Dust2's Underdog Fantasy Pick 'Em EPL S16 Conference Preview

Dust2's experts help you choose the best betting lines, sponsored by Underdog Fantasy.

The ESL Pro League Season 16 Conference is set to begin tomorrow, pitting the best prospective teams in international Counter-Strike all clamoring for the chance to set themselves apart amongst their peers. With almost the entire cast of teams ranked below No. 20, this event could serve as a major catalyst for the breakthrough run every team seeks before becoming a legitimate tier one lineup.

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Last month, things did not go so smooth for our picks at the PGL Antwerp Major, as we struck out 0-3 on our featured bets for the event. Although unfortunate, you can never expect to hit on every bet you make. This is why Dust2 only encourages responsible fun.

For the first few bets, there were some lines that immediately attracted our eyes for the first round of the EPL Conference, but we could only pick so many. Here are our favorite round one betting lines at the ESL Pro League Season 16 Conference, sponsored by Underdog Fantasy.

Lukas: Ismailcan "XANTARES" Dörtkardeş (O21 headshots, maps 1+2) vs FTW

Eternal Fire is back at LAN for the first time since narrowly missing out on the Legends stage of the PGL Antwerp Major. The EPL Conference gives the Turkish talent another shot at climbing the ranks at LAN, also giving another opportunity to see the mythical creature known to us only as "LANTARES". This legendary beast remains one of the few able to replicate his online prowess inside the trenches of LAN, and one of his most powerful tools is the headshot.

Through 338 career officials in an arena, he boasts a dominating 50.5% headshot rate, which after factoring in his frags per map, would sit him comfortably at 21.2 headshots per two maps. When considering Eternal Fire is entering this event with a massive chip on their shoulder, and they are playing a much less skilled opponent, things continue to mount in the favor of XANTARES as a solid option ahead of round one's games.

Ryan: Jhonatan "JOTA" Willian (O40.5 frags, maps 1+2) vs cowana

This one has all of the makings of a beatdown for our Brazilian brothers. MIBR haven't been themselves since the lineup change that brought in Breno "brnz4n" Poletto, floating barely above a 50% win rate through fifteen maps. One of the missing pieces of firepower has been JOTA, who has been unable to make his mark on the team since his stellar 32 frag performance on Mirage against BIG at the end of May. The saving grace to all of this is that MIBR is known for its cyclical momentum. With them being paired against the only unranked team in this event in cowana with three debuting players, things only continue to stack in the favor of MIBR and more specifically, JOTA. As a part of the previous lineup, JOTA averaged 19.52 frags a map over the six months. His average already puts him near the over/under, and when considering the opponents he is set to face the chances appear even better for the Brazilian.

Lukas: Dzhami "Jame" Ali (O36.5 frags, maps 1+2) vs Illuminar

After two months of mediocrity under the Outsiders name, the lineup is back with a new look, and star AWPer Jame appears to have every piece put in place for him to reach the peaks we have seen time and time again. With their first-round matchup set against Poland's Illuminar, the debuting Outsiders look like the comfortable favorites with nearly 40 spots in the world rankings separating the two teams.

Beyond that, the two teams' recent pick/ban history point to a pairing of Dust 2 and Mirage to start the series. Over his career, the star AWPer averages 39.4 frags between these two maps combined, well above the bet. Jame already sits head and shoulders above his competition in talent, but the BO3 starting on his two best maps would give him an extra lift to further dominate his opponents.

Have you heard the saying, "It's not about the size of the dog in the fight, it's about the size of the fight in the dog"? No matter how the game goes, there are just certain players that cannot be kept down. With the EPL Conference set to begin, here is your "Dog in Him" players for the event, sponsored by Underdog Fantasy:

  • Brazil Marcelo "chelo" Cespedes (MIBR)

  • Zhenghao "DANK1ING" Lv (TYLOO)

  • Denmark Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye (Endpoint)

  • United States Ethan "reck" Serrano (Strife)

  • Özgür "woxic" Eker (Eternal Fire)

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