ESI Esports Gambling Report: Volume 8

The Dota 2 Asia Championships 2017 group stages are done and dusted. Twelve of the finest Dota teams have competed in the last week to determine the first matches of the main event. 

The Shanghai based event boasts an impressive prize-pool that stands just shy of $600,000 (£480,000), and the winners will take home a staggering 40% of the total money available. 

Credit: Valve

It’s safe to say that the groups threw up a fair few surprises, not least Team Empire taking second place in Group A and thus nabbing one of the two upper bracket slots leaving LGD.Fy, Wings, VG.J and Faceless all in the lower bracket. The second group was amazingly competitive and arguably more difficult than the first group. The Chinese teams Newbee and Invictus Gaming showed their strength to leave both pre tournament favourites Evil Geniuses and Team Liquid languishing in the bottom four.

We previewed each match and had a look across the bookmakers to see who’s best priced ahead of the action: 

OG versus Newbee

  Bet365 Betway Skybet GG.Bet Pinnacle Ladbrokes Unikrn Hills
OG 1.36 1.35 1.4 1.3 1.387 1.4 1.39 1.4
Newbee 3 2.95 2.75 3.35 3.06 2.75 2.85 2.75

The Boston Major winners OG looked near enough unstoppable in the group stages, dropping just one game as they strolled to the top spot. With Israeli captain Tal ‘Fly’ Aizik at the helm the team are superbly disciplined and they very execute game plans better than any other team in the world. 

The challengers, Newbee, secured second in a notably tough group and on their day they are every bit as strong as OG. The key to Newbee potentially unlocking OG is the performance of their mid lane player Song ‘Sccc’ Chun. Should they put him on one of his more explosive heroes he undoubtedly has the ability to piece apart any team. 

VerdictWe just can’t see OG being beaten by Newbee in a best of three series. Newbee may well take a game but probably don’t have quite enough to win two. There’s little to no variation in prices across bookmakers so either stick OG in your accumulator, or have a look at OG 2-1 Newbee which is priced at around 3.00 at most bookmakers. 

Invictus Gaming versus Team Empire

  Bet365 Betway Skybet GG.Bet Pinnacle Ladbrokes Unikrn
IG 1.2 1.22 1.22 1.24 1.245 1.2 1.24
Empire 4.33 3.8 4 3.8 4.09 4 3.9

In the other best of three upper bracket match surprise package Empire go up against Invictus Gaming who have been in scintillating form thus far. Simply put, should Invictus Gaming turn up in the same mood they should overcome Empire with relative ease and that’s reflected in the odds.

Empire tried to throw OG off their game with some more diverse picks but they were unfazed. IG should have had time to study them and must know what to expect now so we would assume they shouldn’t face too much trouble.

Verdict: Again, just stick them in an accumulator. With OG and IG you’re looking at odds of about 1.65 which, considering these are the two best of three series, is not bad at all. Again, there’s very little to choose between them in odds although a special shout out to William Hill who forgot to price this one up.

LGD.Fy versus iG.V

  Bet365 Betway Skybet GG.Bet Pinnacle Ladbrokes Unikrn Hills
LGD.Fy 2.2 2.1 2.1 2.12 2.07 2.1 2.15 2
IG.V 1.61 1.65 1.67 1.68 1.769 1.66 1.66 1.73

Now this is where the tournament gets interesting very quickly. The next and remaining four games are all just one match and the loser is eliminated from the tournament; it’s safe to say there’s a lot at stake. 

Verdict: Flip a coin and pick one. Odds of 2.2 on Bet365 on LGD.Fy are fairly appealing considering that LGD have a marginal advantage in the two teams previous head to head. 

LGD.Fy have won five of their last eight series against IG.V but we’ve seen glimpses from iG.V that suggest they can beat the best. They drew 1-1 with IG in the group stage and beat EG so they have shown they’re a good team (at times).  

Team NP versus VG.J

  Bet365 Betway Skybet GG.Bet Pinnacle Ladbrokes Unikrn Will Hill
NP 2.1 2.05 2.2 2.11 2.1 2.05 2.15 2.1
VG.J 1.66 1.7 1.62 1.68 1.751 1.7 1.66 1.67

Verdict: It would take a brave man to call this one. VG.J were the only Dota team to take a single map from OG in the group stages and pre-tournament were highlighted as one of the better Chinese contenders. If there’s one team that most would probably want to avoid in a best of one it’s Team NP. They have the potential to be explosive and unbeatable but normally capitulate in a multiple game series. I’m going to be bold and suggest NP to win at 2.20 on Skybet – eclectic captain Jacky Mao will have one of his sensational games. 

Wings Gaming versus Evil Geniuses

  Bet365 Betway Skybet GG.Bet Pinnacle Ladbrokes Unikrn Will Hill
Wings 2.2 2.4 2.25 2.61 2.469 2.4 2.15 2.25
EG 1.61 1.5 1.57 1.46 1.555 1.5 1.66 1.57

VerdictThis old chestnut again. The two Dota teams both didn’t play well in the Boston Major group stages and got paired against each other in the first round there. EG were victorious back then but that was a best of three. Wings have been extremely sub par and unconvincing but if they bring the Dota we know they’re capable of they’ll be able to seriously challenge EG. EG are notoriously slow to start but they simply can’t afford to be here – one loss and the reigning champions will be gone. I still fancy the boys in blue and at 1.66 on Unikrn or 1.61 on Bet365 it’s not the worst.

Liquid versus Faceless

  Bet365 Betway Skybet GG.Bet Pinnacle Ladbrokes Unikrn Will Hill
Liquid 1.33 1.35 1.33 1.35 1.367 1.33 1.34 1.33
Faceless 3.25 2.95 3.25 3.04 3.16 3 3.1 3.25

Verdict: This for me is the most straight forward of the matchups. Faceless have disappointed again at an offline tournament and Liquid were pre tournament favourites. Of course an upset is possible but at 1.367 on Pinnacle or 1.35 on Betway Liquid are another one to stick in the accumulator. 

Overall treble:

OG, iG and Liquid to win: ~2.20