It’s NoPangolier vs Natus Vincere, as well as Peter ‘ppd’ Dager and Ninjas in Pyjamas vs their old nemeses, Virtus.Pro, in the Maincast Autumn Brawl Semifinals.
So apparently, Virtus.Pro weren’t rusty. Pavel ‘9pasha‘ Khvastunov came back and it was like nothing had changed. Virtus.Pro were still as good as they’ve always been, and Team Spirit simply stood no chance.
We would’ve loved to say the same for Team Secret, but that’s not exactly what happened. What did happen, however, was that Clement ‘Puppey‘ Ivanov got too cute. He thought that it was good idea to try to force his old pal, Danil ‘Dendi‘ Ishutin, play around their typical high execution game plan on such short notice instead of playing to the strengths of a stand in. As a result, they gave away Game 2 after looking so good in Game 1. Ultimately, they ended up losing the series.
That was not how everyone wanted the reunion to go.
But, we’re not here to dwell on the past, as we’re now set to move on to the Maincast Autumn Brawl Semifinals, where we’re going to see yet another set of teams try to push deeper into the tournament and closer to that $50,000 cash price.
All odds courtesy of ArcaneBet.
Maincast Autumn Brawl Semifinals Predictions
NoPangolier vs Natus Vincere
Match Schedule: October 13, 2018 (17:00 CEST)
Make no mistake, what Natus Vincere did against Team Secret was on Puppey, not on how well the CIS organization played. This isn’t a knock on them, either. They played well in that series, but if Puppey had not forced his team to play the way they usually do, which is not that forgiving for a stand-in to adjust to, it wouldn’t have even gone past Game 2.
This brings us to NoPangolier.
They’ve done extremely well for themselves, so far. They literally haven’t lost a single game yet and they’ve beaten Team Spirit, ESPADA, and Gambit Esports, all of which are considered ahead of Natus Vincere on the CIS pecking order.
There’s chain logic, and there’s just understanding just how well NoPangolier have played so far and how Natus Vincere are unlikely to catch a lucky break for the second game in a row.
Betting: NoPangolier to win at 2.36 odds. (ArcaneBet)
Ninjas in Pyjamas vs Virtus.Pro
Match Schedule: October 13, 2018 (20:00 CEST)
Last year, in the lead up to TI8, ppd had multiple chances to try and get his team, OpTic Gaming, directly invited to TI8. Both times, Virtus.Pro stood in their way. And, when they did get to TI8, Virtus.Pro, once again, was the team that separated them from getting at least a Top 5-6 finish and the Top 8 finish that they ultimately did.
At this point, ppd has got to know how to beat Virtus.Pro. He showed he was capable of drafting against them at TI8, taking a game off before ultimately falling short because he really didn’t have anyone who could step up and just take over games for them on a consistent basis.
While the verdict is still out on whether ppd has that now with Ninjas in Pyjamas, he does have three interchangeable cores and a plethora of cheese strategies at his disposal, mainly because of the presence of both 33 and Marcus ‘Ace‘ Hoelgaard.
Having said that, banking on Ninjas in Pyjamas to win, regardless of how ugly it gets, at 3.26 odds sounds enticing. However, that remains a big risk this early on in the team’s life cycle, as compared, to, let’s say, saying that this series is going to give us a full three games worth of action.
Betting: Total Maps Played at Over 2.5 at 2.25 odds (ArcaneBet).