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There is more Esports action to get stuck into on Thursday
  1. Esports

Esports: CS:GO Elisa Masters Friday quarter-final previews

The latest LAN event in the world of CS:GO - the Elisa Masters - is into the playoff stage and there are two matches to follow on Friday.

The latest LAN event in the world of CS:GO - the Elisa Masters - is into the playoff stage and there are two matches to follow on Friday.

The 12 teams involved in the event in Espoo, Finland, were initially divided across Groups A and B, which were played over two days, and the top three booked their spots in the knockout phase.

And while the top two in each section - Sprout and Fnatic - advanced directly to the event's semi-finals, the other teams making up the top three in each section must first play out two quarter-finals.

First up are BIG, who were placed third in Group A, up against 500, who were runners-up in Group B.

And later in the day Group A's runners-up ENCE lock horns with Danish outfit Astralis, who finished third in Group B.

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The winners of the first encounter will move on to play Sprout in the first semi-final, while the winner of the second encounter will clash with Fnatic in the last-four.

The champions of the Elisa Masters are set to win $100,000 in prize money and will be rewarded with a place in the play-in stage of the IEM Katowice.

500 could spring a surprise against BIG

WhatBIG vs 500, Elisa Masters
WhereEspoo, Finland
When14.30pm, Friday 18th November 2022
How to watchElisa Esports' Twitch
OddsBIG -150, 500 +110

Stamina is proving to be the downfall of German outfit BIG in the world of CS:GO right now and punters should not rush to back them in their Elisa Masters quarter-final clash with 500.

At the IEM Rio Major recently, BIG stormed through the tournament's Challengers Stage with a 3-1 win-loss record and were also on course to fly through the Legends Stage, winning their first two matches, only to capitulate and lose their last three.

As a result they missed out on a spot in the Champions Stage.

And it was nearly a similar story in the Elisa Masters in Finland as the Germans began with wins over HEET, Sprout and HAVU before finishing Group A on the back foot with successive defeats to GamerLegion and ENCE.

That does not bode well for them as they head into the playoffs and take on a 500 side, who are down in 50th spot in the world rankings but gave a great account of themselves in the Elisa Masters group phase.

500 finished in second spot in Group B with four wins from five matches with their only defeat coming against table-toppers Fnatic.

Of all the teams in the playoffs, they had the highest differential (+22) in the group stage and they caught the eye with their 16-1 drubbing of Astralis on Ancient in particular.

The games are coming thick and fast in this event, making for an unpredictable tournament and there could be some value in backing 500 to win this match at +110. Alternatively, over 2.5 maps could be a decent bet at -120.

ENCE can show their class against Astralis side in transition

WhatENCE vs Astralis, Elisa Masters
WhereEspoo, Finland
When18.00pm, Friday 18th November 2022
How to watchElisa Esports' Twitch
OddsENCE -300, Astralis +225

Astralis did not have a perfect group-stage campaign at the Elisa Masters - their differential of -14 was not ideal - but they are starting to look like a side on the up again and managed to find a way through to the tournament's quarter-finals.

The big news coming into the event in Finland was that Astralis would not be deploying resigned talent Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz but, even in his absence, the Danes managed to pick up three wins from their five games, beating the likes of Complexity and Bad News Eagles to a top-three berth.

But they are still very much a team in transition again and this could be where their tournament comes to an end.

Their opponents in the quarter-finals are ENCE, who are not only five places above them in the HLTV world CS:GO rankings, but also go into this game fresh from a superb group campaign.

ENCE won four of their five matches in Group A with a differential of +21 and they were convincing 16-9 winners against a decent BIG team in their final group assignment.

And while Astralis did not even qualify for the Challengers Stage of the tournament, ENCE were involved in the Legends Stage of the recent IEM Rio Major, picking up two wins before crashing out.

They look a more cohesive group than Astralis right now and a bet on ENCE to win this match 2-0 at +120 could be the way to go.

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