With The International 2018 in full swing, we’re going to bring you up to date with how the tournament has progressed so far.
Then, we will look ahead to the CS:GO ZOTAC Cup Masters taking place over the weekend in Hong Kong. It features eight teams competing for a $300,000 prize pool just one week before the big 16-team DreamHack Masters Stockholm event.
Team Liquid down but not out
In The International 2018, this week marked the start of the Main Event.
Round 1 results
- Team Liquid 2-0 OpTic Gaming
- pro 0-2 PSG.LGD
- Storm 0-2 OG
- Evil Geniuses 2-0 Team Secret
The Group A squads utterly dominated these initial Upper Bracket proceedings. As you can see, it was a clean sweep.
Round 2 results
- Team Liquid 0-2 PSG.LGD
- OG 2-1 Evil Geniuses
The second round produced shocks. First off, current champs Team Liquid were defeated 2-0 by PSG.LGD. In the second game, OG, who qualified as the No. 4 seed from Group A defeated the higher touted Evil Geniuses.
This now sets up an Upper Bracket Final between PSG.LGD and OG on Aug. 24, starting at 21:00 BST.
Round 1 results
- Fnatic 0-1 Team Serenity
- TNC Predator 0-1 Mineski
- Newbee 0-1 Winstrike Team
- VGJ Thunder 0-1 Vici Gaming
The big surprise in the best-of-one Round 1 of the Lower Bracket was Winstrike Team’s surprising victory over Group B No. 5 seeds Newbee. Most other games went to form, but Fnatic’s defeat at the hand of Team Serenity was another perhaps unexpected result. The four winners then moved on to face the four losing teams from the Upper Bracket Round 1.
Round 2 results
- OpTic Gaming 2-0 Team Serenity
- pro 2-0 Mineski
- Storm 2-0 Winstrike Team
- Team Secret 2-1 Vici Gaming
In this second round, the higher seeded teams showed their quality with three of the teams dropping out of the Upper Bracket claiming relatively comfortable wins. The exception was Team Secret, who went 1-0 down in their best-of-three encounter with Vici Gaming after an epic, hour-long opening game. Then, the favorites bounced back to win the next two and survive.
The third round will be played later today: OpTic Gaming face Virtus.pro, with the winners then taking on Evil Geniuses in Round 4. Meanwhile, VGJ.Storm take on Team Secret, and the winning team will then face Team Liquid in the next round.
The two winners of the Round 4 games in the Lower Bracket will then contest Round 5. That winner moves into the Lower Bracket Final against the losing team from the Upper Bracket Final. The Grand Final then takes place on Aug. 25, starting at 22:00 BST.
Top CS:GO teams warm up this weekend
On Aug. 29, the DreamHack Masters Stockholm 2018 begins. There’s $250,000 and another victory in the Intel Grand Slam tournament on the table.
Quick note: FaZe Clan need to win this Swedish event to claim the $1,000,000 prize on offer for four Grand Slam wins inside 10 events. But if they reach the final, then the other finalist could claim a $100,000 spoiler prize for denying them that big jackpot.
Before that tournament begins though, a number of teams participating in Sweden will have one final rehearsal. That is the ZOTAC Masters 2018 event in Hong Kong, which features eight teams competing for a $300,000 prize pool, $200,000 of which goes to the winners.
There has already been one change to the lineup. Team Liquid withdrew from the tournament, allowing OpTic Gaming to take their place. They will join MIBR, TyLoo, and Virtus.pro as the main invited teams, while Flash Gaming have also been invited to represent China. Three other teams came through qualifiers in Asia, America, and Europe — MVP PK, Ghost Gaming, and Team Kinguin, respectively.
Rather than having a league stage to open the tournament, the ZOTAC Masters will feature four quarterfinals. The teams are drawn against each other as follows:
- Flash Gaming vs. MIBR
- TyLoo vs.Team Kinguin
- MVP PK vs. Virtus.pro
- Ghost Gaming vs. OpTic Gaming
The winners of the best-of-three quarterfinals will then go on to face each other in the semifinals, before the two semifinal winners play in best-of-five final.
Odds on the ZOTAC Cup winner
Betway is offering the following odds on the teams participating in the tournament.
- MiBR – 39/20
- OpTic Gaming – 11/4
- TyLoo – 5/1
- pro – 11/2
- Team Kinguin – 10/1
- MVP PK – 16/1
- Ghost Gaming – 25/1
- Flash Gaming – 33/1
Although they have not won a tournament for a while, MiBR are the big favourites here just ahead of OpTic Gaming and TyLoo. However, I think the 11/2 Virtus.pro are probably the best value bet for those wishing to take a punt on the Outright Winner market.