Monday marks the start of the VCT Masters Reykjavik. We have 3 games, and I think some spots in the betting lines that we can take advantage of. I mentioned this is my Tournament Preview, but the general consensus is that Asia is the weakest region, EU is the strongest, and NA and SA are somewhere in the middle, but closer to EU than Asia. Of course, that’s the regions as a whole, and since only 2 EU teams make it and Sentinels is considered a top 3 team in the world, NA is right with EU in this tournament. Anyways, let’s take a look at Monday’s games. Everything is Bo3 unless otherwise indicated.
Fnatic (-1400, -1.5 maps @ -240) vs
Kru esports (+675, +1.5 maps @ +180) 11:00 am EDT
O 2.5 maps (+230)/ U 2.5 maps (-325)
Fnatic may be the #2 EU team, but they’re the #3 favorites for the whole tournament, barely behind Sentinels and Liquid. If you read the preview, you’ll know I’m very high on Kru, as they are being wildly underrated by Vegas. They scrim against Brazilian teams all the time, many of whom have said that Kru would’ve qualified as the #2 team out of Brazil had they played in that region. They aren’t getting any respect from Vegas because LATAM as a whole isn’t very good, but make no mistake, this team can play.
Now, while the matchup with Fnatic is brutal, 1st match jitters could come into play. Kru has no expectations and therefore no pressure, while Fnatic are as close to the “home” team as anyone is (they’re mostly British) and have a lot of pressure to succeed. I would be surprised if Kru outright wins, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see them take a map. The one downside for Kru is that they seem to have modeled their strats quite a bit around EU, specifically Fnatic and Liquid. They’re less likely to catch Fnatic off guard as Fnatic is used to the style that they play. However, Kru executes the strats well, and should give Fnatic a competitive game. Or course, it’s also been a couple of weeks so any or all of these teams could have some new strats. Fnatic are likely to try to “save” theirs for the “better” opponents, while Kru have no reason not to go all out.
Kru esports +1.5 maps @ +180 (1 unit)
Version1 (-425, -1.5 maps @ -115) vs
Crazy Raccoon (+280, +1.5 maps @ -115) 1:30 pm EDT
O 2.5 maps (+135)/ U 2.5 maps (-175)
Crazy Raccoon kind of the opposite scenario of Kru. Japan is basically brand new to the FPS pro scene, there’s no discernable scene in CSGO, so there weren’t a ton of “pros” who could make the switch over. From watching this team, they seem behind both in terms of strategy and to be honest fundamentals. They do a lot of sitting around waiting on their attack sides, and then running into a site and taking aim duels. I don’t expect that to work against V1.
Yes V1 are playing with a sub (they’ve had a couple weeks to practice), and yes they are likely the weakest team from NA/EU, but there is simply a huge skill gap between NA and Japan. V1 came on to the NA scene recently, but if you look at their roster there are a bunch of former solid CS players, and Vanity offers veteran leadership. I expect them to come out and take care of business against Crazy Raccoon. I think this line should be a lot bigger in favor of V1.
Version1 -1.5 maps @ -115 (2 units)
Sharks (+135, +1.5 maps @ -240) vs
NUTURN (-175, -1.5 maps @ +180) 4 pm EDT*
O 2.5 maps (-110)/ U 2.5 maps (-120)
*note that Bovada has this listed as on the 25th, it is in fact on Monday.
This is a really interesting opening game. Korea is the best Asian region, but how far behind the West is Asia? Sharks are likely the worst non-Asian team in the tournament, but that doesn’t mean they are bad. The top 4 teams from the west are really good and V1 and Kru should be pretty hefty favorites over every Asian team too. I tend to think that Sharks should also be favorites. At the very worst, I think they’re a coinflip here. NUTURN uses a very aggressive economy approach on their attack side, they force buy sheriffs if they plant the bomb but lose pistols. It does give them a better chance in Round 2, but if they lose again they’re on another sheriff buy and the defense suddenly likely has a 3-0 lead with a decent bank built up. I expect this strategy to be punished against Western teams.
Sharks +135 (1 unit)
That’s all the series on Monday. Should be some fun Valorant! Check the discord or my twitter for any live bets I like.