Upcoming Match-ups

The International 2018 Upper Bracket Preview: Can Anyone Stop Team Liquid?

SBD Staff Writer

by SBD Staff Writer in eSports

Aug 20, 2018 · 8:46 AM PDT

The International 2018
There's plenty of money and pride on the line at The International 2018. Photo by The International (Flickr) CC License
  • $24 million is up for grabs as The International’s Upper Bracket matches get underway in Vancouver
  • Can OpTic Gaming continue its hot streak and pull off a huge upset over Team Liquid?
  • Will Evil Geniuses bounce back after being absolutely dominated by Team Liquid?

The group stage is over, the cream has risen to the top, and it’s now officially time for the main events on the main stage.

It wasn’t easy-going in the group stage, but the results are in and now 16 teams are eager to reach the next round. After incredible action in the group stage chalked full of tiebreakers and best-of-two games, the chances of some thrilling finishes and upsets are all on the table.

Odds to win The International 2018

Team Odds
Team Liquid +275
Evil Geniuses +350
Vitrus Pro +400
VGJ Storm +550
PSG LGD +550
Team Secret +900
OG +900
OpTic Gaming +1000

Don’t think for a second this is just a few people trying to win a video game tournament. The largest purse in the history of esports is at stake. $24 million is currently up for grabs and that number is only growing. The winner will take home at least $11 million, and even once that’s divided among team members it’s still a huge individual pay day.

Let’s break down the Upper Bracket matches to give you an edge when it comes to placing some wagers on your favourite teams still standing.

(1) Team Liquid vs. (4) OpTic Gaming

OpTic Gaming finished off the group stage strong, going 4-0 on the final day, but when you take a closer look you’ll see those wins came against teams that are now eliminated. Their chances against the reigning champs aren’t great despite their recent form.

Team Liquid, on the other hand, is entering the main event in near-perfect form. They’ve won eight straight games after a somewhat bumpy start including huge wins against Evil Geniuses.

Bet: It’s almost impossible to find a bet worth your money with how uneven this match up is. With that being said, taking Team Liquid at -125 to draw first blood is always a fun bet, and one that is likely to pay out.

(1) VGJ Storm vs. (4) OG

OG come into this match as technical underdogs, but in reality they have an excellent chance of moving on against a team that is unproven recently and known to be taken out of big tournaments.

The biggest hurdle for VGJ Storm may be their penalty. They brought two coaches into the room earlier in the tournament and are now forced to play this match without any coach at all. That’s a massive uphill battle to climb right before the gaming even gets underway, and with the way JerAx is playing for OG, they could surprise a ton of people.

Bet: OG is paying out a handsome +150 to win and with all the momentum they’re riding, it’s worth taking the risk.

The International 2018 Top Contenders

(2) Virtus Pro vs. (3) PSG LGD 

The Chinese teams have been a bit of a disappointment so far in this tournament, and despite Virtus Pro’s recent success against PSG (they’ve won four of their last five meetings) this is a way more even match then people think.

Virtus Pro has the experience and determination to beat any team in this tourney when they really focus, and they’ll need to against PSG. This truly has the chance to be one of, if not the best series in the entire tournament.

Bet: Virtus Pro is paying -130 to win the series outright, and that’s likely a bet you want to avoid. PSG is paying out at EVEN, but they have the tendency to choke on the big stage. It may be best to avoid betting on this one and just enjoying the ride.

(2) Evil Geniuses vs. (3) Team Secret

Team Secret are fan favourites for their high-risk, high-reward style of play, but it’s time to see if it can actually pay off. They’re going against one of the standout teams from the group stage of the tournament in Evil Geniuses, but EG looked shaky when they got absolutely dominated by Team Liquid.

These two teams haven’t squared off against each other in over three months, so don’t go looking for any recency bias to help you make your picks. If you do want to go on history to make a good decision, try pulling up what Team Secret has done against a different team in the past.

Remember when they became the first team ever to sweep Team Liquid in a Grand Finals? I do. Team Secret plays a volatile style based on brash confidence and quick decision making. If they can come flying out of the gate and put the pressure on Evil Geniuses they could run away with this thing.

They’re also playing +170 to win the series…why not have a little fun? Take Team Secret and hold on for a wild ride.

Author Image