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The Electronic Championship Series Season 2 Finals see 8 teams set to battle it out for one of the biggest prize pots in CS:GO competition, $750,000.
The top four teams from both Europe and North America have battled their way through the gruelling regional stages to qualify and now it all kicks off December 9th until December 11th 2016.
The finals will be taking place in the Anaheim Arena in Anaheim, United States this year. The organisers are expecting to see the full 18,000 spectator capacity filled up.
This has quickly become one of the biggest CS:GO tournaments and it’s a great opportunity for eSports betting.
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The two groups that will start this tournament off can be seen below. Remember, the group stages are played in a double-elimination best of one format.
The top sides from each group will then enter the playoff stage, along with two other sides selected through decider matches. These playoff matches will be played single-elimination best of three.
So let’s no wait around and instead dive into our preview of the tournament ahead, the teams we can expect to come out on top and the best eSports betting odds.
The Group A teams entering the CS:GO ECS Season 2 Finals are esports betting favourites Astralis, along with fellow European side FaZe clan and the two North American sides OpTic Gaming and Cloud9.
Denmark based side Astralis enter this tournament having won the ECS European League.
Having only formed in 2016, they have had some mixed results earlier in the year, but recently they have been in fantastic form.
This is because they have built a side with several top talents such as gla1ve and Kjaerbye. The signing of gla1ve in October was a particular masterstroke. He joined just after a poor 10th place in the ESL Pro League Season 4 – Europe and since then they haven’t really looked back.
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Taking the in-game lead role, he has lead the side to a 3rd/4th place finish at the Intel Extreme Masters XI – Oakland, 1st in the ECS European League and 2nd at the ELEAGUE season 2.
This shows they are a team on a fast rise, with the ability to win the very top tournaments and beat the very best sides.
With the eSports bookmaker Betway, you can get odds of 3/1 for them to win the tournament. This makes them the overall favourites and are reasonable money at those odds.
OpTic gaming are the fourth qualifier from the ECS North American League. An experienced team in other eSports games such as Call of Duty, they’ve moved into CS:GO this year and qualifying for the Electronic Championship Series Season 2 Finals.
When they joined CounterStrike Global Offensive competitive gaming, they acquired the roster of Conquest, a relatively mid-level side. Since then though they’ve made a number of changes.
ShahZaM left and was replaced by mixwell. They signed tarik from CLG to replaced stanislaw. They also moved daps out of their team, previously their in-game leader. This has shown a positive effect on their results.
In their last 3 Premier tournaments they have two first place finishes. This includes beating current tournament favourites Astralis in the ELEAGUE Season 2 grand final.
The other tournament in this run was a poor 7th-8th place finish at the Dreamhack Winter 2016 though.
If you want to place an e-sports bet on OpTic Gaming to win the ECS Season 2 finals then you can get odds of 5/1. This makes them the joint 3rd favourites. Given the two big recent wins, this could be a decent bet at those odds.
FaZe Clan qualified for the ECS Season 2 finals by taking the 3rd place spot in the European league.
They joined CS:GO competitive e-sports by purchasing the entire roster of G2 Esports. There has been some chopping and changing since then with kioShiMa, allu & karrigan all taking spots on the starting roster.
Recently they’ve shown a lot of consistency in their results, but without taking the step into the grand finals or winning a tournament.
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Their last 5 Premier tournaments have included three 3rd/4th placed finishes and one 4th place finish. Of course with the 3rd place finish in the ECS European League qualifying too, this is pretty consistent form.
If you’re looking at doing some eSports betting and FaZe Clan takes your fancy then Betway offer odds of 11/2 making them the fifth favourites. Given they’ve never made a grand final, I don’t really see them as a wise option to place my eSports bets on though.
The team that ran SK Gaming very close during the ECS North American League, Cloud9 were second by points difference only for qualifying.
This year they’ve had a real transitionary year in terms of their roster. Stewie2k joined in January, Irukandji has come and left as coach. Slemmy joined in April but stepped down from the active roster in August and was replaced by Autimatic from Team SoloMid. Finally, Stunna left as manager in July.
This is quite a bit of instability and has perhaps been reflected in their results.
Their have been some very good results, such as winning the ESL Pro League Season 4, beating SK Gaming in the grand final.
However there have been some very poor results too, like being knocked out in the group stages of the ELEAGUE Season 2 and the Intel Extreme Masters XI – Oakland.
If you want to place an eSports bet on Cloud9 to win the ECS Season 2 finals then you can get odds of 6/1 making them the sixth favourites (or third least favourites). Personally given the real mixed form and big changes in their squad I’d probably avoid this bet myself.
