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Aug 26, 2022
Aug 26, 2022

EPL Group A - Betting Preview

Will FaZe win the Grand Slam?

Will NaVi be strong enough to top the group?

Can Lotan "Spinx" Giladi be the difference for Vitality?

Can Endpoint beat tier 1 teams?

EPL Group A - Betting Preview

ESL Pro League is one of the biggest events of the year for both Counter-Strike fans and the teams that compete. It has a stake in the Intel Grand Slam that awards $1,000,000 to the team which wins four S-tier tournaments during 10 consecutive ESL organised events.

Only Astralis, Team Liquid and NaVi have claimed the prize, with Team Liquid holding the record of completing it in only 63 days. With only one more win to go, FaZe Clan are favourites to win its 4th.

Teams

Group A, like all the groups in EPL, consists of 6 teams. NaVi, NiP, Vitality, Fnatic, Team Spirit and Endpoint make up the first group. To claim a place in playoffs a team must place within the top 3 of their group. NaVi are clear favourites in this group, having just reclaimed the #1 spot on HLTVs world rankings and showing a dominant Group B at the BLAST Premier Fall Groups. What surprises most, is they did this without Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev, who is a vital part of the team gaining wins. NaVi face Team Spirit in their opening match, with Pinnacle valuing them at 1.230*.

When talking about 2nd and 3rd place, two names arise: NiP and Vitality. Both teams have struggled to find their footing before the player break and are hoping they can change that early into the new season. Vitality took it upon themselves to go international in January and haven’t had much luck since. However, they’re showing promising signs thanks to the new addition of Lotan "Spinx" Giladi, who recently joined the team from ENCE. Vitality vs NiP is set to be played on September 1st. Pinnacle values Vitality at 1.749* in this matchup, favouring them against the Swedes. However, this could be a good bet to take for NiP as it could go either way.

The final three teams that make up the group have the potential to cause upsets. Fnatic, Team Spirit and Endpoint are coming into EPL with relatively new teams. Dion "FASHR" Derksen joined Fnatic in May, Ihor "w0nderful" Zhdanov joined Team Spirit in June and Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye joined Endpoint in June. Kjaerbye is the most interesting of the three signings due to his Major winner and Major MVP status, although he has been very quiet since. Having gained more experience since his Major win with Astralis in 2017, he could be exactly what Endpoint need to reach the next level they’ve so desperately been clutching for. Having dominated the UK scene for many years, they’ve always struggled at tier 1 tournaments. They begin their run against Vitality which won’t make it any easier. Pinnacle have Endpoint valued at 5.750* and it’s safe to assume Vitality will clinch the victory here.

Final Thoughts

It’s safe to assume the top three teams in this group with be NaVi, Vitality and NiP. Although Team Spirit had a very successful Major run, they did it with Abdulkhalik "degster" Gasanov who boasted a 1.16 HLTV rating across the event. Losing a player of this calibre will make it exceptionally difficult to beat the three teams who currently reside in the top 10. Fnatic would be my dark horse for Group A, having just qualified for the European RMR, they are still relatively unknown in the way they play Counter-Strike. Best of luck with your action this week!

*Odds are subject to change.

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About the author

Archie Henry

With a background in film production, Archie began his esports career specialising in content. He has followed CS:GO and League of Legends since 2014 and looks to share his insight with Pinnacle.

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