DreamHack Open Anaheim is the second CS:GO DreamHack Open event of the year, which will be played between February 21-23 at Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, California.
The CS:GO event will use the same format as other DreamHack Open tournaments, meaning we will see eight CS:GO teams compete for the largest slice of US$100,000 prize pool and a ticket for the DreamHack Masters Jönköping, which will be played in June later this year.
DreamHack Open Anaheim will kick off with the group stage, where the eight teams will be divided into two double-elimination GSL groups, each with four teams. All opening and winners' matches will be played as best-of-one (Bo1), while the elimination and decided matches are played as Bo3. Top two teams from each group will advance into the playoffs, while the bottom two teams get eliminated. Playoffs will feature a single-elimination bracket with all fixtures played as Bo3, including the grand finals, which will be played on Sunday, February 23.
With the basics of the event covered, let's now check the participating teams, what they bring to the table and ultimately give our thoughts on which team has what it takes to go the distance and pocket the ticket leading to the first DreamHack Masters event of the year.
Endpoint ($35.50 at Skrilla) and Gen.G ($13.00 at Skrilla) are travelling to Anaheim as the two underdogs, which is a fair assessment, as they fail to convince us either has the needed tools to succeed.
Endpoint are basically a C-Tier team, who will struggle to achieve anything at the DreamHack event. It's actually hard to compare them to any other team, simply because they are a level or two below their opposition. Considering their opening match of the event will be against FURIA, Endpoint might produce an upset, seeing how it will be a best-of-one (Bo1) match, but to see them make it out of the group will be mission impossible.
Gen.G on the other side is a team that looks solid on the paper, but we have some serious concerns whether Gen.G will manage to convert their potential onto the battlefield. With the acquisition of Hansel "BnTeT" Ferdinand from TYLOO, Gen.G got themselves a great player however, he has only played two games for his new squad, which leads us to believe BnTeT was not given enough time to gel with his new teammates. At DreamHack Anaheim NA Qualifiers, Gen.G defeated Chaos and Riot Squad, where BnTeT averaged 1.28 and 1.57 ratings respectively. While promising numbers, it remains to be seen whether he will be able to deliver against stronger teams.
Moving up, we have ENCE ($8.50 at Skrilla), forZe ($6.70 at Skrilla) and FURIA ($5.50 at Skrilla), who we believe can be put into the same category of teams that might impress - but they most likely won't.
ENCE have been struggling with their performances for quite some time now and it's safe to say they are only a shadow of their former selves. Since they infamously benched Aleksi "Aleksib" Virolainen back in September 2019, ENCE have been on a downright spiral and despite the fact they had their moments of greatness, the Finns tend to be very inconsistent and obviously lack strong leadership. We don't trust ENCE to deliver in Anaheim and neither should you.
ForZe, while a solid team are still nothing more than a B-Tier team, which has failed to reach any serious outside of some B-Tier leagues. In December they triumphed at DreamHack Open Winter 2019 and ESEA Season 32: Global Challenge, however, the opponents they will face in Anaheim will be much stronger compared to what the Russians are used to playing against. As we see it, forZe are capable of punishing teams that will underestimate them, but when it comes to going the distance and claiming the title, we would not bet our money on them to deliver.
To see FURIA priced as one of the favourites to hoist the DreamHack Anaheim title is kind of shocking. While they did pocket a bronze medal at StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 8 back in October, FURIA has failed to produce any notable results since. Back in December, they finished top-four at Champions Cup Finals after losing to Team Spirit (0-2), to which they added two 0-2 losses against Chaos and Gen.G at IEM Katowice NA Qualifiers earlier in January. Based on their performances and overall quality, we would put FURIA even below Gen.G in terms of their chances to win the event, and that alone should make it clear we don't expect them to achieve anything. They will most likely get out of the group, anything more is very unlikely.
North ($6.00 at Skrilla), MiBR ($5.20 at Skrilla) and Complexity ($4.10 at Skrilla) are the top three teams travelling to Anaheim and consequently the only three teams that have a realistic chance to win.
North have got a very promising project going on with their goal to become the best Scandinavian team. Quite ambitious goals, to say the least, and while we would not dare doubt their chances to grow as an organisation, seeing how they're very well-financed, we believe this squad needs a lot more time and a few roster changes before we can look at them as one of the top-10 CS:GO teams in the world.
On paper, MiBR should be one of the best teams in the world, but in reality, they are nothing more than a mediocre squad which produced mediocre results. Since they finished top-four at CS:GO Asia Championships, MiBR have achieved basically nothing. Looking back at their IEM Katowice NA Qualifiers, MiBR underperformed against Riot Squad (2-1) and INTZ (2-1), and to top it all off, they got stomped by Cloud9 (1-3) in the grand finals, where they lost the final two maps 4-16 and 12-16. Most recently MiBR took a swing at BLAS Premier: Spring 2020, where they lost to both Team Liquid (0-2) and Ninjas in Pyjamas (1-2).
That leaves us with Complexity, who are priced as the main favourites to go the distance in Anaheim and we believe that is more than fair. The North American juggernauts put up a solid performance at BLAST Premier Spring, which earned them a spot in the Spring Finals. While Benjamin "blameF" Bremer and co. failed to defeat NaVi (0-2) in the group finals, we can't overlook the fact that they stomped (16-11, 16-12) Astralis and completely humiliated Vitality (16-10, 16-5).
Complexity are priced at the shortest odds, but at $4.10, they are still a great bet to take. Compared to all other teams, they have shown the most and seem to be in great form. While there is a chance MiBR might have one of their moments and crush everyone, we will side with stability over inconsistency every time.
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