IEM Katowice Major Round 1 Betting Preview: Odds, Picks, and Value

by Pavo Jurkic
on February 8, 2019

Minute Read

The anticipation is at its highest with just a few more days separating us from the start of the first CS:GO Major in 2019, Intel Extreme Masters XIII World Championship in Katowice. This is what we’ve been waiting for since the start of the offseason. Ever since December, the CS:GO stage has been lacking a proper top tier tournament to spice things up. There were several smaller tournaments giving us bits and pieces of enjoyment, but nothing to write home about. But it’s all going to change in just a few days, so I made this IEM Katowice Major Round 1 betting picks to introduce you all to the upcoming matches.

Yup, the first-round matchups had been announced a couple of days ago, and all that’s left is to wait for them to kick off. The first Katowice Major Challengers Stage round 1 matches, Renegades vs. AVANGAR and Fnatic vs. ViCi Gaming, start on February 13th, 13:00 CET, followed by all remaining round 1 and round 2 matches.

Where to bet on IEM Katowice Major Round 1 | Best Esports Bookies

For those of you who are ready for IEM Katowice Major betting, here are the best CS:GO betting sites at the moment:

US Accepted Sites:

Non-US Sites:

As you can see, I’ve covered both US and non-US websites for your convenience. The betting odds should be roughly the same across the board. For the upcoming IEM Katowice Major round 1 betting picks, I will be using Betway’s betting odds. They’re a great option for esports betting with in-depth coverage and consistently great betting odds.

Check out our full Betway review here.

But, before we go into the betting predictions, let’s check out some of the most interesting facts regarding the round 1 matches of the Katowice spectacle:

Katowice Major Round 1 Betting |Interesting Facts

Fact 1

In addition to match-winner bets, some CS:GO betting sites also feature plenty of interesting tournament specials. Outright winner, stage progression, most/least played map, total aces, and total overtimes, just to name a few.

Fact 2

There’s an interesting special bet on Betway called AUG vs. M4a4 and M4A1-S Most Kills. Yup, you’ve guessed it! This bet will settle one of the most common CS:GO-related questions in recent time – is AUG now superior to the M4’s?

Fact 3

Want to bet on the players? No worries, most notable CS:GO bookies have you covered as always. The player with the most kills, highest HLTV rating, highest ADR, highest headshot percentage, and the fewest deaths all sound pretty neat. If time allows, I might even make an article dedicated to all these wonderful CS:GO Katowice Major specials.

IEM Katowice Major Round 1 Betting Picks

Now we’ve reached the fun stuff!

First of all, I’d like to state that these picks are just my personal opinions based on the forms and various stats of the participating teams. I am an esports bettor, just like you, so you can’t expect me to guess all of them right. Especially since many of these teams haven’t played against each other that often. Plus, it’s practically the start of the “real” CS:GO competitive season, so most of them are still fresh out of the offseason. The Returning Challengers are the ones I’m referring to here, they haven’t played the regional Minor tournaments, so they might be a bit rusty.

With all that in mind, let’s cut to the chase and see what these IEM Katowice Major Round 1 betting picks are all about!

(-106) Renegades vs. AVANGAR (-134)

The first of our IEM Katowice Major round 1 betting picks could go either way. Renegades and AVANGAR are both in great form, winning CIS and Asian qualifiers with some style. At the time of writing this article, bookies give an advantage to AVANGAR, although I honestly can’t see why. Renegades perhaps weren’t at their best for the better part of 2018, but their experience in top-tier tournaments such as this one ought to show in this match.

That being said, I’m going to back Renegades on this one. It’s a great value bet too, standing at -106 against -134 on AVANGAR. If jkaem and jks continue their splendid track record in recent months, there’s no way AVANGAR can take this one away from them. Oh, I almost forgot – these teams played two maps against each other and Renegades won both of them. Coincidentally, their head-to-head match was on IEM Katowice 2018.

Katowice Major Betting Pick: Renegades at -106

(-334) Fnatic vs. ViCi Gaming (+220)

Fnatic shouldn’t really have problems with this one. This is really a mismatch on paper, and I’m afraid ViCi Gaming is going to experience quite a beatdown. KRIMZ and the boys are looking ready, and this match will depend only on their readiness for the show. We know the quality is there, especially with Brollan showing off his magnificent skillset. The 16-year old is a proper sensation and he could very easily become Fnatic’s lucky talisman in Poland.

As for ViCi Gaming, late 2018 wasn’t the best of times for them, but they’ve surely made things better at the start of 2019. After a brilliant performance at the Katowice 3rd Place Play-In tournament, they’ve qualified for the Major and have hopes of going through to the next stage. However, with all I’ve seen from their recent matches, I doubt they’ll be going far in Katowice.

Katowice Major Betting Pick: Fnatic at -334

(+220) TYLOO vs. Team Vitality (-334)

After a particularly bad start at the EU Minors, Team Vitality managed to pull themselves back from the slump and qualify straight to the Major. TYLOO, on the other hand, is still living on its past glory from last year’s FACEIT Major in London. With three roster changes (two players and the team coach) in January, TYLOO tried to rebuild their roster for the upcoming Major. We don’t know how well this mixture of China and Indonesia will work together, but what we do know is that Johnta (former HellRaisers coach) is doing his best in such a short time span.

Even with all his efforts, I really doubt TYLOO can create an upset against Team Vitality. The French team has been going strong ever since their rough start on the Minors. They’re packing 10 consecutive wins across three events and will be a difficult team to beat in the Challengers Stage. That said, I’ll place my money Team Vitality even though the betting odds aren’t the greatest.

