The competition began last Sunday with the group stage. In a bit of a different format, the ELEAGUE operates in a “Swiss” format, where the opponent each team faces at each stage depends on its and its opponent’s results.
Sixteen of the best CS:GO teams in the world qualified for the event, eight Legend teams and eight Challenger teams:
- Legends: SK Gaming, Team Liquid, Fnatic, Virtus.pro, Astralis, Flipsid3 Tactics, Gambit Esports, and Natus Vincere
- Challengers: FaZe Clan, GODSENT, mousesports, North, OpTic Gaming, Team EnVyUs, G2 Esports, and HellRaisers.
Explaining the Swiss format
All teams were placed in a single group and play five matches in the group stage, with the eight teams with the best records moving through to the quarterfinal stage. At that point, it’s a straight knockout tournament.
The first round matches in the group stage pitted the high seeds against the low seeds. After that the second round of games, it pitted the eight winners from the first round of matches against eight losers from the second, with the only proviso being a team cannot be drawn against the opponent it played in its opening group game.
In the third round, the group is divided into three groups, high (teams with a 2-0 record), mid (teams with a 1-1 record), and low (teams with a 0-2 record). Each team plays one of the other teams in its group who it has not yet played. At this stage, any team that wins its third game, automatically qualifies for the playoffs with a 3-0 record. Any team with a 0-3 record is eliminate from the competition.
The fourth round of games sees the teams once again divided into two groups: The high group has teams with a 2-1 record, the low group teams with a 1-2 record. Once again, the teams play another team from their group. The winners of the high group also qualify for the playoffs, and the losers from the low group are eliminated.
In the fifth and final round, any remaining teams are drawn against a team it has not yet faced. The winners of these games qualify for the playoffs, with the losers eliminated. That leaves eight teams in the knockout stage.
In the playoffs, teams play a best-of-three matchup through the quarterfinals, semifinal, and then onto the final, with the winner taking home a top prize of $500,000 and the runner-up $150,000. The top eight teams will all be awarded (or retain) Legend status and secure their places in the next ELEAGUE Major.
So, what are the odds?
Bet365 Sport is already offering plenty of betting on the event. The current favorites to win the tournament outright are Natus Vincere at 9/4, with SK Gaming at 7/2, and Virtus Pro at 4/1.
Gambit Gaming (8/1), Astralis (10/1), GODSENT (12/1), Team EnVyUs (17/1), and G2 Esports, FaZe Clan, and Fnatic (all 20/1) are all longer shots.
People can also bet on the match winner for the different matches through until the final on Jan. 29. Don’t forget to check back to Bet365 Sport for the latest esports betting odds on this fantastic CS:GO tournament.
DOTA 2 SL i-League StarSeries Qualifiers underway
Outside of The International, the SL i-League StarSeries is one of the most keenly contested tournaments of the season for Dota 2 players. This week sees the crucial qualifiers for Season 3 of this event taking place across Europe, North America, and Southeast Asia.
Wings Gaming have already earned a direct invite into the main competition. The Chinese qualifying section was completed a little while ago with Team VG.J and iG Vitality earning the two precious qualifying spots. Another team, as yet unnamed, will also earn a direct invite into the tournament, leaving just four places up for grabs.
Two of those four qualifying spots will be awarded to teams from Europe. The eight teams remaining in the qualification process participate in a round-robin phase, where the top two teams at the end of competition (which runs from the Jan. 24 through Feb. 2) earning those two qualification spots in the main event.
Across the pond in North America, there is a very similar qualification process taking place, but with just one qualifying spot up for grabs. The final qualification spot is open to teams from Southeast Asia. This tournament began on Jan. 16 and will conclude very shortly.
Of the eight teams competing for that one qualification spot, only three teams stand a chance of taking home the top prize: WarriorsGaming.Unity, TNC Pro Team, and Team Faceless. At the moment, TNC Pro Team has the best opportunity with a 4-1-0 record.
Bet365 Sport is offering punters the chance to bet on many of these top StarSeries qualifiers. In addition, there are match handicap and Map 1 and Map 2 winner bets available on a number of games from Europe, North America, and Southeast Asia.