WCG playoff first round preview

Published on SK Gaming in November of 2009.

Millenium vs. Turmoil

Millenium handled one of the easiest groups of the WCG without trouble to progress as the top seed. Turmoil lost to CMAX.gg but made it through by virtue of Mouz losing their minds and 14 rounds as T to an ex-Quake 3 player from Belarus.

Thorin’s prediction: Turmoil wins

Millenium have yet to be tested but that said Turmoil looked shaky against CMAX. Based on their Mouz game Turmoil could show up and blow this one out but since it’s the playoffs and they haven’t looked great, with that Mouz win being devalued by the SNG result, I think it’ll probably be closer than many expect. Still the Americans should win this match or North American CS is even weaker than I’d estimated it at being.

Binteh’s prediction: Turmoil wins

I’m gonna base this purely on hopes. Neither of the teams are exactly my favourite but Turmoil have surprised me so far and this will be the first real “hard” opponent for Millenium, maybe they will break down.

k23 vs. fnatic

k23 won their group thanks to a dominating victory over esq.wind and despite a loss to Romania’s TeG. Their prize for doing so is a first round matchup against the overwhelming tournament favourites, a team who have won five tournaments this year already. fnatic are the world #1 in Counter-Strike and even a loss here isn’t going to change that. The champions of Dubai utterly destroyed k23 in their relegation match on the way to that title.

Thorin’s prediction: fnatic wins

fnatic are far and away the best team in the world when they are on their A game and f0rest would probably get my vote for best CS player of all time. k23’s reputation for causing upsets should not be brought up here since this is not a group stage game where a team can be caught off guard, nor is it a one map affair where variance is high. k23 will lose in two maps to the Swedes by sizable margins.

Binteh’s prediction: fnatic wins

I don’t think anyone is going to disagree with me on this one. However, SK beat k23, k23 beat SK, SK beat fnatic, fnatic beat SK, fnatic beat k23, maybe it’s k23’s turn to beat fnatic? Ah well, I’m guessing this is the only explanation I can have for k23 beating fnatic.

mTw.dk vs. EG.US

mTw.dk lived up to their name’s reputation and won all their group games. EG.US had one of the better group draws overall but fell to HellRaisers and had to settle for second.

Thorin’s prediction: mTw.dk wins

mTw.dk will win this series and it would be a big surprise to me if they didn’t, not just an upset but a major one. EG.US have looked every bit like a team lacking their in-game captain and playing with a stand-in who has no international experience. HellRaisers pounded them with a 12:3 first half on tuscan and no amount of victories against teams I’ve never heard of was going to make up for that. mTw.dk have by no means cemented themselves as on the level of the old mTw.dk yet, especially with that short interval of weakness in the first part of the Power Gaming match, but they have done enought to tell me they can move past EG.US without it draining much out of the tank.

Binteh’s prediction: mTw.dk wins

If mTw keep playing the way they did they’ll reach the quarter finals and probably the semis. If EG keep playing the way they do, they’ll be reaching in their pocket for the ticket back home. EG really dissapointed me in group stages and if they don’t do something tonight to change their game, like perhaps get the sleep it looks like they need, then tomorrow they wont stand a chance.

TyLoo vs. DuskBin

TyLoo won their group with a big offensive performance against the Polish AGAiN team. Duskbin finished second in a group where two teams who didn’t progress all failed to have a single game in which they reached double digits against the teams who moved on.

Thorin’s prediction: TyLoo wins

This is the most mundane of all the matchups in the first round and can be summed up by simply saying that TyLoo can look really good at times against even the best opposition while Duskbin have never done anything in CS to make themselves relevant enough for me to know anything about them,

Binteh’s prediction: TyLoo wins

China versus Hong Kong’s best team. I don’t think Hong Kong’s best is good enough versus TyLoo though… It makes me wish I watched more of the Asian games now.

wNv.cn vs. TeG

wNv.cn got out of their group in a bizarre three-way tie situation which caused so much controvery. Romania’s TeG exceeded expectations to win all of their group games.