Katowice Major Betting Pick: Team Vitality at -334

(-334) Cloud9 vs. Grayhound Gaming (+220)

Even though Cloud9 has had numerous problems in recent months, their performances haven’t dropped that much. On the contrary, they’ve managed to defeat both FaZe and BIG during ELEAGUE Invitational, both of which are top class EU teams. True, they did lose to FaZe in the end, but they’ve put up a damn good fight, that’s for sure!

On the other side, we have Grayhound Gaming. We’re talking about a solid Australian team which finished second on the Asia Minor Championship after losing against ViCi Gaming in the grand finals. As far as Asia is concerned, Grayhound Gaming is one of the best teams out there. Unfortunately, I can’t see them winning against Cloud9. They might be able to qualify for the Legends Stage if they can work on their consistency, but I can’t see them win in their round 1 match.

Katowice Major Betting Pick: Cloud9 at -334

(-334) ENCE Esports vs. Team Spirit (+220)

ENCE Esports could end up throwing this one, from all I’m seeing. Let’s kick things off with their head to head matches, 2-3 in favor of Team Spirit with three overtimes in the records. COLDYY1 and somedieyoung have been on a blast out there, averaging 1.16 and 1.15 HLTV rating. Combined, they have +262 K/D ratio in the last three months, making them a fierce competitor to ENCE.

But let’s not draw to conclusions so fast. ENCE is a pretty good side as well. Their most recent track record is 11 wins and one defeat: Not too shabby at all. Not to mention they’ve won StarSeries S6 and currently have a top roster. Despite all that, I still think they won’t turn out as one of the dominant Challengers Stage team like everyone expects. I predict they’ll fail at the very first step against Team Spirit.

Katowice Major Betting Pick: Team Spirit at +220

(-223) G2 Esports vs. Vega Squadron (+155)

Vega Squadron is in a pretty rough slump, losing six out of their last eight matches across several tournaments. Just like TYLOO, Vega Squadron is living on its former FACEIT Major London glory and have no real chances of going through here.

Their first match, or should I say defeat, will be against G2 Esports. The French side is fuming with both experience and quality, and I can see them easily going 3-1 in the Challengers Stage. At -223 against Vega Squadron, I’d say betting on G2 Esports to take this is a no-brainer.

Katowice Major Betting Pick: G2 Esports at -223

(-223) Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. FURIA (+155)

Contrary to the popular opinion, I think FURIA has a proper surprise in store for us. This Brazilian team made waves last year and is now sitting at their peak ranking, 21st in the world. We’re talking about a brand-new team here, formed in August 2017 by Jaime “raizen” Padua. It didn’t take them long to reach the spotlight, showing off a brilliant performance during NA Minors by beating karrigan’s Team Envy two times.

On the other hand, Ninjas in Pyjamas is a great team, one of the most decorated ones out there. But the years haven’t favored them. Their last notable trophy dates all the way back to 2017 IEM XII in Oakland. Their roster base is still present, dating all the way back to 2012. F0rest and GeT_RiGhT are proper legends and should never be taken out of the picture. But they haven’t been playing at their best in recent months, so I can easily see FURIA taking this one away. It’s going to be a long shot, to say the least, but I think a smaller bet on FURIA should be worth the risk.

Katowice Major Betting Pick: FURIA at +155

(-358) NRG Esports vs. Winstrike Team (+235)

Lastly, we have NRG Esports, the NA Minors champion going up against the Russian Winstrike Team which has qualified as the Katowice 3rd Place Play-In tournament. Not much of a matchup on paper, in all honesty, but I still have to state my prediction. Undoubtedly, NRG Esports is the toughest team playing at this stage. In my opinion, they’ll go through with a buttery smooth 3-0 to their name.

That said, I can’t see n0rb3r7, Boombl4, and the company pulling off a surprise here. NRG Esports will cut down on the aggression straight off the pistol round without making many errors in the process. They got the roster quality and results to back it up. With six consecutive wins down in the books, FugLy and daps will surely be looking to get the seventh in check as well. In the end, I do believe NRG Esports will take care of this one, but the betting odds are so low that I might just skip it in case of an upset.

Katowice Major Betting Pick: NRG Esports at -358

IEM Katowice Major Round 1 Betting Picks Recap

  • Renegades vs. AVANGAR – Renegades at -106
  • Fnatic vs. ViCi Gaming – Fnatic at -334
  • TYLOO vs. Team Vitality – Team Vitality at -334
  • Cloud9 vs. Grayhound Gaming – Cloud9 at -334
  • ENCE Esports vs. Team Spirit – Team Spirit at +220
  • G2 Esports vs. Vega Squadron – G2 Esports at -223
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. FURIA – FURIA at +155
  • NRG Esports vs. Winstrike Team – NRG Esports at -358

Value Betting on IEM Katowice Major

As far as value bets are concerned, I’d like to point you toward a couple of interesting specials. Even though they aren’t that likely to happen, higher betting odds make the risk worth it. Let me guide you through them real fast:

  • Fnatic Player with the Highest ADR – KRIMZ at +255
    • I have a strong feeling KRIMZ will dominate in Katowice. He’s been on a great form recently, standing comfortably at ’85 k/d ratio during the past three months. Brollan has been doing himself a world of good, but I just can’t see a 16-year old beating KRIMZ in terms of overall ADR on a Major.
  • Any Map to Finish 16-0 – Yes at +2500
    • Yes, I know this is a long shot, but I just can’t help but list it here. There’s going to be plenty of matches in the Challengers Stage, so anything could happen. I’ll bet small on this one, just to satisfy my craving and cheer for a blowout early on.
  • FURIA to Qualify for the Legends Stage – Yes at +325
    • FURIA players are on a roll, making waves in the NA Katowice Minors with hope to make a name for themselves in Poland. If they get off on the right foot and manage to surprise Ninjas in Pyjamas, I believe +325 on them to qualify to the Legends Stage are worth your while.
Pick: Team Spirit

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