Evil Geniuses vs AVANGAR at ECS Season 8 Finals preview

As EG vs AVANGAR gets the action started at the ECS Season 8 Finals in Texas, here's what you need to know, including live stream information, latest betting odds and predictions

AVANGAR picked Astralis to be in the group opposite them, leaving Sharks Esports to toss the world's best ranked NA side over to the Kazakhstani side for their opening BO1 in Arlington, Texas.

Evil Geniuses vs AVANGAR is due to start at 3pm GMT / 4pm CET / 10am ET / 7am PT on Thursday, November 28th, 2019.


The road to Arlington

Evil Geniuses actually won two of the five North American series (1 and 3) en route to the LAN finals. In Series 1 they defeated Team Singularity 2-1, then swept both Cloud 9 and Sharks to emerge victorious.

They didn't play in Series 2, and Sharks was able to capitalize on their absence to secure more total prize money in series 1 and 2 (and the spot in Arlington) than EG won just by winning the first series. EG promptly resolved their omission by winning Series 3 and a direct invite to the finals by 2-0ing ex-Team Singularity, Complexity, and Cloud9.

Like Sharks, AVANGAR earned their spot through prize money accrual in both Series 1 and Series 2. Series 1 saw them crowned champions, beating Virtus.pro 2-1, Fnatic 2-1, and forZe 2-1. They beat m1x (now Team Secret) 2-1 before being swept 2-0 by eventual Series 2 champions, Heroic.

But Heroic didn't play Series 1, and AVANGAR's semi final appearance in Series 2 netted them a teensy cash bonus to put them ahead of Heroic for the berth in Arlington. I would argue that their qualifying wins are more impressive overall, but we'll see how their form holds up.

Who to watch

My X factor for Evil Geniuses is Vincent "Brehze" Cayonte. Between the CSGO Asia Championships and IEM Beijing, Brehze only had a positive K/D in one BO3 of the six that EG played. Their 5th/6th finish in both events falls well short of the expectations for themselves as the #2 team in the world. Conversely, when EG won StarSeries Season 8, Brehze was positive in seven of EG's eight BO3 series. EG has other talent to lean on, but when Brehze is shouldering some of the load, things get significantly easier on the rest of the squad.


Dzhami "Jame" Ali needs to make like the meme and save his team in this event. There's some top tier talent heading to the Lone Star state and AVANGAR need their star AWPer to have an impact more than any other team in this tournament. Unlike their opponent, AVANGAR don't have many other options when they don't have the threat of the AWP in play. The burden of responsibility for the team's success isn't shared as equally, but this is still a major finalist roster. We'll see what they're capable of in Arlington.

EG vs AVANGAR predictions

Nuke is a good map to try to surprise EG on, but AVANGAR has a tendency to ban it, especially since they know that EG will likely ban Vertigo for them. I think there are some maps that should be more of a blowout than others, but you never know with EG.

Scoreline predictions for each map are below. The outcome of the banning phase is so crucial in BO1s, and this match is no different. EG should be able to come out on top, but they've been hugely inconsistent as of late. They should be on heightened upset alert in this BO1.

Nuke: AVANGAR Permaban
Dust II: 16-9 Evil Geniuses
Inferno: 16-7 Evil Geniuses
Vertigo: EG Permaban
Mirage: 16-13 AVANGAR
Train: 16-14 Evil Geniuses
Overpass: 16-9 Evil Geniuses

Don't forget, you can find the full ECS Season 8 Finals schedule updated throughout the tournament.