DreamHack Masters – May 27, 2020

     European Group C was supposed to wrap up on Wednesday, but due to technical issues with a player on Team Spirit, they will now be playing Godsent on Saturday. This forced DreamHack to move forward a few games to create the time slot. Wednesday turned in to a real treat as we have four top 10 teams in play. Natus Vincere will now be taking on Vitality in the early slot, followed up by FaZe taking on Fnatic. Tuesday was just extremely unlucky for us. We started the day out losing on Spirit money line at +160 after their top performing player lost power. At the time of the power drop, Spirit was tied 14-14 with a one map advantage. They had to use a stand in for Mir on the last map and still managed to force overtime before losing 17-19. We went on to win on the Godsent over (+125), but gave a half unit back on Godsent money line. The final match of the day between Gen.G and 100T ended up being completely unpredictable. 100T bypassed their regular ban of Overpass and then picked it as their map pick. Over the past three months 100T has used Overpass as their first ban 100% of the time. They instead used their ban on Mirage, which took away the biggest edge Gen.G had. We finished the day with an ugly 1-3 record giving 1.75 units back to the book.

DreamHack Record: 15-12 (+4.47u)

Natus Vincere (-125) vs Vitality (-105) – DreamHack EU – 8:00am

     We get the morning started off with what should be a great matchup. Natus Vincere (NaVi) comes in to this ranked as the number 2 team globally, while Vitality also finds them self in the top 10. NaVi and Vitality will start DreamHack play in completely opposite form. NaVi lost plenty of matches they should not have lost in the CIS region of Road to Rio. They failed to make playoffs in a region they were heavily favored to win. Vitality came in 4th place in the much more competitive European region. I’m curious to see if NaVi will come out strong or follow the likes of Mousesports and Fnatic. Sometimes gameplay from LAN to online doesn’t translate for these top ranked teams.

     Vitality will get things started by banning Train. This will be followed by NaVi banning Vertigo. Vitality will most likely pick Inferno for their map pick. They have picked Inferno the last three times these teams have met. NaVi shouldn’t stray from what they’ve been doing and will use Dust2 as their map pick. Vitality should then ban Overpass followed by Navi banning Mirage to chose Nuke as the tie breaking map. These teams met twice in February and played on the same three maps each time. They split the meetings with each team winning a series in 2-0 fashion. These maps should be competitive.

     There is one variable that is going to control the outcome of this match. It’ll come down too if NaVi is ready to play or not. In Road to Rio we saw them come out lackadaisical thinking they were just going to steam roll teams. Before they knew it they found them self in huge holes. Teams are always going to give it their all when they’re playing one of the best teams in the world. We know what the Vitality squad will bring, but I don’t think it will be enough if NaVi shows up ready to play good Counter Strike. I’ve watched some of Simples streams of late and he seems to be grinding. They also respect Vitality more than most CIS teams. I’m going to bank on a NaVi revenge tour after their embarrassing performance in the CIS region. They went from being viewed as the best to being laughing stocks in the matter of a week. I also think this is creating a unique opportunity to have NaVi at a discounted price. Just have to hope the whole team shows up.

Miner’s Money Pick: Natus Vincere (-125) *1.75u*

FaZe (-135) vs Fnatic (+105) – DreamHack EU – 11:30am 

     FaZe And Fnatic both come in to this one in shaky form. FaZe is 2-0 in group play, but should be 1-1. They looked like the worse team against Spirit and looked vulnerable in their match against Godsent. Fnatic hasn’t looked any better. They got steam rolled by Spirit in their first match before squeaking out a win against Godsent on Tuesday. FaZe has already secured their spot in the playoffs so they may face a little less pressure in this match. Fnatic can lock in their spot with a win and I expect them to be motivated to do so after a bad performance in Road to Rio. 

     FaZe will get things started off by banning Vertigo. I think Fnatic will follow this up by banning Dust2. Dust2 has been a strong map for FaZe and Fnatic has lost 5 straight there. FaZe will most likely pick Mirage as their first map choice. They are 9-1 over their last 10 games on Mirage. Fnatic is comfortable on Mirage, although they have not seen the best results. Fnatic should use their map pick on Inferno. Before their recent 3 game skid, they were 11-3 on Inferno since the end of February. The FaZe CT looked extremely unreliable against Godsent and I would expect them to struggle more with Fnatic. I think FaZe will use their second ban on Train forcing Fnatic to pick between Nuke or Overpass. If I was Fnatic I would chose Overpass because Bymas has not played a match their yet. If FaZe bans Overpass instead of Train, Fnatic should chose Train to be the tie breaker.

     Fnatic has proven that even in bad form they show up for big games. They were the only team that was able to beat Astralis during the Road to Rio event. I also haven’t been impressed with what I’ve seen by FaZe since the addition of Bymas. Bymas has a ton of potential, but tends to be a liability with a lack of competitive experience. I think that Fnatic will present the hardest challenge for this new FaZe roster thus far. Fnatic should also have a slight motivational edge as a win here will secure them a spot in the playoffs. I’m worried about Fnatic on Mirage as its FaZe’s best map, but they didn’t look invincible there even with Olof instead of Bymas. That’s enough to keep me away from the over, but Fnatic to win 2-1 (+275) is pretty appealing for a small play to pair with the money line.

Miner’s Money Pick: Fnatic (+105) *1.3u* & Fnatic win 2-1 (+275) *.4u*

Evil Geniuses (-155) vs Gen.G (+125) – DreamHack NA – 3:00pm

     We have the two losers from North American Group B facing off in a crucial match. The loser of this match will only be able to qualify for playoffs via tie-breaker, while the winner will control their own fate. Evil Geniuses started out group play taking a loss to Cloud9 as a favorite north of -200. Gen.G also lost as a favorite, although the odds were much more even. Gen.G was beat 2-0 by 100 Thieves after choking away a lead on the first map. 100T then  crushed them on their most uncomfortable map, Overpass. EG and Gen.G met in RTR group play about a month ago. Gen.G dropped the first map before winning the next two maps by a margin of just two rounds. This match should shape up to be a competitive one.

     Gen.G will start out by banning Overpass and EG will then ban Vertigo. Gen.G should avoid using their pick on Train. They struggled to close out rounds against 100T and were crushed by EG the last time these teams met on Train. I expect to see Gen.G to pick Dust2 since it’s a map that EG doesn’t play often. EG should also think about straying from their regular pick of Nuke. They are just 4-6 on Nuke in their last 10 matches. EG should instead opt to pick Inferno as it’s a map they’ve won at a 75% clip on during the past three months. Gen.G should use their next ban on either Nuke/Inferno depending on what EG picks. This will force EG to chose between Mirage or Train for the last map. Gen.G is extremely comfortable on each of those maps. They are the maps Gen.G picks most often for their map pick.

     I would have to give the edge to the underdog in this one. The map pool is pretty even across the board, but I see Gen.G having an advantage on at least two of the three maps. Playing on both Mirage and Dust2 would be ideal for Gen.G backers, but they’ll be competitive on Train if that makes it into the pool. They’ve also shown they can win on Nuke if that’s what EG opts to pick. Gen.G is in much better form as of late. They’ve won 7 of their last 10 series including a first place finish at Road to Rio. EG, on the other hand, have won only 3 of their last 10 series. Each team looked shaky in their DreamHack debut, but I can’t rationalize backing a team in such bad form at -160. Let’s hope Gen.G can close out 2v5’s in this one. If they get out of their own way, I’d expect to see them get the win.

Miner’s Money Pick: Gen.G (+130)

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