It’s been an eventful couple of days at the Shanghai Major, both in the players’ booths and backstage. Between three hour delays, general audio and stream issues, internal strife and drama between Valve and the talent at the venue and more, there’s been plenty to talk about regarding this tournament.
But we’re not here to talk about those things, naturally. We’re here to look at the group stage matches later today and how you can bet as wisely as possible on these games. Before that, though, let’s recap what happened in Day 3 of the group stages. Group C’s results were what most people expected, with OG and LGD making it out of the preliminaries without running into a lot of trouble. Newbee and Team Archon were left in the dust as expected, in that order. This leaves all but one of the Chinese teams in the tournament in the lower bracket, which is surprising considering their morale advantage on familiar territory. China will really need to step it up to survive this competition now.
Group D will see an all-Western showdown between two American teams and two European teams. Although one is the clear favourite of the group, the other three are a bit of a toss-up against each other. This makes for some interesting possible outcomes within the group, and it will be very exciting to see just what happens. Heck, if history is truly destined to repeat itself, we may just see that favourite in the lower bracket.
Evil Geniuses (1/8 Coral) v CompLexity Gaming (11/2 William Hill)
It’s USA versus USA in this particular fixture, with Evil Geniuses being the clear favourites over their American compatriots CompLexity Gaming. Needless to say, EG have been very, very consistent even after their victory at TI5, even though they have not won first place since The Summit 4 two and a half months ago. Showing up in the top 4 of every LAN they’ve been in since then, they remain one of the biggest threats on the list of teams at Shanghai and one of the favourites to win this group, if not the entire tournament. When the Boys in Blue are rolling and team captain Ppd figures the rest of the field out early, they can be very hard to stop.
This isn’t to say that CompLexity can’t win here. As a team that seems to be starting to hit its stride somewhat in the past few weeks (their performance at MDL, while disappointing for them in the end, showed that they aren’t total pushovers), they might just pull a fast one on EG — especially here in the group stages where they can really exploit EG’s knack for starting out slow during tournaments.
Besides, the price on EG in this one is just too high, and those 1/8 odds are already the best we could find out there. You could theoretically bet small on EG if you wanted to play it super safe, but there’s plenty more money to be had with CompLexity. For some extra fun and potential earnings, you could also try betting on a 2-1 victory for them.
Virtus.pro (11/10 bet365) v Team Liquid (4/6 Coral)
Undoubtedly the closer matchup between the two listed here. Both Virtus.pro and Team Liquid have talented and highly-skilled players on their roster, and as far as the power rankings in this tournament go they’re pretty evenly-matched. VP have been giving Liquid trouble as of late, so as far as psychological conditions go the advantage is on their side. VP are also a team that show flashes of CIS brilliance every now and then, which could be what happens here as well. On the other hand, Liquid have the results to make a case for themselves in this fixture, and in the era of Earth Spirit having JerAx around is definitely helpful. This will limit VP’s options in the drafts which is something that Liquid could look to exploit.
The numbers on both teams tell us that betting on VP is the smarter choice, though. With odds this close, you might as well bet on the underdog — especially given the recent history between these two squads. Seeing this series go to three games wouldn’t be shocking at all, therefore.