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FAZE Heavily Favored to Win CS:GO ELEAGUE Invitational

Zack Bowker

by Zack Bowker in eSports

Jan 18, 2019 · 11:09 AM PST

FaZe esports
FaZe look to start 2019 on the right foot at the ELEAGUE Invitational. Photo by @Entropia_esport (Twitter)
  • The inaugural ELEAGUE Invitational will take place at the ELEAGUE Arena in Atlanta on January 25th
  • Are FaZe a lock to win? 
  • Can BIG replicate the success they found at ESL One Cologne?

On January 25th, the first ever ELEAGUE Invitational will be played out in the ELEAGUE Arena in Atlanta. Featuring four teams, the tournament follows a double-elimination, best-of-three bracket where teams are vying for the $150,000 prize.

The four teams invited to the first-ever ELEAGUE Invitational are FaZe, BIG, Cloud9, and Complexity. FaZe head into the event as the favorite, but they might not be as much of a lock as they appear to win at the ELEAGUE Invitational.

ELEAGUE Invitational Odds

Teams Odds to Win ELEAGUE Invitational Outright (01/17/19)
FaZe +100
BIG +275
Cloud9 +500
Complexity +500

Back to their Winning Ways?

FaZe used to be the number one team in the world back in 2017, it was almost to the point where it was assumed they would at least make the finals of every tournament they competed in. With the recent swap of AdreN for former IGL Karrigan, it remains to be seen if they can get back to the form that they once knew.

The Kazakhstani star brings more firepower to the team, but the leadership role Karrigan took on in FaZe appears to be vacant. If one of the other players is able to step up and fill the void left by Karrigan and leave AdreN with no other responsibilities then fragging, FaZe should be a force to be reckoned with in 2019.

Gotta be the Chicken

The other team that should be looked at to come out on top at the ELEAGUE Invitational is BIG. The German side lead by Counterstrike legend gob b, found some success in 2018 placing second at ESL One Cologne, with a few other 3rd place finishes throughout the year.

BIG is one of the more tactical teams in professional Counterstrike, from their utility usage to their set pieces, they showcase how CS:GO should be played.

BIG is one of the more tactical teams in professional Counterstrike, from their utility usage to their set pieces, they showcase how CS:GO should be played. FaZe, on the other hand, plays a very loose style, which works reasonably well for them most of the time, except when playing a super tactical team like BIG.

With the recent addition of Turkish superstar, XANTARES, BIG looks even stronger heading into the ELEAGUE Invitational. If the trio of tabseN, XANTARES, and smooya, are able to show up in Atlanta, it may prove to be too much for the FaZe side to handle.

Pick: BIG (+275)

Odds to Reach Finals at the ELEAGUE Invitational

Teams Odds to Reach Finals at the ELEAGUE Invitational (01/10/19)
FaZe -450
BIG -165
Cloud9 +160
Complexity +160

Will it End up as an All-European Affair?

FaZe and BIG enter the ELEAGUE Invitational with the best odds to meet up with each other in the finals. Now that is more than likely what is going to happen, but Cloud9 and Complexity both have serious upset potential.

Cloud9 is coming off a very strange year for the organization. They were able to win the Boston Major, being the first North American team to ever do so, only to lose two of their star players, go on a slide throughout the rest of the year, and play the majority of 2018 with a number of different stand-ins.

They find themselves still playing without a concrete roster, as their IGL Golden is still dealing with health issues. Zellsis will be playing in his first event with the former major winners, and it remains to be seen what this iteration of the roster will be able to accomplish. Zellsis has only 77 maps played on LAN, but with veterans kioShimA and flusha on the squad, they may be able to provide some stability to the roster.

Zellsis has only 77 maps played on LAN, but with veterans kioShimA and flusha on the squad, they may be able to provide some stability to the roster.

Complexity is coming off of a roster change themselves. They put Android on the bench as well as yay, in favor of Rickeh and n0thing. The new look Complexity heads into the 2019 season as one of the biggest question marks.

They were able to make it to the playoffs at the London Major, but had pretty random results for the rest of the year. They would beat a good team one day, then lose to a lesser team the next. Hopefully bringing in the veterans Rickeh and n0thing can yield more consistency for this roster, as they provide upset value in nearly every event they attend.

When all is said and done, expect it to be an all-European affair in the finals of the ELEAGUE Invitational. FaZe and BIG are both in a tier above Cloud9 and Complexity at the moment, and it should show in Atlanta.

Picks: FaZe (-450), BIG (-165)

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