Another set of ESL Pro League CSGO matches take place tonight. Will Mousesports recover from a stutter against LDLC to resume their romp at the top of the table, or will VP’s offline form translate, for once, into online competition?
Virtus Pro (27/20, 2.35 Betway) vs Mousesports (4/1, 5.00 Betway), Draw (21/20, 2.05 Betway Esports)
Mousesports sit top of the table with eight victories and two losses, which should be enough to see them survive this season. Whilst that was their initial aim after NiKo’s departure, they’ll now be looking to earn a place at the ESL Pro League Season 5 Finals. Virtus Pro currently have five wins and five losses, and will be hoping they can make the finals after losing out on round difference last time around.
Map One – Inferno – Virtus Pro (7/10, 3.70 LeoVegas) vs Mousesports (57/50, 2.28 GGBet)
When these two sides met at Dreamhack Masters Las Vegas just over a month ago, Virtus Pro chose to make Inferno their second ban. This was unsurprising given that it appeared to be one of their least favoured maps and that it left Cobble and Overpass in the pool. Since then, the Poles have played Inferno twice, beating SK on it 16-14 at IEM Katowice, and brushing Astralis aside 16-8 in ESL Pro League. Astralis played with their coach, zonic, instead of dev1ce that day, and he had plenty of success, getting 9 AWP kills despite his team losing badly.
Despite VP managing to shut down Fallen and coldzera, pasha has struggled in both games on this map, frequently losing opening duels. Mousesports will be hoping their sniper, oskar, can exploit this. He racked up 15 AWP kills in a 16-12 loss to Spirit, where Mousesports picked Inferno. Against North he showed a willingness to take opening duels, winning 6 in a 16-5 victory. The win over North was impressive given North have shown a willingness to play the map, despite some shaky form. Their defeat to Spirit tempers enthusiasm for a Mousesports’ victory.
Whilst Virtus Pro should win the map, given that the match is taking place online and their tendency to play to their opponent’s level, odds of 7/10 do not appeal as much as one might think on first impression. Virtus are likely to shine in late round situations, but unless they solve their issues with losing the opening duels (of which they lost 20 against SK) they are unlikely to build the required CT economy to string a lengthy number of rounds together. Their victory over Astralis can be completely ignored due to the absence of dev1ce and as such, this is a map best watched.
Map Two – Nuke – Mousesports (8/5, 2.60 138) vs Virtus Pro (26/50, 1.52 Leo Vegas)
Nuke was Mousesports’ initial ban against VP in Vegas and sits fifth or sixth in their preferences of which maps to play. After being beaten badly on Train last time the teams met, their hand was somewhat forced here and the map generator has not been kind to them. VP love playing Nuke and have been dominant on it on LAN, with the exception of a 16-14 loss to Heroic at IEM Katowice. Online they have been less convincing, requiring overtime to see off Astralis, with zonic, who admittedly dropped 24 kills rather than being an obvious handicap in fragging ability. However, it is their victories over the aforementioned side on LAN, twice, and over G2, which show their true ability on Nuke.
On the other hand, Mousesports were beaten 16-10 by LDLC on this map yesterday, which is not good enough form. Despite trading kills relatively evenly, they were outwitted by Ex6TenZ’s tactical play. Whilst they have beaten Kinguin and GODSENT on this map, they have struggled against teams nearer VP’s ability. Losses to Astralis and Liquid, with NiKo in their roster, do not bode well for their chances.
We expect a relatively comfortable victory for VP here and the -2.5 round handicap line seems generous. 8/11 is available with Leo Vegas and this should be availed of.
VP -2.5 rounds on map 2 (Nuke) with Leo Vegas at 8/11 (1.72)