Group A – Fnatic & Cloud9
In this group, Fnatic was an easy choice, easily outclassing Vexed and LG. While I do believe that LG has the potential to upset Fnatic, it will only be one map. And with bo3 decider matches, there is no way Fnatic is losing this group.
While Cloud9 is also a safe pick for your pickem, they also have never gone out of group stages in majors going as far to even dropping out of ESL One Cologne 2015 still fresh from their 3 finales hot streak against the mix team of Kinguin (Now known as Gamers2).
Luminosity Gaming will be their biggest threat, one of the most dangerous upset teams of all time is in their group. Vexed has proven also to be capable of beating tier 1 teams such as Hellraisers and Flipsid3 (LG beat Old Hellraisers -Dosia +s1mple in a bo3).
I fear with their hot-streak over, recently shaky performance such as losing a series to immunity at Crown Invitational, and maybe instances of choking, they can lose their chance at finally getting out of groups.
Despite these possibilities, I do believe that Cloud9 in their average performance will beat Luminosity Gaming and Vexed Gaming on their average performances. Skadoodle can just shutdown whatever bombsite hes on, LG and Vexed Gaming doesn’t have the necessary raw skill to take him out of the equation. Even great teams based on aimers such as Kinguin had to scrape the bottom off the barrel to defeat Cloud9 on that day at ESL One Cologne 2015. This leaves almost no chance for LG and Vexed who has a much weaker team than Kinguin.
Even though LG relies much more on their tactics rather than raw skill, seangares is definitely a smart enough IGL to keep them from getting completely outplayed enough to the point where skill becomes irrelevant.
Group B – TSM & Mousesports
TSM is definitely going out of this group in 1st place, with their hot-streak right behind them, their players balling out of control, and the state of the other teams in this group there is simply no way they can bomb out.
I definitely thought a lot more about this 2nd seed spot in this group, but flipsid3 lacks heavy hitters in their team with only bondik being their consistent fragger. Flipsid3 seems too reliant on someone stepping up their game and going over that 30-kill mark to win the game.
While blad3 is no slouch when it comes to calls and strategies and will face off well against LEGIJA, his other opponent is Gob B who is also now renowned for his excellent calling. While it may weaken from the addition of the non-german speaking Niko in the team, Niko shores up one of mousesports fatal flaws.
Before, their two star players were nex and chrisJ the other three seeming constant, with nex being an entry fragger he was seemed to plagued by a curse that all entry fraggers seems to struggle with their entire lives, inconsistency.
If nex crashes and burns, ChrisJ will be left as the solo carry. Yet he was famously known as OnlineJ, and despite turning that name around his favoured weapon was still the AWP costed at $4750 one of the most expensive weapon in the game. If mousesports gets behind and nex somehow dissapears, the map was almost always over for mousesports.
With Niko in the team, providing much more fragging for mousesports, this flaw is over.
How about G2? G2 is an unknown quantity right now for me, sporting no impressive result whatsoever even online. Finding hard times against tier 1 teams with online records such as 2-2 vs Titan, 2-1 vs Hellraisers, 1-1 vs Dignitas. Against Elite Teams they sport a dissapointing 0-6 with their new lineup. Compare that with Titans 8-11 with their new lineup. I find it hard to justify putting them to get out of group stages.