- The 2020 IEM Global Challenge is scheduled to begin on December 15th
- The big three of Team Vitality, Astralis and Natus Vincere have the best odds of winning
- Heroic and BIG have shown recent flashes and are the most likely teams to pull off an upset
Fresh off the heels of the BLAST Premier: Fall Finals, the 2020 IEM Global Challenge gets started on December 15th. Team Vitality has been the most dominant team in CS:GO over the past couple of months, and they deservedly enter as the favorites. They are coming off of a strong showing at the Fall Finals where they took down Astralis 2-1 in the grand final.
Odds to Win 2020 IEM Global Challenge
Odds as of Dec. 13th.
The Three Powerhouses
Over the past few months, the CS:GO world has seen a bit of a changing of the guard, as Team Vitality as risen to the #1 team in the world according to the HLTV rankings. At this point it’s pretty hard to debate that fact as they’re coming off of a win at the BLAST Premier: Fall Finals. They took down mousesports, NAVI, BIG and Astralis as they won yet another tournament late in 2020. They also won IEM Beijing Online Europe and have truly earned the right to call themselves the best team in Europe.
Although, they’ve found themselves racking up the trophies, there have been a couple of close calls.
NAVI has come incredibly close to beating them twice. At IEM Beijing, NAVI took the grand final all the way to a game 5. Then in the Fall Finals, Natus Vincere did lose to Vitality 2-0, but both maps went to overtime.
Natus Vincere is such an interesting team as they clearly have the ability to beat the top teams. Along with a couple of close calls against Vitality, they’ve also picked up a couple of wins against Astralis over the past month. However, as I’ve harped on before, Natus Vincere struggles with consistency. Despite their success against Astralis, in the lower bracket of the Fall Finals NAVI didn’t really put up a fight at all.
NAVI is capable of a comeback but their odds of putting together a full tournament run is quite low.
Of these three teams, Vitality is simply the safest pick. They dominated two of the three maps against Astralis in the grand final, so at +275, they’re still quite a steal.
A Heroic Effort
Although Vitality, Astralis and NAVI have the three highest odds of winning, Heroic is currently ranked third in the world by HLTV. The big reason for that is a couple of tournament wins at ESL One Cologne and DreamHack Open Fall. In both of those tournaments, Heroic actually defeated Team Vitality in the grand final. As impressive as those wins were, Heroic’s streak of beating Vitality came to an end at IEM Beijing.
What’s even more concerning is their results over the past months. They haven’t cracked the top four of the past three tournaments they’ve been in. In those events they suffered losses to teams like mousesports and Godsent.
The Lone Dark Horse
The only dark horse that’s truly worth considering is BIG. They were able to put together a top four finish at the Fall Finals, but they were unable to come up with a win against Astralis and Vitality. BIG picked up wins over OG & G2, and they even secured a map against Vitality. However, the gap between BIG and Vitality is still massive as Vitality won the next two maps by a score of 16-1 and 16-2. Even against Astralis, BIG was fairly outmatched. After a close opening map, Astralis closed out the series with a 16-6 win.
Once again, this tournament truly comes down to Astralis or Vitality. In the Fall Finals, Vitality just took down Astralis 2-1, so there’s no reason to bet against the current world number 1 right now.
Pick: Team Vitality (+275)