DreamHack Masters (EU/NA) – May 20, 2020

     European group play resumes on Wednesday morning with Heroic facing G2 followed by Astralis taking on North. North American play will feature two Brazilian squads in MIBR and Furia. Tuesday was a pretty good day for us, but I wasn’t happy with the end result. We started hot with Astralis winning 2-0 against Heroic. We followed that up cashing the ticket on the G2/North over (+135). We moved in to the Liquid match hoping for a sweep, but after winning Inferno 16-4, they dropped back to back maps. This hurt as the juice was far too high! We ended up 2-1, but still lost 0.9 units. We’ll be looking to get that back today!

DreamHack Masters Record: 2-1 (-0.9u)

G2 (-220) vs Heroic (+174) – DreamHack EU – 8:00am EST

     Each of these teams come in to this match coming off tough losses. G2 once again fell to North in a three map showdown. G2 lost Vertigo handedly before beating North in dominant fashion on Inferno. G2 then started with a 13-5 lead on Dust2 before ultimately blowing the lead and losing 16-14. G2 is having serious issues closing out matches. Heroic played very good against Astralis. They forced OT on their map pick, Train, and got out to a hot start on Inferno before blowing 10-5 halftime lead. The final score on Inferno was 16-14. As I said, Heroic looked good, but Astralis didn’t quite look themself. The swap from Glave to JuGi as in game leader certainly showed when they were on the T side.

     These teams haven’t played against each other competitively before. Heroic should start out by banning Mirage. This will be followed up by G2 banning Overpass. I would then expect Heroic to pick Train. They played very well on the CT side of Train against Astralis. They should also have a much easier time on the T side against G2. G2 will use their pick on either Inferno or Vertigo. They usually go with Dust2, but they’ve struggled to get wins there recently. If I was G2 I would pick Vertigo as my map. This would force Heroic into banning Dust2 and allow G2 to close out on Inferno. If G2 uses their first pick on Inferno then I would expect to see Heroic ban Vertigo. If this is the case then G2 will have the ability to pick between Dust2 or Nuke for the tie breaker map.

     I believe that this match will go to a third map. I think Heroic should have an advantage on Train, especially with the chokes from G2. Getting the bomb planted and winning at least 6 T rounds will be a key to success for Heroic. G2 should easily win their map pick as well. They will be the much stronger team on either Inferno or Vertigo. Heroic looked good to start Inferno, but once Astralis figured them out they found a way to win. I believe G2 would posses the same ability. I won’t be backing a side in this match, but if I had to it certainly wouldn’t be laying -250 with G2. They just can’t get it done when it matters. I think that also will play a part in the over cashing.

Miner’s Money Pick: Total maps o2.5 (+115)

Astralis (-428) vs North (+328) – DreamHack EU – 11:00am EST

     These teams come in to this match on the opposite side of the spectrum as the game prior. North and Astralis both got wins on Tuesday while showing extreme resilience. Each team was able to overcome 10-5 half time deficits on their clinching map. Weirdly enough, each of these teams also started a new addition to their lineup. The loss of Glave seemed to hurt Astralis on their attacks. They struggled on the T side only winning 9 total rounds while losing 21. The addition of Kristou for North seemed to help the team. They may not be as good as they were with Kjaerbye, but Kristou replacing Jumppy was certainly a positive. I think we’ll see each team improve in their second match at DreamHack.

      Astralis comes in to this one owning North. They have won the last 7 maps they’ve played against North. For todays match, we should see North start off by banning Train. This will be followed up by Astralis banning Mirage. After that I expect to see North pick Vertigo and Astralis to pick Inferno. North can compete with anybody at Vertigo. They have an extremely strong T side of Vertigo and if they can put up at least 6 in the first half I think they’ll have a good chance to win. I expect the Astralis attack to continue to struggle until JuGi is more comfortable in his role as in game leader. This may also hurt Astralis on Inferno as they’ll start on the T side. Lucky for them, North has struggled on Inferno losing their last 4 matches there. North will use their last ban on Overpass. Astralis will have the option to play either Dust2 or Nuke as the tie breaker. North will certainly be able to compete on each of those maps, especially if they win the knife round to start on CT.

     I’m going to be making more than one play on this match and hope it doesn’t come back to hurt me. I think the over is a good play as I see North to have a good chance to win on either of the first maps. I’m worried about the Astralis attack, especially because North has a better attack than Heroic. I see them performing much better against the Astralis CT half. I also think that Astralis won’t be beat 2-0, as they are still the best team in the world. I’ll be making a small play on the North money line as well. Without Glave in the lineup for Astralis, I would say that North has a better than 23% chance to win this matchup, so there is value on the current number. Hopefully North can win on their map pick and give us the opportunity to free roll two plus-money plays. This may also be a look ahead spot as Astralis faces G2 in their next match.

Miner’s Money Picks: Total maps o2.5 (+150) & North (+325) *.6u*

Furia (-207) vs MiBR (+167) – DreamHack NA – 3:00pm EST

     The final match of the day is in the North American region and features two Brazilian teams. Furia and MiBR will be facing off in their fifth bo3 series in the past six months. Furia comes in to this one as the 9th ranked team in the world. They played extremely well at rio before falling in the Final to Gen.G. MiBR is in good form themself. They are currently ranked 15, but didn’t qualify for playoffs in Rio after a 3-2 record in group play. I expect each of these teams are disappointed with how Rio ended. We should see two teams that are prepared to go to battle.

     As I mentioned, these teams have met plenty of times recently. Four of their meetings came as best of three series and two were best of one. Furia hasn’t dropped a single series to MiBR and owns a 10 map to 2 advantage in that time. MiBR will continue to use their ban on Nuke and Furia will use theirs on Dust2. MiBR has been completely unpredictable with their map pick. In the last three meetings they picked Vertigo, Train and Inferno. They lost both Vertigo and Train by a 16-4 scoreline, but found some success on Inferno before losing 16-14. I think their best chance is to run back Inferno. Furia will most likely use their pick on Mirage. They are 4-0 against MiBR on Mirage and currently have an 8-map winning streak since the start of ESL Pro League. MiBR will most likely ban Vertigo with their second ban. This will leave Furia with the option to play Train or Overpass as the tie breaker. I would expect to see Overpass as they are 4-0 there in the past three months.

     Furia has managed to make MiBR their little brother over the past six months. They have dominated them and always seem to be one step ahead. The familiarity of these two squads scares me away from Furia -1.5. Especially when you take in to account how bad MiBR must want to win this match. I still don’t think that will be enough to get MiBR tickets to the counter. I’ll be backing Furia at the current number. I think they will have a little fire behind their play as well. They looked like the favorites to win Rio, but came up just short. I expect that they want to redeem themself after the loss in the finals.

Miner’s Money Picks: Furia (-207) *1.55u*

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