FunSpark Ulta Finals Picks, Predictions, Odds January 18
- The upper bracket quarter finals of the FunSpark Ulta Finals starts on Tuesday
- Entropiq, world No. 9, will start as heavy favorites against Ecstatic
- Astralis, former world No. 1, will be aiming for quick entry into the semis
Entropiq vs Ecstatic Pick
Entropiq vs Ecstatic Predictions
Entropiq have made terrific progress in the last few months on the pro CS:GO circuit. That has resulted in a steep ascent up the rankings, up to No. 9 in the world presently. They will be eager to show the world they can sustain that momentum in the coming few months too.
Ecstatic are a bit behind Entropiq in that aspect. They have made solid progress, but are still just at No. 20 in the world. That is not as good as they would have liked, especially considering 2021 was a year of incredible volatility in teams in the CS:GO verse.
Entropiq are definite favorites for this match. They have been in fine recent form and own the head to head matchup against Ecstatic, another reason why they may fancy their chances. Even though the odds are lower, the likelihood of an upset in this one is low.
Forester, El1an Offensive Keys For Entropiq
Forester and El1an are two of the best offensive weapons that Entropiq will have at their disposal for this game. Forester has been in dynamic offensive form in the last few months. In fact, in the last three months of CS:GO action, Forester has averaged 0.71 kills with just 0.63 deaths per round with an average damage per round of 77.7.
El1an has been even better in the same analysis period, producing 0.72 kills with 0.60 deaths per round in the last three months. He has an even better K/D ratio, which is indicative of how deep this team can play into rounds, which helps maintain their strong in-game economies, another key aspect that helps teams in creating wins.
Entropiq have enough experience and form, but they will need to own the map matchup as well. They have not performed too well at Dust2, winning just 33 percent of their last nine attempts in that map. Vertigo has been another problem for Entropiq as they have won just 38 percent of their last 13 maps there.
Apart from that, they have stellar records in most other maps, including Mirage (62 percent in their last 21 maps), Ancient (77 percent wins in their last 22 maps), Overpass (67 percent wins in their last 15 maps) and Nuke (58 percent wins in their last 19 maps).
Ecstatic Relying On Fashr
It will come as no surprise to Entropiq that they will have to stay abreast with the offensive skill of Fashr in this match if they are to have any chance. He has been his team’s most proficient handler of long-range weapons, which has resulted in a lofty kill rate of 0.73 per round in the last three months of action.
WolfY has been the team’s most efficient player in this same period of analysis. While his kill rate is slightly lower, at 0.68 per round, his death rate is also significantly lower, which is at 0.59 per round. Another reliable player for Ecstatic and one that will have to step up for his team to have any chance against the all-round talent of this Entropiq team.
In 12 maps between these two teams, Entropiq has won 7. In their last meeting, in fact, Ecstatic managed to win two out of three maps as they beat Entropiq in the FunSpark Ulta Europe region match 10-16, 16-11, 16-13. They will take plenty of confidence and inspiration from that match but they will likely need a lot more depth in this match.
Ecstatic are also on a five match losing streak, which will not do much for their momentum though. All of those losses were in best of five matches, and all of those outcomes were in straight maps. Ecstatic will need to be at their best, but if they can find some early round wins, you simply never know in a sport like CS:GO.
Astralis vs K 23
Astralis vs K 23 Predictions
The former world No. 1 team Astralis will return to pro CS:GO in this upper bracket quarter final against K 23. They will start as heavy favorites considering there is a bit of a rankings mismatch in this contest, and one that they will fancy capitalizing on.
K 23 are not quite at the same level as Astralis, on the offensive end as well on the experience front. They have moved to No. 20 in the world, and have made rapid progress but they will struggle to stay abreast with the quality of this Astralis team.
Astralis should be comfortable winners of this match by the end of the match. If you are willing to increase the risk portfolio in esports, then you can bet on Astralis to win in straight maps. K 23 will not be easy to beat but Astralis simply have too much strength across the board, which bodes well for the former world No. 1 team.
BlameF, K0nfig Will Be Astralis’ Offensive Keys
Astralis have had to make up for the loss of three of their most influential offensive players, in Magisk, Dupreeh and Device. They have brought in able replacements in BlameF and K0nfig, who have risen up to the occasion nicely in the last few matches.
In the last three months of CS:GO, K0nfig has been in sensational offensive weapon, producing 0.77 kills with 0.73 deaths per round with an average damage per round of 80.5. While that death rate can certainly come down, he has the skill and ability to at least provide immense value to his team with his offensive proficiency.
BlameF, on the other hand, has provided a stable mix of offensive and maintaining a lower death rate. He has averaged 0.73 kills per round but has also managed just 0.65 deaths, which is exceptional because this is a new set up, with a new team. If he can maintain that, there is no reason why Astralis can’t improve on their current world No. 8 ranking.
Astralis will need a bit more help from others on their roster. That is for sure because they will soon come up against teams that have firepower through the squad. Xyp9x and Lucky have both averaged just 0.59 kills per round in the last three months while the fifth member – Glave – has managed just 0.61 kills per round. These overall metrics need to improve, and quickly, for Astralis to make further inroads into the top 10 in the rankings.
K 23 In Fantastic Recent Form
Here is a bit of important trivia for this match: K 23 are currently on a nine match winning streak, which includes wins against Dignitas, Entropiq and Ecstatic. This is not a team to take lightly because even though they are placed lower in the CS:GO rankings, there is enough depth in that squad to ensure they can sustain their game over the course of a best of three.
They have several players that can produce a high kill rate, including Xsepower, who has been one of the most efficient players in K 23, with 0.69 kills and 0.56 deaths per round in the last three months of CS:GO play. Another player in commendable recent form is Fame, who has averaged 0.71 kills per round in the same analysis period.
In the last few maps, K 23 have a win percentage of at least 50 in all maps, including a 100 percent win rate in Dust2 in their last six maps, 89 percent win rate in their last nine maps in Mirage and a 67 percent win rate in their last six maps in Overpass.
If they can maintain this offensive proficiency, then they could win a map against Astralis. Even though the higher ranked team appears to be too strong, K 23’s recent form and confidence could be a factor down the stretch. This K 23 team could be one to watch in the next few months, especially if they can sustain or even improve on recent performances.
How to Watch FunSpark Ulta Finals
|FunSpark Ulta Finals Information|
|Teams||Entropiq vs Ecstatic, Astralis vs K 23|
|Location||Online event, conducted in Europe|
|Time||Tuesday, January 18 at 6.00 AM EST onwards|
|How to watch||Twitch, HLTV Live|
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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]