Complexity v Astralis – ESL One: Road to Rio – Europe Betting Preview and Prediction
Complexity picked up an upset win against Astralis back in February in the BLAST Premier Spring Series 2020. They headed into that match as huge underdogs, priced around 9.00 to 11.00, yet still managed to overcome the Danish powerhouse with a clean sweep: 16-12 on Vertigo and 16-11 on Dust, which were probably the best maps to get an edge over the ring rusty Astralis who were coming into the match after a long break that lasted for almost three months.
In the BLAST league, Complexity also managed to sweep Vitality with 16-10 on Mirage and 16-5 on Inferno, despite coming into the match as underdogs, but due to their win against Astralis, they were priced just above 3.00, which was fair at the time. The now-former IGL of Vitality was quite butthurt after the match and took out his frustrations on Twitter, claiming that the playstyle of Complexity is not sustainable over the long run and to be honest he is right. Their overly-aggressive approach to the games will work in the honeymoon phase, but after a couple of wins the rest of the team will actually start to study your tendencies and try to exploit you. Complexity’s next match (after Astralis and Vitality) was against NaVi, where they were priced around 2.31 – a bad value bet if you were betting, especially considering they picked up two wins against ring-rust teams. Anyhow, Complexity got their asses spanked, losing 10-16 on Train and 9-16 on Mirage.
It’s worth noting, however, that all of these matches were played in a proper LAN environment, unlike this one, which will be played online, so we should probably take a look at their recent online results to get a better picture. At the Europe Minor Closed Qualifier Complexity swept Godsent and Sprout, which is not surprising considering they were heading into the bouts as heavy favourites.
Complexity also finished 10-12th at the ESL Pro League Season 11 Europe, with three loses against forZe (1.20 favourites), Fnatic (2.50 underdogs) and Natus Vincere (2.40 underdogs), while they picked up wins against BIG (coming into the match as 2.50 underdogs) and North (1.70 favourites). Apart from their defeat against forZe, Complexity won matches they should win and lost the matches they should have lost. So, it’s fair to say their run was mediocre – not good nor terrible per se.
Astralis have been the top team in 2018 and most of 2019 season in what is the longest era of dominance ever seen in the CS scene. Although there was a very notable performance drop towards the end of 2019, the bettors were still betting on Astralis, the same way they did in 2018. Don’t get me wrong, they are still one of the best teams in the world, but they are nowhere near as dominant as they were back in their prime.
Astralis played a total of 12 online matches so far, winning eight of them. They went into every match prices as favourites, around 1.10 to 1.50. Out of their 12 games, Astralis lost against Navi, Fnatic and mousesports, as well as NiP, who were priced as 6.00 underdogs. The Danes lost against mousesports in the semi-finals, a team they crushed only a couple of days prior (16-3 on inferno and 16-1 on Dust2). Astralis finished third overall in the league, which is fair considering their recent results and everything else that is going on in the team. Clearly, they are just not the same team they were back in the day and are for that reason no longer a safe bet against stronger opposition.
Furthermore, Astralis’ parent company is in a financial crisis (I believe they lost about €5 million in 2019), which might have some negative mental effects on the team. That is also something to consider as it will most likely negatively affect their in-game performances, as seen in other teams who went through similar situations.
Despite all their struggles, I don’t believe this year will be as terrible as some pundits are saying for Astralis, however, they seem to be on a slow and steady decline. I don’t expect Astralis to win the next Major and I am having a hard time believing the current roster will ever reclaim their throne as the No.1 team in the world. The core of the team is still amazing, as it fields top tier talent and maybe a roster move or two can make them the best team once again. Having said that, they are not the best team right now, still a top-five team, but for me to see them as anything more, Astralis also need to show more.
For this bout, Complexity are priced around 5.00. Is that fair? While Astralis might better-prepared compared to how they were back in the BLAST Pro Series, however, this is still the opening match of the tournaments + an online match and should map veto go into Complexity’s favour, we just might see another upset win. Each year the road to Major (minors, qualifiers) features a handful of upset wins and with the online format, I don’t see this changing this year, heck, we might even see more upsets than usual. While the Astralis are the most likely winner, the value is on the Complexity. True odds for Complexity to win should be around 3.50.
Prediction: Astralis to win 2-1
Betting pick: Complexity +1.50 Maps, 2.10 at Bet365
Inplay Suggestion: If Complexity win map 1, bet on Astralis to win the match