ESL Road to Rio – European Playoffs – May 12, 2020

     The European playoff bracket kicks off on Tuesday with matches from the lower half of the bracket. Matches will be starting at 10:30am EST and 2:00pm for the entirety of the tournament. On Tuesday we also have a couple bonus matches to find action on as their are decider matches for teams that did not qualify for playoffs. Let’s jump right into the action, starting with each of the playoff matches.

Vitality (-250) vs Godsent (+200) – 10:30am EST

     Vitality and Godsent get the playoffs started with what should be a great matchup. Each of these teams finish group play with a 4-3 record. Vitality finished in third place in Group A trailing both NiP and Astralis. Vitality suffered  losses at the hands of NiP and Astralis but their third loss came from an upset by ENCE.  Godsent earned the fourth seed in Group B, although they were tied with the second and third seed in terms of record. Godsent lost to Faze, G2 and Movistar in group play. The winner of this match will move on to play the loser of FaZe/NiP, while the loser will be eliminated from the playoff.

     Godsent and Vitality enter tomorrows match with very little experience against each other. They have faced off in one best of three series before this one. That match was played on March 16th during the ESL Pro League event. Vitality beat Godsent 16-14 on Vertigo and 16-8 on Nuke to win by a 2-0 scoreline in that matchup. The teams should follow suit with their first bans. Godsent will take away Mirage and Vitality will ban Train. At Pro League Godsent used their first pick on Vertigo, but I expect them to shy away from that map for this one. They looked horrible there on Sunday against a Movistar team that came into the map on a 6 game losing streak. I expect them to pick either Overpass or Dust2, but see their biggest advantage on Overpass. Vitality should continue to use their first pick on Nuke. They dominated Godsent their in the last matchup after a strong 10-5 start on the T side. Godsent usually uses Nuke as their first pick, so it is worth noting that Godsent is extremely comfortable there and should make proper adjustments. I think that this match could end up going either way, especially with a map pool that doesn’t offer a glaring advantage to either team. I expect this one to be tightly contested considering it’s a playoff match and see it being decided on the third map. I’ll also be making a small play on Godsent as I see them having a greater than 33% chance of winning this match.

Miner’s Money Picks: Total maps o2.5 (+126) & Godsent (+200) *.5u*


Heretics (-160) vs North (+130) – 2:00pm EST

     Heretics come into this match being the lower seeded team, but the bookmaker favorite. Heretics finished group play with a 3-4 record earning the final playoff spot in Group A. They held the tie breaker over Fnatic and ENCE. North finished group play with a huge upset (+450) over G2 to earn a 4-3 record, which gave them the third seed out of Group B. North looked great in that upset as it seemed like Jumppy created a perfect role for himself as the replacement for Kjaerbye. Before watching that match, I thought Jumppy was a huge liability due to his performance against Movistar. Against Movistar it seemed like he was trying to be Kjaerbye which just didn’t workout. Against G2 it was like he was coaching as a player. He set his team up by risking his life to sell fakes and gain information proving to be a valuable teammate in the process.

     Heretics and North have met one time prior to this match with North winning 16-7 on inferno and 22-19 on Overpass. That match took place 6 months ago and the teams have made roster moves since then so take it with a grain of salt. Heretics is the lower seed so they will have the first ban which should come in the form of Train. This will provide North with an advantage as they tend to shy away from train themselves. North should use their first ban on Mirage. Heretics will chose between either Inferno or Nuke as their first pick. I won’t be surprised to see them shy away from Nuke after watching the performance North had there against G2. Nuke is their best map though. Heretics holds a better win percentage on every map compared to North, but when you filter that for top 30 teams you see that Heretics only has a positive win/loss on Nuke. The Heretics map pick will certainly be a difficult one. North should use their first pick on Vertigo. They proved they can go toe to toe with just about anybody on that map after a great showing against G2, who is arguably the best Vertigo tea,. You could also make the case for NiP, so it is worth mentioning that NiP beat Heretic 16-4 there. I think North will be a class above Heretics on Vertigo. That mixed with the fact they can compete with Heretics on their strongest map, Nuke, warrants a play on North at +money. If Jumppy can play remotely close to how he did against G2 then I think North will dominate, but it really all comes down to him. Since North will be able to pick the tie breaker from the remaining two maps, I also see them having a light advantage if it gets to a third map. The bookmakers have this one all wrong in my opinion. *UPDATE*: Disclaimer -I’m slightly on tilt after the Godsent match… North line moved to +140 so I’m throwing another half unit on them there! Be on the look for live plays @

Miner’s Money Pick: North (+130) *1.5u* & North (+140) *.5u*


Plays for the decider matches:

Fnatic (-450) vs Movistar (+350) – 10:30am – 11th/12th place decider

     My play for this match would have to be on Fnatic to cover the -1.5 spread. I think they take this match 2-0 in order to maximize possible RTR points which go towards qualifying for the major. Movistar’s regular first pick is Overpass And Fnatic is extremely comfortable playing there. Fnatic will chose Inferno for their pick. Movistar is 2-3 there including a 16-7 loss to FaZe. FaZe is comparable to Fnatic in skill level so I expect Movistar to struggle against Fnatic there.

Miner’s Money Pick: Fnatic -1.5 (-115) 


ENCE (-200) vs Copenhagen Flames (+165) – 2:00pm – 9th/10th decider

     I’ll be waiting to see the map pool before making a play on this one. If ENCE doesn’t ban Inferno then my play will be on the over or Copenhagen +1.5. Copenhagen has looked unstoppable there winning the last 9 including matches against FaZe and G2. Without inferno, I would have to favor ENCE here, but I won’t be making a play on them at -200 so it would have to be live! Check my twitter @MoneyMiner_ before the start and ill tweet out any play made! *Update*: Copenhagen has been taking a majority of the money steaming the lines down to +133/-163. A play on Ence here is warranted especially without inferno! keep an eye on the map picks.

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