Pick: Complexity (moneyline)
There is a massive mismatch between these two teams on various fronts. For starters, the CS:GO rankings indicate a significant mismatch. Ago is ranked No. 137 in the world while Complexity is ranked more than 100 spots over them, presently at No. 27 overall globally.
Ago has been in particularly poor recent form as well, including four straight defeats. They were beaten 16-14 in Ancient by Astralis Talent in their previous game which was preceded by the best of three losses to 1Shot, Finest, and Looking For Org.
Complexity, on the other hand, has been in spectacular recent form, which includes four straight wins, including wins against Liquid 16-14 in Vertigo, 16-4 against Bad News Bears, and 16-1 in Ancient against Omega. This is a run of form that could prove to be a differentiator in this match.
It is a strong bet that he would because he has been in solid recent form.
Let us take a look at his stats. In the last three months of CS:GO action, he has averaged 0.78 kills and just 0.72 deaths per round. While that death rate is high, he is doing an impressive job on the offensive end.
This team will need some offensive spirit because they have been poor against most opponents across maps this season. For example, in the last three maps in Mirage, Inferno, and Vertigo, Ago has won just once in this sample period. Much work to do for sure.
This will likely go down to the wire if these players do not perform but that does not seem likely. Both Floppy and Junior have been in exceptional recent form. Floppy, for instance, has averaged 0.73 kills with 0.68 deaths per round in the last three months.
Junior is not too far behind with averages of 0.71 kills and 0.58 deaths per round in the same analysis period as Floppy. Overall, there is enough offensive firepower to suggest that Complexity will dominate this game if they can stay solid and continue their form.
In terms of maps, it will be interesting to see which are picked and which are left out. They have not performed as well in Dust 2, with a win percentage of 33 percent in their last three maps. In Inferno, they have won two of their last four maps.
They have, however, won all their last four maps in Vertigo. Nuke has been the opposite, where they have not even won one of their last four.
Pick: Heroic (moneyline)
This is a high-profile blockbuster matchup between two of the better teams in the world. Heroic has made significant and impressive progress in the last few months to move up quickly to No. 5 in the world presently, which makes them betting favorites for this match.
Astralis have a completely new look roster from their last few years but they are now building a solid core of players that can compete against and even beat most of the teams on the pro circuit. They have managed to stay steady in the last few months, which keeps them at No. 11 in the world now.
Astralis certainly has the might to be able to challenge even a team in form like Heroic.
Looking at these odds, betting on Astralis just seems like the right option because of the compelling combination of risk and reward looking at the higher payout.
If there was one player that Astralis needed to stop, it would be Stavn, who has been in sensational offensive form in the last few months.
In fact, he has averaged 0.80 kills and just 0.63 deaths per round in the last three months of CS:GO action on the pro circuit.
Sjuush is another player that can provide able support to Stavn. Sjuush has averaged 0.69 kills and 0.63 deaths per round in this same analysis period. These will be the two offensive players that Astralis will be looking at early in rounds to neutralize.
Heroic has been in fine form in recent times, which includes five wins in their last six games. They are also currently on a three-game winning streak, including victories against Copenhagen Flames, Ecstatic, and Apeks, all of them in straight maps.
There has always been offensive depth in this Astralis team, looking back at the days when Device and Dupreeh dominated teams with their offensive firepower. Now, they have a decent score as well with the introduction of BlameF and Farlig as well as K0nfig.
BlameF has been in decent form over the last few months, including building his kill rate to 0.73 per round. With a death rate of 0.63 per round and an average damage per round of 83.1, he has kept his team alive deep into rounds, which helps protect the in-game economy as well.
Astralis will now also have the services of K0nfig, who has built his kill rate to 0.70 per round. He has struggled to protect his death rate, which has ballooned to 0.72 per round. Still, that K/D will only improve as the season progresses and he gains some experience with the team.
Pick: Na Vi (moneyline)
The world’s No. 1 team, Na Vi, will face EG, world No. 48, in the ESL Pro League to conclude Thursday’s action. These teams have had very different trajectories up to this point of the season. Na Vi has continued to improve while EG has fallen away quickly.
Na Vi has been in excellent form but they have had to undergo a transition with the events that are unfolding in Ukraine. Three of their players are from Ukraine and the other two – Electronic and Perfecto – are from Russia. That creates an interesting dynamic for the franchise.
Evil Geniuses have simply not played enough pro CS:GO in the last few months. They have taken a bit of a break and have returned now for the start of some major CS:GO. They will be depending on their core group of players to carry them through this next phase.
S1mple remains as arguably the world’s best CS:GO player in the world presently. He has been in simply stunning form over the last few months. It is his excellence that has helped carry the team up to No. 1 in the world.
Let us take a look at his stats. In the last three months, he has averaged 0.84 kills and 0.61 deaths per round. These are typical returns for one of the world’s best. He also has an average damage per round of 83.8, which shows how much he impacts rounds and therefore maps.
In terms of maps, they have lost their last match, a 2-0 defeat to G2, but had won the four matches preceding that result. They beat Faze, Furia (in straight maps), ENCE, and NiP (also in straight maps). They have proved themselves as deserving of the tag of the world’s best team in the sport.
In terms of map proficiency, they have been solid in Nuke, winning three of their last four maps. In Mirage, they have a map win percentage of 57 in their last seven attempts. They will be looking to some of the success here to repeat in the coming maps against EG.
This will take some time but this team certainly can improve and continue to do that. They need to get stuck in as the new year picks up speed with some high-profile tournaments. EG has the strength and depth of personnel to make a difference. It just depends on how quickly.
Autimatic will be one of their most proficient offensive weapons. He has averaged 0.78 kills and 0.68 deaths per round in the last three months with an average damage per round of 86.2. Brehze is another key player but his struggles have exacerbated the team’s problems. He has managed just 0.63 kills and 0.70 deaths in the same analysis period.
In terms of recent form, there is plenty of work still to be done for the team. They have failed to find much against top-tier opponents. That run includes losses against BIG, Liquid, and Vitality (16-3 in Inferno). EG needs to pick themselves up quickly to stand a chance.
|ESL Pro League Information|
|Teams||Na Vi, Ago, Astralis, EG, Complexity, Heroic|
|Time||Thursday, March 31 at 7.30 AM EST onwards|
|How to watch||HLTV, Twitch|
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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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