It’s been a fantastic tournament in Moscow so far with the EPICENTER LAN Finals continuing with Day 2 of the main event later today. This event has set a new standard in terms of production quality, and has consistently seen mind-blowing games both in the group stage and yesterday in the first day of the main event.
NewBee continued their astounding winning streak in the group stage, posting 29 wins in a row before being taken out by OG in game 1 of the winners’ bracket first round matchup. OG went on to win that series despite dropping a very close game 2 by destroying the Chinese team in under 31 minutes in game 3.
Team Liquid also soundly defeated Evil Geniuses in their upper bracket series, closing it out two games to none in what was a great display of composure and skill from a team that looked lost in the ESL One Manila grand finals. They will face OG today in the upper bracket final: a clash between two EU giants.
Today’s lower bracket games will any of the teams below eliminated, plus NewBee should they fail to bounce back after their loss to OG yesterday. Without further ado, let’s get into the tips for the second day!
Alliance (5/4 William Hill) vs Team Secret (4/7 Skybet)
Alliance had a better showing than Team Secret in the group stage, given that they won at least one series in their group, as opposed to Secret who bungled their run through Group B without a single series victory. Granted that Alliance’s sole best of 3 win was against one of the weakest teams in the field, but Secret were definitely favored against Virtus.pro. That was more a case of VP suddenly finding their groove than Secret playing poorly, though.
This series should still come down to the wire given the level of talent between both teams, so it’s going to be a test of patience and decision-making under pressure. Team Secret still have the tools to dismantle Alliance, and the same can be said for the Swedes about their chances. As close as this series will likely be, we suggest putting your money on the team that might give you a bigger payout. That happens to be Alliance, the team that managed to get something done in the group stage.
CompLexity Gaming (4/5 bet365) v Virtus.pro (10/11 Skybet)
The bookies may be giving CompLexity just a tiny bit too much credit in this particular fixture. VP were indeed knocked down to the lower bracket by EG in the group stage, but even then it took the Americans all three games to do so. The Russians showed great performances in their three-game series against Secret, and so far look like a team that can make a nice, long lower bracket run. On the other hand, it’s looking like another early exit for CoL.
Yes, it costs far more upfront to bet on VP in this matchup, but looking at how the games in the preliminaries went for them, it’s a reasonable enough call. They don’t look completely lost at this tournament, as seen in the spirited display of force that was the VP-Secret series. Given their chances, it would be better to put your money on them than on CoL, whose price costs less to start with but pay less than that of VP’s.
OG (8/11 bet365) v Team Liquid (1/1 bet365)
This should be a very entertaining series for everyone watching. OG had poor results for a tier 1 EU team towards the end of 6.86, but now seem to have hit their stride in 6.87. As always, Miracle- (who, by the way, hit 9000 MMR just the other day) is the star of the show for OG, and it was no different for him in the group stage and in their series versus NewBee. With the other members of the team clicking as well, OG should be able to put up a fight against Liquid, if not dominate the series.
Conversely, Team Liquid can also sweep this series or win it in three games. They showed little fear against EG yesterday and showed enough resilience to top Group A, so they’re looking like the same team that went undefeated at ESL One Manila up until Wings Gaming spoiled the party. Given that they’ve beaten OG in a best of 3 in this tournament, and the fact that bookmakers have placed evens on them, they’re an easy recommendation to make. Do note, however, that this does not mean that they are absolutely going to win this series. It’s still going to be a battle; they simply have the better value in this fixture.
Team Liquid to win the series with bet365 at 1/1 (2.00)
— written by Patrick “EthanKairos” Bonifacio (@EthanKairosSC2)