After a whole host of qualifying events in countries around the world Dreamhack Winter is only days away and the CS world turns it eyes toward Jönköping, Sweden, to see who will emerge with the title at an event which will pit a number of amateur or semi-pro teams against some of the best in the world.
The event may be missing fnatic, Mouz, Alternate and the Chinese and Korean teams but other than them the field looks like it will tasty enough once the tournament reaches the playoff stage. This event will also mark an opportunity for some of those teams on the fringes of international competition to score upsets and make names for themselves where the bigger named events this year have been invite only or close to impossible for them to qualify for.
With the groups set SK Gaming begins its coverage, which will see Binteh on location for CS, with predictions for the group stage. The top two teams progress from each group stage.
EG.US recently lost warden and recruited Turmoil’s goodfornothing. Their recent form is a 9th-16th at the WCG with a stand-in and a 3rd at the ESEA s4 finals. LZ won the Malaysian qualifier and wooSai.fi the Baltic qualifier. 0bites made it into this tournament as the runnersup of DreamHack Skellefteå due to the winners Vinnarlaget being unable to attend.
Thorin’s predictions: EG.US may have been off their game at the ESEA finals but replacing warden with goodfornothing is a big upgrade in my book. Absolutely no reason they shouldn’t take first in this group. Second is actually a close call I think as who can really tell how strong’s Malaysia’s LZ will be or if the native Swedes can outplay wooSai in a single game? That said I have the feeling wooSai are going to take this second spot.
Binteh’s predictions: Team EG had a reasonable performance at WCG, placing 9th-16th, and that was without lurppis. I’m hoping that now with lurppis back in the line up, we will be able to see some nice things from EG. As for WooSai, I think danzer and jigetus can do some nice things for the team, definitely enough for them to pass through the group stages.
Millenium are the best French team and easily made it though their WCG group and beat Turmoil in the first round of the playoffs before losing to fnatic to take 5th-8th overall. TitaNs have lost their leader, matrix, but took a map from fnatic at IEM Chengdu and finished 4th at IEF. XLBET won the Danish qualifier as Viborg Vipers.
Thorin’s predictions: Millenium should clearly take this group, their WCG showing was good enough considering the circumstances. TitaNs should be set to take the 2nd spot but it’s difficult to know how good they will be against European competition with this lineup. XLBET also won the Danish qualifier so I think all things considered the 2nd spot battle is going to be a tight one but I’ll side with the TitaNs even if they are further from home.
Binteh’s predictions: Millenium of course, they played quite well at WCG, and even when they lost against fnatic, they still showed a nice performance on inferno. I’m sure they can take this group quite easily. But then again, French teams are completely unstable, one minute they rock, the next they hit rock bottom. So I hope for them they wake up on the right side of the bed when the groupstages start. Their EM4 game versus H2k still gets me speachless, their timing was perfection. As for TitaNs, I don’t think they will get far in the playoffs but they can reach second seed in the groupstages I think, they have enough experience for it.
Viborg Vipers however I think will also be working hard for that second spot, however, I don’t think they’ve had as much experience together so far as TitaNs has.
k1ck eSports Club
SK Gaming’s new lineup have produced a 1st at IEM Chengdu, a 3rd at IEM Dubai and a 1st at IEF. k1ck won the Portuguese qualifier and Darkside the Norwegian.
Thorin’s predictions: SK Gaming will run away with this group with no trouble at all. The second spot I’m torn as to whether to give it to k1ck since their name is more familiar or Darkside since they won the Norwegian qualifier. I’ll give the Norwegians the nod since I want to believe they still have a half decent team playing up there.
- SK Gaming
Binteh’s predictions: SK gaming should be taking this without too much of a sweat. 2nd spot we will actually probably see k1ck, but I have faith in darkside and Norwegian gaming as a whole. Purely based on hopes I’d like to see darkside seeded second, however, we don’t know who the 4th team in the group is yet, so perhaps we could be in for a surprise by another team.
- SK Gaming
mTw.dk’s new lineup took a bronze medal at the WCG Grand Finals. PlayMore were eliminated in the first qualifying round of IEM European Championship IV.
Thorin’s predictions: mTw.dk should clearly stomp this group, anything else would be an upset. I’ll take Coldfrag as the second place finishers on the thinking that an ok Swedish team should be able to take a Serbian team who are abroad and lacking major tournament experience.
