DreamHack Open Atlanta 2019 will commence on Friday, November 15 at Georgia World Congress Center and it will mark the fifth DreamHack event of 2019. The A-Tier tournament will feature eight teams, who will battle it out for the largest slice of the US$100,000 prize pool and the title of DreamHack champions.
As it was the case in previous installments, DreamHack Open Atlanta 2019 will feature eight teams, six of which invited and two who qualified. For the group stage of the event, the eight teams have been divided into two double-elimination (GSL) groups with four teams in each. All opening and winner's matches will be played as best-of-one (Bo1), while the elimination and decider matches will use a Bo3 format.
Top two teams from each group will then advance into playoffs, where a single-elimination format will be used, with all fixtures played as Bo3.
Teams present at the tournament are: Illuminar (Invited), CR4ZY (Invited), Heroic (Invited), Sprout (Invited), Virtus.pro (Invited), Ben's Anime Team (Invited), INTZ (NA qualifiers) and Triumph (NA qualifier).
Ben's Anime Team have been invited as a replacement for Cloud9, who announced on November 4, 2019, they will withdraw from the tournament. Triumph qualified for the event under the name "The Quest", however, the roster got acquired by Triumph on October 16, 2019.
Group A: Heroic, Sprout, Illuminar, Triumph
Group B: Ben's Anime Team, CR4ZY, INTZ, Virtus.pro
In Rotterdam, in mid-October, we saw CR4ZY claim the title after an impressive run in the playoffs where they dismantled Major runner-up AVANGAR (2-1) and Heroic (2-1) in the finals. CR4ZY will look to claim their second DreamHack title this November, which would make them the first team of 2019 to achieve such feat. However, that might be easier said than done, as there are a handful of teams who can derail them on their way to the grand finals. Now let's take a look at who those teams are, how they stack up with each other and ultimately give our prediction on which team do we believe has what it takes to win.
Ben's Anime Team ($26.00 at Skrilla) are priced as the heavy underdogs and considering they shouldn't even be here in the first place, those odds should not surprise anyone. Ben's Anime Team are an NA squad, which has had some solid results behind them, however, those results came from B-Tier and C-Tier tournaments. They have ended the DreamHack Atlanta qualifiers at a third-fourth place behind INTZ eSports and The Quest (Now Triumph), which tells enough about how strong they are. That said, they do have an ace in the hole in Josh "steel" Nissan who is an excellent player and IGL. They might not be one of the best teams out there, but we would not be surprised if they make it out of the group. If all goes their way, they could even top their group, and considering their opening fixture against CR4ZY is a Bo1, they have a decent chance to do so. Wining the whole thing, however, is a completely different story.
Triumph ($26.00) are entering the tournament with the same odds as Ben's Anime Team and the same chances to finish with the title in their hands. While Triumph managed to finish top two in NA qualifiers, they are in our eyes just as strong, or in other words, just as weak as their odds suggest. Avoid betting on them here.
INTZ ($18.00) are entering DreamHack Atlanta with slightly lower odds compared to Ben’s Anime team and Triumph, however, we don't trust that they can impress here. We could praise the Brazilian team for their significant improvement in 2019, which earned them some solid results in A-Tier tournaments. Looking at how they play, INTZ are very consistent when it comes to defeating weaker squads, however, when put against Tier 1 teams, INTZ fall short more often than not. If all the stars align, INTZ might make it out of the group, but we wouldn't bet any money on them until they find more consistency.
Virtus.pro ($11.00) and Illimunar ($10.00) are two teams who are priced with almost the same odds and we believe the odds provided here fairly reflect their chances to win.
This will be Virtus.pro's first DreamHack tournament of the year and they will surely look to leave a mark and claim their first tournament title in over two years. That said, the Polish don't inspire much hope. They will arrive at Atlanta with a disastrous form, winning only four games out of their last 15, and bear in mind, most of those fixtures were played in C-Tier events. It's been years since Virtus.pro were considered as one of the top teams in the world and looking at the state of the team, it will be years before we will be able to view them as such.
Illiminar, on the other side, struggle from the same issue as their compatriots. They have simply failed to convince us they are a team capable of winning here. The two teams might surprise and produce an upset win, but it's their inconsistency which leads us to believe they are not a great pick for this tournament.
Sprout ($5.50) are seen as one of the top three favorites to win in Atlanta and we believe that is more than fair. Sprout will enter this tournament with a very solid 8-2 record in their last 10 fixtures, which does point towards solid form for this German squad. At this point, it’s worth noting those results came from B and C-Tier tournaments. We see them as a team that can have their moments of greatness and should such moments occur here, Sprout could even make it to the finals. That said, it's hard to imagine they can defeat either CR4ZY or Heroic.
Heroic and CR4ZY are entering the tournament as two favorites priced at $2.90 apiece and we believe that's fair. If we won't see any surprises, it will be one of the two teams who will lift the trophy in Atlanta. When picking out a winner here, we have to side with Heroic. The two teams met in the previous installment of DreamHack in Rotterdam, where it was CR4ZY who came out ahead 2-1, but we believe things will change here. Heroic are flying over to Atlanta with a very strong record behind them. Unlike other teams who compete in B and C tier tournaments, Heroic are not a stranger to A and S-Tier events, where they know how to carry their own weight. Most recently they defeated mousesports to earn a ticket for EPICENTER 2019.
CR4ZY on the other side produced a mixed bag of results in last month. They participated in ESEA S32 - Europe, where they won most of their matches, but we have to consider they did not face any strong opponents there. Furthermore, CR4ZY played a handful of very close fixtures against teams they should have defeated with ease. Should they find their rhythm, CR4ZY could win the whole thing again, but from the looks of it, Heroic are a far better pick to win in Atlanta.
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