ESP partner with G2 Esports CSGO team

ESP and G2

We are over the moon to announce that we have enlisted with the #G2Army by becoming an official partner of the G2 Esport CSGO team!

We are no stranger to working with pro teams. In the past, we’ve sponsored teams like Na’Vi and Flipside as a way to get more involved in esports and to work with organizations that have similar beliefs such as high levels of professionalism, credibility and most of all a desire to win.

ESP partners with G2 Esports

To celebrate our partnership with G2, we are lining up some exciting contests and prizes throughout the partnership term. We urge everyone to follow us and G2 on Twitter to receive updates on what we have in store!

More about G2 Esports

With a lot of changes at the top of HLTV’s ladder, such as Cloud9’s major win, Mouseports’s StarSeries4 win and Na’Vi’s 2nd placing at StarSeries4, G2 is ranked 7th. The team is comprised of an all-French lineup of shox, kennyS, NBK apEX and bodyy. In 2017 they managed to win the ESL Pro League final as well as DreamHack Masters Malmo.

About ESP

ESP was founded in 2014 and began offering fantasy esports to their members as a free to play site. In July 2017 we added the option to pay to enter fantasy tournaments. We have since extended our product to allow our members to wager on esports matches in the form of pool betting, and also to live betting where members can watch and bet on the outcome in real time. For a CSGO match, ESP members can bet on events that happen on every round of play.

As participating members in ESIC, we take security and gambling responsibility seriously. We do not accept wagers from non-adults and we do not offer our paid product in countries where it is deemed illegal. We run a rigorous policy of age verification before any action begins.

2017 CSGO review

This has been an incredible year for CSGO. We’ve seen new teams win unexpectedly and the usual top tier teams scoop their fair share of the spoils. Roster changes have happened to fix team performance or simply because a change needed to be made outside of the game. The competitive circuit is going to expand in 2018 with more tournaments and a lot more traveling to LANs for some of the top teams, it will be interesting to see how they will handle the increased pressure. We hope you enjoy ESP’s 2017 CSGO review, starting with some epic moments.

Epic moments of 2017

Here are some of the big moments of 2017, we have a poll running on Twitter, we’d love to see your vote on which was the best.

An in-depth look at CSGO in 2017

In many ways, 2017 was simply a continuation of 2016 in that it was a year that was dominated by SK Gaming. Spattered across 2017, SK claimed 10 first place titles at LAN events. Certainly, the Brazilian squad had low times throughout the year, such as a 5-8 placing at the PGL Major in Kraków, Poland. However, these low points were never long; the team led by FalleN was always quick to bounce back to reclaim their placing as #1 in the world at that given time.

Now looking back on the year as a whole, very few (if any) arguments can be made for SK not to be considered the best team in the world. Claims that they are the best team in the history of the game can also be strongly supported. While they cannot claim to have an 87-0 record of dominance like the NiP of 2013 can, the competition in the CSGO scene has never been more fierce. SK’s current dominance is done in the presence of the absolute powerhouse of Faze Clan; a burgeoning Danish scene; and the Americas growing in prominence in CSGO. We are in an era where the top 20 teams in the world can compete with one another — it’s no longer a competition between a top 4 like the days of old.

Roster Changes

A significant reason behind this increase in competition is in large part due to the spreading of talent through roster changes. We began to see a mix of seasoned veterans mingling with the upcoming young stars in a potent blend. These changes were something even SK were not immune to. Coming off of a brief dip in performance at the end of 2016, SK swapped fnx for felps from Immortals in February of 2017. This influx of young talent into SK saw them rise again and claim several titles going into the summer. Following their early exit from the Kraków Major, SK saw a wide range of results that were both good and bad. In October, felps stepped down from the main roster to go inactive while boltz was brought in. Instantly, SK was back on top and look utterly dominant.

The availability of boltz to join the roster stems from another significant storyline in the Brazilian CSGO scene: the decline of the Immortals. On the coattails of the successes of SK Gaming, the Brazilian CSGO exploded onto the forefront and were able to put together another strong squad in the form of the Immortals. While they were not as dominant as SK (no one was), they were certainly in the top 10 for much of 2017, including a grand final finish in Kraków and finishing ahead of their Brazilian compatriots. The squad of boltz, steel, LUCAS1, HEN1, and kNgV- were looking strong.

September, what a month

In September things took a sudden change for the worse due to issues arising outside of the game. Having booked their spot in the playoffs at Dreamhack Montreal, kNgV-, HEN1, and LUCAS1 failed to show up on time for their matches twice. Included in this was also a forfeit of their first game in the grand finals. In the controversy and social media storm that followed, kNgV- sent a death threat to CLG captain FNS. kNgV, was subsequently suspended from Immortals and was barred from playing. The following few weeks, kNgV- played in an official match despite this suspension at the behest of the twins, HEN1 and LUCAS1. For disobeying the suspension, all 3 were subsequently removed by the Immortals organization, at the cost of their berth at the major spot (which are given based on having 3 out of 5 of the participating players, not by the organization). Steel and boltz, at no fault of their own, were now left marooned on a team that was struggling to find suitable replacements. Eventually, both found new homes — for boltz that would be SK Gaming.