The Group B teams entering the Electronic Championship Series Season 2 Finals are e-sports betting second favourites SK Gaming, along with fellow North American Immortals and the two European sides Team Dignitas and Team EnVyUs.
The winners of the ECS North American League, SK Gaming are certain to be amongst the favourites to win the ECS Season 2 Finals outright.
Last year SK Gaming failed to make it to the finals however this is not the same SK Gaming side. It is well known that they acquired the entirety of the Luminosity Gaming roster back in June. This is why they’re a completely different prospect this year.
Luminosity Gaming were the best CS:GO team in the world and were the runners up in last year’s finals.
During qualifying through the ECS North American League, SK Gaming were run close by Cloud9 who finished with the same number of points. However all of their losses came in week one (3 of the 4) and after that they were almost totally dominant.
Outside of the Electronic Championship Series it has to be said that they have dropped the ball a few times in terms of actual outright wins. Their last victory in a Premier tournament was the ESL One: Cologne 2016, just after the new roster arrived.
Since then they have always made it to the latter stages of the tournaments with finishes ranging between 4th and 2nd, but have failed to actually claim the overall victory.
With the e-sports bookmaker Betway you can get odds of 9/2 for SK Gaming to take the overall ECS Season 2 tournament title. This makes them the second favourites and a good bet given their consistently getting into the semi-finals and finals of Premier tournaments.
Team Dignitas are a veteran side having competed in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive since 2012. They’re the fourth qualifiers from the ECS European League.
In 2016 Team Dignitas have predominantly done poorly in Premier tournaments.
This has been particularly compounded recently with their last three showings ending with relatively early exits, going out in the group stages twice.
At times during 2016 Team Dignitas have has some good results. They’ve won EPICENTER 2016 for example, though had a relatively easy run through this tournament.
Their squad has been relatively consistent this year. In May they did swap kjaerbye for cajunb and in June Magiskb0Y replaced tenzki. Kjaerbye is a big loss, but cajunb is still a very good player and their form didn’t particular alter directly after this change.
If you’re looking at doing some eSports betting and fancy Team Dignitas then you can get odds of 10/1 which makes them the least favourites for the tournament. Given their poor recent form I wouldn’t be putting my money here personally.
Immortals are the new kids on the block, having been founded in June of this year. They have hit the ground running though and qualified in 3rd ahead of OpTic Gaming on points difference.
The Immortals roster was acquired from Tempo Storm, a relatively new team themselves though with some notable successes. This includes winning the CEVO Gfinity Pro-League Season 9, beating SK Gaming in the grand final.
They’ve tweaked the squad by bringing in steel for SHOOWTIME in November but otherwise it is the same side. This shows as they’ve continued the success of Tempo Storm, picking up a number of premier tournament victories in 2016.
This includes the DreamHack Summer 2016 tournament as well as the recent iBUYPOWER Masters 2016.
They have some quite wild fluctuations in form though with some very poor results in Premier tournaments such as the ELEAGUE Season 2, where they finished in 13th-16th.
If you want to place an eSports bet you can get odds of 9/1 with Betway. This makes them the second least favourites to win the tournament. If you’re looking at some long odds, this could be a decent bet.
The second placed qualifiers from the Esports Championship Series Season 2 – Europe League were Team EnVyUs.
The bulk of their active playing roster has been consistent for some time now, though they’ve had quite a bit of trouble replacing kioShiMa, bringing in DEVIL at first and then replacing him with SIXER. They’ve also brought in and released Maniac as a coach and recently hired enkay as an analyst.
In terms of Premier tournament results, things haven’t been great for Team EnVyUs this year.
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They did win the Gfinity CS:GO Invitational but the competition there was not fierce. Otherwise in their last three Premier tournaments they have just one semi-final, a first round play-off exit and a group stage exit.
This type of form has been pretty consistent throughout all of 2016, which is a big shame for a side that achieved so much in 2015.
You can get esports betting odds of 5/1 to win the ECS Season 2 tournament outright. This makes them the third favourites. These odds are very short for my liking and must be influenced by their achievements in 2015 and their 2nd place in the European League qualifying.
Astralis, being the favourites for the tournament, will be where much of the eSports betting will be going and are certainly not a poor option. However they would not be my pick, despite their strong form.
SK Gaming at 9/2 and OpTic Gaming at 5/1 tempt me a lot more personally and will be where I will place my e-sports bets. They’ve both had some excellent wins and having competed consistently at the top for a good period of time.
In terms of the ones to avoid in your e-sports betting, I do not like the Team EnVyUs eSports odds at all and wouldn’t advise anyone on that. I’m also not keen on the odds for either FaZe Clan or Cloud9. None of these teams have shown the recent form to deserve the odds they have given.
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