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FURIA (World rank: #13) vs. Movistar Riders (World rank: #5) – 9:45 A.M. ET

Moneyline Odds: FURIA (-230) | Movistar Riders (+185)

Map Handicap: FURIA -1.5 (+145) | Movistar Riders +1.5 (-175)

This is a best-of-three on LAN for ESL Pro League Season 16 - Group D

FURIA - Rating at event: KSCERATO 1.34 | arT 1.20 | yuurih 1.08 | drop 0.96 | saffee 0.88

FURIA - Rating past three months: KSCERATO 1.07 | yuurih 1.03 | saffee 1.01 | arT 0.96 | drop 0.90

Movistar Riders - Rating at event: Martinez 1.20 | alex 1.15 | DeathZz 1.11 | mopoz 0.84 | dav1g 0.78

Movistar Riders - Rating past three months: Martinez 1.15 | alex 1.13 | mopoz 1.03 | DeathZz 1.00 | dav1g 0.97

H2H Data:

These rosters have never faced each other.

Prediction: FURIA wins 2-0.

FURIA seemingly needed to shake off the rust on Wednesday in their first official match in 10 weeks against Eternal Fire, but ultimately they proved to be the better team with a dominant 16-5 win on Inferno to close out the series. I think FURIA will get better as this event goes on, and I think they have a legitimate chance of winning Group D. Meanwhile, Movistar Riders have now lost four series in a row with Martinez in the lineup, though the team did look solid in their opening match-up against Liquid, with Martinez leading the way. It’s difficult to replace an elite talent like SunPayus for the side of Movistar Riders, but Martinez appears to at least be a serviceable replacement with a 1.15 Rating and 1.23 K/D ratio across eight maps played. I expected Movistar Riders to play well against Liquid considering the history between those teams, but this could prove to be a more difficult match-up for the Spaniards. Ultimately, I think FURIA are the much better team, and I’d prefer to back the Brazilians having already played 90 maps with their lineup compared to only eight for MR. FURIA have a strong map pool as demonstrated by the fact that they have their lowest win rate on Inferno, yet they just bullied Eternal Fire on that map 16-5, and that was historically their favorite map in the past. I’m going to continue to prioritize stacking FURIA, and arT remains a make or break play at $5,800 on Draftkings. Against Eternal Fire, he had 7 kills with 23 deaths on Nuke, but then followed that performance up with 34 kills and 28 deaths on Vertigo, which goes to show the type of volatility that arT brings to the server. ArT’s high upside could win you the slate, but his poor performances will make you want to rip your hair out. Personally, I like this spot for him to possibly break the slate. 

  • arT leads FURIA with 0.17 opening kills per round and 33.3% opening duel attempts across three maps played at this event.

Favorite Draftkings Plays (In order of priority): 

KSCERATO ($8,400) | arT ($5,800) | saffee ($7,600) | yuurih ($9,400) | drop ($6,600) | Martinez ($6,400) 

 

Liquid (World rank: #3) vs. Evil Geniuses (World rank: #35) – 1:30 P.M. ET

Moneyline Odds: Liquid (-550) | Evil Geniuses (+400)

Map Handicap: Liquid -1.5 (-135) | Evil Geniuses -1.5 (+110)

This is a best-of-three on LAN for ESL Pro League Season 16 - Group D

Liquid - Rating at event: YEKINDAR 1.34 | EliGE 1.21 | NAF 1.06 | oSee 0.89 | nitr0 0.78

Liquid - Rating past three months: EliGE 1.20 | YEKINDAR 1.16 | NAF 1.09 | oSee 1.09 | nitr0 0.86

Evil Geniuses - Rating at event: Brehze 0.92 | CeRq 0.79 | autimatic 0.74 | neaLaN 0.71 | HexT 0.64

Evil Geniuses - Rating past three months: autimatic 1.20 | Brehze 1.08 | HexT 1.04 | CeRq 0.95 | neaLaN 0.84

H2H Data:

These rosters have never faced each other. The teams last faced in April at the IEM Dallas 2022 NA Closed Qualifier, prior to Liquid adding YEKINDAR and prior to EG adding neaLaN & HexT. Liquid won that series 2-1 (8-16 Overpass / 16-10 Vertigo / 16-4 Mirage) and EliGE led the server with 75 kills and a 1.49 Rating across three maps played.

Prediction: Liquid wins 2-1.

Here’s a stat to consider - Evil Geniuses have lost their last 15 matches played at ESL Pro League. That 0-15 W/L record extends across multiple seasons and iterations of this lineup, but yikes, EG have been *really* bad. Regardless, there is a part of me that wants to back them at these juicy odds. This match-up is a North American rivalry and anything can happen between teams from the same region, though Liquid are clearly better. Liquid continue to get away with winning by tight margins though, and on Wednesday that trend continued against Movistar Riders with all three maps going at least 29 rounds. Liquid have some shaky rounds that you wouldn’t expect from a team supposedly ranked #3 in the world, and I think now could be the time to sell high. I also think that Evil Geniuses look as good as they have in a long time with the addition of neaLaN & HexT. EG have a 6-4 W/L record across 10 maps played, including a map win against Ninjas in Pyjamas and a respectable 12-16 loss to Cloud9. Inferno has been EG’s favorite map and they can certainly compete on it based on the way Liquid looked on that map on Wednesday. I don’t think the oddsmakers are giving EG enough credit here, but does that mean they will have any fantasy relevance? It seems somewhat unlikely at the moment, but there is $5K up top on Draftkings and I think it could be worth punting on one of the EG players as a one-off. Autimatic is the clear star of this team as he leads with a 1.20 Rating and 1.25 K/D ratio across 10 maps played and he could be an option to consider, though he is a bit expensive at $6,800. I think neaLaN is a solid IGL and his $4,200 price tag on Draftkings is one that interests me given his potential upside on a points per dollar basis, as well as CeRq who is $4,800 and has a decent floor and ceiling with the AWP in his hands. With all of that being said, Liquid is still the main focus for me as they should figure out a way to win this best-of-three regardless of the map pool. YEKINDAR has been the star of Liquid since joining and he continues to be a high upside option as one of the most aggressive entry fraggers in the world. A pure gut call from me is that oSee will bounce back with a huge day on Thursday. OSee made a name for himself by obliterating the North American scene and I think this is a match-up that he has been looking forward to, especially after a below average performance to open the group. Stacking Liquid would be the main priority for me, but Evil Geniuses are the sneaky longshot value plays that I’d consider mixing in.

  • YEKINDAR leads Liquid with 0.25 opening kills per round and 37.5% opening duel attempts across three maps played at this event.

Favorite Draftkings Plays (In order of priority): 

YEKINDAR ($9,200) | oSee ($8,200) | NAF ($7,200) | EliGE ($10,000) | autimatic ($6,800) | nitr0 ($6,000) | neaLaN ($4,200) | CeRq ($4,800) 

 

*Favorite Stacks: FURIA, Liquid

*Studs: YEKINDAR, KSCERATO, saffee, oSee, yuurih, NAF, EliGE

*Riskier/Value Plays: arT, drop, autimatic, nitr0, neaLaN, Martinez, CeRq