Counter Strike: Global Offensive fans are getting excited because in just a few days time, one of the biggest offline events of the year will take place in London, England.
At the ESL ESEA Pro League Season 3 Finals the top four teams from Europe clash with the top four from North America to battle it out over four days of fast-paced action for a huge prize pool of $512,000.
After an extensive qualifying campaign both sides of the Atlantic (which offered CSGO betting enthusiasts some outstanding wagering opportunities), the four teams from each qualifying section that have made it through the 22-match qualifying process have been confirmed.
From Europe, Ninjas in Pyjamas finished atop of the League Ladder in qualifying with a 19-3 record. Second was the Astralis team who had a 16-6 record, with Fnatic qualifying in third thanks to a 15-7 record.
G2 Esports were the final qualifiers, finishing with a 14-8 record, the same as Natus Vincere, but G2 had a far better leg average (+43 compared to +13) and went through because of that.
The North American qualifying section was equally as competitive and saw Luminosity Gaming come out on top with an 18-4 record, followed by Cloud 9 who were runners-up with 16-6.
OpTic Gaming clinched the third spot with a 15-7 record and once again, the fourth spot in the offline finals was decided by leg difference with Team Liquid edging out NRG eSports, both having a 14-8 record, but Team Liquid having a +76 leg score against NRG eSports +32.
All teams will converge at the 02 Arena in London on the 11th May 2016 to compete in two groups of four. Five matches will be played in each group to decide which two of the four teams will make it through into the Semi Final playoffs on the 14th May, with the Final taking place 24-hours later on the 15th.
Group A pits Luminosity Gaming against Astralia, with OpTic Gaming and G2 Esports making up the remaining teams in this section. In their opening matches OpTic take on Astralis while Luminosity Gaming face G2 Esports.
In Group B, Ninjas in Pyjamas will take on Team Liquid in their opening game with the other two teams clashing in the first match in the group with Fnatic taking on Cloud9.
The eSports bookmakers currently have the two teams who won their respective qualifying sections as the two shortest price options for the tournament. American table-toppers Luminosity Gaming are the current 13/8 favourites, with Ninjas in Pyjama’s who topped Europe’s qualification table the second favourites at 11/4.
Astralis and Fnatic are rated as 3/1 and 9/2 shots respectively with the remaining four teams very much the outsiders for the tournament, with G2 Esports 14/1, Team Liquid 25/1, Cloud9 50/1 and OpTic Gaming the 80/1 outsiders. (all prices shown courtesy of Bet365 eSports betting).
As the tournament gets under way, there will be likely be more betting available on individual match ups between the eight competing teams from Wednesday 11th May until the final is played on Sunday 15th May which will decide which of the teams takes home the $200,000 top prize.
DreamHack Open Austin offers $50,000 prize money to top StarCraft 2 player
As many eSports betting fans will be aware, some of the top events around the world each year often have multiple eSports games competing at the same time and while last week we mentioned that CS:GO teams would be facing off at the DreamHack Open in Austin starting this week, so too will 32 of the world’s best StarCraft 2 players.
The SCII DreamHack Open Austin follows on from the event in Leipzig in January which was played over the exact same straight knockout format involving 32 players. Back them it was French player PtitDrogo, a Protoss player, who emerged victorious defeating Ukranian ace Bly in the final to take home the $16,000 top prize and 1,000 valuable WCS Circuit Points.
The winner from the Leipzig event, and the runner up will be amongst the 96 players from around the world hoping to win the tournament.
The 96 contestants are a mix of eight players that qualified for the Austin event outright: Has, Need (both Protoss), iaguz and Kelazhur (both Terran) and iAsonu, JonSnow, Bly and Guru (Zerg players).
These join a host of some of the most famous names in SCII gaming including the likes of French player Lilbow, Norwegian ace Snute, Korean star Hydra, and Swedish star Namshar.
The competition begins with the unseeded 64 players placed into 16 groups of 4, where they will play each of the other players in their group, with the top two players moving on to Group Stage 2. Here the 32 Group Stage 1 qualifiers will join the 32 players seeded and they will play through another set of matches in sixteen groups of four.
The top two players in the groups will then qualify for the Round of 32 knockout phase, where from then on in, the winners of each match will move through the tournament until the final two players face off in the Grand Final.
At the Group Stages, the competition is a Best of Three event, but this increases to a Best of Five match up for the Playoff phase. That is the case all the way through until the final, which is designated as a Best of Seven match up.
It will be interesting to see how the bookmakers price up some of these qualifiers and whether PtitDrogo can follow up his success in Leipzig by defending his title against 95 of the best StarCraft 2 players in the world.
Following the events in Austin, the next DreamHack Open event will take place in the French city of Tours on the 14th to the 16th May, with the final event of the Championship taking place in Montreal Canada between the 12th and 14th August.
As always, with it being a busy week of eSports betting ahead with plenty of League of Legends, CS:GO, SCII and Dota 2 events taking place around the world, check back with your choice of eSports betting bookmaker regularly to get the best eSports betting odds possible on your bets.