DreamHack Playoffs – June 9, 2020

     Tuesday provides us with another great day of Counter Strike. We will be closing out the first round of lower bracket play with NiP taking on Astralis to start the day. The other two matches will be from the first round of the upper bracket. We have the top two teams in the world going to battle, as well as two teams that went undefeated during group play. Monday was a roller coaster for us. We started with Complexity losing to Fnatic on the third map. We then had to watch Spirit get out classed by Mad Lions. Lucky for us, we cashed on Vitality and the over to close out the day. The live play on Vitality (+130) after the first map loss actually put us in the green for the day. Counting Vitality live and pregame as separate plays, considering they are different lines, we finish with a 3-2 record good for +0.28u. I hope you all follow my twitter (@MoneyMiner_) and saw my bonus play on Hard Legion in the Hellcase Cup!

 

** DreamHack Playoffs Record: 3-2 (+0.28u)

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

 

Ninjas in Pyjamas (-150) vs Astralis (+120) – 8:00am EST

     NiP and Astralis get Tuesday started with the final first round match of the lower bracket. NiP squeaked in to the final playoff spot in their group after beating Ence in their last group match. Astralis had the same record as the one seed in their group, but lost the head to head match, which resulted in them being sent to the lower bracket. Since their last DreamHack match, Xypx decided to take leave due to burnout. This came just after Glave decided to do the same thing. Astralis is now playing with two new players since the end of Road to Rio. We’ll see how that effects them going forward.

     NiP will start out by Banning Dust2. Astralis will then ban Mirage. I would expect to see NiP pick Vertigo for their map choice. Astralis will go with either Inferno or Nuke for their map pick. I think they should go with Nuke considering they have played there with these five on the roster, and the same can’t be said about Inferno. NiP will use their second ban on either Nuke or Inferno depending on what Astralis picks. This is big because it will force Astralis to pick between two maps that favor NiP. I would think they pick Train instead of Overpass, but they got beat there 16-7 during Blast against NiP.

     Astralis is just 1-4 since the departure of Xypx. NiP is dealing with roster changes of their own, but have turned things around after a rough transition period. I think that NiP is playing great team Counter Strike and seem to be trending in the right direction. Astralis on the other hand, doesn’t seem to be finding form together. They actually decided to skip out on their next scheduled event. I question their motivation to finish out DreamHack, as the team may be looking forward to reuniting with Xypx and Glave for the next LAN event. I think this map pool heavily favors NiP as well. They are very strong on Vertigo and Overpass. Theres a chance one of these maps don’t make the pool, but in that case they would get to play Train. They hammered Astralis on Train just a week ago. Astralis should be the most competitive on their map pick, but the fact they went 0-2 on Nuke at Blast Premiere should be worrisome to any Astralis backers. I’ll be riding NiP to win a little more than a unit.

Miner’s Money Pick: Ninjas in Pyjamas (-150) *2 units*

 

Natus Vincere (-130) vs G2 (+100) – 11:30am EST

     The first match of the European DreamHack upper bracket starts with the top two globally ranked teams. NaVi comes in to this one with the #1 ranking, while G2 currently sits at #2. Each of these teams finished DreamHack group play with a 2-1 record, which was enough to earn them the one seed in their groups. Both teams have been off since the conclusion of group play, so they should both be prepared for what their opponents plan on doing. This should be a great match.

      G2 will start shaping the map pool by banning Overpass. NaVi will follow this by taking Vertigo off the board. Each of these teams pick Dust2 as their map choice over 50% of the time. I think G2 knows that and will instead opt to pick Nuke, knowing that NaVi should pick Dust2. G2’s second ban should be used on Train, so NaVi will have to chose between Inferno or Mirage for the tie breaking map. I would expect to see them pick to play Inferno.

     If you’ve watched Counter Strike over the course of the last month or two, you would know that neither of these teams are in the form of being the best in the world. Each team has gone through tough stretches adjusting to online play. They’ve both blown leads and have suffered from slow starts, but they are still two of the most skilled teams out there. They will also be extremely prepared for this match, and I would expect a ton of effort from each of these squads. I think that the map pool is pretty even for both squads. They’ll both be confident and Nuke and Dust2, as each team regularly plays both maps. I think that we will see the first two maps split, leading to a third map. I’d have to say that the biggest edge comes for NaVi on Dust2, but G2 won’t make it easy for them. Theres also a slim chance that Train works its way in to the map pool, and if that’s the case, NaVi will have another advantage. I will be playing the over at plus money, but I’ll also be looking to play NaVi at a discounted price closer to tip off. I feel like NaVi worked through some of their issues during Gamers Without Boarders and the week off may help them become more focused on winning as a team. In the same form, I would say NaVi is the better team.

Miner’s Money Pick: o2.5 maps (+105) & NaVi -130 *1.3u*

 

FaZe (-230) vs BiG (+180) – 3:30pm EST

     The final match of the day will be between two teams that came out of group play undefeated. Faze and BiG both closed out their group with a 3-0 record, although I would argue FaZe should have an asterisk next to their record. I don’t think they beat Spirit without a convenient power outage for Spirit’s top fragger. FaZe also benefited from a weak group while they transitioned from Olof to Bymas. Bymas looked like a liability for most of group play, but I imagine this week of practice will benefit him and FaZe immensely. BiG looked strong during group play, finishing with a top three round differential across the European Region. This is a little surprising as they dropped a map in all of their group play wins. Their map losses came on Mirage (OT) and Nuke.

     BiG will start shaping the map pool by banning Train. FaZe will follow this up by banning Vertigo, which has been an extremely strong map for BiG. I think BiG will avoid using their first pick on the regular Dust2, and instead pick Inferno as the first map. FaZe is just 1-2 on Inferno since the addition of Bymas. FaZe should take their bread and butter, Mirage, as their map pick. FaZe is 9-1 in their last 10 on Mirage, although they’re yet to play Mirage with Bymas. BiG should use their second ban on Overpass to force FaZe to pick between Nuke or Dust2 for the final map.

     We’re going to close Tuesday out with a Miner Special. I’ll be taking the over at plus money, as well as backing BiG as a pretty ‘big’ underdog. I think that this map pool favors BiG, but neither team should be counted out for any of the maps. I didn’t like what I saw from FaZe during their play at DreamHack or Gamers Without Boarders. They’re certainly having some growing pains with the 16 year old Bymas newly joining the roster. I think Bymas will be a force a few months down the road, but until he has more competitive experience, I see him as a liability. I was impressed with BiG during group play, especially their ability to overcome adversity and win tie breaking maps. They have an extremely deep map pool and have became well versed on a majority of the maps over the last three months. They’ve played at least 10 times on four different maps in the past three months, and hold a win percentage of 64% or more on all of those maps. They should have a deep playbook and will be prepared for what FaZe wants to throw at them, especially considering the FaZe play book may be kept simple to help Bymas get comfortable. We’ll be hoping BiG can secure their map pick, so we’ll be free rolling the rest of the way!

Miner’s Money Pick: BiG (+180) & o2.5 maps (+125)

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