Both ESPADA and Gambit Youngersters are interesting teams. Neither particularly excels at any one map, and the maps they do perform on they tend to share with one another. ESPADA does have some known veterans on their squad in Dmitrii “S0tF1k” Forostianko and Dmitrii “Dima” Bandurka, and they’re surrounded by what could grow into a solid core of fresher talent with more experience under their belt. The problem is the roster is continually failing in an environment where they should have the best possible advantage. Online matches are where this team has been best, but fans have seen mixed results over the past several tournaments.
Despite wins over a growing contender in Nemiga in the WePlay! Clutch Island closed qualifiers, the ESPADA roster also has losses against what are arguably inferior teams on paper. A 2-1 win over Winstrike is balanced out by a 2-0 loss against Spirit, pointing to inconsistency within the squad. Similar things can be said about Gambit Youngsters, where matches against teams ranked higher are sometimes close affairs, but lesser teams still get the better of them from time to time. It’s tier-two Counter-Strike in a nutshell.
This matchup has a little more behind it than just the teams’ records overall. In fact, the teams are 2-2 head to head as they move into the fifth-place decider for Clutch Island, with both teams winning 2-0 over the other in the month of June.
Even more interesting was just how it happened. Both matches took place on the same maps: Overpass and Inferno. ESPADA absolutely destroyed Gambit Youngsters on Overpass in one outing, 16-2. Both matches ended in 2-0 wins for each of the teams, and both matches showed serious flaws from each that were exploited with ease by the other. In other words, this match is a complete toss-up.
Normally, that gives bettors fits. Here, however, there’s room for excitement.
Gambit Youngsters is heavily favored for Sunday’s game, despite all the head to head stats predicting an even match. Recency bias is kicking in, and there’s money to be made if players know where to look. Winners.bet odds currently have Gambit favored 2.80 to ESPADA’s 1.38 at the time of this writing, an unusually heavy lean in Gambit’s favor for which there is little basis. Sure, Gambit played Na’Vi close on Inferno at Clutch Island, but today’s Natus Vincere isn’t the same team that once demolished the competition at IEM Katowice.
At its heart, Sunday’s match is a regional battle between two teams that have played each other close in their most recent games. Outrights aren’t the way to go here. Instead, look for the series to end in a 2-0 either way, as both of the teams’ matchups have in the past month. If bettors feel compelled to pick a winner, however, the underdog might be the best way to go. The last matchup saw ESPADA take Overpass off of Gambit Youngsters 16-2, the largest margin of victory recorded between these two teams in 2020.
It’s a potentially lucrative bet, one that could pay off in a match with such lopsided odds. For a bet on total rounds, take Gambit’s under 15.5 at 2.59. It’s a riskier prop, but with the under where it is, all ESPADA needs to do is take the map.
Another good option is choosing the pistol round winner, where Gambit has taken 58.3% of all opening pistol rounds over the past six months. Ultimately, the match will come down to which side is better prepared for the other, but the odds are skewed so heavily in one direction that underdog ESPADA is tough to pass up.