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|What||CS:GO ESL One: Road to Rio|
|When||Sunday, 17 May 2020, 7:30 AM PST through 11:00 AM PST|
|How to watch||https://www.twitch.tv/esl_csgo|
The grand finals for the European and CIS wing of the Road to Rio is upon us as two teams who have been simply dominant all season now stand just moments away from the 2020 title. Astralis and Team Spirit’s season-long dominance shows no signs of slowing down, but they’ll have one last hurdle to pass before earning the esports championship.
G2 is making their second straight grand finals appearance after putting together their best performance of the season at the expense of the FaZe Clan, but will it be enough to knock off the unstoppable Astralis? Likewise, Team Spirit went undefeated in the regular season and in the playoffs with Winstrike standing in the way of championship glory.
Rounding out this weekend’s play is the third place match in the CIS conference between Virtus.Pro and HARD LEGION. It all comes down to these final games as ESL’s Road to Rio is about to crown their new champions, and you won’t want to miss what happens next.
|Astralis||-500||OVER 3.5 (-137)||OVER 4.5 (+300)|
|G2||+325||UNDER 3.5 (+100)||UNDER 4.5 (-500)|
|Team Spirit||-177||OVER 2.5 (+110)|
|Winstrike||+130||UNDER 2.5 (-155)|
|Virtus.Pro||-250||OVER 2.5 (+105)|
|HARD LEGION||+180||UNDER 2.5 (-143)|
The last time these teams met were in the first round of the upper bracket, and Astralis couldn’t have had an easier time beating G2. Four of the five posted positive kill/death ratios for the entire match and took the set 2-0. Since then, the team has looked absolutely unstoppable with devise and Magisk simply being too much to handle for the rest of the field.
G2 recovered from that loss to battle their way back to the grand finals and did so in their best performance of the playoffs in eliminating the FaZe Clan 2-1. Both neXa and huNter produced huge numbers in the win, and they’ll have to carry that momentum going forward to avoid another 2-0 sweep to Astralis, this time in the finals.
This G2 team is not the same squad Astralis bounced out of the upper bracket a few weeks ago, and they are sure to be pushed to the limit by a team that just cannot say die. If there is any match you’ll watch this weekend, it has to be this one.
The undefeated Team Spirit showed signs of mortality in their last match against Virtus.Pro, whereas Winstrike’s relatively soft path to the finals has left them practically perfect. Though Spirit fell apart in the second map, the team responded well to adversity and the combined play of mir, iDISBALANCE and sdy returned the favor with a dominant win in the third map to close the set.
Winstrike again got excellent production from bondik and El1an, with both having their way with an out of their league HARD LEGION to ease their way into the grand finals. There was a time where it seemed Spirit was a lead pipe lock to win this wing of the tournament, but they may not be the fresher team in the finals.
Despite being undefeated, Spirit’s odds suggest that a potential upset is brewing. If Winstrike can avoid becoming a victim of the moment, they might slay the unbeaten giants on the grandest stage of them all.
Where Virtus.Pro was able to give the top team in their league a bit of a scare, HARD LEGION fared far worse and took a lopsided beating against Winstrike. The severity of the loss combined with the solid pay of Virtus’ Jame and buster may indicate this could be a short match.
HARD LEGION’S best players couldn’t post a positive kill/death against Winstrike, but a fight with a familiar opponent can potentially lead to a more favorable outcome. HARD LEGION beat Virtus.Pro two weeks ago on the shoulders of a monster performance from rAge.
Sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t, and this third place match between former opponents should deliver in the drama category. This should be a gritty match that may see the momentum constantly shift until the very end.
Astralis should repeat the sweep against G2, bringing the European title home with them.
Winstrike may be catching a complacent Team Spirit at the right time, and they should spring the upset for the CIS title. Virtus.Pro’s maturation in the playoffs should be enough to get them past HARD LEGION.
Fantasy players would be advised to head to DraftKings and have neXa as captain with El1an, Magisk, Jame and rAge as flex picks.
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