Credit: Adela Sznajder, ESL
We get some insane Day 1 matchups at the Legends Stage in Paris. Four of the tournament favorites go head-to-head in the opening round. But where should you put your money?
At 11.30 (CEST) NAVI vs GamerLegion
Inferno or Ancient could easily be the map for the two teams in the bo1 match. It is worth noting that all matches in the first two rounds of the Legends Stage are best of 1 matches. This increases the likelihood of upsets. GamerLegion however is one of the smaller teams that seems to thrive best in bo3 matches, which just adds more in favor of NAVI.
Our pick: NAVI to win with -5.5 rounds in handicap – Odds 1.90
At 11.30 (CEST) 9INE – Team Liquid
We are yet to be convinced, that Team Liquid will have a big role to play in this year's Major. The NA team scraped their way through the Challengers Stage with wins against Grayhound, Complexity, and Fluxo. They lost both of their bo1 matches to EU teams. Now they face 9INE. The Polish team is currently playing on a higher level than Liquid, and we predict a pretty convincing win for 9INE here. This could be one of the better odds in this round with bookmakers usually favoring the more household names such as Liquid despite their recent struggles.
We pick 9INE to win at odds 1.80 (you could be bolder and play them with a handicap as well)
At 13.00 (CEST) Fnatic – Ninjas in Pyjamas
A classic matchup in the last CS:GO Major in history. We predict a very even match between the two rivals. NIP are the favorites of the bookmakers, while Fnatic have won the last two encounters between the two teams. This has all the ingredients to be a thriller match in overtime.
Map 1 to end 15-15: Odds 7
At 13.00 (CEST) FURIA – Monte
The two teams have never met in an official match. The map veto could end on Mirage for the two teams. Here Monte has an eight-map winning streak. This could go all the way as well into overtime, but we hold our horses and predict the match to go above 26.5 rounds.
Map 1 to have more than 26.5 rounds: Odds 1.83
At 14.30 (CEST) Heroic – FaZe
What a match to start the Legends Stage for both teams. It will be their first encounter in 2023. FaZe qualified for the Legends Stage by winning against Monte, paiN, and ForZe. But Karrigan’s men have lost their matches against top-tier teams recently (ENCE, Vitality, and FURIA), which does not look promising before their match against Heroic. We believe in the Danes to win the match.
Heroic to win: Odds 1.72
At 14.30 (CEST) Into the Breach – Apeks
Apeks have looked really solid in Paris. Now they face the biggest underdog of the tournament Into the Breach. The Englishmen surprised the entire world of CS:GO by qualifying as Legends. Will they defy everyone's expectations once again?
We predict the match to be perhaps more even than what the bookmakers expect.
Map 1 above 27.5 rounds: Odds 2.37
At 16.00 (CEST): Bad News Eagles – ENCE
Most people were probably impressed by ENCE’s performance in the Challengers Stage including us. Snappi and his teammates took down FaZe, NIP, and OG to make it through. In their first round of the Legends Stage, they face BNE. The two teams have played five maps against each other in the last 12 months with ENCE winning them all. We predict another ENCE victory here.
ENCE to win the match – Odds 1.44
At 16.00 (CEST): Team Vitality – G2
A huge match to finish the first round! Can Vitality handle the pressure of performing on home soil? That is the big question. Vitality won against G2 last month, and generally looks like they have a stronger map pool against G2, who qualified for the Legends Stage by winning three “must-win” matches against Mongolz, Complexity, and Apeks. We believe in Vitality, especially with these fine odds.
Vitality to win: Odds 2
* Odds are subject to change
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See all the matches here.