des 4, 2017
des 4, 2017

ESL Pro League Finals betting preview

ESL Pro League Finals betting preview

The ESL Pro League Finals is the LAN conclusion of the 28 team weekly online tournament. The top six teams from both the EU and NA regions come together to form a twelve team event, competing for a share of $750,000 over a six-day LAN event, held in Odense, Denmark. It’s an excitingly diverse lineup, but where is the value in the ESL Pro League Finals odds? Read on to find out.

ESL Pro League Finals betting: The best of the best

To qualify for the Season 6 LAN Finals, teams have individually played a total of 26 matches within their region (NA/EU), spanning across a number of months. They won’t want to let this marathon of matches go to waste, and will be keen to prove themselves at such a high stakes event. G2 Esports were the winners of last years ESL Pro League Finals, but the team have struggled this year and failed to qualify for this event.

Will SK follow up their recent success with another win in Denmark? Or will FaZe step up to their potential and take home their share of $750,000? These are two potential outcomes, but with so many strong teams at this event, we may see an alternate ending.

FaZe are one of the most individually talented teams in the world, and based on recent results, it’s no surprise to see them as outright favourites for this tournament

The top six teams from each region qualified for the Pro League Finals, and this has created a twelve team event. The teams have been mixed into two groups, Group Yellow and Group Red. ESL introduced an innovative new system for how the groups were determined for this event -  a pairing system was put in place, where participants would select one team they wished to avoid, who were placed into the opposite group.

This format continued until both groups were complete. What does this mean for bettors and spectators? Resultantly, we may see less group stage upsets, and more competitive quarterfinal matches once the group stage is complete as teams are less likely to meet their rivals then.

The group stage consists of two groups of six, both using the round-robin format. These are best of one matches. After each team has played their five matches, the team who finish top of the group will proceed directly to the semi-finals. The second and third place teams will face off in the quarterfinals. The remaining teams will be eliminated from the event.

The matches then become best-of-three as the tournament moves into the quarterfinals and semifinals. The final is a best of five meaning teams will be required to show off their deep map pool knowledge in order to succeed.

Who will make it through the group stage?

The twelve teams that qualified for the ESL Pro League Season 6 Finals have been divided into two groups, Group Yellow and Group Red. Both groups contain teams capable of winning the event, and both can be considered highly competitive. The two groups can be analysed and the matchups compared, to see which teams are most likely to progress through.

Group Yellow

  • fnatic
  • FaZe
  • Astralis
  • Liquid
  • Hellraisers
  • Luminosity

Looking at this group, there are three clear favourites capable of progressing through. FaZe, Astralis and fnatic have the talent to brush aside the likes of Liquid, Hellraisers, and Luminosity, and they should pass through the group without too much difficulty. Despite this, the group stage matches are all best of ones, and Liquid and Hellraisers both have the capability to cause upsets.

The top three teams in this group have all found some recent form. FaZe are one of the most individually talented teams in the world, and based on recent results, it’s no surprise to see them as outright favourites for this tournament at 3.650*.

Astralis (4.109*)have struggled in recent months, but at BLAST Pro Series they had success, finishing second to a strong SK Gaming. They have been without their star player dev1ce, and if he returns for the EPL Season 6 Finals, Astralis could return to the top in Denmark.

Fnatic are currently 12.020* but are one of the most improved teams in recent months. The Swedish roster have the firepower to progress through to the quarterfinals but will face much harder competition as the tournament enters the latter stages.

Group Red

  • OpTiC Gaming
  • SK Gaming
  • North
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas
  • Misfits
  • NRG Esports

This group has two favourites for qualification; SK Gaming and Ninjas in Pyjamas. The third spot is likely to be hotly contested by North and OpTic Gaming, with both teams performing relatively inconsistently at recent events.

Out of the two contenders for the third qualification spot, the advantage has to be given to North. The Danish side appear to be on the rise, and OpTic have struggled with playing well as a unit. Misfits and NRG Esports both did well to qualify for these finals but will struggle against the top four teams in their group, and their upset potential looks weak.

SK Gaming are coming into this tournament following their BLAST Pro Series success, where they beat Astralis, North, and NiP on the road to victory - they certainly look like the team to beat. Ninjas in Pyjamas couldn’t repeat their recent IEM Oakland success at BLAST, but the team are coming into this event with confidence and strong overall form.

ESL Pro League Finals odds: Analysing the favourites

SK Gaming completed a spirited comeback when beating Astralis 2-1 at BLAST in Copenhagen. They have now won two of their last three LAN events and morale will be high heading into the ESL Pro League Finals.

FalleN finished the best of three BLAST grand final with a 1.63 kdr and an ADR of 102.5. These statistics are enough to scare any team, and if FalleN continues to play at this level, and coldzera and fer are able to find their form, SK Gaming would be a great bet in the ESL Pro League Finals odds.

Analysing the results at BLAST Pro Series, Astralis can be considered the surprise package at that event. They came incredibly close to winning, and their run of form was even more inspiring considering they are without their star player, dev1ce, and have been playing with dennis as a stand-in.

The final is a best of five meaning teams will be required to show off their deep map pool knowledge in order to succeed.

Astrails were playing in front of a Danish home crowd, and this factor will likely have a similar effect coming into the ESL Pro League Season 6 Finals. It is still unknown whether we’ll see a full strength Astralis, and if we do, expect them to go far.

FaZe have the talent and firepower to win this event. However, we’ve seen at recent events that they have been struggling to find consistency, and their teamwork doesn’t match that of other teams.

There seems to be a reliance on star players, NiKo, rain, and olofmeister to carry the team and win matches using their aim heavy style. Some teams have found ways to counter this, and it will be up to FaZe’s in-game leader, karrigan, to give the roster a more tactical approach to their matches.

Could there be a potential upset?

Ninjas in Pyjamas showed their ability to upset teams such as FaZe and SK Gaming, at IEM Oakland. They couldn’t repeat this success at BLAST Pro Series, but the Ninjas cannot be ruled out of another shock victory here - they are currently priced at 10.38* in the outright ESL Pro League Finals betting.

Their star players are capable of going toe to toe with the world's best, and they have a deep map pool, with this being demonstrated in their best of five win over FaZe. The Swedish team must be considered here, and if the team's young talent, REZ and draken can reach their potential, they could go far.

North (8.730*) could also cause an upset in Odense. Playing in front of their home crowd, the team are lightly tested in recent months, and they showed promise at BLAST Pro Series. They had some encouraging results against the likes of FaZe and Astralis, and the Danish roster are certainly capable of overturning some of the favourites. North are a team to watch at this event, and at the very least expect some best of one upsets from cajunb and co.

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