Virtus.pro, once one of the best European CSGO teams are in one of their worst slumps. Earlier this year they kicked their IGL TaZ and replaced him with MICHU from Team Kinguin, but the results didn’t really improve and it was obviously more changes were needed. In June Snax left for Mousesports, and was replaced by morelz as a stand-in. Anyway, a couple of days ago VP announced they will be signing snatchie from AGO and morelz will be benched. It was also announced that byali will be leaving the team after the Major. That is worrying as he was one of their best players in recent months, and such news can hardly have a positive impact on the team. All in all, I do not expect them to get out of the Qualifier. With the recent roster changes, bad form (the last tournament they won was back in 2017, Adrenaline Cyber League 2017) and questionable motivation (all the rumors about internal disputes) I would not recommend a bet on them. They are priced around 3.5, which is reasonable due to all the factors listed above. At +4.5 rounds handicap, they are priced around 1.90, so they will need at least 12 rounds for the line to win, but given that NiP were looking quite good at the recent DreamHack Masters Stockholm 2018, they will need to do their best to beat them.
Ninjas in Pyjamas finally qualified for their first Major in two years after winning the European Minor. They were also looking quite good a couple of days ago at the DreamHack Masters Stockholm 2018, topping their group after winning against Ghost and NRG. They went on to win their Quarterfinals match against Heroic, but eventually lost to arguably the current best team in the world, Astralis. As for recent roster changes, they acquired Lekr0 from Fnatic, while draken was moved to the bench (later joined Fnatic). They are currently available around 1.30 to win the match, which is quite low, considering this a BO1 match, although they have the strength to comfortably beat VP. The -4.5 line could be easily beaten, as I can hardly see VP getting 12 rounds from highly motivated NiP.
These two teams played a total of five maps between them in 2018, with VP winning three of them, one BO1 match and two maps in a BO3 match. Only two games were over 26.5 rounds. As for this match, I can hardly see this one going over 26.5 rounds, as I expect an easy victory for the Swedes. But then again, this is a BO1 match and pretty much anything can happen, which is why we will avoid betting on over/under market.
Prediction: Ninjas in Pyjamas -4.5 rounds
Odds: 1.909 Pinnacle
Challengers Stage – Virtus.pro To Qualify
Odds: 1.45 Pinnacle