CSGO ESL Pro League Season 13 – Group A Day 1 Betting Previews and Picks
The ESL Pro League Season 13 kicks off on Monday, March 8, with the opening three games of Group A, where we will see Complexity, FunPlus Phoenix, Heroic, Renegades, OG and BIG compete for a top-three finish and a ticket for the playoffs. Here are our free betting picks and predictions for the opening three games of the tournament.
Complexity vs FunPlus Phoenix – ESL Pro League Season 13
Complexity enter ESL Pro League Season 13 with a two-game winning streak from DreamHack Masters Spring 2021 Europe Closed Qualifier, where they beat Movistar Riders and OG. The match against Movistar Riders was quite a close one, but I wouldn’t overreact to it, since Complexity entered that game off a month-long break and quickly improved their impression with a commanding 2-0 sweep of OG with 16-3 on Dust2 and 16-5 on Mirage.
Complexity have looked much improved since they got their full roster back together and while they are playing fairly good, Complexity still need to get Justin “jks” Savage back to his old form. Once jks wakes up Complexity will be a force to be reckoned with, capable of defeating any team in the world – you can take that to the bank.
FunPlus Phoenix have signed the GODSENT roster at the start of the year and added Chris “chrisJ” de Jong as a stand-in. ChrisJ has since left the team and got replaced by Miikka “suNny” Kemppi, who has joined FPX from a failed ENCE project.
Since signing suNny, FPX have yet to play a single match and were last seen competing about a month ago, which is obviously not ideal. Looking at this roster, I don’t expect them to establish themselves as a tactical team, since they consist mostly of aimers (along with STYKO), meaning they have enough firepower to win games, but they will likely struggle against tactically sound teams.
These sides last met in March 2020, when Complexity won 2-0 with 16-11 on Dust and 16-11 on Inferno. FPX were back then still playing under GODSENT, whereas COmplexity was still playing with Owen “oBo” Schlatter.
I seriously don’t understand these high betting odds on Complexity. Sure they had a streak of poor results over the last couple of months, but since they got their squad back together they have looked much better. If FPX’s star players get hot, we could be in for a tight series, however, if the series end up going the distance, you simply have to favour the more experienced roster. Complexity should win this one!
Score Prediction: 2-1 for Complexity
Betting Prediction: Complexity to win, 1.616 at Pinnacle
Heroic vs Renegades – ESL Pro League Season 13
Renegades recently parted ways with their in-game leader Christopher “dexter” Nong, and replaced him with a young AWPer Alistair “aliStair” Johnston. AliStair joins the team after spending his whole career competing in the lower ranks of Australian CS:GO with the likes of ORDER and Chiefs Esports Club, and has zero international experience.
With all due respect, I don’t expect Renegades to achieve much at the ESL Pro League Season 13, since they’re probably the weakest team in their group. That said, I wouldn’t be too shocked to see them finish above OG, but more on that later.
Renegades have played only three games since they landed in Europe and managed only one win. Their sole victory came against Team One, however, they were far less successful against mousesports and Virtus.pro.
Heroic did not need long to make necessary roster changes after a disappointing run at IEM Katowice 2021 by kicking Johannes “b0RUP” Borup and Nikolaj “niko” Kristensen, and replacing them with Ismail “refrezh” Ali and Rasmus “sjuush” Beck from MAD Lions. I would consider the two arrivals as an upgrade but they have yet to prove themselves in a proper match, so I can’t say for sure how they’ll do here.
Refrezh and sjuush have already played two games with their new team, helping Heroic beat VOYVODA and Cloud9 with 2-0. From what I’ve seen, neither put up any outstanding performances, however, we must give them some slack since they’ll need some time to get comfortable in a new environment. Once they do, Heroic might emerge as a proper top-10 team.
Heroic should win this match more times than not, as they are far more talented and all-round a better team. That said, these online matches can often turn out to be clown fiestas, so it’s not entirely unlikely we are in for a close match.
I would be surprised to see Renegades win here, however, taking a map off a team that just made roster changes should be within the realm of possibilities. Bet on Renegades to make it interesting!
Score Prediction: 2-1 for Heroic
Betting Prediction: Over 2.50 Maps – 2.78 at Pinnacle
BIG vs OG – ESL Pro League Season 13
BIG were one of the dark horse teams to win the IEM Katowice, but they ended up crashing out of the competition after playing only two games against Heroic and G2 Esports. What’s even more shocking is that BIG failed to win a single map across both series.
Prior to that, BIG placed first-third at BLAST Premier Spring Groups 2021, where they lost only one match against Ninjas in Pyjamas, but also picked up wins against OG, Astralis, and a revenge win against NiP. If they can show the same form they have then, BIG should win this match with ease.
BIG have won 59% of their matches across the last three months, which is not great, but it’s far better than OG who hold a 38.9% win rate. To make matters worse, OG enter this match off a shock 1-2 loss against an amateur Bulgarian team VOYVODA.
Even though OG made a roster change, losing against teams such as VOYVODA is unacceptable and results like that make me believe something is not clicking in this team. It goes without saying OG are in a very bad spot and have been for a while, so unless they show some sort of improvement, I don’t see them coming out of the group stage.
On the topic of OG’s roster moves, I’m not sure about their decision to kick Nathan “NBK-” Schmitt in favour of Nikolaj “niko” Kristensen. Perhaps removing Issa “ISSAA” Murad would be a better move, since he has not been playing too well – and even that is an understatement.
BIG and OG last met about a month ago during BLAST Premier Spring Groups 2021, where BIG won 2-0 with 16-13 on Dust and 16-12 on Inferno. Looking back at their previous head-to-head bouts, the results were mostly tight, with both sides managing double digits in all but one of their last 10 meetings.
Regardless of that record, I just can’t imagine OG keeping it as tight on Monday as they did before and with the way they’ve been playing, I would even go so far as to say this match can easily end in a blowout win for BIG. This should be a walk in the park for the Germans!
Score Prediction: 2-0 for BIG
Betting Prediction: BIG to win – 1.438 at Pinnacle