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The latest esports betting tips, news, views, and updates from the Puntt Team.
Pre-Fire Predictions 20 November 2020
We break down this weekend's semi-final matches at IEM Beijing
Valle | Nov 20, 2020 | Pre-Fire Predictions
Liquid -vs- Triumph
Top Pick: EliGE (Liquid)
Outsider Pick: Twistzz (Liquid)
Liquid and Triumph have faced off just once this year, and it was Liquid that came out on top in that match by a score of 2-1. So far, Inferno has been the go-to map for Triumph and considering that they picked and won this map against Liquid the last time around, it would be surprising if we don't see this map picked once more. This is an excellent map for Twistzz, who tends to put up big numbers from the pit on the CT side in particular. Since Grim joined the roster, Twistzz has amassed an average of 0.74 kills/round in 433 rounds on Inferno, only trailing EliGE who is another great play in this matchup. The two play alongside NAF on A site, with Grim and Stewie2k playing in tandem on B. This is why I am not particularly keen on Grim in this matchup, despite the AI predicting him to top the board, as B site players tend to post lower numbers unless the T's go for several eco rushes towards B.
Liquid went for Overpass the last time against Triumph, and this is once more a great map for both EliGE and Twistzz, who top the board on Liquid with 0.78 and 0.77 kills/round respectively. I think you can also make a solid case for NAF, who has great upside if we see Nuke played, which is likely if this match were to go to a decider. If you want to consider a true long shot, Junior makes some sense on Triumph. He posted a respectable 56 frags in their recent loss to Liquid, and he has been in great form over the past month. If Triumph were to upset, chances are that he will be at the top of the scoreboard.
Natus Vincere -vs- G2
Top Pick: s1mple (Natus Vincere)
Outsider Pick: NiKo (G2) / kennyS (G2)
This incredibly starstudded semi-final matchup between NaVi and G2 will be amazing to watch, and it is really tough to pick between all of these great individuals. NaVi looked incredibly strong in their 2-0 sweep over Astralis in the quarter, with the dynamic duo of s1mple and electronic posting big numbers. But it wasn't just s1mple and electronic who had a big game for NaVi, but Perfecto also posted an impressive 41 frags, just a 2-3 frags short of s1mple and electronic. However, with so many big names on the server, you would be crazy to hover your cursor over Perfecto's name in this one.
s1mple is the most obvious choice, and I would tend to agree with the AI predicting him to be the top fragger here. There aren't many players in the world who can truly challenge him when it comes to actual fragging power. One who can, at times do so, is NiKo who just recently made the move over to G2 from FaZe. His performance in his first eight matches with G2 has been stellar, posting 0.83 kills/round across all maps. He was instrumental in helping G2 mount a comeback on Dust2 in their most recent match with FaZe, and if he continues playing like this G2 will definitely be a force to be reckoned with moving forward.
However, while NiKo has been excellent, there are others on G2 who have enough quality to potentially outperform him. kennyS is someone who comes to mind. In G2's last two matches, kennyS has actually edged out NiKo in terms of fragging, so he is in fine form coming into this one and a potential darkhorse to top the board for G2.
G2 are a more well-rounded team compared to NaVi overall, with several players having the potential to put up big numbers. The likes of huNter- and nexa are no joke, and while they will have less room to flourish with NiKo in the team, they can certainly have their flashes of brilliance. NaVi, in comparison, are far more reliant on the performance of s1mple and electronic. This makes s1mple a safer bet overall since it is rare not to see him at the top of the scoreboard for NaVi.
Evil Geniuses -vs- Chaos
Top Pick: Brehze (Evil Geniuses)
Outsider Pick: Ethan (Evil Geniuses)
Evil Geniuses are coming in as a heavy favourite against Chaos in this semi-final matchup. These two teams faced off in ESL Pro League back in September, and it was Brehze who topped the board for Evil Geniuses when they brushed aside Chaos in a 2-0 victory. He should be in a good spot to do so again, as he is the most reliable player on the roster. While the likes of CeRq and Ethan have a few maps where they tend to struggle, Brehze posts big numbers pretty much all across the board.
In the last meeting between these two teams, Evil Geniuses went for Inferno, and it is likely that we see history repeat itself. This is a great map for both Brehze and Ethan, who have posted an average of 0.76 and 0.74 kills/round respectively on Inferno in online matches this year. It is worth noting that this is a map where CeRq tends to struggle, having only posted 0.65 kills/round this year. Inferno is quite a difficult map for AWPers on T side, and it is clearly affecting his output. With how probable it is that we see Inferno in this series, I don't like CeRq nearly as much as Brehze and Ethan for this reason. His saving grace could potentially be if Chaos were to pick Train, where he would have enough upside to make up for his deficiency on Inferno, but it is not enough for me to seriously consider picking him here over Brehze and Ethan.
Chaos' map choice is up in the air as far as I am concerned. Both Nuke and Overpass are decent options for them. If they pick the latter, I actually like Ethan as a longshot over Brehze, since Overpass and Inferno are two of his best maps in the entire pool.
Another player worth mentioning is Xeppaa from Chaos. While I disagree with the Puntt AI having ranked Xeppaa over Brehze and even Ethan, it needs to be said that his numbers are seriously impressive. If we see a repeat of the same maps as we did back in September (Nuke and Inferno), Xeppaa will have the potential to put up big numbers. However, picking him here as the underdog over Brehze or Ethan is questionable, especially when you consider that the Puntt AI may convince the general public to pick him, negatively affecting our potential returns as a result.