Astralis are having serious issues at this event. Though dev1ce is back, it almost seems like he isn’t. He is playing so much under par that it almost feels like he hasn’t returned at all. This means that the four remaining members of Astralis are having to battle it out against fully functional five-man opposing teams. Astralis has still managed to remain in the event, but barely, and while there still is a chance that they will get their act together, we wouldn’t count on it.
Other teams that met with disaster at this event are North and Virtus.pro, who have been eliminated. Virtus.pro has been playing so badly that it’s no surprise that they were eliminated. Is this the same team that went toe to toe with SK Gaming, trading kills into a second overtime in the final match of EPICENTER? The same team that almost took the EPICENTER title away from SK Gaming, who are arguably the greatest team in the world? It seems so. After playing so well at EPICENTER, they’ve balanced things out by playing just as badly in the first premier event of the new year.
North’s losing to BIG was quite a shock. BIG and Cloud9 have made a comeback at this event, but they still aren’t out of the danger zone. These teams will have to win all their remaining matches in Round 5 to remain in the event. We don’t have to tell you just how unlikely that is. Other teams that will have to fight bitterly to stave off elimination are Space Soldiers, Astralis, Team Liquid and Vega Squadron.
Space Soldiers Vs BIG
Space Soldiers met and defeated BIG at WESG last year. They won that match, in Cache, by four rounds, which is a relatively small difference in scores. This shows how well matched these teams are. What gives Space Soldiers the upper hand here is the fact that BIG lost pretty badly against Team Liquid, and scored just one round against Natus Vincere. None of Space Soldiers’ matches at this event ended quickly, and they scored thirteen rounds against SK Gaming and Gambit Esports. There is no doubt that Space Soldiers are in much better form and can win this match, and with the odds running at 1.40 on them, a stake here promises reasonable winnings.
Astralis Vs Cloud9
No one foresaw that Astralis and Cloud9 would be going into an elimination round together at this event. These are teams that should be competing for entry into the Champions Stage, not battling to avoid elimination. But that’s karma… or rather, that’s CS:GO. One team will manage to stay in the ELEAGUE at this match, and the other one will be eliminated from the event. Both teams have been putting out performances that are more or less equally bad.
Dev1ce is holding back his whole team… at least for now
Dev1ce is proving to be a real liability to his team, and his plays show that he really is still far from well. While we do hope he’ll get better, Astralis’ plays as a team don’t promise much for a victory, even facing Cloud9 here. The problem is that Astralis are a team that have always relied heavily on merged strategies and teamwork, so a sick member who isn’t playing up to par hits them much more badly than it would other top teams. It’s hardly dev1ce’s fault, and he has our best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Cloud9 aren’t playing quite their usual game either, for some reason or the other. Yes, they defeated Virtus.pro, but even QBF did so in Round 1. Astralis playing against Cloud9 is currently a very unstable combination, so we advise you to save your money for another match.
Team Liquid Vs Vega Squadron
This is the end of the line for Liquid, because they just haven’t cut it at this event with zews playing instead of steel. ELEAGUE’s management have made a serious error of judgement in not allowing boltz or steel to play, as it is obvious that neither SK Gaming nor Team Liquid have really been able to play their best game with two of their top members missing. Two top teams being crippled damages the prestige of the whole event. Even if FaZe Clan were to ultimately win this event against SK Gaming (for example), they could hardly savor their victory. In any case, either Liquid or Vega could win this match, as both are doing equally badly. Put your money on the sure wins, instead of throwing it away here.
These are the most carefully formulated match predictions, by analysts who thoroughly study team histories and playing styles. Stay tuned for more match-by-match analyses and predictions for this event. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest on your favourite Esports titles.