After three days of group stage action, we’re now down to just four teams at the Starladder ImbaTV Invitational Season 5 Playoffs.
As expected by many, VGJ.Thunder, Fnatic, and OpTic Gaming made it to the Starladder ImbaTV Invitational Season 5 playoffs. However, it seems like only OpTic Gaming came to the tournament ready to play.
In Group A, the North American organization dominated Team Kinguin and VGJ.Thunder to secure a spot in the playoffs and their first DPC points of the season. Quinn ‘CC&C‘ Callahan, criticized by many for his lackluster play throughout the year, looked especially good during OpTic Gaming’s group stage run. On the flip side, Vega Squadron pulled off the unlikely upset in Group B. After dropping their first game of the tournament against SG e-sports, the CIS sharks buckled down and played noticeably better. They would take down SG e-sports before sweeping Fnatic 2-0 in a series where both games went late. Though Fnatic eventually made it to the playoffs, Vega Squadron proved with their performance so far that they came to the tournament looking to win.
Having said that, it’s now time to pick out which team will emerge victorious in their respective matchups tomorrow and walk away from the Starladder ImbaTV Invitational Season 5 Playoffs as the champions.
Vega Squadron vs VGJ.Thunder
Match Schedule: April 15, 2018 (Sunday 12:00 EEST)
As already we’ve seen many times before, VGJ.Thunder struggled against the relentless aggression of CIS teams in their series against FlyToMoon earler in the tournament. Now, they’re up against Vega Squadron, who, like FlyToMoon, sport the same aggressive playstyle that CIS teams are known for. The only difference with them is that they are better coached and more disciplined. They just won’t let games slip away from them, as we’ve seen from their performance so far.
It’s a risky pick, but we’re sold on Vega Squadron, and we’re banking on them using this tournament to position themselves as the second best Dota 2 team in CIS, just next to Virtus.Pro.
Betting: Vega Squadron to win at 2.49 odds (GGbet)
OpTic Gaming vs Fnatic
Match Schedule: April 15, 2018 (Sunday 15:00 EEST)
OpTic Gaming are on a roll and are in prime position to take advantage of all the LAN experience they accumulated from their consecutive Major appearances over the past few months. Fnatic with Johan ‘pieliedie‘ Åström would’ve made this series interesting. However, he is out and subbing in team coach Adam Erwann Shah ‘343‘ bin Akhtar Hussei has only made Fnatic’s shot-calling look worse than it was before.
With CC&C easily playing his best all year long, expect OpTic Gaming to win this series and the tournament.
Betting: OpTic Gaming to win at 1.42 odds (ArcaneBet)
Who’s Going to Win?
For months, OpTic Gaming’s main gripe has been CC&C’s lackluster play. Many times it looked like as if he was not comfortable with his role in the team. But something seems to have happened because he’s playing more like when he was at the TI7 NA Qualifiers with Team Freedom.
Between CC&C‘s improved play, the always-stellar performance of the rest of the team, and the numerous pocket picks at Peter ‘ppd‘ Dager’s disposal, this tournament is OpTic Gaming‘s to lose.
Which team do you think will emerge the winners at the end of tomorrow’s Starladder ImbaTV Invitational Season 5 Playoffs? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.