Having a roster dissolve in such a dramatic way is a bit of an anomaly, and is not indicative of the scene as a whole, nor the Brazilian CSGO community. Perhaps what is telling is the region-based nature of the scene, with teams from any given region shuffling amongst themselves. Like the Brazilian scene, the North American, Danish, Swedish, and French communities all had their own shuffles. The North American Cloud9 team brought in RUSH and tarik, reolacing shroud and n0thing in August. North, hailing from Denmark, had their own shuffle of players when they benched Magisk and brought on valde from Heroic. As a continuation from the previous year, the Swedes tried to find their form again with perpetual roster changes between fnatic and GODSENT, as well as NiP bringing in two young players from Epsilon. The French saw a major swap of players between G2 and Team EnVyUs as well.

Roster changes are a constant in the CSGO scene, and sometimes they can be done successfully, such as for G2 who has had a string of fairly good results with their new squad. However, it can also be a detriment to that region’s performance, as seen by the swap of players by fnatic and GODSENT. Other times it can be a dramatic explosion of controversy, exemplified by the Immortals case. On the whole, it can be said that shuffling players is healthy for the scene. It allows for a spreading of ideas on how the game should be played between peers and a synthesis of veteran wisdom and the influx of new ideas from the young upstarts.

Major/Premier class tournament results

Classification Tournament Date Prize Winner Runner-up
Major DreamHack Leipzig 2017 Jan-2017 $100,000 F3 BIG
Premier ELEAGUE ELEAGUE Major: Atlanta 2017 Jan-2017 $1,000,000 Astralis VP
Premier DreamHack Masters Las Vegas 2017 Feb-2017 $450,000 VP SK
Premier Intel Extreme Masters XI – World Championship Mar-2017 $250,000 Astralis FaZe
Major The Summit cs_summit Apr-2017 $150,000 SK Gambit
Major DreamHack Austin 2017 Apr-2017 $100,000 Gambit IMT
Premier StarLadder i-League Season 3 Apr-2017 $300,000 FaZe Astralis
Major DreamHack Tours 2017 May-2017 $100,000 G2 HR
Premier ESL Pro League Season 5 – Finals May-2017 $750,000 G2 North
Premier ESL One: New York 2017 May-2017 $250,000 FaZe Liquid
Premier Intel Extreme Masters XII – Sydney May-2017 $200,000 SK FaZe
Premier ESL Pro League Season 5 – North America May-2017 $125,000 SK Liquid
Premier ESL Pro League Season 5 – Europe May-2017 $125,000 North G2
Major DreamHack Summer 2017 Jun-2017 $100,000 SK Fnatic
Major Adrenaline Cyber League 2017 Jun-2017 $100,000 VP Na`Vi
Premier ECS Season 3 – Finals Jun-2017 $660,000 SK FaZe
Major DreamHack Atlanta 2017 Jul-2017 $100,000 Envy Heroic
Major DreamHack Valencia 2017 Jul-2017 $100,000 NiP Red
Premier PGL Major Kraków 2017 Jul-2017 $1,000,000 Gambit IMT
Premier ESL ESL One: Cologne 2017 Jul-2017 $250,000 SK C9
Premier DreamHack Masters Malmö 2017 Aug-2017 $250,000 G2 North
Major DreamHack Montreal 2017 Sep-2017 $100,000 North IMT
Premier ELEAGUE ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2017 Sep-2017 $1,000,000 FaZe Astralis
Premier ESG Tour Mykonos 2017 Sep-2017 $240,562 mouz Liquid
Major ECS Season 4 – Europe Oct-2017 Fnatic FaZe
Major ECS Season 4 – North America Oct-2017 C9 OpTic
Major Gfinity Elite Series – Season 2 Oct-2017 $116,000 nV.A Epsilon
Major DreamHack Denver 2017 Oct-2017 $100,000 C9 BIG
Major eXTREMESLAND ZOWIE Asia CS:GO 2017 Oct-2017 $99,000 Flash Eclipse
Premier EPICENTER 2017 Oct-2017 $490,000 SK VP
Major BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen 2017 Nov-2017 $250,000 SK Astralis
Major StarLadder i-League Invitational #2 Nov-2017 $150,000 RNG VP
Major iBUYPOWER Masters 2017 Nov-2017 $100,000 C9 RNG
Premier Intel Extreme Masters XII – Oakland Nov-2017 $300,000 NiP FaZe
Premier ESL Pro League Season 6 – North America Nov-2017 $125,000 OpTic SK
Premier ESL Pro League Season 6 – Europe Nov-2017 $125,000 Fnatic North
Major ROG Masters 2017 Dec-2017 $235,000 Gambit TyLoo
Major DreamHack Winter 2017 Dec-2017 $100,000 Na`Vi mouz
Premier ESL Pro League Season 6 – Finals Dec-2017 $750,000 SK FaZe

Dreamhack Astro Open Winter 2017 #DHW17 team highlights

DreamHack Astro Open winter is almost here, here are some key points for some of the teams competing in the tournament.

