The only real issue with 2020’s regional tournament separation has been that it is very clear that the top-tier teams in North American Counter-Strike: Global Offensive are heads and tails above the the rest. Beijing’s two top teams, Liquid and Evil Geniuses, have cruised through the group stage with ease, setting up what many believe will be a TL versus EG final. But before viewers can find out whether or not they’ll get the grand final matchup they want, both teams will have to go through two up-and-coming rosters and prove they’re not just the defacto best in the region.
Team Liquid arguably has an easier path. While Evil Geniuses has to face off against Chaos Esports Club, Liquid has drawn Triumph Gaming as their semifinals partner. Liquid seems to have finally worked in its fairly new addition in Michael “Grim” Wince across its map pool. The adaptation of both Grim and the Liquid players around him is right on track with our earlier breakdown of Liquid’s timeframe to get back on their feet after dropping AWPer Nick “nitr0” Cannella in August, and the entire roster is now clicking together. It’s worth noting that Triumph isn’t a bad team, not by any stretch of the imagination. It’s just that here, Liquid looks too sharp for Triumph’s relatively inexperienced roster.
Even with Liquid’s break, they’ve managed to impress across CSGO’s seven maps, holding win percentages higher than 58% on all maps with the exception of Vertigo. It’s worth noting that those Vertigo losses came early in Grim’s time with the team, and the rotation-dependant map didn’t help Liquid’s plan to work him in slowly. Outside of that, Liquid has looked solid over the rest of its recent games.
Triumph has a large pool like Liquid, but its records are much less impressive. The only map that the roster finds itself on statistically even ground is Inferno, where both teams own an average win rate of just under 60%.
This leaves punters with a solid choice as to the match favorite, but the odds won’t be as great as some as we’ve seen in previous weeks. WINNERS.bet has Team Liquid sitting at a commanding 1.08 to Triumph’s 6.30 under the match-winner category, so the margin between the two isn’t quite favorable for an outright wager. Stay away from taking Triumph on pistol rounds as well, as Team Liquid has an incredibly solid 60.3% win rate on the first round in the half, no matter the side.
The room for profit here comes from a 1.4 line on maps played, with the bookmaker totaling a 2.5 on the match going three maps, with a potentially lucrative 1.4 for it to end at two. That’s where punters may find some value in a match that should go the favorite’s way. Other bookmakers, handily compiled by WINNERS.net, offer similar odds and all have Liquid penciled in as an IEM Beijing grand finalist.