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Astralis Opens as Heavy Favorite at the Katowice Major

Astralis celebrating their 10th and most recent trophy of 2018 at Blast Pro Series Lisbon. Photo by @astralisgg (Twitter)
  • The Katowice Major starts February 13th
  • Will Astralis win their third Major?
  • Are there any teams that can realistically challenge for the championship?

It’s that time again Counterstrike fans. The Katowice Major is the first of the 2019 season, and it will set the tone for the year to come. It’s no surprise that Astralis is the favorite heading into the event, but is there another team that may be able to upset the Danes and add a Major trophy to their cabinet? Let’s take a look at the odds.

Odds to Win The Katowice Major

Teams Odds to Win The Katowice Major Outright at Bovada (01/07/19)
Astralis +145
Liquid +650
Na’vi +750
MiBR +750
FaZe +800
BIG +1400
mousesports +1600
Hellraisers +1600
Fnatic +2000
NiP +2500
NRG +3300
Complexity +5000
North +5000
ENCE +5000
OpTic +6600
Renegades +6600
Cloud9 +6600
G2 +6600
AVANGAR +6600
Vitality +10000
TyLoo +10000
Valiance +10000
Gambit +15000
Vega Squadron +15000
INTZ +15000
Grayhound +15000
ViCi +25000
ex-Space Soldiers +25000
eUnited +25000
MVP PK +50000
pro100 +50000
Spirit +50000
CyberZen +75000
Envy +75000
Bravado +75000
Furia +100000
Team One +100000
Winstrike +100000
Syman +150000
GOSU +250000

Can Astralis go Back-to-Back?

The Dominance of the Danish superteam Astralis in 2018 was truly something special, winning 10 events as well as the first ever Intel Grand Slam. They are heavily favored to head into the 2019 season and continue in their winning ways, as they should be. They are the benchmark for teamwork and consistency, and barring something crazy, should continue their run for the foreseeable future.

But what other teams stand a chance to thwart their chances at winning back-to-back majors? MiBR and Liquid are the two I would pick with the best chances to do so.

Liquid recently made a roster change, trading for American superstar Stewie2k, making them one of the strongest teams on paper. It remains to be seen how they will gel as a team, and what roles each player will take on after adding another great fragger, but if they are able to figure it out in time for Katowice they definitely stand a chance at taking down the Danish titans.

Liquid recently made a roster change, trading for American superstar Stewie2k, making them one of the strongest teams on paper.

MiBR is also fresh off some roster changes and heads into Katowice with an all-Brazilian lineup, seeing them reunite with TACO, coach Zews, and though not officially confirmed, Felps. This roster has played together before and saw their fair share of success, winning multiple events under the SK Gaming banner.

 

The Brazilians always seem to find success immediately after roster changes, and slowly taper off over time, so they should come out guns a blazing at what will be their first event as a team.

Both teams definitely have the skill to take down Astralis, but it will take more than that. They will need to illustrate top tier teamwork to be able to take down arguably the greatest Counterstike team of all-time in Astralis.

Pick: Astralis (+145)

Odds to Reach the Final at The Katowice Major

Teams Odds to Reach the Final at The Katowice Major at Bovada (01/07/19)
Astralis -200
Liquid +250
Na’vi +300
MiBR +300
FaZe +325
BIG +600
mousesports +650
Hellraisers +650
Fnatic +800
NiP +1000
NRG +1600
Complexity +2500
North +2500
ENCE +2500
OpTic +3300
Renegades +3300
Cloud9 +3300
G2 +3300
AVANGAR +3300
Vitality +5000
TyLoo +5000
Valiance +5000
Gambit +6600
Vega Squadron +6600
INTZ +6600
Grayhound +6600
ViCi +12500
ex-Space Soldiers +12500
eUnited +12500
MVP PK +25000
pro100 +25000
Spirit +25000
CyberZen +37500
Envy +37500
Bravado +37500
Furia +50000
Team One +50000
Winstrike +50000
Syman +75000
GOSU +125000

Who Else Will be Playing Come Sunday?

Other than Astralis, who is more or less expected to reach the Grand Finals of the Katowice Major, there are a few other teams that may be worth taking a look for that second spot in the final.

Like mentioned above, both MiBR and Liquid stand a very good chance of making it to the Grand Final, but it’s also worth taking a look at Na’vi, mousesports, and FaZe.

MiBR and Liquid stand a very good chance of making it to the Grand Final, but it’s also worth taking a look at Na’vi, mousesports, and FaZe.

All three teams when firing on all cylinders are dangerous, but their problem is that they are pretty inconsistent. It really depends on whether we see them at their full potential.

FaZe recently added AdreN as a stand-in for the Katowice Major, and YNk as their new head coach. It remains to be seen how they will perform with the changes, but they were not really playing too well to end the 2018 season with the roster that they had, after they had seen a solid amount of success in 2017 and early 2018.

Keep an eye on FaZe at the IBP Masters tournament on January 19th, as it will give a good indication of how the changes went, and whether they should be seriously looked to reach the final, or even win the Katowice Major.

Pick: Astralis (-200) / MiBR (+300)

Region of Winner at The Katowice Major

Teams Region of Winner at The Katowice Major at Bovada (01/07/19)
EU -225
Americas +250
CIS +700
Asia +5000

Will Europe Claim Yet Another Major?

Given that two of the more heavily favored teams to win the tournament, being Astralis and FaZe, are both from the EU the odds to bet anything else might not be that smart of a play. There is some value in picking the Americas as both Liquid and MiBR stand a solid chance at taking home the chip, but I would stay away from this one as it isn’t that likely, and betting EU doesn’t provide much value.

Pick: EU (-225)

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Zack Bowker is a lifelong video game fan who has been involved in the competitive scene since 2008. From First Person Shooters to MOBA’s, one taps to five man ult’s, he loves it all and always has his finger on the pulse on the Esports landscape.