The Gfinity Summer Masters this weekend features solely European talent, with eight of the ten Pro Division teams from Stage 2 attending via special invitation. Along with them are eight Challenge Division teams who qualified for the tournament through several online cups hosted by Gfinity.
The action begins Friday July 1st at 9:45 AM BST (4:45 EST) at the Gfinity Arena in London, England and can be viewed on Twitch. More information about the times, casters, and format of the event can be found in the “Gfinity Summer Masters Survival Guide” posted to Reddit.
I think it’s always fun to try to make predictions about the eventual outcome before the tournament begins. What we know coming in is that the 16 teams are placed into four groups of four and that the top two teams from each group will advance to the knockout stages. Each group consists of two Pro Division teams and two Challenge Division teams, so it is easy to assume the Pro Division teams will make their way through the group stages, but this may not be the case. Let’s take a look at each group individually and make predictions about who will advance.
HyperGames (Nolsonn | Zedenyer | QwiKeR | BraaainGOAT), LDLC ( Shane | Niall | Watson | Carbines), Orbit (Shukz | DR_EAL | DonCosmo | Subsist), Crane (Muscova | Rufia | Wany | PleasR)
With HyperGames finishing Stage 2 in first place heading into the playoffs, it is easy to say they will advance through this group in first place as well. They are paired with the lowest ranked Pro Division team attending Gfinity Summer Masters (Vitality declined), and two Challenge Division teams who haven’t teamed together nearly as long as their Pro Division counterparts. LDLC is a veteran UK squad who happened to have a poor showing in the league, but they can never be underestimated. PleasR on the French Crane team previously played in the Pro Division with Pulse Gaming, who were winless in Stage 1. Not much is known about the players on Orbit, so calling an upset over LDLC would be a longshot.
Prediction: 1st – HyperGames 2nd- LDLC
Infused (MarkyB | Urban | Zer0 | Peatie), Exertus (Vortex | Hawqeh | Desire | Dqvee), Wysix (KeroasDoc | Gump | KKirbyy | Chucky), RivaL (AmarCoD | Torres | Weeman | KraQz7)
A large number of French teams like Wysix qualified for this event, but French Call of Duty has not had a great showing at LAN events such as these outside of a few select teams like Vitality, who completely fell apart this season, and Supremacy, who did quite the opposite. Wysix and RivaL will have their hands full with the UK talent in this group. Infused is in the best form out of all the teams attending Gfinity Summer Masters and Exertus are not far behind. European Call of Duty has made such great strides this year as evidenced by Infused who were able to contend with the top teams from North America at MLG Anaheim. For them to be knocked out in the group stages would be a huge upset, and for Exertus to not advance would also be a surprise.
Prediction: 1st – Infused 2nd- Exertus
Splyce (Rated | Bance | Joshh | Joee), Supremacy (Maxxie | Malls | Vortex | Zayrox), Riot Gaming (RiRi | Revolt | Colgate | Zerg), U4X (PasTeeK | MysTK | Unwizzed | Jayz95)
Both Challenge Division teams in this group contain players that have experience in the Pro Division. Still, the likelihood that they will take down Splyce is slim. Splyce is perhaps the second ranked team from Europe and have had great showings on LAN all year, even defeating some of North America’s best at ESWC and MLG Anaheim. Supremacy, on the other hand, are not as tested. Unfortunately, it is difficult to assess pickup teams and teams that have not played often on LAN. For the sake of upsets, the main one you might expect to see, and the one I will predict, in the group stages is Riot Gaming over Supremacy, but that is far from a guarantee.
Prediction: 1st – Splyce 2nd- Riot Gaming
Epsilon (Skrapz | Moose | Reedy | SunnyB), Millenium (Jurd | Tommey | Swanny | MadCat), FabE (Kivi | Momentus | Gray | Typical Nerd), Team MRN (iDaaNieeL | Glaaix | Drumpz | Bayon)
The German FabE organization has a large following, but the only player on this roster we know anything about is Kivi. With Epsilon and Millenium in their group, FabE will need a miracle to make it out. Millenium was the top ranked European team for the first half of a year, but when Stage 2 came around they began to fall apart. Struggles within the team prevented them from playing at their highest potential and they almost split up, but decided to stick together at the last minute. Though difficulties in the league continued and a playoff run at MLG Anaheim fell way short of expectations, Millenium still have the drive to win. Their biggest rivals in this group are Epsilon, who similarly did not perform quite as well as expected this season but are still a great European contender. I expect their match to be intense, but think Millenium will come out on top.
Prediction: 1st – Millenium 2nd- Epsilon
With the group stage predictions above, it is possible to map out a theoretical knockout stage bracket. However, with map vetoes making a return in this event, predictions may go out the window! (Format of knockout stage may not be as assumed here.)
None of the matchups in the knockout stage will be easy. HyperGames versus Epsilon, for example, can still go either way. For those that have seen the drastic difference between HyperGames online and HyperGames offline, an early exit should not be surprising. However, there are some teams that are simply expected to be more hardened than others, and in the knockout stages is when that matters the most. Infused, with several great performances as of late, are the team I predict to win the entire tournament. They have shown they are the best European team on LAN at MLG Anaheim, so defeating Splyce and Millenium, who were both disappointed at Anaheim, should be a breeze.
The Gfinity Summer Masters is set to be a spectacle to watch and will likely be a great preview for the Stage 2 playoffs, which are coming up involving most of these same teams. Do you agree with my predictions? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @Orbit_CH3MISTRY or @GAMURScom.