Every week, I will give you my top five predictions for bets going into a wild weekend of esports action across the world. From League of Legends to sometimes even Rocket League, I will put my money where my mouth is to showcase my brilliance (or ineptitude) trying to find some of the best upset specials on tap.
With a full slate of games starting Friday, here are my five predictions for the coming weekend.
Last week’s record: 4-1 (3-1 on underdogs)
Overall record: 4-1, +$895 (if $100 bet on every game)
All odds for matches taken from Betway Sports.
Esports bets – NA Challengers (VALORANT): Sentinels (1.45) vs. Optic Gaming(2.55)
Optic rounded back into form last week, shaking off a week one misfire against Rise to smack around a better team than their record shows NRG Esports squad. Sentinels are coming off two matches, one including the very same NRG, where they stumbled out of the gate before coming alive on their home ground on Bind to kickstart a 2-1 comeback.
The biggest issue here? Optic is strong on both of SEN’s best two maps, Bind and Haven, and aren’t a team that you can gift a map one win and not get punished for it. While I think these two teams are pretty even in terms of skill, the odds are too good for OG not to take them in this “upset.”
My pick: Optic Gaming
Esports bets – LCS (League of Legends): Golden Guardians (3.55) vs. Team Liquid (1.25)
Here is my Hail Mary of the weekend. Due to personal reasons, TL will be without world-class support Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in for the week. And although understudy Bill “Eyla” Nguyen is more than a worthy replacement and probably looking at a starting job sooner rather than later, the best team in the LCS isn’t at their peak without CoreJJ.
Golden Guardians are a good team. They got off to a slow start in some wonky matches with enchanter solo laners befuddling them, but they’ve rebounded to become a team right in the mix for a top playoff spot. In a best of five, even with Eyla, I’m taking Liquid, but this is a single game where Golden Guardians have an explosive jungler in fantastic form in Milo “Pridestalker” Wehnes.
I might look like a fool, but I’m feeling frisky after a 4-1 week where I hit on most of my underdog bets. Don’t let me down, Pridestalker.
My pick: Golden Guardians
Esports bets – LCK (LoL): T1 (1.10) vs. Hanwha Life Esports (5.75)
Yeah, no, I’m not crazy. Here’s my obligatory easy T1 favorite bet I’ll win to pad my stats every week since they’re the most lock solid bet in esports right now. In a sea of underdog takes, it’s nice to take the straightforward road sometimes. T1 by a billion.
My pick: T1
NA Challengers (VAL): The Guard (2.40) vs. XSET (1.50)
Last week, the Guard was my big winner when I caught them heavily underrated against a crumbling 100 Thieves squad (which has now blown up).
Though the odds are starting to respect them this week, and I think XSET are probably still the better team overall, they’re in superb condition. I’m done doubting Trent “trent” Cairns and his band of misfits. At these odds, they’re still a good play.
My pick: The Guard
IEM Katowice (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive): Natus Vincere (1.65), Gambit (4.75), G2 (6.50), Heroic (5.75), Virtus Pro (11.00), FaZe (12.00)
Na’Vi are the best team globally, and though many worthy teams could upset them down the stretch in Katowice, I don’t think they’re dropping this one. This is Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev’s time to extend his résumé as the best player in the game’s history.
My pick: Na’Vi (win tournament outright)