DreamHack moves to Rotterdam, Netherlands for the ninth event of the year where we will welcome eight teams ready to prove their worth on the big stage. They will battle it out to claim the lion's share of the US$100,000 prize pool and the title of the champions.
The tournament will take place at Rotterdam Ahoy arena, starting Friday, October 18, and conclude two days later, with the grand finale between the top two teams.
The eight participating teams have already been seeded into two groups, where they will compete in a double-elimination format. All the opening fixtures and winners matches are best-of-one (Bo1), whereas elimination and decider matches are played in a best-of-three (Bo3) series. Top two teams from each group will advance into playoffs, where a single-elimination bracket is used, with all matches played as best-of-three (Bo3).
Group A: AVANGAR, Besiktas Esports, HARD LEGION Esports, Heroic
Group B: Asterion, CR4ZY, forZe, HAVU Gaming
AVANGAR, CR4ZY, HARD LEGION (ex-DreamEaters), forZe and Heroic all received a direct invite to the event, whereas Besiktas, HAVU and Asterion fought their way through the qualifiers. Besiktas won DreamHack Showdown Valencia in early July, HAVU came through European qualifiers in late September, whereas Asterion won the Benelux qualifiers to earn their spot at the event.
While all teams deserved their spot at the event where they will get a chance to compete for the largest slice of US$100,000, there are realistically only a handful of teams who have a shot at claiming the throne, simply due to their superb quality compared to other teams. Now let's look at the line-up, the participating teams and ultimately give our predictions on who will come out on top.
Looking at the line-up, there are two teams that stand out from the rest as huge underdogs who will need a miracle to achieve anything in Rotterdam. First in the line is Besiktas ($2001) who, as the odds suggest, have zero to no chance of causing an upset, and we agree with that. While the Turkish team will bring some flare to the competition, seeing they are the only all-women team in the tournament, we can't see them winning. With all due respect, all-women teams have never fared well against the more "traditional" all-men squads, and we don't believe that will change here. Besiktas simply don’t have the needed quality and most importantly the needed experience to stack up to the likes of tournament favourites, who are all well-established on the highest level of professional CS:GO scene.
The same goes for the home outfit, Asterion ($101), who are a widely unknown team and for all the right reasons. They are a pro team in a proper meaning of the word, however, in terms of overall quality, we can easily rank them as a semi-pro team, which on its own speaks volumes about their chances to triumph here.
HAVU ($13), HARD LEGION ($6.50), CR4ZY ($6.50) and Heroic ($5.00) are all teams who, as the odds suggest, have a legitimate chance to win here, yet it won't be easy. HAVU are priced the highest out of the four teams, and we believe that's more than fair, as they are not as established as HARD LEGION (ex-DreamEaters), CR4ZY and Heroic. Looking at HAVU's qualifiers, they rolled over their opponents, defeating Demise (2-0), Team Heretics (2-0) and GamerLegion (2-1) in the grand finals. It's safe to say HAVU played well and earned their spot at the Rotterdam event. That being said, the quality of teams they will face in Rotterdam will be far superior to what they fought against in the qualifiers. Seeing them produce an upset win in Bo1 is not out of the question, but we don't see HAVU going all the way. We feel the same with CR4ZY and HARD LEGION. CR4ZY lost most of their firepower with the departure of nexa and huNter to G2 Esports. HARD LEGION on the other side have the former DreamEaters roster, which could so some damage in Rotterdam, but we feel like they will struggle against the tournament favourites, so we will steer clear from both of them.
Unlike the previously mentioned teams, Heroic come off as a team who can impress the most. They might not be one of the best teams out there, but they seem to be in a very good shape. Heroic lost only one out of their last 11 matches, with their only defeat coming against Vitality (1:2), where Heroic played well enough for us to believe in them. Furthermore, it's worth noting Heroic beat AVANGAR (2:0) at the start of October and forZe (2:0) at the European Champions Cup.
While we talk about forZe ($4.00) and AVANGAR ($3.25), they are the two favourites to win the title in Rotterdam. Looking at how the two sides played, we believe AVANGAR are rightfully priced as the top dogs, however, we don't believe forZe are as strong as the odds suggest. They tend to have their moments of greatness, but looking at their recent results, forZe have been dropping points against teams they shouldn't have. In other words, they are not as strong as they could and should be. AVANGAR on the other side produced a remarkable run at Berlin Major, where they finished second. That run was maybe and most likely a fluke, however, that does not matter too much here, seeing how the teams present at DreamHack Open Rotterdam 2019 are significantly weaker compared to those AVANGAR met in Berlin. And with that in mind, we can trust AVANGAR to make a run for the title this weekend.
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