With group stage out of the way, we're moving into the playoff bracket. Single elimination best-of-three matches and your championship life is on the line. With busy schedules and loads of qualifiers currently ongoing, WINNERS League pitches some of the hottest up-and-comers with recent solid performers. It looks like we're starting to see dramatic shifts in regional rankings and a big wave of new blood entering the CSGO scene. Some people refer to this as a generational shift, and we may as well be witnessing just that.
There is no shortage of incredible matches this season in WINNERS League playoffs and its even hard to highlight which matchups are going to be the hottest, each one has the opportunity for a crazy game with plentiful highlights and explosive action. Make sure to check out the official Twitch channel for coverage.
Stay on the edge of your chair as your favorite teams are battling it out, check out the exciting betting action to go with these matchups and more on Vbet, only the best esports betting experience.
1) Nemiga vs Apeks
Nemiga has recently had a flurry of matches against the top contenders in the CIS region. They've been showing themselves very well and are now in the top 30 of HLTV world rankings, which puts them well ahead of Apeks in this matchup. They've also played against Apeks recently in LOOT.BET Season 7, where they took Nuke with a convincing 16-7 scoreline. If Nemiga don't burn out from the current ongoing marathon of qualifiers, they should be taking this match 2-0 with no problems and that is with Apeks looking more in shape recently. Apeks has a weaker map pool than the Belarusian powerhouse and will most likely rely on their heavy hitters to create openings for them, but Nemiga's experience and chemistry together should prove to be much stronger than that of the Norwegian squad.
2) CR4ZY vs SKADE
There is no doubt that most people would rank SKADE as the heavy favorites here since they've been the ones consistently playing against international competition, while CR4ZY have been fairly quiet, focusing heads down on their own region. From the looks of it, CR4ZY are playing as many CIS events as they can and farming local Ukrainian events. They might not be in the top 5 CIS teams yet, but they are definitely heading there and the skill gap between two teams is not as big as some people may think. SKADE have recently undergone roster changes, picking up less experienced players and benching long time member Ivan 'Rock1nG' Stratiev, this will definitely show in the way they play and could be the opening that CR4ZY need in order to pull off the upset here.
3) Espada vs KOVA
A deja-vu matchup from WINNERS League Season 3. Espada met KOVA in the semi-final of last season and took the win with a 2-1 scoreline with the teams each winning their opponents map pick. The lineups are exactly the same this time, too. Both teams have shown improvement and have had success in their regions since then, however Espada seem to have much more notable victories under their belt. On paper, Espada have the stronger roster, but KOVA have some diamonds in the rough, like Nikita 'Derkeps' Sirmitev, who surprises us time and time again with incredible performances and will be the key to unlocking their potential. On a good day, KOVA can take a map off the Russians, but it is unlikely that they will get more than that here.
4) PACT vs LDLC
LDLC have been biding their time, staying under the radar and preparing with their freshly picked up players, Alexandre 'bodyy' Pianaro and Aurélien 'afroo' Drapier. These players have quickly proven themselves as upgrades to the roster, the team made quick work of their opponents to qualify for playoffs, with bodyy and afroo both shining bright. LDLC have yet to show what they can do against the top in their region so it is hard to guage how they will stack up.
PACT have undoubtedly taken the lead as the frontrunner in their region. Granted, Polish Counter-Strike has seen better days and is behind the French scene as of right now, PACT can comfortably close out teams like MAD Lions and are showing steady signs of improvement.
Since this is a best-of-three, the Polacks have the upper hand here, there isnt much data available on LDLC, but the data that is available tells us they have a weaker map pool and should only be able to contest Dust 2. A good map veto can bag the Polish side a fairly solid 2-0 victory.
1) Triumph vs Thunder Logic
Triumph is the current favorite to go for the title, they've been showing incredible results recently, spearheaded by Michael 'Grim' Wince, who has been making waves in North America with breakout performances against top teams in the region. Their near win against MIBR in the BTS qualifiers tells you just how hungry and ready Triumph are for top tier competition. Still, they cannot underestimate Thunder Logic, if they size their opponents up properly and dont get overly confident, Triumph should be taking this match with a 2-0 scoreline and are the overwhelming favorites.
2) Levitate vs Yeah Gaming
Levitate took an L from Yeah earlier in the season during the group stage. The Brazilians tore through them on Inferno 16-7 and it looked like Levitate just couldn't get anything going during that match on defense. A best-of-three match should much closer and these teams are very likely to win their own map picks. Both of these teams have strong, aggressive awpers in Rodrigo 'RCF' Figueiredo and Ezekiel 'KmZ' Hughes, a lot will depend on these two players and if their teams can get them into the right positions to open the rounds up. Dust 2, Inferno, Overpass are the most likely maps to be played here, in which case Yeah Gaming will have a slight edge over Levitate.
3) RBG vs Chaos EC
A true David and Goliath scenario. RBG are about to play one of their highest profile matches ever, a best-of-three against Chaos, who recently have been under fire for two of their players playing so well, they've made the entirety of the Brazilian fanbase come down on them with hacking accusations. RBG are surely putting a lot of pressure on themselves to perform here, which is a factor in and of itself. The red-black-gold squad has a lot to prove, they've been on the rise in the North American leagues, but this is looking like it is still a bit out of reach. Chaos should have no problem sealing the deal here with a 2-0 scoreline.
4) NE Whalers vs Recon5
The Whalers have just recently bested Recon 5 in a best-of-one in MDL 16-6 on Mirage, but its hard to look at that score and say that the Whalers are that much stronger. This is probably the most closely matched fight in Round 1 of playoffs. These teams are ranked #54 and #55 in HLTV's world rankings and rightly so. This is another matchup in this round where the vetoes will likely determine the outcome. Recon5 seem to be complete monsters on Inferno, while the Whalers look incredibly strong on Dust2 and Overpass. The mindgames will begin way before the players are in the server. Definitely one of our must see matches of the week.