Today we have some amazing matches in the league, sporting the likes of Astralis, FNATIC, NIP and FlipSid3 Tactics. For the Swedes, it should be a rather relaxed process at this point. They are both sitting in a very comfortable position and will probably make it to the offline finals with relative ease. FlipSid3 Tactics and Astralis, on the other hand, can benefit from every victory they earn. Now let’s break down these matches and see how they could turn up!
FlipSid3 Tactics vs FNATIC
Overpass:When it comes to Overpass, FNATIC stands head and shoulder above most teams. As a matter of fact, unless the opposing team is Luminosity Gaming or Astralis, there isn’t much hope for an upset. The only chink in the armor for FNATIC is probably the weaker T Side executes, as we have seen against Luminosity Gaming, who put up a monstrous CT side. However, their CT side more than makes up for it and have now become the stuff of legends. From Olofmesiter’s amazing defuse to their legendary comeback at IEM Katowice, there are many moments that made them a special team on this map. Moving over to FlipSid3 Tactics, they don’t quite have a comparable resume to FNATIC, but have had some good showings against the likes of Mousesports. Markeloff and WorldEdit have both stepped up a lot lately and Bondik has always been a consistent pillar in the team. Unfortunately, all that simply pales in comparison to what FNATIC brings to the table. Expect this to be a somewhat exciting match but in the end, FNATIC will once again reign supreme.
Inferno: Under the guidance of Pronax, the new and improved FNATIC started off an era of dominance. Geared with the new stars from LGB they created a dynasty around Inferno. Things, however, have changed, Pronax is no longer a part of the Swedish squad and in his place we have Dennis. Who brings more firepower, yet FNATIC didn’t lose any of their edges on the map and still remains a force of terror. Krimz shines the most here, holding small B site like a perfectly adapting turret while the rest create enough chaos to eventually break down the team. It is a brutal process and FlipSid3 Tactics simply cannot stand in front of that. They don’t sport the firepower or the tactical edge necessary to overcome the Swedish squad in one of their best maps.
Our Pick: A swift 2-0 for FNATIC
Key players: Krimz, Olofmeister, and JW
NIP-Gaming vs Astralis
Mirage: Usually Astralis is a heavily favored team on Mirage, regardless of who they are up against. However their poor showing against Natus Vincere seeds in some doubt and given the fact that this is an online event, you can’t really count on them bringing their A game. NIP-Gaming on the other hand always take the online league matches seriously, simply because they use it as a testing ground for this new lineup with Pyth. Not to mention with Threat holding the strings above, things have clearly changed. Though the star power still goes to Astralis, while Get_Right is no longer the god he once was, Device has become one of the best players in the world. Dupreeh now is what Friberg used to be once upon a time, a stellar entry fragger. This will be a very competitive match if the stars of NIP show up, but in the end, the Danes should edge out on the back of their superior firepower.
Cache: This has slowly but surely become one of NIP’s better maps. Ever since bringing threat over, they have shown amazing executes here on the T side and stellar holds as CT. Even taking down the likes of FNATIC and destroying mid-tier teams like SK Gaming. The Danes are no joke either on Cache, they have constantly changed their approach and evolved as a team. Unfortunately, with Device taking up the mantle as a full-time AWPer now, their firepower here suffers a bit. Kariigan simply cannot fill the void left in terms of rifling whenever Device picks up the AWP, which decreases their firepower a lot on the T side now if Device gets shut down early. This is why we favor the Swedes on Cache at the moment, but don’t be surprised if Astralis pick it up either, after all, they were the only team to take a map of FNATIC at IEM Katowice in a B03 series and it was this tone.
Our Predictions: NIP Gaming fall on Mirage, but bounce back on Cache
Key players: F0REST, Get_Right, DEVICE and Dupreeh