CS:GO Esports Championship Series Season 8 Finals Preview

By  Jonathan Willis

Friday, November 22nd, 2019

CS:GO Esports Championship Series Season 8 Finals Preview

We’re nearing the end of the calendar year, and there are only a few more major CS:GO events remaining before 2020. Organizations that have yet to win a major are desperate to win one before season’s end to build on something next year, but the old guard remains strong. Astralis is the greatest team in the history of CS:GO, and they are close to even money to win the ECS Season 8 Finals in Arlington, Texas next weekend. Winning the event would earn the team another $225,000, making Christmas very nice for the Danish organization.

CS:GO ECS Season 8 Finals Betting Odds

Astralis +100
Evil Geniuses +360
Team Liquid +490
Fnatic +750
Ninjas in Pyjamas +900
MiBR +1200
Sharks +20000

Astralis finished ECS Europe Season 8 tied for third place with Ninjas in Pyjamas, but the reputation for this team precedes it. They have won more major tournaments than any other team in the history of CS:GO, and their roster has remained unchanged for almost two years. Astralis was named the best team in CS:GO for five of 10 months this season, and its hard to beat a team where every player knows their role and doesn’t have much of an ego.

The best player on Astralis is dev1ce, and he will likely end his career as the most accomplished player in CS:GO history. He is the AWP for the team, and he consistently rises to the challenge in that role. Gla1ve is a great shot caller as the team captain, while dupreeh and Xyp9x are solid in their roles. Magisk is the glue guy that has turned this team into a perennial powerhouse, making it hard to bet against them.

Evil Geniuses made their long-awaited return to CS:GO back in September, and they immediately took North America by storm. They acquired the roster of NRG Esports and quickly won three tournaments with their first CS:GO team since 2012.

This team will likely be the crowd favorite as NRG is based in Texas. Evil Geniuses knocked off Astralis at ESL One: New York in their first major tournament, beating them 3-1 to take first. They followed up that impressive performance by beating Complexity Gaming for the ECS North America Season 8 crown, and they swept Fnatic at the StarSeries & i-League event three weeks ago.

Team Liquid appeared set to be the top team in North America for quite some time before Evil Geniuses came onto the scene. They consistently came up short against Astralis last year, but they have had the best season in CS:GO this year. Liquid have won seven tournaments thus far in 2019, and they were the second team to claim the $1 million prize for winning the Intel Grand Slam.

However, six of those seven first place finishes were between May and July, and Liquid haven’t won an event since IEM XIV Chicago. They have underwhelmed by going 2-3 at BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen earlier this month, and their performance at DreamHack Masters Malmo was very disappointing.

Those three teams are the big favorites to win this event, and it’s going to be tough for any of the other five squads to win it all. Fnatic have the best chance according to the oddsmakers, but they are still working flusha and twist into the lineup and they have a relatively new coach in Samuelsson. They did win DreamHack Masters Malmo last month, besting Astralis, Liquid, and Evil Geniuses in the process, but that feels more like a one off.

It’s rare to see a team at 200-1 in an eight-team event, but Sharks was considered incredibly fortunate to make it this far. They have only won C-Tier tournaments in the past, and they have gotten smashed every time they have played in a major. It’s hard to see that changing this time.

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