BIG replaces Fnatic

Fnatic withdrew from the tournament. Although not the powerhouse they once were, Fnatic will be missed by the fans at DreamHack Winter; they won the first ever CSGO Major in 2013 at DreamHack Open Winter with the legendary team of JW, flusha, znajder, Devilwalk & pronax.

BIG is currently ranked 21 and has leapfrogged into this competition due to Fnatic’s withdrawal. BIG placed 2nd in DreamHack Open Denver this year, losing 16-13 on cache (their pick) and 16-6 on C9’s pick, train. Overall, they are ranked 21st by HLTV. They’re quite far behind the top 16/17 teams.

EnVyUs replaces Team Liquid

zews could not get a visa (he replaced stanislaw) and are replaced by EnVyUs who won DreamHack Atlanta this year and had some decent placements in 2017. They’re currently ranked 13th in HLTV rankings, although they’re far behind the top 8 teams.

Na’Vi have a small change in the roster with electronic replacing seized. Their performance has been relatively erratic this year. This has been a bit of a bumpy ride for the team. In August, Guardian left for FaZe and Zeus came in from Gambit after winning the PGL Major in Krakow.

For two and a half months the team tried to gel until seized was replaced with electronic in October, so this is quite a new team. Watching s1mple is always enjoyable, but there are high expectations for Na’Vi to do better than they’ve been doing, lest they slip away into obscurity.

Gambit Esports

Gambit has a solid team, but the reality is that they’re at the low end of the top 10 teams in CSGO. fitch is on trial, and a good performance here might see that trial extended. hobbit was formally signed in August about two weeks after the team won PGL Major Krakow.

They have a new coach, and the team is stable. Last year at DreamHack Winter, HObbit was a rookie but still managed to pick up the tournament MVP at his first premier competition. Expectations are high for a repeat performance this year, on the whole team too.


mousesports are sitting just out the top 10, but the gap between the guys at the top SK and FaZe, and the rest is gargantuan, however, every tournament win helps. They won ESG Tour in Mykonos, showing up in total pro mode, leaving with 120K USD and no sun tan, beating Team Liquid 3-2 in the final. suNny and oskar steamrolled the three maps they won on cobble, train and nuke with suNny was excellent on Mirage, one of the two maps they dropped to Team Liquid.

Who do you think will win DreamHack Astro Open Winter?

Tell us what you think on Twitter @esportspools and don’t forget to come back and bet In-Play on the event!


Proving Grounds: DreamLeague Season 8

DreamLeague Season 8 finals, the next Major in this year’s circuit of Valve-backed DotA 2 events, is set to take place between December 1st-3rd in Jönköping, Sweden. With a duration of just 3 days, Dreamleague is set to be an intense sprint of a tournament. The 8 participating teams earned their spots after an extensive and arduous set of qualifiers running over several weeks.

The Teams at DreamLeague Season 8

Team Secret / / Team Liquid / Newbee

Natus Vincere / Fnatic / Evil Geniuses / Infamous

Proven Teams

Of the eight teams participating, Team Secret,, Team Liquid, and Newbee have all established themselves as the best teams in the scene. Each team boasts a strong mix of seasoned veterans and relatively new young talent, which has resulted in a plethora of consistent and strong results in this newest DotA 2 season. These four teams are the favorites going into Dreamleague Season 8.

Teams with something to prove

The remaining four teams in Natus Vincere, Fnatic, Evil Geniuses, and Infamous come into this event with something to prove. Unlike the other four teams, this batch has not cemented themselves in the upper echelons of the best teams in the world. While they all have the potential to be, it is still to be seen whether they can live up to that potential. DreamLeague Season 8 is the ultimate stage for these teams to establish themselves among the best.

Natus Vincere

As an organization, Natus Vincere (Na’Vi) has an incredible legacy behind it, with the first International Title and an extended period of dominance in DotA 2’s early years. However, in recent times, the various squads under Na’Vi, always built around their star player Dendi, has been plagued with mediocrity. Ultimately, this recent period of weak results has been keeping the current iteration of the team under widespread skepticism by the community, despite their strong performances recently. A high placement at DreamLeague would be sure to make the statement “Na’Vi is back!”.


