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In two weeks' time, the 24 best CS:GO teams in the world will go up against one another in the Blast Paris Major. The teams will qualify for the tournament through their performances in the regional leagues. The tournament has a prize pool of US$1,250,000, so there’s a lot to win in terms of prize money and prestige.
There are at least five teams with excellent odds of winning the tournament: G2 Esports, Heroic, Natus Vincere, FaZe Clan, and Team Vitality. All these teams, bar G2 Esports, are in the Legends Stage. Teams in the Legends Stage receive a bye, so they have better outright odds simply by virtue of not playing one match more than some of the other teams in the league.
That hasn’t stopped G2 Esports from topping the odds table. G2 Esports are in the Challengers Stage as things stand, but that hasn’t stopped them from heading into this tie as favorites, which shows how highly they are rated. The likes of FURIA, Fnatic, and ENCE could also cause an upset or two, so watch out for them.
If we had to pick one team before the tournament kicks off, it has to be Heroic. They’re the most in-form side, have a bye, unlike G2, and rewarding odds to tempt riskier players to pick them.
G2’s recent losses against Vitality and 9INE, along with their lack of a bye, should’ve hindered them from topping the odds table, but the bookmakers think otherwise. Of course, G2 have proven over time that they’re capable of beating every team in the league, so there’s no doubt they are one of the favorites to win this tournament.
They’re currently ranked fourth according to hltv.com and have a positive win rate on every map. Mirage is the only map where they don’t have a win rate above 66%. Their win rate on Nuke, Inferno, Ancient, and Anubis is above 75%, so no team will enjoy facing them on these maps.
Niko’s form is another plus for the side. The former world number 2 has averaged 0.75 kills per round, 53.9% headshots, and 0.63 deaths per round. His experience and form will be vital heading into the ties.
Heroic are a few decimal places below G2 Esports on the odds table, and for a good reason. Heroic lost their last match against Team Vitality but were on a six-game winning streak prior to that. They had some big wins in this run against top teams like Natus Vincere and FURIA, which made this run even more impressive.
Heroic are always in and around the top of the rankings but are currently in 1st place on hltv.org. Unlike G2 Esports, they are in the Legendary Stage already, so they will avoid an entire round, which should help with freshness.
They haven’t played on Anubis recently but have a good record on all other maps. Their 50% win rate on Nuke is a bit concerning, but they’ve got a win rate over 60% on every other map, which is quite encouraging.
Stavn, who has been with the team for over four years, is also having a great year. He has averaged 0.73 kills per round and 0.64 deaths per round in the last three months, which matches up with the best of them in the league. The stars seem to be aligning for Heroic, and this tournament could be the icing on the cake.
FaZe Clan have become synonymous with esports, Natus Vincere were the top dog before them, and Team Vitality have beaten Heroic and G2 Esports recently. Each of these teams has a strong narrative attached to them as well.
FaZe Clan are always expected to win the tournaments they participate in, and this one will be no different. Natus Vincere have dropped a level or two in the last 12 months, so it’s probably best to look elsewhere. Team Vitality, as mentioned earlier, could be a great outside shout because they’ve got some big scalps in recent weeks. If you want to pick one of these three, Team Vitality is the team to go for.
With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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