Hands up if you’re absolutely delighted that the EPICENTER XL Group Stage is going the proper round-robin route. Not only does this ensure that teams will have every bit of a fair chance to try and advance to the playoffs, but audiences from all over the globe will be treated to a smorgasbord of quality Dota 2 games for the better part of the next five days.
With at least 30 matches to choose from — not including potential tie breakers — the EPICENTER XL Group Stage is easy pickings for those looking to make bank.
Having said that, scroll down below to find our picks for each day of the EPICENTER XL Group Stage.
Be sure to check out our complete EPICENTER XL preview to know everything there is to know about this historic event.
FlyToMoon vs CompLexity Gaming
Match Schedule: April 27, 2018 (Friday 18:00 MSK)
In a battle of underdogs, it’s usually the team that has the best chemistry that’s the best bet to win. With compLexity Gaming not having won a Regional Qualifier since partying ways with their longtime captain Kyle ‘melonzz‘ Freedman, there’s no telling just how well they’re going to perform at EPICENTER XL. Meanwhile, FlyToMoon, who despite also not having found much success at the Regional Qualifiers, can only stand to improve after giving VGJ.Thunder a good run for the money.
Betting: FlyToMoon to win at 1.97 odds (ArcaneBet)
Mineski vs PSG.LGD
Match Schedule: April 28, 2018 (Saturday 13:00 MSK)
Four times Mineski and PSG.LGD, formerly known as LGD Gaming, have met this season. This includes squaring off in the Grand Finals of a Pro Circuit tournament twice. Every time, Mineski have gotten the best of PSG.LGD.
For whatever reason, PSG.LGD just can’t seem to get over the hump that is known as Mineski, making the Southeast Asian powerhouse an easy pick to win this series and start their EPICENTER XL run on a good note.
Betting: Mineski to win at 1.76 odds (ArcaneBet)
OG vs paiN Gaming
Match Schedule: April 29, 2018 (Sunday 13:00 MSK)
Sure, the argument exists that OG are not bad enough of a team to lose to an obviously inferior squad, but paiN Gaming are no ordinary underdogs. Not when Aliwi ‘w33‘ Omar has officially jumped to South America and is now manning the middle lane for the Brazilian squad.
Between OG’s LAN struggles and paiN Gaming’s intrigue with w33 permanently joining the team, PaiN Gaming are well worth the risk.
Betting: paiN Gaming to win at 2.58 odds (GGbet)
Newbee vs paiN Gaming
Match Schedule: April 30, 2018 (13:00 MSK)
Another day, another upset potential for Pain Gaming. Only this time, the rewards are much larger, and there’s no reason not to double down on them.
No offense to Newbee, they remain one of the top Dota 2 teams in the world right now. But, you’d have to be blind not to admit that they are in a slump, and a particularly bad one at that. They’re barely making it to the Top 4 in tournaments ever since winning ESL One Genting 2018. They even bombed out much earlier than expected at both ESL One Katowice and DAC 2018.
Newbee’s refusal to experiment in the middle of the tournaments have made them extremely predictable, which is exactly the opposite of what anyone would describe how paiN Gaming plays Dota 2.
Betting: paiN Gaming to win at 5.31 odds (GGbet)
Mineski vs Team Liquid
Match Schedule: May 2, 2018 (Wednesday 13:00 MSK)
Mineski have already proven themselves good enough to win a Major at DAC 2018. The only question is, can they maintain their momentum, or better yet, improve? The last time Mineski won a Pro Circuit tournament, which coincidentally enough came at LGD Gaming’s expense as well, they followed it up with a slump that lasted for months.
Their series against the back-to-back EPICENTER champions Team Liquid will serve as a measuring stick of how much they have improved, and if they lose, how much more they still have left to go to truly become a legitimate contender.
There’s no doubt that Mineski have their eyes set on this matchup and they might just be hungry enough to finally win against Team Liquid for the first time all season long.
Betting: Mineski to win at 2.1 odds (GGbet)
Natus Vincere vs paiN Gaming
Match Schedule: May 2, 2018 (Wednesday 16:00 MSK)
Natus Vincere have struggled to perform well together since changing their roster earlier this season. In fact, if not for their brand’s star power and the points Ilya ‘Lil‘ Ilyuk brought with him from Virtus.Pro, there’s a huge chance that Natus Vincere might not have qualified for EPICENTER XL, and it’s not like the CIS region is full of top-tier teams after Virtus.Pro.
Having said that, their series against paiN Gaming looks like it is going to end badly for them, just as most of their matches have these past few months.
Betting: paiN Gaming to win at 2.29 odds (GGbet)
Which teams do you think will come out on top at the EPICENTER XL Group Stage? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.