Unfortunately we couldn’t find a winner in last weekend’s Call of Duty World Championships as underdogs Evil Geniuses took out the top prize. We’ll look to bounce back in our Esports weekly preview this week as we take a look at this weekend’s ZOTAC Masters which features eight of the best teams in the world and a whopping $300,000 prize pool.
The ZOTAC Masters will be the first in a series of big CS:GO tournaments that we will be previewing over the next few months, highlighted by the $1,000,000 major in the UK in September!
Formerly SK Gaming and one of the most dominant teams in CS:GO history, the newly rebranded MIBR enters the ZOLTAC Masters as the favourite to win. A down patch over the last few months forced MIBR to make two key changes to their roster, dropping TACO and Boltz for North American Cloud 9 pair Stewie2K and Tarik. They have also recently announced the addition of new coack YNK, who has served as an analyst on multiple CS:GO broadcasts in recent history.
The big change for the formerly all Brazilian side is that with the addition of the two Cloud9 players, they now have to communicate in English, which is the second language to three of and arguably their most important three players in coldzera, fer and FalleN.
Their recent results haven’t been much to write home about either. They were bundled out of the recent $1,000,000 CS:GO Premier in Atlanta in the group stage, winning just one of their three matches against a well and truly undermanned Cloud9 squad. Another lacklustre performance in the tournament before that, ESL One Cologne, saw them finish in 8th place and ultimately force the dropping of Boltz. Name alone has made them favourites for this tournament but I can’t back them here given the form they have been in lately.
After fully revamping their roster earlier in the year and opting for a full Danish squad, Optic Gaming has been slowly climbing the CS:GO world rankings and now sit in 15th place. The additions of new in game leader Snappi in place of Stanislaw and support player JUGi in place of ShahZam has given the team much more continuity with the full Danish line-up and has finally allowed Snappi the opportunity to thrive as an in game leader with real talent around him.
They were great in the Europe qualifier for next months major in the UK, finishing second to NiP ad booking a spot in their first major since the glory days of Mixwell, Tarik, Rush, Stanislaw and NAF saw them qualify for the ELEAGUE Major in Atlanta back in January of 2017.
Both cajunb and k0nfig have real MVP potential at this tournament and the support of JUGi and gade is made more prominent now that Optis boast a full Danish roster. I think they have what it takes to win this tournament and gain some respect in European CS:GO before the major gets underway next month.
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