FaZe’s Intel Grand Slam may be dead, but DreamHack Stockholm rolls on: the semi-final between their spoilers and North will be an exciting prospect, a high-stakes showdown between a young international side that seemed to rise to prominence out of nowhere and one of the many Danish teams in the shadow of Astralis that might finally come good on its undoubted potential and promise. There’s a ton of storylines to look out for here: we’ve collected them for you so that you can make an educated bet on the penultimate game of the tournament.

From mouse to elephant

mousesports’ growth since the departure of Niko is one of the most interesting stories in the scene, one which seemed to have reached the end of a chapter after their brief peak as the best team after winning StarSeries i-League Season 4. Since then, they seem to have come down from that high, and they’ve made a ruthless roster change by cutting STYKO in favor of Snax – a decision that required serious internal reconfiguration as the ex-VP star was not going to seamlessly slot into a support role. Early results were not encouraging, and we’re still waiting for the magical moment when the Polish player will finally go positive throughout a LAN event with his new outfit. An early exit at Cologne and some mediocre results since then made many question the change in the line-up, and this might just be the event to prove the doubters wrong now that the player break is out of the way.

Dreamhack Masters Stockholm 2018

The team was often derided for a supposed lack of mental fortitude, but there aren’t many in CS:GO who would be able to roar back like that after getting completely pummeled on Cache, losing 16-1 to a seemingly unstoppable FaZe Clan. And yet, they would go on to win the entire series, mostly thanks to ropz’s incredible turnaround in the latter portion of the match. Depending on how you look at it, the disappointing performance of chrisJ is either a problem sign – and it’s certainly true that mousesports have struggled somewhat even in the group stage, getting thrashed by MiBR on both Mirage and Inferno –, but you could also treat it as a reserve supply of fuel that was not yet unleashed on the unsuspecting opponents. Whichever the case may be, the “budget FaZe” have made it further in Stockholm than their original counterparts, and got the best possible semi-final opponent – at least on paper.

The northern star shines bright

It looks like that best-of-three win against Astralis wasn’t just an aberration: North are looking like the real deal here in Stockholm, absolutely demolishing Na’Vi – a team whose current trials and tribulations deserve a separate discussion altogether – on two maps, only giving up twelve rounds in the entire match. Not many teams get to send s1mple packing with a 16-3 scoreline – and yet, this is exactly what happened here on the big stage, giving MSL a long-awaited scalp in the quarter-final against one of the best teams in the world.

MSL at Dreamhack Masters Stockholm 2018

No one expected the Danes to get this far, but don’t get blinded by that: these weren’t heroic grinds by a plucky underdog. They crushed TyLoo on Inferno, managed to deservedly upset their domestic rivals – who are, lest we forget, the best team around right now – and completely trashed Na’Vi in the quarter-finals, not skipping a beat despite having comparatively little experience on the big stage. In terms of performances, they are arguably the best out of all remaining teams so far, and are not to be discounted just yet.

The second semi-final pits two hungry teams against one another, neither of which are particularly used to playing in the grand finals of major tournaments. For North, this would be an even rarer opportunity – and with the way they are playing so far, it would no longer be that big a surprise if they were to push past chrisJ and his merry men.

The final hurdle

Two Danish teams have reached the semi-finals in Sweden and it’s not inconceivable that we’re going to see a local derby in the finale, one which would serve as a rematch of the biggest upset of the event so far in the group stage. Failing that, we could get NiP in front of the home crowd or a resurgent mousesports straight out of the gate after the player break, having seemingly vanquished their demons after digging deep against FaZe – whatever the case may be, it should be an exciting final. If you want to know more about the other semi-final, be sure to check out this article.

And of course, if you want to bet on any of the DreamHack Stockholm matches tomorrow, you’ve come to the right place. Rivalry has pre-match betting and live betting for every single match. Be sure to become a member of our VIP Rewards Club (free) so you can earn up to $350 while betting. GL!