DreamHack Open travels to sunny Rio de Janeiro, where we will see 8 teams squaring off against each other in the first DreamHack Open event of 2019 season in hopes to get their share of $100,000 prize pool.
The 8 teams will kick off the DreamHack Open this Friday, 19th of April 2019, at the Barra Olympic Park, with two of the 8 teams needing to go through qualifiers, while the remaining 6 received the invitations to play on the big stage. Two of the teams that had a tougher road to the DreamHack Open were W7M Gaming and INTZ eSports. W7M Gaming fought their way through the South American Qualifiers, where they defeated Isurus Gaming in a close 1:2 Grand Finals. On the other side, eUnited had to earn their spot by winning the North American Qualifier, where they had to overcome INTZ eSports in the finals (2:1). The remaining five teams; AVANGAR, FURIA, INTZ (replaced Luminosity), Sharks and Valiance all received an invitation. Because of the recent news about AGO stepping out of the tournament, there will be one more team that will receive the invite to appear in the tournament, however, there is no news released yet about which team that might be.
Not only have AGO decided to skip the DreamHack Open Rio due to the illness of their players, days before we also received news of Luminosity deciding to withdraw to attend the ESL Pro League Season 9 Americas. This gave a chance to INTZ to appear in the tournament despite losing against eUnited in the finals of the North American qualifiers.
The tournament will begin with a double-elimination group stage, which will feature BO1 format in the opening stage, followed by BO3 in the single elimination stage. The 8 teams will be split into two groups, as follows:
Group A: AVANGAR, eUnited, FURIA, INTZ
Group B: Sharks, Valiance, W7M, AGO
Odds courtesy of BetEasy
Looking at the odds, Valiance are considered to be the favorites to win the event, but it was quite a while since we have seen them in a LAN environment and a long flight from Europe to Brazil might not work in their favour. Their last match was about 10 days ago at the Finals of the DreamHack Open Tour 2019 European Qualifier, where they lost 2-1 to the Bulgarian team Windigo Gaming in a BO3 type of match. Still, with players like Nemanja "huNter" Kovač and Rokas "EspiranTo" Milasauskas they can get it done and at the minimum get out of the group stage.
AVANGAR had some roster problem lately, as Aidyn "KrizzeN" Turlybekov was forced to step down from their active roster due to health issues. Luckily AVANGAR were quick to react and they added Sanjar "SANJI" Kuliev to their main line-up. At first “SANJI appeared as a stand-in, a month later he became a full-fledged player of their team, so it’s safe to say he was the right choice for them. Looking at their recent results in the MDL, they were all over the place. Their inconsistency becomes clear when we look at their recent results. AVANGAR won against Fierce and Berzerk, but then went on to lose to teams like x-kom and Chaos.
Then there are teams like Intz E-Sports, Sharks Esports, eUnited and W7M Gaming, who have some skilled individuals in their ranks that can get it done, but these teams are just not as cohesive as a unit compared to the other teams. That alone I expect to be their eventual downfall as the tournament goes on. In fact, I would be surprised if any of these teams manage make it out of the group stage. eUnited might be better than the other three teams, but considering that they are in a group with AVANGAR and FURIA, their chances of progression are slim.
As for my prediction, I have to side up with FURIA. They are in an excellent form, winning all their MDL matches against Bad News Bears, Singularity and Team One, beating eUnited (twice, 3-0 and 2-0) and compLexity at the DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019 NA Qualifier. All in all, they are in a great form and there is absolutely no reason they are priced as high as 5.50 to win on their home soil.
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