The second instalment of V4 Future Sports Festival is set to kick off on Wednesday, September 18th in Budapest, where we will get to see eight teams from all over the globe battle it out over the course of five days, aspiring to claim the largest slice of the €300,000 prize pool.
The eight participating teams have already been drawn into two double-elimination format (GSL) groups, with four teams in each. All the fixtures in the group stage will be played in best-of-three (Bo3) series, which will remain the go-to format for the playoffs as well.
Once the group stage concludes, the top team from each group gets a direct promotion into the semi-finals, whereas the second and third-placed teams advance into the quarter-finals. The last-place team, on the other side gets eliminated from the tournament and gets handed a €10,000 consolation prize.
Playoffs, which are set to begin on Saturday, September 21st, will pair the second-placed team from group B with the third-placed team from group A and the second-placed team from group A against the third-placed team against the group B. All of the fixtures will be played in a single-elimination bracket, using a Bo3 format for all playoffs fixtures, including the grand finals.
The list of teams we will get to watch in Budapest this week is as follows:
Group A: mousesports, Virtus.pro, Tricked Esport, E-RIVALS
Group B: MIBR, Ninjas in Pyjamas, GAMERZONE.gg, adwokacik
With €300,000 on the line and some of the biggest names in the CS:GO world among the participants, we can expect an exciting tournament, where some of the lesser-known teams will get a shot at the world's elite, hoping they can derail them and claim the lion's share of the prize pool. But will they manage to do it? Let’s take a look at the participating teams and our prediction on how will they perform.
Entering the V4 Future Sports Festival tournament, there are two teams that stand out from the rest, and for all the wrong reasons. E-RIVALS (formerly known as EZ4ME) and GAMERZONE are without a single doubt two of the weakest teams in the line-up.
E-RIVALS fought their way through Czech and Slovakian qualifier whereas GAMERZONE came through Hungarian qualifiers to secure their spot at the V4 Future Sports Festival. While both sides proved they belong here with very solid performances in their qualifying runs, there is little to suggest they can stand up against teams like mouz or any other team for that matter. Would the group stage fixtures be played in best-of-one, we could count on an upset which would see the two sides enter the playoffs, but considering the teams will compete in Bo3 series, that options flies straight out the window.
With those out of the way, we can now focus on the underdogs, adwokacik, Virtus.pro and Tricked.
adwokacik might not be as bad as GAMERZONE and E-RIVALS, however, they still come off as a team that lacks any real quality to compete for the top spots. The Polish side fought their way through Polish qualifiers where they defeated AVEZ 2-0 in the grand finals to secure their spot in Budapest. Seeing how Polish qualifiers are arguably harder compared to both Czech and Slovakian as well as Hungarian qualifiers, it would be safe to assume adwokacik will enjoy a deeper run this tournament compared to GAMERZONE and E-RIVALS. That being said, reaching deeper than the quarter-finals will be a very tough task for them.
Virtus.Pro and Tricked are ranked as fifth and fourth favourite respectively, to win the tournament, which is fair. While the odds provided on the two sides could come off as very appealing for some, there is still a huge gap between the top three teams and the remaining five here, which is why I would advise against betting on any of the mentioned teams so far.
That leaves us with the three favourites. NiP, MIBR and mousesports.
Ninjas in Pyjamas are the third favourite to win here, which is more than fair. The Swedish side have not been good in a while, considering they have not won a single LAN tournament since IEM Oakland 2017. That being said, NiP did finish top three in both BLAST Pro Series Madrid and Moscow, which is good enough to make us believe they can finish top three here as well.
MIBR finished 12th-14th at Berlin StarLadder Major and fourth at BLAST Pro Series Moscow, behind NiP due to round difference. Overall, MIBR are not in the best of shape, which was the case ever since Marcelo "coldzera" David left the roster. The team tried to replace him with Wilton "zews" Prado, but it soon became obvious, they need a proper player instead of their coach playing for them. With that in mind, MIBR signed Vito "kNgV-" Giuseppe in early September, who has not yet proven himself, which is why we continue to believe MIBR are just not there yet.
Last but not least, we have mousesports, who finished StarLadder Berlin at a respectable ninth-11th place after failing to defeat Team Liquid in the final match of the legends stage. Overall, mousesports are not where they used to be in terms of world ranking, but they are slowly but surely getting there. Looking at the odds, mouz are priced as heavy favourites to win V4 Future Sports Festival and for all the right reasons.
To be fair, there are only two teams in the tournament that can realistically defeat mousesports, and even then, mouz will have to underperform to lose against either MIBR or NiP, considering both of the teams are in a questionable form entering the tournament.
While there is always room for an upset, we would not feel comfortable betting against mouz here. MIBR look very lost since coldzera left, whereas NiP looked lost for almost two years now. All things considered, we don't expect to see anything remarkable from either of them in Budapest, leaving us to believe there can only be one winner and that is mousesports.
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