We’ll be doing something a little bit different today. Knowing that the Manila Major group stage will run with a GSL-style format, we thought that it would be great to do a group betting market article.
To explain what the “GSL-style” format is, it involves splitting the teams into groups of four teams each; this means that the group stage will feature four groups total. Each group will have a total of five matches, with the first two between the first and second teams and the third and fourth teams in order.
Whoever wins these two matches will face off in the third match, and the winner of that match will advance into the winners’ bracket. The loser of that match will be relegated over to the fifth match. The losers of the first two matches will face off in the fourth match, and the loser of that match will advance into the losers’ bracket. The fifth and final match will decide the second place team in the group.
While this format does not emphasize pure consistency like a round robin format does, it still rewards teams that perform well by allowing them to advance into the upper bracket without playing too many matches. The second place team will have to play at least three matches in order to advance, which can put a strain on them in a long competition such as the major. Therefore, it is important for teams to aim for the top spot in the group in order to stay fresh in the competition.
OG — 1/1 — bet365
Newbee — 11/8 — bet365
CompLexity Gaming — 10/1 — bet365
Team Empire — 10/1 — bet365
Group A will have two teams that are almost guaranteed to advance into the winners’ bracket. OG is possibly the second most favoured team to win the whole competition, with Newbee following at a very close third thanks to the emphatic performance they put on at EPICENTER. Considering OG has evens attached to them and that they’ve got more than enough firepower to take first place, they’re our pick for this group.
Newbee’s odds aren’t that much more rewarding anyway, and expecting them to go on another Golden State Warriors-like winning streak is probably not going to work out. We’ve seen that they do bleed and are human after all, so we’re expecting them to run into a few bumps in this group. CoL and Empire will likely find themselves in the lower bracket, but if you had to bet on the underdogs in this group, we would recommend choosing the former thanks to their steady and visible improvement over their last few LANs.
Wings Gaming — 1/1 — bet365
Team Secret — 2/1 — bet365
Digital Chaos — 5/1 — bet365
Natus Vincere — 15/2 — bet365
This group will actually be quite interesting to watch. Team Secret, for all the star power they have on their roster, have shown us time and time again that they still lack the teamwork and chemistry needed to even get out of the bottom ranks in tournaments. Those 2/1 odds don’t exactly inspire us to bet on them in this group, therefore. Wings will be expected to get out of this group in first place, and with evens on them they wouldn’t be a bad choice at all.
One of the underdogs worth looking at in this group is Digital Chaos, who will not likely be a highly-studied team in this event due to the fact that they don’t really have a lot of noteworthy results to look at in this regard. Should they manage to sneak up on their opponents in this group, we might just see them pull something special off. 5/1 and a fairly decent chance for an upset in the group? We’ll take it.
Team Liquid — 11/10 — bet365
Vici Gaming Reborn — 14/5 — bet365
Alliance — 7/2 — bet365
Fnatic — 11/2 — bet365
Well, we all know who’s getting out of this group smoothly. Team Liquid did just that at ESL One Manila, and they did the same at EPICENTER. In their current form, they’re going to do it again in the Manila Major. It’s too bad that it costs so much just to bet on them, but they’re about the closest thing to a statistical certainty in this group.
For those that don’t quite fancy paying so much upfront for a group winner bet, there’s Fnatic to consider. They’ve been in upper brackets before, and since they’re generally less prone to total meltdowns compared to, say, Alliance, there is a real possibility that they exit this group in first place. It’s happened in the past, and they can certainly make it happen again — especially with the hometown crowd rooting for DJ. Vici Gaming Reborn are capable of taking first in this group as well, but we feel the value lies more with Fnatic.
LGD Gaming — 10/11 — bet365
MVP Phoenix — 5/2 — bet365
Evil Geniuses — 5/2 — bet365
Mineski — 50/1 — bet365
We’re still not quite sure why the bookmakers seem to trust LGD so much going into this event. Sure, xiao8 being back in the offlane may be something to look forward to, but with the lack of results from this team since the roster lock apart from their victory over VGR in the ESL One Frankfurt qualifiers, it’s a wonder to us why the price on them is so steep.
Anyway, we’re not about to recommend them as the first choice here. Putting LGD aside, we can’t get past this group without talking about the Koreans. History has shown before that MVP Phoenix can get off to a roaring start whenever they get placed in LAN environments, and considering the competition surrounding them in this group it’s not hard to see them taking first place. This seemingly weaker incarnation of EG will have a hard time slipping past them should they even get to the third match (we’re expecting MVP to beat LGD in their first matchup), and sad to say Mineski is essentially a non-factor in this group.
MVP Phoenix to take first place in the group with bet365 at 5/2 (3.50)
— written by Patrick “EthanKairos” Bonifacio (@EthanKairosSC2)