Another week of gaming action kicks off on Monday night and as always, our esports expert Michael Lee has some of his best bets for us to sink our teeth into. ThisMonday he jumps around to three different tournaments across the globe for his three best bets of the night.
VCT Berlin Masters
Vision Strikers and Acend will meet in the Group A Winners' Match at VALORANT Champions Tour 2021: Stage 3 Masters – Berlin in a fixture that will decide which of two sides will advance into the playoffs and guarantee themselves $25,000 in tournament winnings and 275 VCT Points.
Vision Strikers enter this match following a 2-0 victory against Paper Rex (13-0, 13-11), who they beat on Saturday, while Acend made it past SuperMassive Blaze with 13-5, 13-9. Both decent results, and while you could value Acend's win more, I wouldn't overreact to results from the first round of action.
Still, it's worth mentioning that Vision Strikers were priced as low as 1.10 to defeat Paper Rex, so it's hard to be overly optimistic about them dropping 20 rounds across the series. Regardless, that was Vision Strikers' first match at the tournament, so it's not like we could have expected them to play at 100%.
Due to their shaky performance in round one, Vision Strikers are expected to struggle against Acend, which you could agree with since Acend are one of the top European teams. That, however, doesn't necessarily mean that they're stronger than Vision Strikers, or at least not as strong as the odds might suggest.
Vision Strikers seem like a team that continues to fly under the radar. Even you should feel somewhat concerned about their chances to make a deep run; since they're from the Korean scene (which isn't very strong), it's important to keep in mind that Vision Strikers lost only two games since June 2020!
What's more, their only two losses were an extremely close 1-2 defeat against F4Q and a 0-2 loss against NUTRN Gaming. Just as a reminder, NUTRN placed third at the VCT Reykjavik and came only five rounds short of reaching the finals.
Vision Strikers are much better than many people seem to realise and shouldn't be priced at 2.75. Take the Koreans to defeat Acend and lock in a spot in the playoffs!
ESEA Premier Season 38 Europe
The last time these two teams met was back in June in ESEA Premier Season 37 Europe, when Sangal secured an incredibly close 2-0 victory, with 19-16 on Mirage and 16-12 on Vertigo.
Engin 'MAJ3R' Küpeli was the best performer for Sangal that day with 50 frags and a 1.29 HLTV rating, while Engin 'ngiN' Kor and Ömer 'imoRR' Karataş weren't far behind with 1.28 and 1.25 HLTV rating respectively. As for Sprout, Josef 'faveN' Baumann was their best player with 44 frags and a 1.07 HLTV rating.
Both teams have gone through roster changes since then. Sangal lost Ömer 'imoRR' Karataş to Eternal Fire and replaced him with Caner 'Soulfly' Kesici from Şahangiller Espor. Soulfly has so far played only two matches with the team, and he has been downward awful – with 0.76 HLTV rating against DBL PONEY and 0.68 HLTV rating against BLINK.
On the other end, Sprout have finally benched one of the worst pro players in the scene, Denis 'denis' Howell, and replaced him with a mediocre Rasmus 'raalz' Steensborg, from Lyngby Vikings. I would personally prefer a young player with star potential, but I guess anything is better than keeping denis.
While the past matches between these two squads were quite close, I expect a straightforward victory for Sprout here. They have parted ways with their worst performer, while Sangal lost one of their stars, and Soulfly just hasn't delivered anything yet.
Bet on Sprout to win 2-0!
Malta Vibes Knockout Series 2
South are a bunch of Danish rejects, mainly from the former North squad, and so far, this team has played only seven matches together. They won against the likes of Nexus, HEADSHOT, The Incas, and Monte Carlo but lost to AVE, Sinners, and AaB.
Spirit Academy, on the other hand, won just two of the last five matches. They have managed to beat Galaxy Racer and SG.pro, but fell flat against the likes of Nemiga, AGO, and KOVA, which are all solid tier 2 teams.
I see no real potential behind the South roster. MSL is a good IGL, but when you have the likes of Philip 'aizy' Aistrup and Jakob 'JUGi' Hansen in your team, you can't do much, and this team is nowhere near tier 1. Spirit Academy fields young and talented players, who are hungry to prove themselves, and some might even argue that they would be one of the favourites if they would play in the WePlay Academy league a while ago.
Bet on Spirit Academy to crush South!
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