We’re in the midst of a busy time in esports competition, with Dota 2’s Kiev Major set to get underway next week and the inaugural CS_Summit commencing last night.
Whilst there’s just four matches to choose from such is the format of the Summit, it’s an intriguing tournament from multiple standpoints. Last night’s events saw wins for SK Gaming, Cloud9, Team Liquid and Gambit Gaming. Although there’s no group stage in the tournament, the double elimination format means we’re in for another four great games this evening. Two teams will be removed from the tournament by virtue of losing their second game whilst six will battle on.
The tournament is different from recent CS:GO action for a multitude of reasons. The first, and arguably the best from a spectator standpoint, is that we get to see some of the brightest minds in Counter-Strike give their opinions in the informal casting format. Yesterday, for example, Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo provided fascinating insight alongside some more familiar talent from the CS scene. We look forward to seeing more of the same.
The other interesting aspect is the lack of Astralis, Natus Vincere, North and more of the top top teams. The CS_Summit has a clear favourite in SK Gaming but other than that the other teams are fairly well bunched and it gives them a chance to showcase their ability to the wider world.
ESI’s Ollie Ring previewed the tournament here and tipped Gambit to go well. Their resounding 2-0 victory over GODSENT yesterday stands them in good stead.
Here’s a look at the four matches today and what to expect:
EnVyUs versus OpTic Gaming
It’s safe to say that the Frenchmen EnVyUs got the worst possible draw when paired up against massive pre-tournament favourites SK Gaming in their first match. They suffered a 2-0 defeat but that’s not to say that they played particularly poorly. SK are heads and shoulders above most, if not all of this field and thus there was no shock when they swept the French aside.
OpTic on the other hand faced C9 who are playing this tournament with a stand-in player. They were fairly underwhelming and unimpressive when falling by a 2-0 scoreline in their match yesterday and didn’t show much to make us believe they’ll mount any sort of challenge out in Los Angeles.
EnVyUs at 1.55 on Betway seems a safe one for an accumulator or those more daring can go with the French with a -1.5 handicap at odds of 2.60.
GODSENT versus Ninjas in Pyjamas
Betway’s very own NiP have continued their astonishing tumble from the peak to but a damp squib in the CS scene. Whilst there’s no shortage of fans wanting the Ninjas to go well, there’s also no lack of disappointment for those loyal supporters. Although they took a map from Team Liquid last night, a 2-1 loss in a match for which they were favourites is far from ideal.
The couch jested that NiP would be doing a lot of casting as they’ll be knocked out early and early signs suggest that could well be the way they’re heading. Luckily for them, they face GODSENT who did not perform at all well in going down with barely a fight against Zeus’ Gambit Gaming yesterday.
It’s a tough one to call, as every time we back the Ninjas they tend to let us down. We’re going to steer clear of this one, although if we had to say something it would be GODSENT to win at least 1 map at 1.50 on Betway.
SK Gaming versus Cloud9
SK looked assured in their victory over the French yesterday and looked to warrant the low price offered on them pre-tournament. Cloud9 also looked dominant, despite being a man light of their traditional roster.
Whether or not it was in the ineptitude of OpTic that allowed C9 to look in such good shape or it was the North American’s ability remains to be seen. If there’s one team where chemistry is all important it’s SK. They will piece apart and capitalise on mistakes better than most in the world and therefore SK to win at 1.35 on Betway seems another one to put in the accumulator. They’re only 1.95 to win 2-0 but the 1.35 seems considerably safer. C9 could spring a surprise with their map pick, after all.
Gambit Gaming versus Liquid
The final match is an intriguing contest. Liquid looked good when beating NiP on the Ninja’s map pick Nuke before dropping their own choice, Inferno in the second game. The performance on Cobble was comprehensive though and if EliGE- is firing then they’ve every chance of winning against the best of teams.
Gambit are an interesting proposition as they’ve shown glimpses in the past of being up there with the best in the scene. Liquid’s great performance on Cobble last night may give them a false sense of security and if they let the map through they can wave goodbye to the game. There’s no better team on Cobble than Gambit so they would be foolish to do it.
We anticipate this could be a close affair, with either team snatching it 2-1 but we’re going to stick to our guns and go with the CIS boys Gambit at 1.65 on Betway.
ESI Treble: Gambit, SK, EnVyUs @ 3.45 on Betway
ESI quad: Gambit, SK, EnVyUs, GODSENT to win a map @ 5.17 on Betway.