3 Wild Predictions Heading Into MLG Columbus
We're a few days away from the group-stage matches at MLG Columbus and while everybody is releasing their previews and regular predictions, here are some wild predictions that could definitely occur!
1. Ninjas in Pyjamas will reach the finals
Only at Cologne, after 5 majors had already passed, did the Swedish titans finally fall out of the tournament before the finals. They've had a long history of reaching finals at the major and I believe it's only time that they return to their rightful position especially considering their run of form in recent weeks has been rather inspiring.
THREAT's addition as a coach has seemed to rejuvenate the core of this historic lineup. His strategical and tactical aptitude has evidently elevated the team's performance securing impressive victories against the world's best.
While Na`Vi, Luminosity, Fnatic and Astralis are the favourites to make the semis, Ninjas in Pyjamas have shown that they are more capable of taking games off these championship squads in both online and offline competition, thus I predict that these fan favourites will recuperate and shock the world with a final finish.
2. The World Champions, EnVyUs, will not make it past groups
What a shocking disappointment the current World Champions have been. High expectations surrounded this team since its inception with pundits predicting the boys in blue to dominate the scene and secure themselves as the next dynasty, yet since their victory at Cluj the French have done nothing but crumble.
During the early stages of their downward spiral, EnVyUs maintained some hope; they had a 4-0 record vs the strongest team in the world fnatic, they maintained a 11-1 record against the Danish juggernauts Astralis and most of their defeats were at the hands of the rising squad Na`Vi, but that all quickly as they suffered embarrassing losses at the hands of teams like Tempo Storm and Efrag.
Bringing in the unknown quantity DEVIL (god knows why) in place of kioShiMa only secured them their most embarrassing loss to date, a last place finish at Counter Pit at the hands of American team NRG, who also happened to have a substitute...
The roster clearly lacks co-ordination, they've long been criticized for lacking in tactics and their have been rumours of internal conflict and lack of motivation. EnVyUs could very well drop out of MLG Columbus without making it into the top 8.
3. An American team will finish in the Top 8
MLG Columbus boasts the largest number of American teams out of all the majors. With Liquid bringing on S1mple, Cloud 9 finding great form online and CLG being ranked as the 7th best team in the world(no clue why), MLG Columbus seems like America's greatest chance of advancing though group stage.
Liquid maintain the strongest likelihood of passing groups as they've been awarded with, in my opinion, the easiest group to pass through. It goes without saying that Fnatic will secure the first seed in this group but the second seed is a complete toss up between FaZe Clan And Liquid. FaZe have looked very mediocre; the team as a whole has lacked an identity since the departure of Dennis. If an American team were to qualify for the playoffs, it'll probably be Liquid.
Strangely CLG have the second easiest group even though the current World Championship holders and Astralis are present. EnVyUs' horrific form gives CLG a relative chance of progressing past groups which would be absolutely sickening.
Cloud9's groups leaves them with least likelihood of progressing, yet surprisingly it still seems plausible that Cloud9 do advance. While Virtus Pro have historically demolished all their North American challengers, they're at the worst point the roster has ever been and they've suffered losses to worse teams. G2 themselves have been a rocky boat who can look great or terrible on any given moment recording humiliating losses against the likes of CLG and Copenhagen Wolves.
The American teams aren't exactly great but neither are their opponents and I predict this North American Major will see a North American team advancing to the playoffs.