G2 have really impressed against weaker opposition so far at this event and were very close to securing a 3-0 spot as well yesterday. Meanwhile, forZe’s wins came over an underperforming FURIA and Grayhound Gaming after they lost 16-6 to mouz in the opening round – arguably the closest in strength to their current opposition. The best-of-three nature of these matches also makes us less likely to vouch for upsets.
It’s the battle of the ALLCAPS TEAMS who had a very different trajectory so far in the event. NRG slowly grew into the game, recovering from the upset loss to DreamEaters with two confident wins over TYLOO and Syman Gaming (16-7 and 16-4 respectively) while the CIS side started out with a win against an underperforming Complexity side then suffered an overtime defeat to mousesports before butchering Hellraisers in the third round. On the balance of play, this is going to be the North Americans’ toughest challenge yet, and though their confidence has clearly been restored after they’ve dispatched the minnows, the CIS side has already proven that they can go up against the stronger teams of this bracket as well, making them good value as underdogs.
The crazy thing (pun intended) about DreamEaters is that they’ve already beaten the two highest-seeded team present in this stage of the event but the results were so close (and their defeat to G2 so comprehensive) that many question marks still remain about their potential, especially considering how much of a one-man show their win over Vitality turned out to be. Meanwhile, CR4ZY pushed North very close for that 3-0 spot, and even if you factor in the fact that they’ve had a marathon series to play late in the evening, it’s tough to see the underdogs making it happen in a best-of-three when they’ve already cut it so close in the best-of-ones.
This is going to sound positively Python-esque, but what have the Symans ever done to us? After trashing Vitality, they seem to have gone on a poor trajectory as they barely lost to North and then got destroyed by NRG. This is not how you want to get into your first bo3, especially against a team with decent LAN experience.
It almost never happens that a team makes it back from 0-2 in a Swiss bracket at a major, and considering how weak INTZ turned out to be in the end, you can’t give as much credit to Grayhound for their win as Complexity warrants for theirs (not to mention their decent showing against AVANGAR in the opening game). There’s not much to base a prediction on here, but we’re taking the North American side for this one after seeing oBo’s much improved performance yesterday.
Without a doubt the most exciting series of the day, and you have to wonder how badly Vitality have gone into their own heads. Their only win came against INTZ, a team which was already sent packing with little to show for their efforts in Berlin, and even then a pristine 15-0 half was blemished by them taking so long to close out the match. That’s not to suggest Hellraisers were any more impressive so far in the event, but if you consider the fact that oskar still hasn’t stepped up and therefore represents unfulfilled potential, maybe it’s worth taking a punt on yet another upset involving ZywOo’s men.
Odds are, of course, subject to change.