Team Liquid opens the group stage of the ESL ONE New York tournament as massive favourites over eUnited at sports betting sites across the globe.
In the first two maps, Team Liquid is listed as a -6.5 favourite, meaning they are expected to win by seven rounds in each map! That said, this does provide a little bit of value on eUnited. If they can keep it to no more than a six-round deficit per map, you can make some coin on the underdogs.
Let’s look at the opening matches.
- Team Liquid vs. eUnited
- G2 Esports vs. ENCE
- FaZe Clan vs. NRG eSports
- Astralis vs. OpTic Gaming
So we have already determined that Team Liquid is more than likely to move on to the next round. In fact, their betting odds of -885 to win the day over eUnited implies a victory probability of 89.8 percent!. Ok. So, if you run the current match 10 times, Team Liquid win on nine occasions. When I shake the magic eight ball for eUnited, it comes back saying, ‘outlook not so good.’
But what about the rest of the pack?
G2 vs. ENCE should be a competitive match. ENCE is a slight favorite to win out, but G2 is a fairly heavy favorite to win at least one map. Furthermore, experts lined the bout out at 2.5 rounds difference, so each map should be fairly tight and if depending on the map draw, G2 might even get the win.
Astralis vs. OpTic is even more lopsided than Liquid vs. eUnited. At -930, Astralis has over a 90 percent implied probability, not to mention the pedigree. If we look solely at the world rankings, the ESL ONE New York Finals should be No. 2 Astralis vs. No. 1 Team Liquid, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Last year, Astralis missed the event and Team Liquid was edged out by Mousesports in the Grand Finals. Liquid lost 2-3.
FaZe Clan vs. NRG eSports should be similar in competitive nature – albeit a bit more lopsided– to G2 & ENCE. NRG is ranked 4th globally, while FaZe has fallen down to No. 15. We haven’t seen the odds yet, but can safely assume that NRG is going to be listed as moderate favorites, but we may see favorable odds on FaZe winning one map.
NRG eSports came in second in Group B last year, so we know they’ll have a chip on their shoulders and should not be ignored in the playoffs. They won’t be able to take their playoff revenge on Team Liquid, but they are grouped up with Astralis and could easily sneak into the Grand Finals – most likely against Team Liquid.
I just don’t see ENCE beating Team Liquid at the moment. They lost to Liquid at the IEM Chicago, and since then haven’t finished higher than 5th. Meanwhile, Liquid won five straight events before finally taking a 5-8 finish at the StarLadder Berlin.
Liquid’s Group A draw isn’t easy, but it is easier than Group B. We could easily see either Astralis or NRG come out of Group B. My money would be on Astralis, who have some serious momentum after winning the StarLadder Major in Berlin.
A showdown between Astralis and Team Liquid would be a real treat. The new world No. 1 taking on the former No. 1, who is trying to reclaim CS: GO dominance.