In recent years, Fnatic has also struggled to show strong form while cycling through a number of rosters. Since the beginning of the season, with the acquisition of EternalEnVy and Xcalibur, the team has had abysmal results. Of the few wins they managed to achieve, even fewer looked convincing. However, with the recent swap of Abed for Xcalibur, Fnatic could have the boost they need to become a mainstay in the DotA 2 scene.

Evil Geniuses

Perhaps it is surprising to see the American squad classified as having something to prove. EG has had streaks of success over the past few years, including an International win in 2015. However the most recent bottom-placement at The International 7 as well as losing one of their star players in zai, EG looks out of sync. Since the season’s start, they have failed to achieve any significant placement at any LAN. Still, the EG team certainly has the tools to make it back on top, especially with Fear returning to captain the team.


Like the region they hail from, this team of Peruvians has not had much history of success on the international scene despite having a lot of talent. Suffering from roster instability and inconsistent performances, the players on Infamous have had a taste of the international big stage but not of winning there. Expectations going into DreamLeague Season 8 for this team are probably quite low. However, with the young talent that this team possesses, they certainly have the tools to make an underdog run.

Who do you think will win DreamLeague?

Tell us what you think on Twitter @esportspools and don’t forget to come back and bet In-Play on the event!

Blast Pro Series: a closer look at Astralis without dev1ce

Blast Pro Series 2017

Dev1ce has been ill since IEM Oakland, and Dennis will replace him for the Blast Pro Series. First of all, we hope dev1ce feels better soon, he’s one of ESP’s favorite players to watch and a great player all around. Good luck man! Dennis will be most likely be picking up dev1ce’s AWP during Blast Pro Series.

So how much of an impact will dev1ce’s absence have on Astralis and what are their chances of succeeding in the tournament?

Let’s have a look at the maps and opponents for throughout the five rounds. Here’s a map win rate. Generally speaking, if statistics were extrapolated, the conditions stayed the same as before and everything remained a constant, the team who’s bar is over the 50% mark would win. Sort of… not really, but kinda.

Astralis map win rate, versus other teams,, historical data.

Astralis vs. SK Gaming on inferno

This is not one of dev1ce’s best maps, so if Dennis can perform any better here, then he has a chance to improve Astralis’ chance.

That’s not to say it’s all on dev1ce. Kjaerbye is not his best here either, and if Astralis catch a break on CT pistol round, it might change the outcome of the game.

ESP Prediction: SK Gaming with a comfortable win.

ESP predicts that SK will win

Astralis vs. Ninjas In Pyjamas on overpass

dev1ce performs slightly below his best on overpass, so again, it’s down to whatever Dennis can bring to the table here. This is also not Xyp9x’s best map, so a positive change in the norm from how he plays here might make a difference. All in all, this is a really solid map for Astralis, but the substituted player and understanding Astralis’ play-style and strategy may impact it significantly.

Kjaerbye and gla1ve are absolute beasts on this map.

ESP Prediction: Ninjas are on form, but this is a massive map for Astralis, so we think Astralis will take this.

ESP predicts that Astralis will win

Astralis vs. North on overpass

Check out above. It’s all about Dennis being an integral part, Xyp9x improving and kjaerbye and gla1ve being monsters. That said, North are coordinated, and this is a colossal map for them. Aizy has been shut down a lot on by Astralis on Overpass in the past, but overall the team performs well against Astralis at full strength.

ESP Prediction: North win. They’re too good on overpass.

ESP predicts that North will win

Astralis vs. G2 Esports on overpass

The whole G2 team needs to step up to the level of NBK on this map. If they could get near the success that NBK has had on overpass, then this would help G2 immensely. This is still a big map for Astralis, even without dev1ce this will be a tough one to win.

ESP Prediction: G2 will win this. They are a coordinated team, they’ve had time to practice, and small performance increases from shox and kennyS will have a huge impact on the game.

ESP predicts that G2 will win

Astralis vs. FaZe Clan on inferno

Dev1ce is statistically below his average on inferno, so Dennis might have a shot at changing the outcome here. The kicker is they’re playing FaZe, and this is their second best map. Kjaerbye also runs cold on this map, way below his overall performance on other maps, so this tied with the fact that they can not get their CT strategy working means that Astralis have to work together, get lucky and hope they catch FaZe on a bad day. If they can break down FaZe T side, they have a shot.

ESP Prediction: FaZe will win it. They are just too STRONK!

ESP predicts that FaZe will win

Thorin’s exclusive pool for Blast Pro Series

Join Thorin’s exclusive pool! We have a free skin pool for Blast Pro Series. Make your predictions and win some prizes, it’s free to enter, enter here!

Blast pro Series: Thorin's Exclusive Pool

Get well doon dev1ce!