If you were wondering why the quality of teams at last weekend’s DreamHack Open Austin 2018 wasn’t as strong as in other DreamHack events, a quick glance at the tournament schedule for the top CS:GO teams will provide ample explanation.
Starting June 8, there is the ECS Season 5 Finals. Then, five days later the ESL One Belo Horizonte 2018 tournament kicks off. The CS:GO Asia Championships 2018 commences a day later. Finally, two days after this, on June 16, the DreamHack Summer 2018 event begins.
This represents a very busy time of year for the top CS:GO teams. They will jet across the globe to compete in these events. For your team, careful scheduling will be key in determining how fresh they are.
Let’s take a quick look back at how teams at the DreamHack Austin 2018 tournament performed before we quickly preview each of the four big tournaments coming up over the next few days.
Space Soldiers battle to victory in Austin
As is customary for DreamHack events, eight teams fought for $100,000 in Austin. The Turkey-based Space Soldiers emerged as the winners to claim the $50,000 top prize.
To recap briefly, Group A comprised Heroic, Fragsters, eUnited, and Luminosity Gaming. It was the former two that came through the group.
Rogue, OpTic Gaming, compLexity Gaming, and Space Soldiers were the teams in Group B. Rogue and Space Soldiers claimed wins in their opening game to progress into the Winners Match, in which Rogue took the victory. OpTic defeated complexity Gaming in the elimination match to set up a decider with Space Soldiers. The Turkish team won 2-1 to eliminate the home side.
The feeling before the tournament was that perhaps Group A was the strongest of the two groups, but that is not how things panned out in the playoffs. Both Group B qualifiers, Rogue (who defeated Fragsters 2-1) and Space Soldiers (2-0 winners over Heroic), clinched finals spots.
Rogue started the final round as the favourites, having inflicted defeat on Space Soldiers 16-8 in the group phase. This time around, Space Soldiers were in better form. They won the first of the best-of-three final by a 16-8 scoreline. Rogue bounced back to win the second match 16-5 to set up a tense final leg.
In the end, it was a rout for Space Soldiers. They claimed a thumping 16-2 victory and their second-largest payday of the year.
ECS Season 5 Finals – Preview
Eight of the best teams in the ECS will head to the SSE Arena, Wembley, London on June 8 to compete for the $660,000 on offer in the Esports Championship Series Season 5 – Finals.
The format of the tournament will follow the structure of the DreamHack series: an initial group stage seeing two teams from each group qualify for the playoffs.
The selection process for the groups is complete and produced the following:
- Group A – Astralis, Fnatic, Team Liquid, Cloud9
- Group B – NRG Esports, FaZe Clan, G2 Esports, Luminosity Gaming
Currently, the bookmakers have Astralis as the 5/4 favourites for the event. It is hard to argue with that logic given the Danish team’s excellent form.
FaZe Clan are 7/2 second favourites, with Fnatic and Team Liquid both rated as 13/2 chances. G2 Esports are 8/1, with Cloud9 a 10/1 shot, NRG Esports 14/1, and the rank outsiders are Luminosity Gaming at 40/1.
ESL One Belo Horizonte 2018 – Preview
Starting June 13, the ESL One Belo Horizonte 2018 is the first ESL One event of 2018, with events in Cologne and New York to follow.
A prize pool of $200,000 is up for grabs at the Mineirinho Arena in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and there are a total of eight teams that have earned spots. They are:
- Direct Invitees – FaZe Clan, Team Liquid, mousesports, SK Gaming
- European Qualifiers – Space Soldiers, BIG
- North American Qualifier – Torqued
- South American Qualifier – Nao Tem Como
The draws for the group stage have not yet been completed, and the tournament will follow what is now becoming a standard CS:GO format of a group stage, followed by the playoffs, with the top two teams in each group earning a playoff spot.
CS:GO Asia Championships 2018 – Preview
Starting just one day after the ESL One Belo Horizonte, the CS:GO Asia Championships will feature eight teams competing for a $300,000 prize pool at the Yuanshen Gymnasium in Shanghai.
The winning team will take home a top prize of $150,000, with the runner-up receiving $60,000. The eight teams that have qualified for the event either as invited teams or as qualifiers are:
- Invited Teams – Team EnVyUs, Natus Vincere, Virtus.pro, Ninjas in Pyjamas and Heroic
- Qualifiers – MVP PK, VG FlashGaming, TyLoo
This tournament sees a slightly different playoff round, with the top three teams in each group qualifying for the playoffs. The top seeds earn a spot directly into the semifinals, while the second and third seeds from opposing groups will face off in the quarterfinals.
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