DreamHack Masters (EU/NA) – May 19, 2020

     The DreamHack Masters start on Tuesday morning featuring matches all day long from both the European and North American region. Each of these regions are stacked with top 20 teams so it should be competitive. Group play will be a little different than it was at Rio. The schedule is set so that all the group A matches will be played over the next few days. That will be followed up by all of the group B games the next three days and so on. This event coming on the tail end of Road to Rio couldn’t be more perfect for us. Team form shouldn’t change too much from what it was over the past couple weeks and I think that will provide edges to play all over the board. I’m going to attempt to provide a play on every game for these two regions. At the very least I’ll have a preview if I’m not finding value on any side. I’ll keep a running record that will include the total units netted for each region starting after the outcome of todays matches.

 

Astralis (-820) vs Heroic (+671) – DreamHack (EU) – 8:00am EST

     DreamHack is getting us started with a match that really shouldn’t be all too competitive. Astralis comes in ranked as the number one team in the world after dominating at Road to Rio. Astralis certainly deserves that number one ranking as they enter this match on an 8 game winning streak. They’ve only lost 2 maps in that span while winning 17. Heroic, on the other hand, will be playing just their third best of three in the past two months. They managed to win 2 of those games, but lost the other match to Dignitas. Dignitas was their best competition over that span.

     It’s near impossible for Heroic to pick a map in which they would have an advantage over Astralis. In Heroic’s most recent matches they have been banning Overpass. That should be followed by an Astralis ban of Mirage. Heroic has been picking either Nuke or Dust2 as their map lately. Each of these maps favor Astralis, but I expect Heroic to give it their best effort on Nuke. The only other option they would really have is Vertigo. If Heroic picks Nuke, Astralis should use their first pick on Inferno. Astralis has won 7 straight games on Inferno while Heroic is 1-3 over the past few months. I don’t really see a world where this series goes to a third map, but if it does I would expect to see either Dust2 or Vertigo. Regardless of the way the map pool shapes up Astralis will have a huge advantage on every map played. My play for this won comes in as Astralis to win 2-0. The only thing I’m worried about is a “Super Bowl Hangover” and the potential to start slow on map 1. With that being said, this team has looked like a machine as of recent and I expect them to get this done with ease. If they do somehow lose the first map then I will be playing the live money line as I would expect them to respond to that wake up call.

Miner’s Money Pick: Astralis -1.5 (-200)

 

G2 (-350) vs North (+270) – DreamHack (EU) – 11:30am EST

     This is certainly my most anticipated match to watch today. We get a rematch of the final game of Road to Rio group play. In that meeting North was able to pull off the upset as a +440 underdog. North completed the upset with their coach filling in for one of their top fraggers. They have a replacement for the coach in this one, but I’m curious to see how he does as he doesn’t have a ton of experience against top tier teams. G2 will certainly have the more skilled duelers, but their team play has been lacking of late. They’ve blown numerous 2+ man advantages and something seems to be off cohesively.

     I expect to see the same exact map pool that we saw in the last meeting. The only thing I can’t really account for is North’s addition of a new player and his skill set on each map. I would expect the organization to have found a player that aligns with the team thought. North should continue to ban Train while G2 will use their ban on Overpass. I expect North to pick Vertigo even though they’ve lost their last few matches there. They’ve proven they’re able to compete with just about any team on Vertigo. The map plays as a great equalizer for their skill set. The only other real option would be to pick Dust2 as G2 has really struggled their lately. I expect G2 to pick Nuke unless North strays away from Vertigo. If that is the case then G2 will pick Vertigo and most likely leave Nuke as the third map. Ultimately, I expect the final two bans to come in on Mirage and Inferno. No matter the pick order this will leave us with Vertigo, Dust2 and Nuke. These three maps were decided by an average of three rounds in the last meeting. That margin may become even tighter as each team is familiar with what the other wants to do. My play is going to come on the over. I think each team is capable of winning a map. I don’t trust North enough with a new player to make a bet on them to win, but certainly wouldn’t lay -350 on the G2 line. North +1.5 is an option at -130, but with G2s dueling ability, I don’t see them winning in shutout fashion. Therefore, I favor the over at +135 as opposed to laying the -130 juice especially since G2 should work out their kinks at some point.

Miner’s Money Pick: Total maps o2.5 (+135)

 

Liquid (-600) vs Chaos (+470) – DreamHack (NA) – 3:00pm EST 

     I can’t believe I’m about to do this again. I normally stay away from heavy favorites and do my best to avoid juice higher than -225. This is especially true when I’m betting on CSGO. Team Liquid comes into this ranked as the number six team globally and will be facing off against a team outside of the top 50 in Chaos. Chaos looked horrible the last time they took a step up in competition skill level. They closed out Flashpoint losing 5 straight matches. They’ve looked good in ESEA play since that run, but that’s just not the same level of competition they’ll face today.

     Getting a read on the map pool is much harder after a team plays recent matches in the ESEA since its best of one. Chaos will make the first move and ban Vertigo. This will be followed by Liquid banning Train. I’m going to guess that Chaos choses Inferno as their first pick. They’ve found the most success here as of recent. This may turn out to be a problem though as Liquid uses their first pick on Inferno often. The only other alternative Chaos has would be to chose Dust2, but I feel like the skill gap will show too much there. I expect Liquid to use their pick on Mirage as Chaos has been reluctant to play there in the past. Liquid is also extremely strong on Mirage. If Chaos doesn’t pick Inferno, then I would expect to see Liquid play here instead. I then expect Chaos to ban Overpass which will leave Liquid with a choice between Nuke or Dust2 on the last map. Liquid will be extremely favored on these maps as they each play to Liquids skill advantages.

     It’s hard to picture liquid losing this series outright, but I see laying -1.5 maps as a risk I’ll be avoiding. With the chance of Chaos being able to chose a map and still play Inferno I’m a little worried they may steal a map. At Road to Rio, Liquid didn’t look nearly as invincible as they were at Pro League. I expect them to want to find that form again, but I’m worried some of it has to do with the recent Krieg nerf. We should find out by the end of DreamHack play. I’m not comfortable laying the -600 with Liquid right now, so I’ll be opting to use them in a two team parlay. Astralis (-820) will be the first leg of the parlay. Astralis looks unbeatable right now and using them in this spot almost cuts this juice in half.

Miner’s Money Pick: Liquid & Astralis parlay (-325)

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