EPICENTER CS:GO 2019: Opening matches predictions

As Vitality and EHOME prepare to kick things off with the first of four opening matches at EPICENTER 2019 from Moscow, here's what you need to know, including start times, live stream information, stats, latest betting odds and predictions


Related: EPICENTER CS:GO 2019 schedule, standings and streams

Vitality vs EHOME

Vitality vs EHOME is due to start at 10am GMT / 11am CET / 5am ET / 2am PT on Tuesday, December 17th, 2019. The Vitality vs EHOME live stream, stats and betting odds are available via the Luckbox match page

ZywOo should be able to carry the French through against EHOME. I'm not trying to insinuate that EHOME is simply a bad team, but they certainly won't be used to the level that the young French prodigy plays at from their competition in Asia. This is a good event to get experience at for EHOME, I like that they're guaranteed at least two BO3s instead of two BO1s and an elimination BO3. This format is much better for their development.

Prediction: 2-0 Vitality


NaVi vs Heroic is due to start at 1pm GMT / 2pm CET / 8am ET / 5am PT on Tuesday, December 17th, 2019. The NaVi vs Heroic live stream, stats and betting odds are available via the Luckbox match page

NaVi need to get off to a strong start, but unfortunately for them they probably have the most worthy underdog possible facing them in the first round. Heroic has looked pretty strong lately, they'll be looking to carry momentum into 2020 while NaVi just tries to save face and get one last result to cap off a lackluster 2019.

Prediction: 2-1 NaVi

EG vs forZe

Evil Geniuses vs forZe is due to start at 10am GMT / 11am CET / 5am ET / 2am PT on Wednesday, December 18th, 2019. The EG vs forZe live stream, stats and betting odds are available via the Luckbox match page

EG are the sole NA torchbearer here in Moscow. I expect them to step up in a big way, especially with forZe coming directly from the ESEA Season 32 Global Challenge in Dallas. I like forZe as a dark horse, but I expect it'll be from the lower bracket after a slow start from them.

Prediction: 2-0 EG

Mousesports vs Virtus.pro

Mousesports vs Virtus.pro is due to start at 1pm GMT / 2pm CET / 8am ET / 5am PT on Wednesday, December 18th, 2019. The Mousesports vs Virtus.pro live stream, stats and betting odds are available via the Luckbox match page

Even Mousesports coming straight from LA and cs_summit5 shouldn't leave the door open enough for Virtus.pro to take away a best of three. I'll take w0xic in an AWP duel over Jame 8 times out of 10, Jame is fast, but w0xic has been in another world lately.

Prediction: 2-1 Mousesports

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Keys to Success

The favorites:

  • NaVi: It's {elemental} my dear Watson (flamie and electronic, time to shine for your friends and family).
  • Evil Geniuses: Easy Brehze (Mr. Cayonte needs to have a big event).
  • Mouseports: "w0xic go kill", enough said.

The dark horses:

  • Heroic: Time to make their (Den)Mark, it's not often that there's only one Danish team at an event these days! es3tag has been in great form, he'll need to be to get Heroic out of groups.
  • Vitality: Someone other than ZywOo, show some signs of life please.
  • forZe: From Russia with Love, the only fully Russian team in attendance, time for xsepower to go full hero mode (or at least don't 007).

They're just happy to be here:

  • AVANGAR: JAME TIME (seriously though, popping off >> saving weapons).
  • EHOME: TyWho? It's a great result for them to upset Tyloo to be here, but I'm not expecting much past that.

Auld LAN Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? As we get ready to sing Auld Lang Syne on New Years, we can look back at a truly amazing year of Counter Strike. EPICENTER and the Champions Cup Finals will simultaneously wrap the year up for CS:GO. The two most dominant teams of the year, Astralis and Team Liquid, are already finished, getting some deserved rest, and looking ahead into the new year.

But this has been a forgettable year for some of the teams here, particularly the fan favorite home team, NaVi. In a year that only saw them win 1 LAN at StarSeries Season 7 in March, it feels like an eternity since we've even seen the CIS powerhouse challenge for a trophy, as their victory in March was also the last time we even saw them in a grand final. With three of the eight teams here having CIS roots, the crowd is surely going to have the Crocus Expo Hall rocking, but can one of their hometown heroes come up big for them.

Groups standings prediction

Group A

  1. NaVi
  2. Heroic
  3. Vitality
  4. EHOME

Group B

  1. Evil Geniuses
  2. Mousesports
  3. forZe

Picture Credits: Stephanie Lieske for ESL in Beijing