On January 19, the top 16 teams will face off at the ELEAGUE Major Boston to secure Legends status and fight for a chance to win a share of the $1 million prize fund. Now that the Challengers Stage is over, read this article for some expert insight ahead of the Legends Stage.
The 16 teams competing in this stage have reached it via one of two ways. Seven of the teams are Legends from the previous Major and nine teams progressed through the Challengers Stage. Liquid were gifted an extra chance to seize qualification after 100 Thieves had to pull out due to visa issues - they grabbed it with both hands, taking down the CIS side of AVANGAR in dramatic fashion.
Teams who qualified via Legends status at the Krakow Major:
- SK Gaming
Teams who qualified via the Challengers Stage:
- G2 Esports
- FaZe Clan
- Natus Vincere
- Space Soldiers
- Vega Squadron
- Quantum Bellator Fire
- Team Liquid
After this stage, the top eight teams will achieve Legends status and proceed onto the third and final stage of the Major, the Champions stage, where the winner of this year’s ELEAGUE Major will be crowned.
ELEAGUE Major Boston betting: Tournament structure
Similarly to the Challengers stage, 16 teams will compete using the Swiss System this time around. In simple terms, you need three wins to qualify and three losses to be eliminated. This helps create a fair system, where all teams have potentially five matches to get the desired amount of wins. This has been proven to help eradicate erroneous results and ensure the best and most deserving teams qualify.
Top teams are not used to lesser sides showing them no respect and if anyone underestimates them, Vega Squadron certainly have the ability to make them pay for it.
One thing to remember is teams cannot play one another more than once, which is important to remember the further we go into this stage when analysing the ELEAGUE Major Boston odds.
The best of one format and general over-reliance on pistol rounds means the chance of upsets is higher at this tournament - taking both pistol rounds can give you a healthy lead of roughly five or six rounds and when you consider the very best teams only have a success rate of just over 50%, you can see how unpredictable they are.
Who will make the Champions Stage of the ELEAGUE Major in Boston?
Despite SK playing with felps, they are still one of the favourites to progress through to the Champions Stage. Their vast amount of experience should be enough to ensure they get the three wins needed. Despite admitting their lack of practice with felps, they still have two of the top three players in the world in fer and coldzera and that alone should be enough for qualification.
Astralis recently announced that not only has device returned for the ELEAGUE Major in Boston but he is no longer AWPing either. When he was absent due to illness, duprehh became the main AWP (team sniper) and as he is a naturally more aggressive player, the rest of the team found it created more space for them. Device, who was their star AWP before, will now be playing a lurking role.
FaZe had a serious wakeup call in the Challengers Stage when they were manhandled by Vega Squadron and were made to look incredibly average. They did state before that Vega were a team that worried them due to how practice games against them had gone. They overcame this set back to ensure qualification with impressive performances against Quantum Bellator Fire and NaVi.
Vega Squadron looks like the dark horse in the ELEAGUE Major Boston odds. They took down Liquid, FaZe, Renegades and only lost to G2 in overtime at the Challengers Stage; this CIS side play a no fear style of Counter-Strike we all love to see. Top teams are not used to lesser sides showing them no respect and if anyone underestimates them, Vega Squadron certainly have the ability to make them pay for it.
Which teams will struggle to achieve qualification?
BIG have been incredibly poor since the last Major and their chances of progressing here are very slim. They relied heavily on Inferno at the previous Major but even this map has declined a lot for them, playing it once in three months. BIG have relied too heavily on tabseN recently and unless the rest of his side can seriously improve their level, this should be a short-lived Major for the German side.
The best of one format and general over-reliance on pistol rounds means the chance of upsets is higher at this tournament.
Virtus.Pro (VP) have continued their poor form, losing all of their important matches and it is hard to see where the Polish powerhouse goes from here. They are of course a side you can never rule out and if the famous plough can rise again, they can beat anyone. We have not seen that VP for a while though and bettors should be incredibly sceptical if we will see it now. If they fall short at this Major, this could be the last outing we see with these legendary five.
Quantum Bellator Fire have been given almost no chance of progressing through this stage due to the fact that they lack the firepower and tactical prowess to compete with the very best in the world at this time. Making it this far for them is already a monumental achievement, but unfortunately the fairy tale will most likely end at this stage.
This second stage will define who the Legends are moving forward and it is known for being incredibly unpredictable due to the immense pressure teams are on to achieve a top-eight placing. Expect high drama the entire weekend and fantastic Counter-Strike.