DreamHack Playoffs – June 11, 2020

     The European lower bracket semi-finals matches will be played on Thursday, as well as the first North American DreamHack playoff match. We start the day off with a showdown between NaVi and Mad Lions. That will be followed up with a contested match between FaZe and NiP. We close out the day with a match between Furia and 100 Thieves. On Wednesday we finished the day 3-1, good for a gain of 1.25 units. We started with a Mad Lions win over Fnatic, before double hitting NiP money line and the over. We sadly lost our two unit play on BiG to close out the day. They were just outclassed by G2. Thursday is my birthday, so I expect a big day! I won’t have a preview for the Friday matches, but I will have my picks tweeted out as early as the lines are published.

*DreamHack Playoffs Record: 8-6 (+1.36u) 

*DreamHack Group Record: 23-21 (+3.02u)

 

Natus Vincere (-150) vs Mad Lions (+120) – 8:00am EST

     We begin the day with a lower bracket semi-final between NaVi and Mad Lions. NaVi found themself in this match after suffering a 2-0 loss to G2 in the opening round of upper bracket play. Mad Lions had much more of a battle to get to the lower bracket semi’s after finishing group play as a three seed. They had to find wins against Spirit and Fnatic on their road to the lower bracket semis. Mad Lions only dropped one map in those matches, which came on Train against Fnatic. They dominated Nuke and Mirage against both Spirit And Fnatic. None of those maps were all too competitive, even less than the score line shows.

     Mad Lions will begin to shape the map pool by banning Dust2. NaVi will use their first ban on Vertigo. Mad Lions will use their first pick on Mirage. Mirage has been tough for NaVi in the past three months (1-2), but they’re 6-3 on Mirage since the start of 2020. Their two most recent losses were to G2 and FaZe, and only decided by a few rounds. I wouldn’t count them out on Mirage. NaVi will most likely pick Nuke or Train. Train is usually NaVi’s secondary first pick, but they’re currently on a 4-map losing streak. Mad Lions struggled immensely against Fnatic on Train, so don’t be surprised to see NaVi try to exploit that. Mad Lions will use their second ban on Inferno, forcing NaVi to pick between Overpass or Nuke/Train. The tie breaker will be a strong map for each team, but I’d have to give NaVi a slight edge as they always seem to show up for grindy, close matches.

     I think that we will see all three maps in our opening match of the day. This map pool doesn’t offer too much of an advantage to either team and I expect all the maps to be competitive. I also think NaVi gets the win in this one. NaVi is tired of losing and should be prepared for the Mad Lions after having the extra day off. Mad Lions looked good against Spirit and Fnatic, but NaVi is another jump up in skill. Perfecto and Flamie actually looked good against G2, if Simple and Electronic can hold up their end, they should beat Mad Lions. I think the -160 price is fair, but will be waiting to see if I can get NaVi around -150, which I would play to win a unit.

Miner’s Money Pick: Navi (-150) *1.5u* & o2.5 maps (+100)

 

Ninjas in Pyjamas (-120) vs FaZe (-110) – 11:30am EST

     The second match of the day should be the best one to watch. We have FaZe taking on NiP in the second European lower bracket semi-final. FaZe found themself in the lower bracket after getting ran through by BiG in their first upper bracket match. FaZe looked to be having serious issues, as Bymas continued to look like a liability. NiP finally got a win over Vitality, after beating Astralis in the first round of lower bracket play. Each of their wins came in the form of a 2-1 victory, but NiP continues to look better with each match. The team seems to be getting comfortable with Hampus, and all of the players are carrying their own weight.

     Each of these teams will use their regular first bans, and take away a strong map from their opponent in doing so. NiP will use their ban on Dust2 and FaZe will ban Vertigo. I expect NiPs map pick to be Overpass. FaZe struggled to get things going on their t-side of Overpass in their last meeting, and I expect that struggle to be magnified playing with Bymas. FaZe should use their map pick on either Mirage or Inferno. They haven’t played Mirage with Bymas, but they have a 9-1 record on Mirage through the last three months. NiP will use their second ban on Nuke. This will allow FaZe to pick between Train or Mirage/Inferno for the tie breaking map.

     I was a little surprised to see NiP listed as a short favorite. I expected them to be a short dog considering how much weight FaZe’s name demands in the market. I haven’t been high on FaZe since the roster change from Olof to Bymas. Bymas doesn’t have enough competitive Counter Strike experience. I’ve also been preaching about how good NiP has began to look as they gain comfort playing with Hampus. They seem to be right back in the form they were in at Road to Rio, if not playing better. It seems like bookmakers are finally catching up. NiP was extremely competitive in a match with FaZe just under a month ago, but NiP looks better and FaZe looks worse since that match. I expect to have a very similar map pool, with the biggest edge coming on Overpass for NiP. I think NiP will be extremely competitive on FaZe’s pick and should be a slight favorite going in to a third map if it gets there. I will be backing NiP in this one.

Miner’s Money Pick: Ninjas in Pyjamas (-120) *1.5u*

 

Furia (-160) vs 100 Thieves (+130) – 3:00pm EST

     North American DreamHack playoffs begin today with a match between Furia and 100 Thieves. Interestingly enough, this is the upper bracket finals, so the winner of this game will move on to play in the NA DreamHack grand finale. Furia earned their spot in the upper bracket final after a perfect 3-0 during group play. 100 Thieves got the other one seed, but it came in 2-1 fashion as they lost to Evil Geniuses to close out DreamHack group play. They had already locked in the one seed before that match. Each of these teams should be extremely motivated to win today, especially considering they’ll earn a one map advantage in the best of five grand final.

     100 Thieves will start things out by banning Overpass. Furia will then use their ban on Dust2. 100 Thieves will use their first pick on Vertigo. Vertigo is the only map that 100T has been able to find consistent success on against Furia. Furia will use their map pick on Mirage. They’re a perfect 11-0 on Mirage in the last three months, while 100 Thieves is just 2-4. I would expect 100T to use their second ban on Inferno and force Furia to decide between Train or Nuke for the tie breaking map. If they don’t use their second ban on Inferno, then I’d expect to see Inferno as the tie breaker. 

     I’m going to back another favorite to close out the day. Furia has looked like the best team in the NA region since the switch to online play. They’re an impressive 14-2 since the start of Road to Rio. 100 Thieves have looked good, but lack consistency. They’re also prone to blowing leads and falling to close out maps they should easily win. This map pool also favors Furia. Furia has a good chance to take Vertigo, as its the third time these two teams will play the map in just about six months. Furia should also dominate their pick of Mirage. They’ve been untouchable on Mirage and it’s a map that 100T has struggled on lately. The tie breaker will be pretty even, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t get there. If it does, Furia will be able to pick between Nuke or Train based on whatever they’re more confident in playing. I think Furia gets this done to move on to the Grand Final. 

Miner’s Money Pick: Furia (-155) *1.55u*

     

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