On October 23rd-28th of 2018, EPICENTER will take place. Being one of the most prestigious and dynamic eSport events of all-time, EPICENTER provides high-quality streams for at home viewers while also furnishing the spectating arena with hyper realistic props inspired by in-game maps.
EPICENTER will be the gracious host of ten of the top teams in the world, eight of which will advance to the arena where they will play in front of thousands of local fans. Two teams, however, will be eliminated in the wildcard qualifier. This article will serve as an overview of the event itself as well as a detailed guide on the teams participating and the betting potential of said teams.
Betting Odds to win Epicenter 2018
Even though most bookmakers prefer to wait for the start of the event to list all favourites to win the event, Rivalry decided to already publish the main outright odds for Epicenter 2018. Thus, they see Team Liquid (3.00) and FaZe Clan (3.70) as main favourites to win the tournament. Find all the odds below (as of October 24, 2018):
The Wildcard qualifier will host four teams all competing for the two open spots in the main event. These four teams are Hellraisers from the CIS qualifier, Swole Patrol from the North American qualifier, 5Power from the China Qualifier and finally Virtus Pro who was directly invited to compete.
Participant Tier List Betting Preview
The order of which these teams appear is in direct correlation to where they will potentially place in the event, combining both the WildCard qualifier and the main event into a ranked list of all 10 of the teams competing. The list begins at the bottom and works up to the top teams who have a higher probability of winning the event. As you read, any team listed should be victorious over all other teams previously addressed.
10th – 5Power (Globally Ranked #64)
5Power came into the Wildcard qualifier through the Chinese region. Only four teams competed for the one spot in the qualifier and because as a region China has only eight competitively viable teams 5Power made it through with no issues. 5Power is a good team in their respective province, though because of the lack of experience with top-tier opponents I cannot foresee them beating anyone.
9th – Swole Patrol (Globally Ranked #41)
Swole Patrol is a North American squad comprised of old and new faces. The most recent addition to Swole Patrol is of the young but known talent of Braxton “Swag” Pierce. Swag’s impact on this team has not gone unnoticed since he joined the Patrol back in August he has set the bar with an HLTV rating of 1.22 and lead the team to victory in 75% of their matches.
8th – Virtus Pro (Globally Ranked #30)
Being the only direct invite into the Wildcard qualifier, Virtus Pro has a lot to prove. Virtus Pro has been struggling to maintain the status of which they once held in this past year due to three of the five core members departing from the team. The only two remaining members of the legendary squad is that of Filip ‘NEO’ Kubski and Jarosław ‘pashaBiceps’ Jarząbkowski, both of whom have had little personal success during this time. Because of the inconsistencies of the starting line-up, Virtus Pro cannot compete with more stable team compositions.
7th – Hellraisers (Globally Ranked #12)
Hellraisers made their mark during the FACEIT Major 2018 that took place just last month. The combined firepower of Issa ‘ISSAA’ Murad and AWPer Özgür ‘woxic’ Eker has evelvated this team to be one of the top contenders in the CIS region. Despite this, Hellraisers have shown poor stability as a team. Being eliminated in the bottom half of their most recent event: StarSeries i-League 2018 by losing to teams Imperial(#31), Tyloo(#15), Vega Squadron(#13) and even struggling to win in overtime against Sprout(#55).
6th – Avangar (Globally Ranked #27)
To place Avangar above Hellraisers in this event is no mistake. Avangar was the winner of the CIS qualifier where Hellraiers fell short. Hellraisers involvement in EPICENTER is due to the event organizers pushing Avangar to the main stage and needing a CIS team to compete in the Wildcard event. The addition of Bektiyar ‘fitch’ Bahytov has brought a new competitive side to the team, since the acquisition of Fitch back in July, he has an HLTV rating of 1.13 and has helped the team win 85.5% of the matches played.
5th – Ninja in Pajamas (Globally Ranked #8)
A controversial placement for NiP but a just one. NiP has genuinely come together after a competitive hiatus. The inconsistencies of a top-tier line-up such as NiP has made predictions of this team a nightmare for tipsters and event analysts alike. The addition of Jonas ‘LekrO’ Olofsson along with the departure of William ‘Draken’ Sundin has helped the teams confidence tremendously. The problem found in the squad now is their inability to close out games and because of this necessary factor. Lesser experienced teams with this ability will be able to place higher than NiP the majority of the time.
4th – ENCE (Globally Ranked #11)
In the most recent event for ENCE: StarSeries i-League 2018, the young Finnish organization went all the way to achieve victory. Entering the event ENCE was globally ranked as #20, however, they displayed the ability to beat upper tier teams such as Mousesports(#5), BIG(#10), OpTic Gaming(#16) and Vega Squadron(#13). ENCE is proving themselves in ways other teams can only dream of and with this momentum from StarSeries ENCE should produce excellent results at this event.
3rd – FaZe Clan (Globally Ranked #6)
FaZe Clan is a team unlike any other. All five members of this squad have proven themselves to be some of the most individually talented players of all time, dominating their respective regions and carrying their past teams to victory. The construction of this team was to win and not take second place as an answer. Unfortunately for FaZe Clan, they have fallen short of this goal time and time again. FaZe Clan has the firepower to brawl and take down, teams who rely upon raw skill alone. Though, when put against a tactically sound team such as the two teams higher up on this list, they tend to crumble.
2nd – Team Liquid (Globally Ranked #2)
Currently, Team Liquid is the only North American team to be ranked in the top ten teams in the world. Team Liquid has taken a new form in recent time as they acquired all-star rifler Keith ‘NAF’ Markovic from Renegades and two-time Major champion support Epitacio ‘TACO’ de Melo from ex-SK Gaming now MIBR. The addition of these two individuals has allowed the remaining members of the team to reach heights of unimaginable levels of play by creating a stable atmosphere for personal growth. The only fault of this team is lack of comeback potential. Team Liquid pride themselves on game preparation and working well to close out games. But, when faced with an adversary that redefines the plan and takes the control out of Team Liquid’s hands, they tend to fold.
1st – Natus Vincere (Globally Ranked #3)
In the last HLTV global ranking updated on October 15th, 2018, Natus Vincere was overtaken by Team Liquid due to poor results at ESL One New York. Natus Vincere took 5-6th place while Team Liquid placed 2nd. Although, in the event before ESL One New York: the FACEIT Major 2018, Natus Vincere took 2nd place defeating all opposition except for globally ranked #1 Astralis. The mentality Natus Vincere brought into ESL One New York was clouded by what could’ve been at the Major. But, now that the dust has settled, this is the event where Natus Vincere claims victory.