Running Wednesday through Sunday, the event features a best-of-one round-robin group stage to kick off proceedings, followed by single-elimination playoffs, which is in a best-of-three format.
Eight of the best CS:GO teams in the world were offered a direct invitation, and four other teams earned places through qualifiers. Three squads qualified from the European qualifier, and a single team hails from the North American qualifier.
The 12 competitors have been drawn into their initial groups and that has thrown together some old foes in what looks a highly competitive initial group phase.
- Group A – Astralis, OpTic Gaming, FaZe Clan, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Fnatic, Immortals
- Group B – SK Gaming, Virtus pro, North, Cloud9, Natus Vincere, Heroic
After the group phase is completed, the top team in each group will be seeded into the semifinals. The second and third place teams in each group will then play off at the quarterfinal stage to take on one of the top seeds in the semifinal. The winner of both semifinals will contest the best-of-five final on Sunday, March 5.
Currently, Bet365 Sport is offering a number of bets on IEM Katowice, so let’s take a look at the esports betting odds. This includes the ever-popular Win Outright market, which has SK Gaming as the current 11/4 favorites. Bettors can back either Virtus.pro or Astralis as the 4/1, with Natus Vincere 6/1, and FaZe Clan and Fnatic both 8/1 shots.
Outside bets for the title start with North at 12/1 and Immortals at 16/1, followed by Ninjas in Pyjamas and OpTic Gaming at 25/1. The outsiders are Cloud9 at 33/1 and Heroic at 40/1.
There’s also the opportunity to have a flutter on which team will win the group, Match Winner markets, as well as round betting for a number of the key matchups.
With $100,000 of the $250,000 total prize fund being awarded to the winning team, plus a $1,000 prize on offer for each group stage victory, there’s more than just prestige up for grabs in Poland over the coming few days.
Many LoL betting choices available at tourneys
The buildup to the League of Legends World Championship continues this week with the continuation of Spring Split tournaments across the globe. This, in addition to a number of other big LoL tournaments this week featuring teams hoping to make it to the elite level.
The Spring Split features the very best teams play for a shot at ending Korean giants SK Telecom T1’s dominance at Worlds.
The current champions are sitting at the top of the LCK Spring Split table alongside fellow Korean team KT Rolster. They have once again proven to be the quality sides in the Korean qualifiers. It would certainly be a huge surprise if both of these teams are at the finals come the end of the year.
In the North American LCS qualifier, there are two teams sharing the top spot: Team SoloMid and Cloud9, who both sport an 8-2 record, ahead of Flyquest and Phoenix1 with 6-4 records.
In all the top qualification leagues for the Spring Split, the only unbeaten team are in the European LCS competition Group A where G2 Esports have seven wins from seven games so far. They are ahead of Misfits with a 5-1 record, and Fnatic is in third with a 4-3 record.
Group B is a much closer contest. Unicorns of Love leads the way with a 5-1 record, ahead of H2K at 5-2, and Splyce at 4-3. Any of these three teams could still claim the top spot in that group.
In addition to these top-level games, there are a number of events for second-tier teams. The winners of those contests hope to break into the elite groups that contest the main Spring Split events.
Bet365 is offering betting on a huge number of events, including the EU Challenger, the LAN Opening Cup, the LAS Opening Cup, the NA Challenger, and many more.
For more esports betting, why not try WGL?
During the past few months Bet365 has continued to diversify its esports betting markets. Now, punters can also bet on the popular Wargaming.net League for the popular World of Tanks game.
The tournament unfolds across four different geographic regions: APAC, CIS, EU, and NA. (Betting is available on the first three regions.)
At the moment, people can only bet on the Match Winner in these events at the moment, but in the coming months I would expect to see the number of bets increasing just as they have for LoL, CS:GO and Dota 2.
Furthermore, if players fancy another esport to bet on, look to the Match Winner market for the Hearthstone ESL Trinity Series. This features some of the more familiar teams you come across in the CS:GO, Dota 2, and LoL events.