like FURIA and Movistar Riders.
The big underdog of this tournament is the Spanish team Movistar Riders. The Spaniards were unable to make playoffs at DreamHack Open Sevilla earlier this month, but they did pull off one of the upsets of the tournament by beating BIG 2–0 in the elimination match. Their opening match against ENCE is quite difficult stylistically, but I think they still have some upset potential. Their roster isn’t terrible, and they have some solid results against European competition at this level.
BIG continues to disappoint, bombing out of groups at DreamHack Open Sevilla after losing to North and Movistar Riders. They easily have the skill to win tournaments of this caliber, but it just hasn’t worked out on the server. Perhaps having tabseN on IGL duty isn’t the most optimal solution for this BIG side, as they have yet to really make a mark with this roster. If they fail to get a result at this event, I would not be surprised to see BIG make a roster move at the start of next year.
G2 are coming off a second-place finish at cs_summit 5, a tournament that they really should have won. The tournament was really up for the taking, as both FURIA and mousesports attended the tournament with stand-ins due to visa complications. The final against mousesports was particularly tragic, as mousesports were forced not only to play with a stand-in but also their coach due to karrigan’s visa issues. Despite this, G2 went on to lose the finals. G2 easily have the upside to win a tournament like this, but as we have seen plenty of times in the past, they can choke when it matters the most.
Hard Legion - formerly known as DreamEaters - were last seen in action at DreamHack Open Rotterdam, where they went out in groups after losing to Heroic twice. The Russian side made a bit of a name for themselves at the Berlin Major Qualifiers, where they won against the likes of NRG (EG) and Vitality. We have not seen a lot of them since then, but it is worth noting that they defeated BIG 2–0 in the finals of the European Champions Cup.
Sprit chose to make some roster changes back in September, removing COLDYY1 and S0tF1k in favor of former Gambit and Vega Squadron player mir, as well as the 16-year-old rifler magixx who has very little experience at the top level. A questionable move in my mind, as COLDYY1 was one of the strongest fraggers on the team, while S0tF1k added a much needed supportive element. The latter can be backed up by statistics, as S0tF1k threw the most flashes on the team (0.82 flashed / round) while having the highest success rate doing so (0.84 opponents flashed / round). However, the skill on this team is undeniable. If Mir can return to the form that he showed on Vega Squadron, then Spirit will be a team to look out for moving forward.
Personally, I would target the first round BO1 matchups. The play that stands out to me straight away is in the opening match between G2 and BIG. As bad as BIG have been, they definitely have enough skill to win or play G2 close in a BO1. 2.95 is a solid number on BIG here, and they are also well worth betting on the round handicap (+4.5 rounds).
The other two underdogs, TYLOO and Movistar Riders, are also somewhat interesting at odds of 3.10 and 3.45 respectively. There is no previous history between TYLOO and FURIA, so there is an element of unpredictability there, while Movistar Riders have been on the winning side of that matchup before. However, it is the BIG vs G2 match that stands out the most at the current odds.
In terms of outrights, there are three clear favorites; ENCE (2.70), G2 (4.80) and FURIA (5.60). Both G2 and FURIA have proven that they can beat ENCE, so they are solid candidates if you want to grab an outright at a longer number or take a team in the Top 2 market. Personally, I slightly favor FURIA - not because they are necessarily better than G2 - but because they would avoid ENCE in a potential semi-final matchup.