We have some interesting matches coming up, sporting giants like NIP and FNATIC as well as underdogs like Winterfox and Sk Gaming. So let’s get tipping!
Mousesports vs Faze Clan
Cache: With NEX returning to form and Niko establishing himself as the Superstar, Cache feels like a solid map for Mousesports. After all, they are coming off a fresh victory over Gamers2, who are a scary team themselves on the map. Faze Clan, on the other hand, have shown signs of struggle, losing to G2 in convincing fashion and falling to SK Gaming in a marathon. The only advantage that Faze Clan might have gone into this is the fact that they sport superior skill across the board, whereas Mouesesports seem to rely on NEX and Niko to make the big impact plays. However, skill ceiling does not reflect the current form, which is why we have to go with Niko and co for this one.
Dust 2: Mousesports are overwhelming favorites on this one, they are coming off fresh from beating FNATIC and sport amazing comfort level on both sides. Whereas Faze Clan fell short to Gamers2 in rather poor fashion. This suggests that Faze Clan right now are in a stage where they are struggling as a squad, despite having some really talented players. Apart from Jkaem and Rain, no one else seems to have maintained a consistent level, which won’t be enough against the likes of Niko and Nex, who can go head to head with them and then have someone like Spiidi finish it off. Fox, in particular, have disappointed greatly and seem to be a very streaky player, so unless the trio of Maikelele, Jkaem and Rain show up in peak form, this is also a win for the German squad.
Our Pick: 2-0 for Mousesports
Key players: Nex and Niko
FNATIC vs Team Dignitas
Train: While Dignitas have shown signs of greatness here and there, they simply don’t have the balance of skill set and tactics necessary to win Train over FNATIC. The Swedish giants have been the best team in the world for a few months now and while Train isn’t exactly one of their bets maps, they are good enough on it to take down any team that isn’t specialists themselves. Even if you compare the star power, FNATIC stomps out Dignitas in overwhelming fashion. They sport the best duo in Krimz and Olof, which coupled with JW’s return to form is a nightmare to go against. Sure likes of Kjaerbye and Konfig have shown great individual performances recently, but they won’t be able to hold off long against the beast that is FNATIC.
Overpass: Once again, this is a map where FNATIC simply outclass anyone not named Astralis or Luminosity. While Dignitas have had a few good showing here, taking down the likes of G2, it is not concrete enough of a display for us to believe that they can win over the Swedes here. FNATIC’s CT side on this map is the stuff of legends, they have created history on the back off Olofmeister and JW. Then you have people like Dennis and Krimz, who are amazingly efficient at what they do. So unless the Swedish squad slack off and don’t take this match seriously, we don’t see MSI and co having a chance here. Even if they get off to a good start with a hot Kjaerbye and Rubino, the likes of MSL and Tenzki won’t be able to hold off long enough to close it out as CT. Therefore once again, this should be a relatively easy victory for the Swedish giants
Our Pick: FNATIC wins in a convincing manner
Key players: Olofmeister and JW
NINJAS IN PYJAMAS vs SK Gaming
Cache: Ever since the Swedish legend bought Threat abroad, things have started to look good for them. There is a clear improvement in trading and T executes have grown to be rather scary. Not to mention the duo of GTR and Forest have been kicking off in high gear, which gives the likes of Pyth and Friberg to take a lot more risks. Not to mention they are the only team in recent memory to deny FNATIC double digits on Cache, so there is a lot going on for NIP here. However SK Gaming is no slouch either on Cache, they had some amazing rounds against G2 and have shown very efficiently executes on the T side. Couple that with MOODII’s return to form and Magiskboy becoming the new star and we might just have a match at our hands. In the end, though, we still have to give this one over to the Ninjas. Their return to form and inclusion of Threat clearly gives them the edge over every Tier 2 team.
Mirage: With Pyth and Threat abroad, NIP has had some really solid showings on this map. They took down Luminosity, who in my opinion are the 2nd strongest team in the world at the moment and also reigned supreme Natus Vincere. However, we should ignore their defeat at the hands of Mousespsorts, who won rather convincingly at 16-8. SK Gaming, on the other hand, has always been specialists at this map and garnered multiple upsets over better teams. However, they were mostly from a previous era and recently they have fallen off here. As a result, this one also goes to the original Swedish legends.
Our Pick: NIP wins 2-0
Key players: Forest and Get_Right