- The Champions Stage of the StarLadder Major runs from September 5th to 8th
- Team Liquid narrowly qualified for the final stage but survived with a win over Mousesports
- ENCE and NRG were the top two qualifiers from the Legends Stage
The StarLadder Major is down to the final eight teams, as the Champions Stage begins on September 5th.
Team Liquid are still favored to win it all despite their lackluster and unconvincing performance in the Legends Stage.
Odds of Winning the StarLadder Major
*Odds taken 02/09/19
Liquid Remain Favorites
Prior to the beginning of the Legends Stage, Team Liquid had odds of +165 of winning the StarLadder Major and now in the Champions Stage, their odds have actually increased to +150.
A large part of that is because the pool is down to just eight teams, but it’s surprising to see the odds increase after they barely survived the Legends Stage. The tournament favorites were one loss away from elimination but won back-to-back best of three’s to qualify.
That included an incredibly close 2-0 win over Mousesports that saw both maps go to tiebreakers.
Team Liquid was expected to continue their amazing streak of success of winning at the StarLadder Major, but so far they’ve looked human.
They lost one game matchups to NRG and AVANGAR which put them on the brink of elimination. It hasn’t been convincing but Team Liquid is still a team that is hard to bet against, especially in a best of three format where teams will have to take two maps off of the Grand Slam winners.
They don’t look unbeatable after the Legends Stage, but that will probably change in the Champions Stage. Their first round opponent is Astralis and if Liquid gets past them, they should be home free the rest of the way.
NRG Topple Two Giants
The big surprise of the Legends Stage was NRG, as they looked incredibly strong against two of the best teams in the world.
In the second round, NRG beat Liquid 16-9 on Dust II. More impressive than that was their 2-0 win over Astralis which saw the opening game tie the record for the longest map ever at a CS:GO major. The first map of the series went 59 rounds, but NRG eventually won and then cruised to an easy second map victory.
NRG beat the two favorites to win the StarLadder Major and yet they still only have the fourth best odds of winning.
One thing that hurts their chances is that their side of the bracket is rather difficult. Their quarterfinals opponents are Natus Vincere, and if they get past them they’ll have to face the winner of Astralis vs. Team Liquid. Even with a tough bracket, at this point NRG is a better bet than Astralis and has much better value.
Easy For ENCE
ENCE made quick work of qualifying for the Legends Stage and have a great chance of making the finals. They beat AVANGAR and the disappointing MiBR in best of ones before dropping a 2-0 on the ascending Team Vitality.
ENCE is always a team to watch and they appear to be on their A-game entering their quarterfinals match against Renegades.
Unlike NRG, ENCE find themselves on the easier side of the bracket, and the toughest team in their way of making the finals is Vitality who they already beat.
At +1200, the value of betting on ENCE is extraordinary. However, I’m not sure they’ll be able to defeat Team Liquid even with their easy road to the finals.
Pick: Team Liquid (+150)