- iBUYPOWER Masters takes place January 19 & 20 in Los Angeles
- Will Astralis claim yet another title?
- Is there an opportunity for an upset in California?
The first tournament of the year will be the iBUYPOWER Masters that takes place on January 19th and 20th in Los Angeles. It is an invite only event with a few of the best teams in the world competing, along with some smaller organizations as well.
Astralis is the heavy favorite heading into the event coming off possibly the most dominant year in Counter-Strike history. Is there a chance they can get knocked down a peg early in 2019 heading into the Major in Katowice in February? Probably not, but there is a chance.
Odds to Win iBUYPOWER Masters
|Teams||Odds to Win iBUYPOWER Masters Outright|
New look FaZe/Liquid Capable of Taking it Home in LA?
Former world number 1, FaZe, head into the 2019 season with a fresh look after benching Karrigan in favor of AdreN, and picking up NiKo’s former teammate YNk as their new head coach. This will be the first event for the new squad, and the expectations are high.
If FaZe is able to put it all together so soon after making these roster changes, they may be able to battle it out with Astralis come Sunday. Everyone knows NiKo is probably the second or third best player in the world, and is always very consistent regardless of how his team is performing.
Our first games with the new-look lineup will take place at the iBUYPOWER Masters in Los Angeles, California from January 19th-20th.
— FaZe Clan (@FaZeClan) January 6, 2019
Liquid is also fresh off of bringing in Stewie2k from MiBR, and they come in with the second best odds at the iBUYPOWER Masters. The world’s number two team added a ton of firepower from the swap, but it remains to be seen how Stewie will fit into the team.
They got by in 2018 with twistzz and NAF being the focal points for the North American side, and did very well. Bringing in another star may be great, or it could leave them in a worse position, it all really depends on the roles each player takes on and how they gel as a team.
Both teams stand a chance at taking down Astralis, but it’s unlikely to happen at their first event given their recent roster changes.
Pick: Astralis (-150)
Odds to Reach the Final at iBUYPOWER Masters
|Teams||Odds to Reach the Final at iBUYPOWER Masters|
Another Second Place on the Horizon for Liquid?
Liquid was the bridesmaid pretty much the entire 2018 season due to the dominance of Astralis. Coming in second at seven different events, it will go down as the year of silvers for the North American organization.
They definitely stand the best chance of reaching the finals alongside their Danish counterpart. The gap between them and the other teams invited to iBUYPOWER Masters, with the exception of FaZe, is tremendous.
Liquid was the bridesmaid pretty much the entire 2018 season, coming in second place at seven different events.
FaZe would be the only other team that I feel have a chance to make it to the finals in LA. It really all depends on who draws the short straw and has to play Astralis in the semi-finals.
Pick: Astralis (-1000), Liquid (+135)
Region of Winner at iBUYPOWER Masters
|Which Region Will Produce the Winner at iBUYPOWER Masters?||Odds|
As you have probably assumed by now, the only choice here is EU. I don’t want to say there is a 0% chance of North America coming out on top here, but I would probably put it at about a 5-10%.
If the Danish Titans come out firing like they did in 2018, they should stroll to the final, and be clearing space for yet another trophy in their ever growing cabinet.
Pick: EU (-300)