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Esports: CS:GO Elisa Masters outright preview

Following the immense success of the Esport's latest major tournament - the IEM Rio Major - the Counter Strike: Global Offensive circuit turns its attention to Espoo in Finland this week for the Elisa Masters.

The A-Tier LAN event features 12 teams, eight of which were directly invited and four of which qualified via performances in the Spring and Fall Invitationals.

And while the event is not quite on the same level as the IEM Rio, it can still boast a prize pool of $200,000 with the winners claiming half of that.

The team that comes out on top will also achieve a play-in berth for next year's IEM Katowice.

Among those involved will be big bitters such as ENCE, Fnatic, BIG and Astralis, although MOUZ withdrew from the event following their run at the IEM Rio and have been replaced by Sprout.

WhatCS:GO - Elisa Masters
WhereEspoo, Finland
WhenWednesday 16th November - Sunday 20th November
How to watchElisa Esports' Twitch
OddsENCE 11/4, Fnatic 11/4, BIG 5/1, Bad News Eagle 15/2, Astralis 8/1

ENCE lead the way with Fnatic

At the head of the betting are two teams who performed well at the IEM Rio, although one of the sides looked sharper than the other.

ENCE are 13th in the HLTV world rankings, having exited the recent IEM Rio Major in the same stage they entered - the Legends Stage.

They finished with a fairly respectable 2-3 win-loss record, only just missing out on a place in the playoffs.

But Fnatic looked even better in Brazil, edging through the initial Challengers Stage before winning three of their four matches in the tournament's Legends Stage.

Among their best performances in the Legends Stage was a 16-7 thrashing of ENCE themselves and Fnatic went on to make the Champions Stage.

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They were dumped out by Outsiders in the quarter-finals, losing on Inferno and Mirage, but that was hardly a disgrace given that Outsiders went on to win the whole event, beating Heroic in the final.

With events coming thick and fast at this stage of the season, punters may be inclined to go for a bigger-priced side in this tournament but as far as the market leaders go, Fnatic look a better pick than ENCE.

Reasons to oppose BIG and Bad News Eagles

BIG are another side to keep an eye on in the CS:GO Elisa Masters. They are down in 14th in the HLTV world rankings but their performances this year should not be overlooked.

The German side breezed through the Challengers Stage of the IEM Rio and were going well in the Legends Stage, establishing a 2-0 record before losing their final three games against FURIA, Fnatic and Natus Vincere.

They also won the Roobet Cup in June and made the top four in the IEM Dallas. However, they will be without Florian "syrsoN" Rischen for this event and the way they capitulated in Rio is off-putting.

Bad News Eagles were among the worst performers in the IEM Rio Legends Stage, losing three of their four matches with a -40 round differential.

Astralis hoping to get back on track in Finland

Astralis will be hoping for better after missing out on a place in the IEM Rio Major.

The Danes are most definitely not the force they once were but have shown signs of promise this year when making the last four of the IEM Cologne and Roobet Cup and finishing as runners-up at the Pinnacle Cup Championship.

They also finished second at the BLAST Premier Fall Showdown Europe and could be considered dark horses in Finland.

That said, one thing to note is the team will not yet deploy star AWPer Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz as expected.

Astralis brought "dev1ce" back into the CS:GO realm in October this year after he was sidelined by Ninjas In Pyjamas in December 2021.

But he is not quite ready to turn out for an official game and academy talent Kristoffer "kristou" Aamand is set to play in his place.

GamerLegion, meanwhile, are 10/1 to win the Elisa Masters, while MOUZ's replacement Sprout are 11/1, Complexity 13/1 and HEET 18/1.

The tournament's outsiders include 500, who are 33/1 to win, as are SAW, while HAVU can be backed at 50/1.

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