Team Liquid will face off against Ze Pug Godz this weekend at DreamHack Open Summer 2020.
Any other day would have Liquid as the clear favorites over Ze Pug Godz, but with Team Liquid’s new addition of Michael “Grim” Wince, the team may not be on point as they integrate the new player into the lineup.
It’s a given that Liquid is the better team under normal circumstances, even after months of subpar performances from the famed North American team. But the fact that Liquid even decided to attend this DreamHack at all says it’s looking to take the tournament as a dry run for the upcoming ESL One Cologne 2020. This trial will probably see both Liquid and Grim working out their defaults while trying to find a rhythm with their new rifler, giving Ze Pug Godz an opportunity to surprise in several key markets.
Liquid is both statistically and mentally the better team in this matchup, but bettors can’t count out the effect that the team’s benching of long-time member Nick “nitr0” Cannella could have on the squad’s success. Each map Liquid plays is another map the new lineup can use to gel together, meaning that any upsets at the hands of inferior teams are likely going to come early in the tournament.
This is what makes Liquid’s opening matchup against Ze Pug Godz a compelling pick; even with the match’s odds stacked in Liquid’s favor, the game has the potential to be closer than the lines suggest. Add on to that the fact that Ze Pug Godz has played through the CSGO player break while Liquid has publically acknowledged that they haven’t practiced with Grim at all prior to this week, and there’s a solid chance this game is closer than most would think.
Both Liquid and Ze Pug Godz share map pools, another tick in the possible upset column for ZPG. This is especially true on maps where timing is most important, such as Nuke and Overpass. While ZPG’s level of competition on these maps over the past six months is much lower than that of Liquid’s, post-player break matches are notoriously sloppy. It’s not a stretch that a well-practiced team like ZPG could take a map off of Liquid early in the tournament.
Bettors looking for value backed up with statistics shouldn’t overlook any of this match’s pistol round markets that currently see Liquid at the favorites for Map 1 at 1.64 to ZPG’s 2.12 and Map 2’s 1.62 to ZPG’s 2.12 on Winners.bet. Liquid’s roster has never been great on pistol rounds, and with a new default to learn, Grim’s inexperience with his teammates actually swings these rounds in the favor of ZPG. Similarly, taking Liquid to win by five rounds or more is a risky proposition given the factors outlined above.
Due to this, a bet on Ze Pug Godz total rounds over 11.5 at 1.87 is a solid starter for DreamHack Open Summer 2020 and lets bettors see how Liquid looks with their new rifler by taking a low-risk flyer on ZPG.
Overall, it’s unlikely that ZPG has enough firepower to best Liquid’s superior players. An outright for a Liquid win is a low-risk, low-reward payoff for those wishing to get a better look at Liquid before committing to anything bigger. That said, this match is going to offer the best chance any of Liquid’s opponents will have to beat the odds, as one of North America’s top teams is likely to continue to improve over the course of the tournament.
Team Liquid will face off against ZPG on Saturday, August 8, at 1:00 p.m. EST.