Intel Extreme Masters Cologne 2023 group stage enters the third day of action on Monday, July 31, featuring a handful of exciting Counter-Strike: Global Offensive matches and plenty of esports betting opportunities to explore.
Team Vitality vs MOUZ Betting Preview
When: Monday, July 31, 12:30 CEST
Team Vitality delivered on Sunday when they disposed of OG in the opening round of IEM Cologne 2023 Group B, with a fairly convincing performance. The Bees took the series lead with 16-6 on Mirage and closed out the game with 16-13 on Anubis.
Team Vitality did what was expected of them, but they also played a fairly weak team, so I would wait until they show a bit more before we can start talking about a possible IEM Cologne 2023 title run. Nevertheless, Team Vitality are playing well, and they’ve yet to give me a reason to doubt them and their strength.
Team Vitality’s latest addition, Shahar “flameZ” Shushan, is playing out of his mind, proving that he has quickly found his place in the new team. He has played just two maps at IEM Cologne 2023 so far but is the current highest-rated player of the tournament with a 1.43 rating (which he achieved against OG).
Whether he’ll manage to look as good against tougher opponents remains to be seen, but if the 20-year-old can keep playing like this, Vitality will be a very scary team. Talking about scary teams which weren’t expected to do well, we have MOUZ.
MOUZ started their IEM Cologne 2023 campaign in the Play-In stage, where they edged past The MongolZ (22-20) and swept Ninjas in Pyjamas (2-0) to reach the group stage, where they humiliated Natus Vincere (2-0). NaVi did make several roster changes this offseason and are not playing at full strength yet, but that doesn’t take away from MOUZ’s success.
MOUZ played good CS on Sunday and look like a competitive side. They still have a long way to go before we can put MOUZ in the same bracket as the top contenders, but based on what they’ve shown, MOUZ can easily reach IEM Cologne 2023 semifinals.
This is Team Vitality’s game to lose, so it doesn’t surprise me that they’re priced as heavy favourites. But I wouldn’t count out MOUZ. They’re playing great Counter-Strike, and their 2-0 win against NaVi is a good sign that MOUZ can give Team Vitality a run for their money.
- Prediction: MOUZ +1.5 maps – 1.64 at GG.Bet
Natus Vincere vs OG Betting Preview
When: Monday, July 31, 16:00 CEST
Natus Vincere failed to deliver in their opening match of the IEM Cologne 2023 Group Stage when they lost against MOUZ. NaVi entered the match as 1.68 favourites but proved to be no match for MOUZ, who defeated them with 16-9 on Ancient and 16-12 on Overpass.
While watching Natus VIncere play, it’s becoming very clear that this team will need more time to gel, which was expected, considering NaVi decided to replace three players and install a new in-game leader. Still, this is a talented roster, so it’s not like we can start doubting NaVi just yet.
OG, like Natus Vincere, haven’t had the best start to IEM Cologne 2023. They made it through the Play-In stage with wins against Complexity (2-0) and Apeks (2-0), but then they got crushed by Team Vitality (0-2). We could say that OG have looked just as bad as NaVi in their opening match, but this doesn’t mean that NaVi and OG are equal.
As mentioned before, OG is a team I don’t have much faith in. They don’t have the star power needed to compete at the highest level and most of the roster consists of players who were rejected by other teams, so even if OG find a way to improve, their ceiling isn’t very high.
Natus Vincere still have a lot of work to do, as they’re currently not looking too sharp. But they shouldn’t be losing games like this. At 2.44, there’s value backing NaVi to sweep.
- Prediction: Natus Vincere -1.5 maps – 2.44 at GG.Bet