One of the final matches in the second day of IEM Katowice 2019. Both Liquid and Natus Vincere edged out their opponents and somehow both of them ended up in a 2-0 bracket. To be honest, all of us were expecting Liquid in this bracket, but I would not say the same about Natus Vincere, especially after Zeus’ latest interview for HLTV.
Both of these teams will come out guns blazing in this one, and given the fact that all of their previous matches were as close as they can be, we should be in for a real nail biter. From what we were able to find out, Betway is offering the best odds for our betting prediction. You can read our analysis down below.
Liquid vs Natus Vincere
Since this is an advancement match, we will be able to enjoy at least 2 maps packed with action. However, I would not be surprised if we are to see a decider in this one.
Now that both teams have played two matches on IEM Katowice 2019, we can have a clear insight in their form and how well they are performing.
Let’s start with Natus Vincere. Ukrainians had it easy against G2 in their opening match. However, they played G2 on their worst map as of late, Inferno, and they were able to annihilate French roster. This means that everything Zeus said in his interview is a lie, Natus Vincere did prepare for IEM Katowice 2019, and they have taken it seriously.
After defeating G2, 16-7 on Inferno, Natus Vincere was matched up against ever so dangerous Vitality. This team is led by young gun ZywoO who is thriving at the moment. To be honest, no one was expecting this match to go into the triple overtime. Somehow Natus Vincere was able to save a couple of match points and at one point, Natus Vincere’s experience pulled them through this match. This time around, they played on Mirage, which was always a solid map for Natus Vincere.
Liquid played two really close games. We all know that AVANGAR is not a joke and that they are a superstar team as well. However, Liquid did not take them seriously, and they were on the verge of being eliminated, but they pulled through. From my perspective, if AVANGAR had a bit of luck, they would easily win this opener.
After their victory against AVANGAR, Liquid was paired against another darkhorse, NiP. Once again the second best team in the world decided to go for Overpass, and it almost backfired, again. This time around, they were 11-9 down when a good timeout helped their cause. All in all, Liquid is not looking so good in this tournament, and they are losing heavily in the early stages of the game.
These two teams have really common map pools. Let’s start with permabans. Liquid does not play Cache and Train. However, as of late Liquid has tried playing Train, and in most cases, they did not perform really well. However, since Natus Vincere does not play Cache, we can expect that Liquid is going to permaban Train, while Natus Vincere will get rid of Cache.
On to the good maps for these two teams. They are both really capable of playing Overpass. However, given the fact that Liquid struggled in their IEM Katowice 2019 matches on Overpass, I reckon they would like to skip it. Dust 2 has always been a go-to map for Liquid, and I would not be surprised if we see them play this map. Furthermore, they are comfortable on both Mirage and Inferno, while their Nuke is terrible, but they can still play it.
Natus Vincere was always known for their Overpass, and to this date, they have been one of the best teams on this map. Furthermore, Mirage is their playground as well, and this is probably the map they will want to face off against Liquid. Furthermore, Inferno and Nuke are not really good maps for Natus Vincere, but it is very clear from their G2 match that they have been working on Inferno, and who knows maybe they bring this map back into their map pool.
These two teams played against each other on a total of 10 maps. Natus Vincere got the better of Liquid on 3 of those maps, while Liquid won 7 of their duels. Another thing about their head-to-head is that Liquid is on a 6 map win streak against Natus Vincere, but this is a Major.
If Natus Vincere plays their cards right, they will try their best to avoid Dust 2, and this could give them an edge in this matchup, as they were defeated three times on Dust 2.
Both Natus Vincere and Liquid are having very similar playstyles. Both of these teams enjoy draining the clock and doing late executions. This can be a blessing in disguise in some cases, while in other, this will leave players frustrated.
If we are to compare individual skills for these two teams, we would find a lot of similarities. Another thing that you need to keep in mind is s1mple. This guy is simply insane, and he can win this series himself. Given the fact that this is a Major, I believe that he will step up big time.
Natus Vincere is definitely going to pick a map where they are comfortable on, and the same goes for Liquid unless Zeus does not permaban Cache. I strongly believe that we will have a decider in this one and that in the end, s1mple and co. will prevail in this match. Odds are pure value, and Betway is offering the best odds on Natus Vincere’s victory.
Betting prediction: Natus Vincere to win
Date: February 21st,18:30 CEST