MLG Launch Invitational Predictions
The long awaited MLG Gears of War 4 Launch Invitational is finally upon us. With a $25,000 prize pool on the line, eight teams have been invited to the MLG Columbus arena. OpTic Gaming, eUnited and Team EnVyUs earned their spot from their top-three placings at MLG Columbus, while Revenge Gaming, NRG, Splyce and Mindfreak were invited via the online GameBattles qualifiers, and Enigma6 Group took the place of what would have been the top qualifying European team, due to an investigation into account recovering by both the top teams.
Due to this being the first Gears of War 4 LAN event, I do not expect these predictions to be largely accurate, but why not have a little fun with it anyway? Being that only the top-four teams will place in the money, listed below are my top four picks for this event.
No surprise here; OpTic Gaming has been a model of consistency throughout their professional Gears esports career. Starting with ESL Pro League Season 1, OpTic Gaming has won every LAN event they've attended together, with the lone exception of ESL Pro League Season 2, where their former fourth Brian "Solurs" Valenzuela mysteriously didn't show up and they were forced to compete with their coach, Nicholas "Ashes" Ridgeway. They placed second at that event, losing only to Team EnVyUs.
Gilbert "Xplosive" Rojo will look to lead his team of all-star talent to yet another victory. They've proven consistently that they're adaptable to whatever the game presents to them and they're no stranger to playing from behind. Not only are they a highly skilled team, but one that manages the emotional highs and lows of competition, which makes OpTic the clear favorite here.
Formerly known as Dream Team, eUnited has proven to be more than capable of competing at the highest level of the game. What was once considered a two-team game with OpTic and EnVyUs trading first and second place finishes with each other, this core lineup made their presence felt in a thrilling upset against one of Gears esports titans by defeating Team EnVyUs at MLG Columbus in Gears of War: Ultimate Edition.
eUnited will look to prove themselves once more with the addition of Ben "Strangulate" Laird, a roster move highly questioned within the esports community. One of Gears esports more emotional lineups, eUnited has the potential to catch fire behind the big plays of Nick "Red Icy" Cope.
Stacked with supreme talent, as well as the veteran leadership of Jose "FraNChis" Mavo, EnVyUs has been another constant championship contender. Normally they'd easily be considered the number two team entering any LAN, if not the outright favorites to win it all.
However, due to player impersonation, the team's star player, Arody "Praized" Dipre, will not be in attendance as he serves out his ban. In his place, the former fourth of the core group that now makes up OpTic Gaming, Solurs, will seek redemption among his contemporaries, as well as fans. Unquestionably an excellent player, Solurs will have a lot of pressure to not only attempt to fill the massive void left by the absence of potentially Gears esports best player, but also prove to other pro players and esports organizations that he is still a top talent and reliable to show up. Couple that with the addition of Jourdan "JRibs" Ribeiro, and this team might still lack championship-level chemistry.
A mixed team of former Dream Team and Onslaught players, NRG is composed of various top-four contenders with the potential to explode on the scene. Lead by Christopher "Xcells" Hill, a player I personally regard as one of the top-three players in the game, NRG's players will look to continue their run of consistency of top-four placings at the Invitational with the addition of rising talent Frank Wesley "KO" Tibbs, Jr. Not exactly championship caliber at this very moment, but without question, NRG is a dangerous team.
What do you think about these predictions? Who do you think will win this event? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting us @GAMURScom.