Binteh’s predictions: mTw will take this one easily, they did place 3rd at WCG, I’m sure dreamhack group stages aren’t out of reach for them. As for 2nd seed, I just can’t see the team from Serbia achieving much, so perhaps Coldfrag or the 4th team TBA might take it.
coL are coming off a victory at the ESEA s4 finals. Prior to that they had struggled in placing 4th at the WCG USA qualifier but that was before they took in thoMz from Turmoil. Begrip.se won DreamHack Stockholm and Rodcad the Benelux qualifier.
Thorin’s predictions: coL looked the best I’ve seen them in a long time at the ESEA s4 finals so their new lineup may have solved some of the problems they’d had before. They’re lacking in international experience collectively but they should still be able to take this group on every level. I’ll take Begrip to finish 2nd because I see no reason the Belgian side should beat them.
Binteh’s predictions: I think the addition of qp and hibb to Begrip will work wonders for the team, I’m looking forward to watching them in the playoffs. As for complexity, they’ve been doing extremely well in the ESEA invite season 4, they can take out the other two teams in the groupstages I’m sure. As for Rodcad, apart from perhaps a nice few rounds I don’t think they will be able to compete against the other two teams who are monsters to them.
Spirit of Amiga
Power Gaming took 5th-8th at WCG and lost a close three map series to the champions AGAiN. SoA received a direct invite at the last minute after not qualifying. 2easy4 took the German qualifier.
Thorin’s predictions: Power Gaming are overwhelming favourites no matter what may happen and this group is theirs to lose. The two maps they didn’t win against AGAiN they (dust2 and inferno) they could have won and in doing so changed the whole outcome of the tournament. I certainly felt they had what it took to make the final of that WCG, not least because they had the Poles on the ropes up 11:4 in the 3rd map. SoA should take the 2nd spot despite their problems qualifying, mainly as I know nothing about 2easy4. I only care about LAN tournaments so Danish CS hasn’t been relevant for me beyond mTw.dk so we’ll see how up to the task they are when they face the Finns.
- Power Gaming
- Spirit of Amiga
Binteh’s predictions: I still have faith in Power Gaming, they did after place 5th-8th at WCG and took one map from WCG gold medalist AGAiN in a bo3 in the playoffs, only very closely losing the other two maps. If they remain the same or improve their performance, I think Power Gaming will have a large role in the playoffs. As for SoA, they have been playing extremely well recently in particular in the EM4 championship where they beat all of their opponents so far which includes MYM and AGAiN. Unfortunately enough I haven’t been able to watch any of their games recently, but I am looking forward to see what they can do at DreamHack.
- Spirit of Amiga
- Power Gaming
H2k finished 9th-16th at the CPL with their new lineup of SpawN and zneel and took a map from winners AGAiN. PGS received a direct invite and nOu made it from the Baltic qualifier.
Thorin’s predictions: H2k looked decent at the WCG but AGAiN seemed to play to the level of their opponents so it’s tough to gauge their overall level considering they basically played no other worthwhile competition. That said they are still big favourites for this group, though I’d give PGS maybe a 20% shot at upsetting them. PGS looked good against the now AGAiN boys at the Polish WCG qualifier but I don’t get too crazy based off that since every national qualifier sees the elite teams getting challenged by their domestic rivals since the teams are so familiar with each others and the styles more similar. Still they should have enough to take 2nd without difficulty I think.
Binteh’s predictions: A relatively easy one for H2k I reckon who also performed quite well versus AGAiN at WCG and also most recently defeated mTw in the EM4, I think with time, this team can only improve. As 2nd seed, I just don’t see n0u doing much damage to PGS.
Meet Your Makers Swe
Oslo Lions eSports Club
Thorin’s predictions: MYM.se raped everyone but fnatic, a fnatic who have been the best team of the year by far. Even if they still have to prove to me they are worthy of a top 5 spot in the world and weren’t just the perfect storm for that event that’s going to be done against the other elite level teams (mTw.dk, SK Gaming etc) and not the quality of this group. MYM will take this group without breaking a sweat. Oslo Lions should take 2nd because they’ve had some close games at Danish qualifiers in the last couple of months so I’ll trust that’s enough to see them through.
- Oslo Lions
Binteh’s predictions: Although not performing as well as most people had hoped, MYM should still be able to take this group easily. Funnily enough, MYM find themselves in a group with Oslo Lions which they also have in their group for EM4, with their game to be played at their return from DreamHack, so perhaps it would be interesting to see how each team adapted themselves to their opponent the second time around.
- Oslo Lions
Dreamhack Winter’s CS tournament will begin on Friday the 27th of November.