ESL One Cologne – August 18, 2020

     We finally welcome all of the top tier Counter Strike teams back to play. Last week I published a preview for the first day of DreamHack Summer and explained how I was changing my strategy to betting Counter Strike. I plan on being more tight and limiting my plays, instead of finding an angle for every match. I’ll also keep a running record, opposed to event records. Please refer back to that blog for a more in depth explanation, as well as a record for past events ( I started DreamHack with a 2-0 record, profiting 3.15 units. We did that by covering the map spread with EndPoint for BiG’s opening match and cashing Liquid to win their first match 2-0. After the opening day, I didn’t find a ton of value and decided to lay off until ESL One. With such a big slate, I expect to find plenty of value and start the event with a bang. If I don’t cover a particular matchup you’re interested in, please feel free to DM me on twitter (@MoneyMiner_). 

*Record since Restart: 2-0 (+3.15u)*

Ninjas in Pyjamas (-140) vs OG (+110) – 9:00am EST

     We’ll be getting the morning started on the right path with a match up between Ninjas in Pyjamas and OG. Before the break, NiP was one of my favorite teams to bet on. The addition of Hampus as the new IGL almost instantly paid off. Once the players were able to accept the change and work together, there was a noticeable improvement. I think we will see them take an even bigger stride forward after this break. I expect that NiP used the break to fully install their playbook with Hampus and make sure all of the players are comfortable in their roles. OG’s break was a little shorter, as they began playing again for the start of DreamHack Summer open. During the group stage OG beat Spirit and Forze, but lost to Complexity. They eventually placed 3rd/4th in the event after losing to BiG in the opening round of the playoffs.

     OG will get things started by using their first ban on Vertigo. NiP will most likely use their first ban on Nuke, as they started doing just before the break. It will be interesting to see if OG goes with their regular first pick, Inferno, or if they’ll force NiP to play Dust2. NiP will then use their first pick on Overpass. We’ll most likely see Mirage as the tie breaking map.

     I think the price on NiP is extremely fair. NiP will force OG to play Overpass, which is their worst map. OG is just 1-7 on Overpass against top 30 teams in the last six months. NiP is 12-6 under the same time span and criteria. OG also wont do themself any favors with their map choice. NiP will be just as good, if not better, on every potential map. It’s also worth noting that NiP rolled OG 16-6 on both of the maps in their last meeting. At the current price, the odds imply that NiP wins this matchup 58% of the time. I see that number being much closer to 65-70% based on the map pool. I think the -1.5 map spread (+180) is worth a play if you’re trying to avoid laying juice, but the money line is the safe play.

Miner’s Money Picks: Ninjas in Pyjamas (-170) 

Fnatic (-140) vs Astralis (+110) – 12:30pm EST

     Talk about a headliner! We have the new look Astralis taking on a Fnatic team that was reeling for a couple months prior to the break. Although some of you may be questioning the form of these teams, I expect them to come out of the break in good shape. These organizations demand excellence from their players. I imagine Fnatic used their time off to clean up their game play. Astralis had to use their time to get aquatinted with new teammates and install a new game plan. They recruited two highly skilled players in Bubzkji and es3tag, so expectations should be high for the organization.

     It will be a little difficult to predict the map pool since Astralis is playing with new members on their roster. Fnatic should stick to their regular ban of Vertigo and Astralis will most likely continue to ban Mirage. Fnatic will use Inferno for their map pick, which should lead Astralis towards Nuke, but who knows. I imagine we see either Train or Overpass for the deciding map.

     This is a tough matchup to predict. I think it really depends on what version of Astralis you think will show up. I believe that we’ll see an Astralis team that will be motivated to get back to their winning ways. I think that the returning Astralis players will play with a chip on their shoulders and the new guys will want to cement their spot in this star studded roster. This is why I’ll be taking the rare chance to back Astralis as a dog. I also haven’t been impressed with Fnatic for the past few months. After the ESL Pro League championship they really began to struggle. If they are in similar form to what we saw in June, they’ll be in trouble. If Fnatic comes out in good form, we should see the competitive match that the oddsmakers predict. In the end, I expect the Astralis talent to be the difference maker in the series.

Miner’s Money Pick: Astralis (+110) *1.5u*

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