Thorin’s prediction: wNv.cn wins

wNv.cn have shown good form in the last few months and are more than capable of winning this series regardless of TeG’s group stage victories. If the Chinese didn’t take this series in two maps I’d be highly surprised.

Binteh’s prediction: wNv.cn wins

This is ridiculous, H2k Gaming gets ex-vitriolic, wNv gets TeG… oh wait, maybe that seeding in group B was good afterall? I’m not going to argue more as to why wNv will win and why TeG won’t. Just look at the game tomorrow.

CMAX.gg vs. Parallax

CMAX.gg won their group which on paper looked to be one of the most competitive and would have been but for the Mouz-SNG upset. The Russian WCG qualifiers get one of the easiest first round matchups, on paper, as they face New Zealand’s Parallax. Parallax got into the playoffs by winning a game against a Singaporean team and another against a Serbian team.

Thorin’s prediction: CMAX.gg wins

CMAX.gg have players who sometimes suffer from making poor decisions against good teams but that won’t apply in this case. The Russians have way too much skill, too much experience… too much everything for Parallax.

Binteh’s prediction: CMAX.gg wins

The thing with CMAX.gg is that they have set tactics and they stick to them no matter who they are playing and how badly they are losing. Unfortunatly your tactics work against an enemy or they don’t (like they didn’t versus mousesports). I don’t think that in this case it will make that much more of a difference anyway, even without the tactics I’m pretty sure CMAX.gg’s AWPing skills outaim Parallax.

H2k Gaming vs. AGAiN

H2k won their group with ease and to the surprise of noone. AGAiN took 2nd in theirs after a loss to TyLoo on dust2.

Thorin’s prediction: AGAiN

H2k have proved nothing to me. The past of H2k doesn’t even apply in my book as they no longer have the two biggest reasons behind those results. SpawN may well prove to regain his performance level and zneel could well turn out to be a solid player in the long run but neither is an on form, at the peak of their games, face or kHRYSTAL. Nor have H2k faced even a mild challenge at this event so far. Meanwhile AGAiN are one of the best teams to ever play Counter-Strike. What’s more they have won a WCG already in their time. Should be no surprise I’m picking AGAiN to win this series. My gut even tells me it’ll be only 2 maps as the Poles prove too hot to handle for the Swedes.

Binteh’s prediction: too scared to answer…AGAi…no..H2..no..Vitri…ok no I pick H2k.

I’m torn. I liturally don’t know if I wan’t the right hand or the left hand more, because I want both sweets. This game doesn’t deserve to be in the first round of the playoffs, this is worthy of at least a quarter final and definitly a semi final. I feel sorry for whoever is going to lose because one team who deserved it and is going to win this game will go far in the playoffs, the other team that goes home will know that they deserved it and could have gone far in the playoffs but didn’t.

HellRaisers vs. Power Gaming

HellRaisers won their group despite some expecting EG.US to take the top spot. Power Gaming have a lineup of some of Finland’s best Cs players ever but as a unit have yet to do anything significant outside of their nation’s borders. Qualifying for the playoffs by the skin of their teeth thanks to a tie they were unaware they needed certainly wasn’t the smoothest entry to the elimination stage.

Thorin’s prediction: Power Gaming wins

Based on form at this event everything so far tells me I should pick HellRaisers and yet my prediction clearly shows the Finns winning this one. It’s not even a case of me disliking HellRaisers or thinking they can’t beat a team like this, I think they stand an even chance in this matchup. That’s just it: I think this is the closest matchup of the first round and so I’m going to go with Power Gaming because despite all their problems in the group stage they have some of the all time great CS players and plenty of experience. I think a lot of their problems came from players messing around due to not being able to take the group stage seriously enough. The playoffs should be the cure for that disease. Power Gaming have the potential to perform at a higher level than HellRaisers even if they haven’t managed to yet.

Binteh’s prediction: HellRaisers wins

No. Same dilemna, two of my favorite teams are facing each other in the playoffs already. I am a little bit more bias towards POwer Gaming, however, I think Hellraisers will win this because I think they are probably one of the most lustfull teams for wins in the whole tournament. Not to mention that Hellraisers deserve it as they have been playing their A game, whereas Power Gaming still could do better.

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