The outright odds for IEM Beijing Online: Europe are not available as the final qualifier game isn’t played yet. However I am pretty confident that we are qualified enough to write about the event without the odds as it’s quite clear in what kind of form certain teams are coming into this one. In terms of favorites it’s starting to look like a Danish dynasty, with some French in the mix. Looking at challengers there are three names that pop up and then there are some teams that are really hard to judge at the moment.
Favorites of IEM Beijing Online: Europe
To start we chose three teams for the favorite category prior to the outright odds release. We’ve looked at the past 2-3 months of development and results to come up to our conclusion with the most weight being on the most recent results and overall performance.
Heroic - The current #1 ranked team in the world has surprised everyone this year, probably including themselves if I am being honest. Anyone can say that they aim to be at the top of the world but not many teams actually achieve that. Heroic has done so and despite having a minor slump on the road they were able to pull their package back together and shine again. Their most recent triumph happened in Dreamhack Open Fall 2020 where they played 9 series and only lost to Astralis and G2.
To add to their incredible journey they won the DH Open Fall after starting the playoffs from the lower bracket. Essentially this means that after losing the group stage final they won every single series then to reach the final and then to win it 3-2 against Vitality. That’s an insane performance considering that they had to beat well playing NiP and Astralis on their way to the grand final.
Their poor performance in Elisa Invitational can be looked at as an outburst in a tier 2 event after an insane run in Dreamhack. Odds wise Heroic will be amongst the most favored teams and picking them to win the event is a solid choice.
Astralis - 2020 has been tough for Astralis as their roster has seen quite a few changes due to different reasons, but still they are the #2 ranked team in the world and they are performing on an elite level. It’s beyond my understanding how Astralis can be so good that it literally took years until there have been other consistent teams that can challenge them month after month. They are back with their championship winning lineup again and they will play a few series together in BLAST Premier prior to IEM Beijing which allows Xyp9x to warm up and get back to playing with his comrades. That’s scary to say the least.
But after saying that we have to remember that Astralis won ESL Pro League without Xyp9x in the lineup. They won EPL by losing only one series, which funnily enough was against Heroic. The Danish rivalry has added a lot of well welcomed spice into the tier 1 CS:GO scene and it’s great for the game as a whole that Astralis has been pushed away from the #1 spot. However you can be certain that Astralis doesn’t agree with that and they will fight with all they got to show that they are the kings of Counter-Strike. Their most recent performance in DH Open Fall was solid and they placed 3rd in the tournament while losing only to Vitality and Heroic.
Astralis’s odds for winning will be on the low side and for a good reason. They are going to be favored in pretty much all of their match ups too, except maybe against Heroic. Betting on Astralis to win each of their series can turn out to be profitable, but betting against them with positive handicaps for underdogs and expecting BO3 series to go to deciders could be interesting here.
Team Vitality - We had an interesting conversation with my colleague regarding Vitality and NaVi with ZywOo and S1mple the other day. Neither of the teams have been able to win a major despite the teams having arguably the two best players in the world in their lineups. They come close but when it’s time to cash out something goes wrong and they lose. You always count them into the big games and deep playoff runs, and they are the odds favorite more often than not, but when it matters the most they fail.
Vitality’s results from their previous bigger events have been good, as they have placed 2nd 4 times in the last 6 events, with the other two being 10th and 3rd, which kinda proves the point being done above. They are the favorites to win this and that, but their issue is the fact that too much lies on the shoulders of ZywOo. It almost feels like he should take a step back and give more space for the other players in the team so they would get more time in the spotlight which would then balance the performance of the squad as a whole.
I wouldn’t bet on Vitality to win the event despite them being among the odds favorites. However betting on them to win series especially in group stage and non-grand final games should be valuable.
Underdogs of IEM Beijing Online: Europe
We all love ourselves some of that underdog magic. When you do tons of research and find those small edges and bet on the underdogs at the right time it’s like finding the treasure chest at the end of the rainbow. Cinderella stories are beautiful by themselves, but when you make money out of them too they become even prettier. In our eyes there are three underdog teams in IEM Beijing who can challenge the top dawgs.
Ninjas in Pyjamas - NiP’s performance in DH Open Fall was absolutely great as they only lost to Heroic and Vitality after the first round where they lost to Sprout in a weird matchup. They placed 4th in the tournament leaving a bunch of great teams behind them. The return of nawwk has also played in NiP’s favor as he has been absolutely fantastic with hampus game after game.
In BLAST Premier NiP stopped the Evil Geniuses in a very impressive manner and while NaVi gave them trouble and NiP lost both series (0-2, 1-2) it was mainly s1mple just being s1mple (61-32, 1.49 rating and 75-42, 1.59 rating). Despite the losses NiP was still playing well and with some minor tweaks to their gameplay, basically they need to figure out how to stop s1mple, they are on the edge of breaking back to being one of the top teams of the region.
OG - Since the announcement of the team I’ve been pretty hyped up about the lineup. The team is a great mixture of experienced players and young talent and the OG organisation seems to be the perfect place for them to be. Their results in previous events have been mediocre and inconsistent, but most of their losses have been very close games. If you only look at the results you might count them out, but there were a lot of positives in their gameplay in DH Open for example despite them placing 7th.
Most recently in BLAST Premier OG won against Evil Geniuses to start the event. Then they won NaVi twice, first 2-0 (16-14, 16-9) and then 2-1 (16-9, 10-16, 16-12). In terms of betting, OG is an interesting animal. They can 2-0 quality teams and then have tough matchups against underdogs. After the BLAST Premier performance I expect to see OG in the playoffs, and that’s worth betting on too.
Complexity - Complexity has been one of the hot topics of 2020 and after oBo stepped down from the roster there were some dark clouds above their heads. Now it seems that the clouds have turned into a sunrise after COL acquired jks from 100 Thieves and the team seems to be on the rise again. COL challenged Vitality for real in BLAST but fell short 1-2. After that they beat FaZe Clan 2-0 and then fell short against BIG.
Something really telling about this team is that they placed 5-6th in DH Open with a stand-in. With jks in the lineup COL is immediately more dangerous and from the little we’ve seen so far it seems that jks fits the lineup really well. COL will be an odds underdog against the top teams and there might be value in those bets as COL definitely has the potential to upset.