I EM Katowice 2021 is expected to drive a “significant uptick” in esports betting action as the first CS:GO major of the year begins Tuesday, Feb. 16. Esports betting operator Luckbox said the Katowice major has traditionally led to an increase in betting action. While fans will not be allowed at the Spodek Arena in Poland due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the company is confident the return of elite competition after a difficult 2020 for the esports industry will generate increased interest in the $1 million event. 24 of the world’s best CS:GO teams compete for the $400,000 first prize. “CS:GO fans have been starved of action for much of the past 12 months and IEM Katowice has a special place in their hearts,” said Metodi Zaburtov, Director of Sportsbook at Luckbox, as repoerted by Reuters. “Data from previous years shows us that there is a significant uptick in CS:GO betting at this time of year thanks to IEM Katowice. This is largely due to the quality and popularity of the teams involved, the high-profile nature of the event and intense nature of the competition - with so many matches being played over two weeks.” Top-ranked Astralis is the +310 pre-event favorite by Luckbox, followed by Team Vitality (+380) and Heroic (+500) among the 24-team field. “The fact that the tournament is online is a pity but esports fans have shown a strong willingness to continue to back their favorite teams and try to pick winners in such tournaments throughout the past year,” Zaburtov said. “We expect that to be the case even more for IEM Katowice.” .
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