ViCi v ENCE – Asia Championships 2019 Betting Preview and Prediction
ViCi and ENCE will lock horns this Wednesday, November 20 in the opening fixture of Asia Championships 2019 group B. The bout will mark a rematch between the Chinese and Finnish roster who already met at IEM Beijing less than two weeks ago, where it was ENCE (2:1) who edged past the Chinese. ViCI will enter this fixture hungry for blood and they will hope the home crowd advantage will help them start the home tournament on the right foot.
ViCi went through no roster changes since September when Yi “JamYoung” Yang joined on a trial. As for ENCE, everything went astray since the departure of their In-Game Leader, Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen. To fill the void, left behind by Aleksib they signed the former mousesports star Miikka “suNny” Kemppi and Aleksi “allu” Jalli who took over the IGL role. Unfortunately, those signings were not as productive as ENCE had hoped, seeing how SuNny is averaging an underwhelming 1.01 HLTV rating over the last four months while allu’s managing of the team is a far cry from Aleksib’s style, which he used to successfully lead the team. There is some potential in the team, but I feel further roster changes are required. At very least ENCE need to strengthen the IGL role, as allu is definitely not as great of an IGL as his teammates hype him up to be.
Both teams competed at the IEM Beijing 2019, with varying degrees of success. In other words, both failed to achieve anything noteworthy. ViCi ended the tournament at the bottom of group A, claiming two loses against ENCE (2-1) and the eventual champions, Astralis (2-0). ENCE on the other side performed better, but only just. They managed to win against ViCi in game one but were eventually outclassed by 100 Thieves, who beat them (2-0) twice to send them packing by the end of the group stage.
ViCi qualified for this event via the CS:GO Asia Championships 2019 China Qualifier, where they defeated EHOME (3-1) in a Bo5 final. En route to the finals, they won against several low-tier teams including 5POWER (twice, both times 2-0), EHOME (2-0) and Brave of Warriors, which they completely decimated with 16-0 win on Inferno and 16-5 on Train. As for ENCE, they did not need to qualify as they received a direct invite from the tournament organizers.
Over the weekend ViCi attended the eXTREMESLAND 2019 Asian Finals, where they had a fairly easy road to the finals. They won two Bo1 fixtures against GTV.Revolution (16-3) and Bren (16-7) and two Bo3 bouts against Demise and Absolute, both in two straight maps without any issues. As for the finals, they faced off against another Chinese team, Tyloo and suffered a crushing defeat, 16-3 on Mirage and 16-9 on Train. In short, ViCi have no issues winning against lower-tier teams, but when they play stronger teams like Tyloo, they tend to struggle.
Verdict & Prediction
As mentioned previously, the last time these two teams met was about two weeks ago at the IEM Beijing 2019, where ENCE produced a reverse sweep to edge past ViCi (2-1). The Chinese roster came close to finishing the match 2-0 (ViCi were leading 13-10 on Train), but thanks to sergej (1.48 HLTV rating on Train) ENCE managed to turn it around and win the map, 16-7 on Mirage.
Bookmakers are predicting ENCE should have an easy time in this bout, but I don’t see it. As mentioned previously, ViCi came close to winning at IEM Beijing and they will fancy their chances to produce an upset here. The two sides seem to have a similar map pool and should the match end up on Inferno (map Asian teams love to play, not sure how this is still a mystery to teams from other regions), ViCi will have a very solid chance to win.
Take ViCi +1.50 Maps, the odds are quite good for a match that should be more balanced that the bookmakers are making it be. Over 2.50 maps is also a good bet.
Prediction: ViCi +1.50 Maps
Odds: 2.02 Pinnacle