For the first time, DreamHack will host its flagship tournament in Stockholm, not Malmo. Sixteen teams are ready to compete for a $250,000 prize pool.
Before our preview, a sad but important note: with greater scrutiny on the world of esports following the awful events in Jacksonville last weekend, when two gamers at a Madden 19 esports event were killed by another player, it will be interesting to see whether the calls for greater security at these types of events are followed in Sweden.
More than just the $250,000 up grabs, Stockholm also represents the next event in the Intel Grand Slam. One team can win an additional $1,000,000 if they can claim victory in Stockholm this week.
Let’s now take a closer look at some of the key details of the tournament.
Stockholm tournament structure
The first stage of the tournament will be a Group Stage. It will see the 16 teams drawn into four groups. The opening matches for all teams in each group are best-of-one games, with the following Winner, Elimination, and Decider matches all taking on a best-of-three format.
Following the five games in each group, the top two teams in each group will advance to the Playoffs.
The draws for the Group Stage are as follows:
- Group A – Astralis, North, TyLoo, Grayhound Gaming
Opening Matches – Astralis vs. Grayhound Gaming, North vs. TyLoo
- Group B – Natus Vincere, NRG Esports, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Ghost Gaming
Opening Matches – Natus Vincere vs. Ghost Gaming, NRG Esports vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas
- Group C – FaZe Clan, Fnatic, OpTic Gaming, Heroic
Opening Matches – FaZe Clan vs. Heroic, Fnatic vs. OpTic Gaming
- Group D – mousesports, MIBR, HellRaisers, Gambit Esports
Opening Matches – mousesports vs. Gambit Gaming, MIBR vs. HellRaiser
The subsequent Playoffs will see the eight teams competing in a single elimination tournament with four quarterfinals, followed by two semifinals, and then the Grand Final. All matches in the Playoffs are played over a best-of-three format.
The tournament will run from Aug. 29 through Sept. 2, with the winning team taking home a $100,000 top prize. The runners-up receive $50,000.
Latest betting from Stockholm
Betway is offering a number of very interesting betting options for the Outright Winner markets. Here’s the odds breakdown by group.
Group A Winner Odds and Tip
- Astralis – 30/100
- North – 9/2
- TyLoo – 10/1
- Grayhound Gaming – 22/1
Astralis are the clear favourites in Group A, and it is easy to see why following their fine win in Marseille back in April. They are the class act in this group with only North likely to give them a strong game. I’d back Astralis to get the two wins they need to top this group comfortably.
Group B Winner Odds and Tip
- Natus Vincere – 13/20
- Ninjas in Pyjamas – 7/2
- NRG Esports – 9/2
- Ghost Gaming – 12/1
Natus Vincere are a short priced favourite to win Group B. They’re also in form after their win at the ESL One Cologne this month. They’ve won two recent DreamHack events too, Winter 2017 and Leipzig 2016, and as such they are the obvious choice here. However, don’t be too surprised if the improving NRG Esports pip Ninjas in Pyjamas to that second spot in Group B.
Group C Winner Odds and Tip
- FaZe Clan – 9/10
- Fnatic – 3/1
- OpTic Gaming – 4/1
- Heroic – 8/1
This is a relatively even group compared to the first two. Still, FaZe Clan are the obvious pick. Now, Fnatic’s improvement of late, including their two wins at the IEM XII Worlds and World Electronic Sports Games, mean they and OpTic Gaming could be a real challenge to FaZe Clan. The latter needs to win this event to claim the $1,000,000 bonus on offer in the Intel Grand Slam.
Group D Winner Odds and Tip
- MiBR – 8/5
- Mousesports – 7/4
- HellRaisers – 4/1
- Gambit Esports – 13/2
I think Group D is the most open of all the groups. MiBR’s win at the ZOTAC Cup last week has set them up nicely for this tournament. However, it is fair to say they face a higher level of competition here than in Hong Kong. You cannot rule mousesports out of the reckoning, especially when you consider how up and down MiBR’s form has been of late. As such, I’m backing mousesports to claim the top spot in Group D.
DreamHack Masters Outright Winner market
- Astralis – 6/5 favourites
- FaZe Clan – 4/1
- Natus Vincere – 6/1
- MiBR – 7/1
- Fnatic, Mousesports – 12/1
- Team North – 14/1
- HellRaisers, Ninjas in Pyjamas and OpTic Gaming – 20/1
- NRG Esports – 22/1
- Gambit Gaming, TyLoo – 33/1
- Heroic – 50/1
- Ghost Gaming, Grayhound Gaming – 66/1
The open nature of CS:GO gaming at the present moment is reflected in the odds for the DreamHack Masters in Stockholm. Astralis, who are the form team, are the favourites, but they are not odds on because FaZe Clan have a million reasons to try and lift this title. Similarly, the likes of Natus Vincere, MiBR, and Fnatic have all hit better form of late, and they represent a stern test for any team wanting to win this title.
I would like FaZe Clan to win their Intel Grand Slam bonus prize, yet I think they’ll be thwarted this time around. I am backing Natus Vincere to claim the win here at 6/1.