The round 3 matchups of the New Legends Stage at the major are oozing of epic storylines as we’ll say goodbye to two teams and send two more to the playoffs. Growing rivalries and old classics are showing up alike, promising an exciting day of Counter-Strike. Read on for our previews and predictions.
ENCE vs Vitality (15:30 CEST)
A juicy rematch of that insane lower bracket fixture at Cologne, and yet another chapter of a brewing rivalry. It’s great to see that Aleksib is committed to the game despite knowing that he’ll be removed from the roster after the major, and with Vitality also picking up steam, this one seems finely poised. In such a close matchup, the X-factor that is ZywOo simply cannot be overlooked, and it could very well be what tips the scales in the end.
Astralis vs NRG (18:45 CEST)
The North Americans are waking up from the dreams which were eaten in the opening round of the New Challengers Stage, showing unexpected strength against the undisputed number one in the world. Now they have to do the same against the ex-best, and despite the massive scoreline, the Danes didn’t look so impressive on Nuke either. The odds seem to be just about right to take a punt on yet another upset win by tarik & co., whose contentious IGL swap is looking better by the minute.
Liquid vs AVANGAR (13:00 CEST)
It’s safe to say no one expected Liquid to drop down here alongside the mere mortals – and especially not by suffering such a heavy defeat to NRG. That said, AVANGAR have been treading water and they definitely lack the firepower to cause an upset.
Na’Vi vs mousesports (13:00 CEST)
These sides locked horns on two different occasions at ESL One Cologne and Na’Vi came out on top both times, winning a best-of-one on Train by the closest of margins and a best-of-three which began with an overtime win on Inferno and ended with a comfortable win on the decider map for the CIS side. Which team found a way to improve and the hone their strats further? It makes sense that the growth potential of mouz is greater both from a fragging and a tactical perspective (all hail karrigan), so they could very well upset s1mple and co. here despite the heavy early loss to FaZe.
FaZe Clan vs CR4ZY (14:15 CEST)
We’ve got the matchup we’ve been hoping for: it’s a Kovač family showdown between NiKo and hunter-, with unpredictable results. FaZe blew hot and cold so far in the event while CR4ZY seemed to display a much more consistent level, an impressive one but not quite good enough to match up with the best in the game. The bookies basically treat this one as an even money bet – but seeing how effectively FaZe dismantled mouz in the opening game (plus the fact that CR4ZY beat arguably one of the weakest teams en route to the 1-1 bracket), we’re trusting seniority on this one.
G2 vs MIBR (14:15 CEST)
There’s quite a bit of spice to this matchup in light of these teams’ meetings at IEM Chicago where G2 brutalized the Brazilians in the opening game only to lose in the decider match – yes, zews was already playing for the side. Despite the heavy defeat to Astralis on one of their ___ maps (not to mention the calamitous round which closed it all out), the Frenchmen put up a fairly decent fight and are likely to make past wrongs right here, even with the increased variance of best-of-one series in mind.
Renegades vs DreamEaters (15:30 CEST)
What can you say about Renegades? The Aussies performed better than most have expected so far, but haven’t been rewarded for it whatsoever. Two close defeats (14-16 and 13-16) pushed them to the brink of elimination only two days into the New Legends Stage. However, DreamEaters have been woefully outclassed here so far (having the misfortune of running into Astralis and Na’Vi on their way here), and we don’t believe in another miracle from the CIS side.
NiP vs North (18:45 CEST)
This could be the end of the line for the Ninjas in more ways than one, and they haven’t showed much so far to suggest that they can stay alive, even if North also failed to keep up the pace they’ve set for themselves in the New Challengers Stage. Knowing now that GoldeN is not even calling for the side, his inclusion seems all the worse, and the fact that f0rest is basically pulling a career-low at the major is not helping matters either.
(Photo credit: HLTV)
Odds are, of course, subject to change.