On Thursday there will be some more CS:GO betting opportunities when the Dreamhack Open returns to Spain for the annual Valencia tournament - and it certainly looks to be an interesting one. Several quite solid teams will be present at the arena but most of them have had inconsistent performances as of late.
For many of the teams attending this will be the last tournament before the player break ahead of the Major and Dreamhack Masters Stockholm. So Valencia will serve as an indicator of what the teams need to work on coming in to the bigger tournaments.
The top eSports bookmakers have North as heavy favourites to win the group - 2/5 at Bet365 - but maybe unjustly so. North has looked shaky in the past few events and they’ve not managed to win tournaments that they were, on paper, the best team in recently. Following the poor results the news broke during Monday that North was going to replace their awper Mertz with the Spanish veteran Mixwell as a try-out.
The manager of North expressly said that they wanted to break up the dynamics and see how the team fares in a different setting. The question is whether it will hurt them or give them a necessary boost here in Valencia.
The previously all-Danish line-up will now have to change the in-game communication to English instead of Danish. On top of that they won’t have much time to try to incorporate the Spaniard into the already existing strategies, holds and executes that the team is currently running. With an execute-heavy in-game leader like MSL it’s not a simple task.
Seeing that Mixwell is not a clear step up in quality compared to Mertz it would not be surprising if North struggled to get their game going during the early stages of this event. This might be Heroic’s or AGO’s chance to snatch the top spot in the group.
Though both teams are coming from bad performances in their most recent tournament respectively, there’s a good chance that Heroic will bounce back for this one. They have the quality and firepower needed to take down North and their latest failure seems to have served as a wake- up call. Back Heroic to emerge as victors of the group for 5/1 at Bet365.
G2 had a very impressive run in ESL One Cologne, reaching the top six teams only to get knocked out by the surprise of the tournament, the German BIG. However there has been a lot of speculation around how the new French team would fare after taking a gamble on the old in-game leader Ex6stenz, the Belgian tactician, still very respected within the French scene fell out of favour a couple of years back but has been brought back to the French elite level.
It was under his lead that KennyS had his big break during the time in Titan, and KennyS had a vintage performance again in Cologne. The awper looked to be back in his prime as the most feared sniper in the world. That title is now held by either Guardian or s1mple but if G2 can repeat their performance at Cologne last weekend, they should be considered clear favourites to win the whole tournament.
It was a long time since many of these players got to hoist a trophy over their heads and they’re hungry to do so. While their biggest threat, North, are using the tournament as a way to experiment before the Major, G2 look to reclaim their position as a top team again. North’s situation should increase G2’s chances to win and the odds 11/5 available at Betway is a very tempting prospect.
This is the first tournament for Virtus.Pro without Snax, as the former superstar left the team to join Mousesports recently. They’ve brought in Morelz, formerly of PRIDE, as a stand-in coming in to Valencia. Roster changes do affect teams differently, but something has been rotten in the core of the Polish roster for a long time. When they brought in Michu, the team looked revitalized and the question is if it will have the same effect once more.
Virtus.Pro is an extremely resilient side, that can really pack a punch. G2 might prove to be too tough of a challenge, but if they play decently enough they should be able to finish second in the group seeing as Fragsters and Luminosity are a tier below them. Once in the play-off only one of the inconsistent teams from group A stands in their way of the finals. It might be a long shot, but 3/1 for Virtus.Pro reaching the finals on Bet365 is worth considering.