Esports Events

IEM Chicago 2019 Betting Preview

IEM Chicago is an upcoming CS:GO event of great importance, not least because three of the world’s best teams will take part in it. The tournament provides numerous esports betting opportunities for those who like to bet on CS:GO, but it is also an excellent event to watch even as a casual esports enthusiast.

In this article, we’ll take a close look at what’s about to happen and offer you our IEM Chicago betting preview.

IEM Chicago General Information

With $250.000 on the line, eight teams and four days of hyped matches, IEM Chicago promises to be one of the greatest CS:GO events of this Summer. The tournament is scheduled to take place in Chicago, US between July 18th – 21st.

IEM Chicago Participants

IEM Chicago brings together eight teams. Most of these teams are very strong and rank in the top 10. Here’s the entire list.

Team Liquid 1.53 (To Win Outright)*
Team Vitality 5 (To Win Outright)*
ENCE 13 (To Win Outright)*
G2 Esports 13 (To Win Outright)*
MiBR 17 (To Win Outright)*
Heroic 17 (To Win Outright)*
Renegades 34 (To Win Outright)*
Team Envy 251 (To Win Outright)*

The top four teams on this list are considerably stronger than the other four. Although arguably, the list of strong competitors is actually a bit more numerous. The first six teams mentioned above are all worth considering when talking about serious competitors.

The other two lineups are considerably weaker and probably shouldn’t even be here. However, MIBR had received an invitation a while ago, before they ran into their recent problems, while Team Envy simply qualified via the NA Qualifier.

IEM Chicago Competitive Format

IEM Chicago takes place in two stages, just like most CS:GO events do. For the Group Stage, the teams will be divided into two groups. Each of these groups will have four teams and will be played in a double elimination format. Every match is Bo3. The top two teams from each group advance to the Playoffs.

The Playoffs Stage is very basic, with two Semifinals and one Grand Final (Bo5).

IEM Chicago Prizes

IEM Chicago offers $250.000 in prizes. The money will be shared among the eight participants in the following way:

1st place $125.000
2nd place $50.000
3rd – 4th place $8.500
7th – 8th place $4.000

IEM Chicago Betting Odds

At Vulkanbet, we offer you the chance to place CS:GO bets on every single match at IEM Chicago. Initially, you can bet on the four opening matches and as the tournament progresses, we will continue to update our offer to match what’s going on.

The first four matches at IEM Chicago will be the following:

G2 Esports 1.25 VS 3.63 MiBR
Team Liquid 1.05 VS 8.09 Team Envy
ENCE 1.45 VS 2.61 Renegades
Vitality 1.23 VS 3.89 Heroic

In all four cases, the favorite is the first team.


IEM Chicago Team Analysis

Here’s a brief analysis of the most important four teams that take part in IEM Chicago.

Team Liquid

To Win Outright 1.53*

Liquid is the new Astralis, and has been for several months now. The brand of CS:GO they play is unbelievably effective and the results speak for themselves. In 2019 alone, Liquid has played in nine Grand Finals and managed to win six of them. And keep in mind, we still have more than five months left to go. If they maintain this rhythm, Team Liquid will outclass even Astralis’ performance from last season, which was beyond belief.

Just over the last three weeks, Liquid claimed three big titles, at ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals, ESL: Cologne 2019 and BLAST Pro Series: Los Angeles 2019, breaking Astralis' own LAN matches winning streak. These accomplishments alone would make any team proud and pretty much conclude their season in terms of achievements, making it seem complete. But in Liquid’s case, they’re likely to just keep going. Because there’s not a single opponent on the horizon. The other teams we see at the top next to them are relatively new, which makes them inexperienced as a unit against Liquid’s vast experience with their current roster.

Going into IEM Chicago, we expect Team Liquid to play in the Grand Final. It’s hard to say for sure that they will win it, but their path up until that point is likely to be pretty straightforward.


To Win Outright 13*

ENCE is one of the greats at the moment, sitting at number four in the global rankings. ENCE’s recent past included a big failure at ESL One: Cologne 2019, where they finished 13th – 16th after two unfortunate results and pairings. First they lost against Heroic, something which nobody would have predicted, and then they had to play against Vitality in the Lower Bracket, due to the fact that they also lost completely unexpectedly against NiP.

In 2019, ENCE has had enough top results to rank high among the pro teams. They played in the Grand Final of the only Major so far, IEM Katowice, won the title at BPS Madrid and placed 2nd at DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019. These results clearly show that allu and his teammates are doing something right. Competing against the likes of Astralis is never an easy task, and the fact that ENCE managed to beat them several times this season is an accomplishment in and of itself.

At IEM Chicago, we expect a top four result for ENCE. They should in principle be slightly weaker than Liquid and Vitality, but still capable of beating everyone else with ease.

Team Vitality

To Win Outright 5*

Team Vitality is probably the second best team at IEM Chicago. Their results over the last several months have been impressive and proved that Vitality is the best French team not just for this season, but for the last several seasons put together. These guys simply win against the bit teams like they are nothing. Just a few weeks ago, Vitality finished 2nd at ESL One: Cologne 2019, after an impossible match in the Grand Final against Team Liquid.

Going into IEM Chicago, we expect Team Vitality to be in the Grand Final again, unless they meet Liquid in the Semifinals. If that’s the case, they will almost certainly lose in the first match of the Playoffs and finish 3rd – 4th. But if Liquid does not come their way, Vitality’s road to the Grand Final will only be blocked by ENCE or G2 Esports. And none of them seem capable of defeating them in a Bo3.

G2 Esports

To Win Outright 13*

G2 Esports is another team that’s trying to succeed on the world stage after a fairly long period of absence from the highest level of CS:GO. Perhaps their rivalry with Vitality motivates them or perhaps it is something else. Whatever the case may be. G2 is now an important candidate to consider when trying to figure out whose chances are the best at an event like this.

In 2019, G2 finished 3rd at WESG and 2nd at ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals. That’s not bad for a team that used to struggle even against tier two opponents not too long ago. Their roster is very solid, with shox as captain, kennyS as the AWP-er and maLeK as the coach. This team certainly has potential and we expect them to complete the top four in the IEM Chicago Playoffs.

Even though it’s not very likely, we may see G2 compete in the Grand Final of this tournament. Chances aren’t amazing, but it’s perfectly doable for them at this point.

* Odds are subject to change.