Too many teams to count tried to qualify, 16 made it to the Major and now only four remain: Gambit, Astralis, Immortals and Virtus Pro. Two will take to the TAURON Arena tomorrow to try to write their name into CounterStrike history, and today who gets their chance will be determined. Virtus Pro, and the neutrals, will be hoping for the Poles to play in front of their home crowd again. CSGO Betting’s PGL Major Semi Finals betting tips gives you our verdict on who will fight it out for the $500,000 first place prize.
Gambit (49/20, 3.45 138) vs Astralis (17/50, 1.34 GG Bet)
Gambit are the only undefeated team left at the Major and they have been convincing throughout. They will feel hard done by that they have drawn the Danes here, as Astralis annihilated SK Gaming yesterday. Getting revenge for their groupstage defeat, Astralis’ performance was the most convincing of the tournament so far and Nicolai “device” Reedtz dominated. He was unstoppable, beating Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo 10-2 in AWP battles. Meanwhile, Gambit’s unsung hero Mihail “Dosia” Stolyarov led them to victory, as their usual star, Dauren “AdreN” Kystaubayev, was absent. AdreN followed up by thanking his teammates saying he felt the pressure of his big stage debut. The pressure is off for Gambit now whilst Astralis might feel like their job is done after their SK success: on paper, they have one hand on the trophy already, but this has been a tournament full of surprises.
There will be no surprises in the ban phase: Gambit will remove Mirage and Astralis will ban Cobble. From there, it is more difficult to determine the picks as the teams share favoured maps: Overpass and Train. Neither of them really like Cache, though both have shown an exceptional level of play on it at this event. Gambit gutted G2 and Astralis swept aside SK. Gambit banned Nuke against G2 so if that is not picked by Astralis, it is more likely to be their second ban that Cache. As such, Astralis would likely take out Cache in the second ban phase as anything could happen on it. Astralis are more likely to opt for Overpass given Gambit’s recent form has been shaky on it. Astralis will come out on top on Overpass and it will likely be in a convincing manner.
The other two maps will then be Train and Inferno, and it will just be up to Gambit in which order they are played. Astralis have looked more fallible on Inferno and Gambit can definitely play it. Inferno could go either way.
Should Train be required, the teams will face on their favourite map. Gambit played it in too simplistic a style yesterday against Fnatic to trouble Astralis. They have shown enough against Virtus Pro, G2 and SK Gaming in recent months to suggest they have a serious chance but they will need all five of their players to turn up.
At the prices, neither team is a bet to win the match but Gambit could take a map.
Immortals (33/20, 2.65 Betspawn) vs Virtus Pro (11/20, 1.55 Betway Esports)
Immortals will remove their perma-ban, Nuke, which fortunately for them is VP’s best map, as evidenced earlier today when showing two solid sides against North. This will mean VP pick Mirage, as Train is a good Immortals map and Mirage is not. Virtus Pro will have problems if their inconsistent form puts them off from picking Mirage, and not doing so would give Immortals a major edge in the veto process. Immortals cannot be written off on Mirage, but Virtus Pro will go in as heavy favourites.
Virtus Pro removed Overpass against North and they will likely remove it again. It is Immortals’ best map whilst Cache is weaker, though they should still pick to play Cache if VP leaves it open. The Poles did beat Fnatic on it, but it was previously a solid map for Immortals and they have some impressive form on it, such as a victory over SK Gaming. Alternatively, they could go for Inferno. Immortals walked over BIG on Inferno, who most people and the market favoured. Virtus Pro have played a lot of Inferno but have only won one of their last ten games on it. Immortals should take whichever map they choose, particularly given VP have had little time to prepare given the timing of their quarter-final.
Whichever Immortals do not pick will be VP’s second ban, thus the Brazilians can choose whether the third map is Train or Cobblestone. They had not shown much form on Train prior to the Major and their form on it this week might not mean much. There is no barometer as to how good BIG are on it and their other victories were over tier two or three teams: FlipSid3 and Vega Squadron. VP are not the team on Train they once were but their form in Krakow has been a level above anything they have shown this year and they will have prepared the map. A loss to Gambit can be forgiven and their win over Cloud9 was solid.
Virtus Pro put up a classic performance on Cobblestone against North and that will be fresh in Immortals’ minds. Immortals would likely have preferred Cobble otherwise and with the chance to see Virtus Pro all out on the map, they could take advantage. Less than three weeks ago they won 16-12 on it at ESL One Cologne – and that day they banned Train. We could well see a repeat here. This match could go either way, and as such at the prices Immortals are the bet. It won’t be the Brazilian team everyone expected to reach the final, but it’ll be the sounds of the samba in the arena tomorrow, not the hoards of Polish fans cheering for their home team.