The stage is set for the IEM Fall 2021. Sixty teams in six different regions will be competing in the final RMR event of the year. Read this article for some expert insight into the Intel Extreme Masters.
IEM Fall 2021 gets underway this week, providing another opportunity for top CS:GO teams to prepare en route to the Stockholm Major. An impressive 60 teams will be competing over six regions, a sizeable field considering the prize pool is just a bit over $225 000. One thing to be excited about is the fresh format; all teams will begin by playing a round robin of best-of-one matches to progress to the playoffs, where they will move onto the more common best-of-three format up until the finals which switches to a best-of-five format.
The 24 European teams must be breathing a sigh of relief that they will get an event without the likes of either Gambit or NAVI on the server. That being said, basically everyone who is anyone in today’s professional CS:GO circuit will be in attendance.
Pinnacle has posted a handful of new props markets for bettors to bet on for this event. And since we do not often get to see these markets, or at least since before the online era, let’s take a look.
First up is the ‘Most Kills in a Map’ player head-to-head contest. Now this market can certainly be volatile due to a long overtime map; however, one of the better ways to look at it is in particular ranges of round outcomes over a certain length of a tournament run. So a few matchups I like the look of in this market are:
- Martin “stavn” Lund (1.86*) vs. Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen
- Nikola “Niko” Kovac (1.83*) vs. Robin “ropz” Kool
- Mateusz “mantuu” (1.87*) vs. Helvijs “broky” Saukants
- Florian “syrsoN” Rische (1.77*) vs. Valentin “poizon” Vasilev
- Fredrik “roeJ” Jorgensen (1.89*) vs. Shahar “flameZ” Shushan
I decided to stay away from the ‘Team to Play the Most Maps’ prop bet market, though there must be some decent correlation between the two options given the prices are similar to the corresponding head-to-head matchups. Though it happens infrequently, the ‘Team to Play the Most Maps’ market can be heavily influenced by teams who tend to go to overtime against similarly skilled opponents, in addition to the fact that IEM Fall 2021 will have a high number of best-of-one matches compared to the average tournament.
With the prevalence of fewer what I like to call ‘non-contenders’ in attendance, we have some rare large handicapson offer. G2 Esports are opening their campaign against Aura and are being generously offered at a -6.5 round Handicap. They might be in the midst of their worst period as a roster; however, they are only losing against high-quality opposition and, for the most part, are performing fairly competitively.
On the other hand, +7.5 on the handicap for Sprout in their match against Team Vitality looks very enticing. Sprout do not have superstar talents in their squad; however, they have sufficient skill and experience as a team to cover the spread. Team Vitality are coming into this event off the back of one of their best runs of the year which is impacting the round differential far more than what we may actually see happen in the match, especially as it is a best-of-one.
Looking over the rest of the markets that are currently on Pinnacle, you can jump on all of the anti-Aura positions right off the bat:
- G2 ESPORTS -6.5 (1.84*) vs. Aura
- Copenhagen Flames -4.5 (1.99*) vs. Aura
- Mousesports -6.5 (1.80*) vs. Aura
- BIG -6.5 (2.03*) vs. Aura
- FPX -4.5 (2.05*) vs. Aura
Is something wrong with this new Swedish club? Certainly not; however, given the pedigree, form, and experience of their opponents, these spreads all appear to be 1-2 rounds lower than I would put them, especially given that the Futures markets have Aura far and away as the least likely to contend for the title. Even for a team that is seemingly more up in the air than most, we have no reason to suspect this will be Aura’s breakout event.
Heading into day two, Fnatic are currently listed at an enticing price against the curious French team DBL Poney. Their number is not too far off what we are seeing on SKADE against DBL Poney. I am interested enough in taking both teams’ Money Lines against DBL Poney but do not want to play with the -2.5 round handicap.
This is a pretty unique tournament preview for what is certainly a unique event. This is compounded by some returning and new market offerings from Pinnacle. The tournament is one of the final glimpses we will get of a considerable number of teams attending the PGL Stockholm Major before it starts next month. The distinct and ever-volatile best-of-one format is perhaps lending itself to increased chaos as well. Either way, more information on this side of the player-break is always appreciated!