DreamHack Masters Winter 2020 EU Groupstage has concluded with 4 teams biting the dust and the remaining 8 teams decisively moving on to the play-offs. The group-stage has been nothing less than a treat to the eyes with big names crashing out of the tournament, and the remaining teams vying not only for the major chunk of the prize money but also the much coveted ESL Pro Tour points.
Team Liquid, FaZe, G2 Esports, North, ENCE and Team Spirit are few of the well established teams that have crashed out of the tournament while Gambit Gaming, Mousesports and Furia Esports are looking hot. On the other hand, Astralis, Complexity and Cloud9 are seen struggling.
The Play-offs aren’t going to be forgiving or provide second chances to teams due to the dreaded single elimination format, unlike the group-stages that boasted a double elimination bracket. Each team has to bring out their A-game and detonate the others or else they’ll certainly explode out of the tournament.
Heroic has had a relatively easier route to the play-offs going up against Contact Gaming and Team Spirit. While they did have a clean 2-0 sweep against both their opponents, it was Team Spirit that put up a brave fight in the second map of their game on Nuke and gave the Danes a run for their money.
It has been a Martin “Stavn” Lund show all the way as he has clocked an excellent ADR of 90.6 and KAST (percentage of rounds in which the player either had a kill, assist, survived or was traded) at 79.7%, and occupies #4 position on the top players list of the tournament with a rating of 1.33.
At the moment, Heroic seems to be too reliant on Stavn to perform while they try to create space and play around him, thereby creating a vacuum that puts them on the back-foot as they are far apart from Stavn in terms of overall performance. Perhaps it’s time for Casper “cadiaN” Møller to shine and ease the pressure as he essentially plays the role of a stabilizer for the team with a decent amount of kills and relatively lesser deaths than his teammates. At the very least, this can be expected out of #2 ranked team in the world, yeah?
The Gods in GODSENT were knocked down to the lower bracket at the hands of Mousesports and interestingly all their series have gone down to the last map. Jesse “zehN” Linjala and Asger “Farlig” Jensen have been the only saving grace that’s keeping the team afloat with their clutch plays and decent ADR’s while the rest are thoroughly lagging behind their compatriots. While they do get the credit for winning against Astralis, their games so far have clearly portrayed a different story of a team not moving in one direction.
Predictions: Heroic > GODSENT
Mousesports is a team that has, by far, impressed me the most. The struggling Mouz of old seemingly looks like a distant dream, and we are witnessing a revamped roster that plans to reestablish their dominance and legacy.
Struggling for the majority of the past year since the advent of Covid-19, the team has failed to make strides in tournaments. Adding salt to injury, their former coach Allan “Rejin” Petersen was found guilty in the coach bug controversy and was removed by the org. With the team morale being at an all time low, Mousesports took a risk and recruited Torbjørn "mithR" Nyborg as their new coach to rejig the team and guide them on a new path to travel on. In his interview with Midnite, mithR mentions that his aim is to help players to improve individually and team-wise by creating a structure that allows the players to keep calm and focused on being the best versions of themselves. Staying true to his words, the team is indeed looking like a well-oiled machine.
En-route to the play-offs, Mousesports liquidated Team Liquid and sent the Gods in GODSENT packing to the lower bracket with Aurimas “Bymas” Pipiras at the fore with a good rating of 1.21 along with an ADR at 81.4. Robin “ropz” Kool is not far behind and is keeping up with his form with a rating of 1.16 and has the highest impact amongst his teammates at 1.13 with sublime clutches and multi-kills. Definitely two players to look out for in the upcoming match-up.
Although no players of Mouz feature in the Top 10 Players list, their teamwork and newfound chemistry cannot be ignored.
The newly formed and much hyped line-up of Cloud9 has been the talk of the town ever since their complete roster was announced. While the team does boast of incredible and skilled players, it still hasn’t managed to click together as a team which is quite evident judging by their performance in the last few events. Few glimpses of the “wow” factor can clearly be seen although they have barely been able make the play-offs through the thick of their skin. Let’s give them a bit more time to settle down but apart from that I don’t expect Cloud9 to proceed ahead any further.
Predictions: Mousesports > Cloud9
Gambit has been the surprise of the tournament. The CIS org currently sits atop the ladder as the #1 team at the event with an outstanding rating of 1.38, way ahead of every other team by a good margin. What’s more impressive is that every player is on the Top 10 Players list at the event with Timofey “interz” Yakushin and Dmitry “sh1ro” Sokolov occupying the top two positions with the highest rating of 1.55 and 1.54, respectively.
The player profile for Gambit looks somewhat like this:
Interz: Rating - 1.55, ADR - 89.1, Impact - 1.78
Sh1ro: Rating - 1.54, ADR - 91.2, Impact - 1.45
Hobbit: Rating - 1.34, ADR - 84.6, Impact - 1.45
Nafany: Rating - 1.24, ADR - 75.9, Impact - 1.28
Ax1Le: Rating - 1.21, ADR - 73.9, Impact - 1.25
What do you see in the list above? I see that each player has contributed and played an equal part in games so far, in a well synchronized manner. Gambit are playing some of their best CS and have convincingly defeated Cloud9 and Complexity Gaming on their way to reach the play-offs. Although they have had a superb start in the group-stage, they just cannot afford to be complacent and ignore the prowess of Astralis since it won’t be an easy task to overcome the juggernauts in Danes.
Astralis has had a difficult time during the course of this event by being first knocked down to the lower bracket by GODSENT, and then slowly making their way to the play-offs by liquidating Team Liquid in the first round and G2 Esports in the second round.
Nicolai “device” Reedtz is the only player in the Danish squad making it into the Top Players list in the tournament with an ADR of 84.4 also while having the highest impact at 1.29. However, today it was mostly Emil “Magisk” Reif working his magic especially on the second map against G2 with a sublime supporting role by Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander.
Important thing to note is Astralis’ constant back and forth games judging by their struggle to have a clean finish since nearly all their games have been stretched to the extreme end. They are also unable to capitalize on their huge lead in-game that’s been giving their opponents a chance of comeback. Even though it's a risky bet, I'll lean more towards Gambit this time around.
Predictions: Gambit > Astralis
The second best team in the tournament currently, Furia has lived up to the expectations with their aggressive and chaotic playstyle. Ramping up the offense is their motto and Furia has done just that by causing utter destruction en-route to the play-offs. They were absolutely dominant with their wins against North and G2 Esports while only losing a map to the latter in a closely knit contest.
Vinicius “VINI” Figueiredo has been an absolute monster of a player having the highest impact at 1.40 with an ADR of 93.4. He’s been instrumental in securing the opening kills in almost every round coupled with some brilliant multi-kills and important clutches. He’s been well supported by Henrique “HEN1” Teles and Andrei “arT” Piovezan as well, however, their aggressive playstyle is often proven to become a double edged sword that leaves little room for defence. Going ahead, their best weapon -- aggression -- can be used against them.
Complexity Gaming can arguably be considered as the best North American team to play in this tournament and have shown immense growth ever since the team was formed. Although they had a small short roster change, the addition of Justin “jks” Savage has given them a much needed cushion to fall back on.
However, Benjamin “blameF” Bremer and Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke are definitely the players to look out for. The two pillars of Complexity, blameF and k0nfig are miles ahead of their teammates, and can be considered as the major playmakers for them. Both of them are averaging ADR of 89.6 and 87.4 respectively, while having near equal impact in-game with their clutches and multi-kills.
But will it be enough to contain Furia’s aggression? I have my doubts.
Predictions: Furia > Complexity
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