Natus Vincere and fnatic will clash on Friday, August 28, in the opening round of Group C at ESL Pro League Season 14. It will mark their first meeting since April 2020 and their first step towards the lion’s share of the $750,000 prize pool. Check out our CS:GO Natus Vincere vs fnatic pick below!
Natus Vincere Betting Preview
Natus Vincere enter the match on the back of winning the first LAN tournament of 2021, IEM Cologne 2021. They are also on a seven-match winning streak against G2, Faze, Astralis, Vitality, etc… so it’s fair to say that they should be feeling confident in their ability to add their eighth consecutive W.
NaVi have won a total of four events so far this year, including BLAST Premium Global Final 2020, DreamHack Masters Spring 2021, StarLadder CIS RMR 2021, and the most recent one, the IEM Cologne 2021.
Their winning rate across the last three months is at 72.7%, which is respectable if you consider that they had to play online. That number would probably be higher had NaVi not attended EPIC League CIS 2021, an extremely shady event, where teams you never heard of managed to beat some of the strongest CIS teams.
The tournament had no anti-cheat software, no voice chat recordings, and strange betting patterns featuring a team known as Akuma, against whom NaVi lost 0-2.
Anyway, all that should be behind them by now. NaVi were on a well-deserved player break, and while they are known as a team that needs some time to get their gears going, they will look to start their ESL Pro League Season 14 campaign with a W.
fnatic Betting Preview
Fnatic were absolutely awful for the past two years, and the long-awaited changes – that should honestly happen a year and a half ago – are finally here! Fnatic benched their AWP Jesper “JW” Wecksell and their IGL Maikil “Golden” Kunda Selim.
As their replacement, fnatic signed Alex “ALEX” McMeekin, who was last seen playing for Cloud9, to take over the in-game leader role. They also acquired William “mezii” Merriman from Endpoint, who will apparently play a support role.
Mezii was the best player back in Endpoint and has already played with Alex back in C9, so he should be a great addition.
I am quite hyped about this team; they have a star player in Ludvig “Brollan” Brolin, an experienced veteran Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansson, and the former C9 duo Alex and mezii look promising. The only player that is somewhat of a mystery to me is Jack “Jackinho” Ström, who will take over the AWP role and I am not exactly impressed by his play.
— ALEX (@CSGOALEX) August 24, 2021
There are better players in the wild right now; someone like Owen “smooya” Butterfield would be a way better fit for this team.
All in all, there will be no real pressure on this team to perform right from the go. Fnatic would surely prefer to get an “easier” opponent than Natus Vincere, but at the same time, NaVi are known as slow starters, and fnatic have plenty of demos to analyze to better prepare for this match, so at least they have that going for them.
Natus Vincere vs fnatic Betting Pick
Natus Vincere are priced as huge favorites, at around 1.22 to win, while fnatic are around 4.33 to cause an upset. Of course, 1.22 to win the opening match right after the player break might look like madness, but at the same time, no one really knows what to expect from the new fnatic.
The morale should be excellent in both camps, and hopefully, fnatic can give us a competitive affair. And they just might, considering they have had enough time to study NaVi.
What’s more, NaVi have no real data to prepare themselves for this match or craft anti-strats, and to be honest; they will probably just come into the match without any actual preparation and just count on their firepower to get the deal done.
Although there is certainly a possibility that NaVi can do it with the firepower alone, I wouldn’t expect too much from them in tournament openers. Their tendency to underperform in earlier stages of events has bitten them in the ass before.
Bet on fnatic to make it interesting!
Prediction: fnatic +1.50 Maps – 2.02 at Pinnacle