- The finals of ECS Season 8 take place from November 28th to December 1st in Arlington, Texas
- As per usual, Astralis enter as the favorites following their dominant showing at IEM Beijing
- Fnatic and Evil Geniuses provide value after beating Astralis in the past couple of months
Season 8 of the Esports Championship Series comes to a close as the finals get underway on November 28th. North American representatives Team Liquid and Evil Geniuses will have a chance to defend their turf against CS:GO titans, Astralis, and compete for a $500,000 prize pool.
ECS Season 8 Finals Odds
|Team||Odds to Reach Final||Odds to Win|
|Ninjas In Pyjamas||+400||+1000|
All odds taken Nov. 26
Astralis Back to Dominating
Until another team can show that they have the ability to consistently take on Astralis, the Danish squad will continue to be considered favorites. Entering the ECS Season 8 Finals, that has yet to happen. Astralis are once again pretty big favorites and those odds are supported by their recent win at IEM Beijing.
It wasn’t just an ordinary tournament win either. Astralis absolutely dominated everyone in their path as they didn’t drop a single map. After sweeping their group, Astralis dismantled both Faze and 100 Thieves on the way to their big win.
The dominance in Beijing makes it a lot easier to overlook some otherwise concerning losses to teams in this tournament. It’s a very safe bet that Astralis will make it to the finals. However, when it comes to winning, there’s not much value in Astralis at +110. It might just be worth it to take a look at Fnatic or Evil Geniuses and hope that lightning strikes twice.
Fnatic’s Reunion Tour
Ever since Fnatic reunited with Flusha and Golden, Fnatic has started to rise back to the top level of CSGO. They’ve impressed so much that Fnatic is now ranked third in the HLTV standings. A large part of that was their impressive win over Astralis at DreamHack Malmo at the beginning of October. Not only was it an impressive 2-0 that included an overtime win on Nuke, but they then went on to beat Vitality in the Grand Final.
Since then, Fnatic has come back to Earth. At StarSeries & i-League Season 8, Fnatic dropped two different best of fives to Evil Geniuses. And of course, Astralis got revenge during ESL Pro League Season 10 by handing them a 2-0 of their own. It won’t take long to see how these two teams match up at the ECS finals as both Astralis and Fnatic are in Group B. If Fnatic has a legitimate shot of taking down Astralis again, it’ll be evident through their group stage match.
NA’s New Top Team
The Evil Geniuses also had a massive ascent after they acquired the roster of NRG. NRG has been on the brink of breaking through for a while, but they finally got it done at ESL One: New York. Their 3-1 win over Astralis in the finals proved that they were a top tier squad.
After ESL One, EG also took home top prize at StarSeries. Just when the hype began to grow around the Evil Geniuses, they disappointed with a 13th place finish at DreamHack Malmo and a 5th place finish at IEM Beijing. There are a couple of teams that are capable of beating Astralis.
We’ve now seen it happen multiple times in recent months. The problem is it happens inconsistently so it’s difficult to predict when it might occur again. Taking that gamble is worth it here since Astralis is so heavily favored. Take a shot on an upset from either Fnatic or Evil Geniuses.
Pick: To Win – Evil Geniuses (+400), To Reach Finals – Evil Geniuses (+120) & Astralis (-450)
ECS Season 8 Finals Region Odds
|Region of Winner||Odds|
Even though I’ve got Evil Geniuses winning the ECS Season 8 Finals, it’s hard to bet on North America as the winner here. Realistically, I don’t see Team Liquid having a legitimate shot after their past month has been extraordinarily lackluster. So putting a bet on North America means having full faith in Evil Geniuses.
On the other side, there’s the massive favorites in Astralis and a quality backup plan in Fnatic. A bet on Europe is a nice insurance policy in case the Evil Geniuses bet backfires.
Pick: Europe (-185)