The first Counter Strike major is arriving quick and fast. With that, we need to decided which eight teams will accompany the eight “Legends” from Dreamhack Cluj-Napoca in MLG Columbus. In this preview, I will be giving a run down on the teams in group D and also providing predictions on what I think the results will be.
It has been a very interesting first 3 months of 2016 for Cloud 9 and not always for the best. Beginning with the announcement of their new 5th, Stewie2k, Cloud 9 has struggled to find form in most matches they have played. In Their first and online LAN so far in 2016, Games Show Global Esports, they were only able to get one bo3 win which was against Method while they lost their other three to G2 twice and Envyus. Online, they have some decent results which include two separate bo1 wins over CLG in EEPL but were unable to qualify for either IEM Katowice or Dreamhack Masters Malmo, losing to Tempo Storm and CLG. I feel that the loss of Sgares and addition of Stewie2k ultimately set Cloud 9 back a bit. Although I do agree that Stewie2k has some sick skills and is extremely talented, he is just too under developed and inexperienced to be in a team such as Cloud 9. Also the fact that now N0thing is calling instead of Sgares really gives a blow to Cloud 9 as that was one of the reasons why Cloud 9 had previous success. As of now, I don’t feel that Cloud 9 has enough skill or tactics to be successful in this group.
In the first part of 2016, Dignitas has by far been the biggest surprise of the new year. Although becoming victim of players leaving them to go onto other teams, Dignitas has bee able to stay strong and become better than they were before. The two new guys K0nfig and Tenzki have played wonderful and really have been able to improve this side. Along with MSL leading the helm with some improved calling, Dignitas looks more poised than ever to jump and become one of the best teams in the world. This began at Game Show Global Esports where they beat Mousesports, Flipsid3, Envy and CLG all in bo3 to advance to the finals where they lost to Envyus in a Bo5. Last week they were at the ESL Barcelona Expo and had a solid showing where they won 3 maps and almost beat Fnatic but still managed to finish in the top 4. I definitely feel that Dignitas has this group in their control and that its theirs to lose.
One of the more lesser known teams at this qualifier, Gambit is stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to this group. The CIS region team which contains some of the regions most successful names including adreN and Dosia have had a solid start to the year. They started there year off in January with the Starladder Regional Qualifier which they won which made them able to compete in this tournament. There only other results this year came online in Operation Kinguin 2 where they suffered at 2-0 to the hands of Csgo Lounge. As this team has only played 10 maps together in matches I don’t think you can expect to much from them. Since they have only played less than a dozen maps I feel that they have been focusing on this LAN but I still feel that it isn’t enough for them to make it through. But for all we know, they may have a few tricks up there sleeve.
As the unofficial best team in Australia, Renegades comes into this group with some poor form of late that they wish to change. They competed at IEM Tapei which gave them a chance to qualify for IEM Katowice but they squandered it by essentially being crushed by TheMongolz in a bo3 2-0. In response to that, the immediately got rid of one of there long time players Havoc for the an up incoming star from fellow Australian team Immunity named Ustilo. Although this seemed to fix the problem as they beat CLG in two bo1’s in EEPL, they later lost to Liquid in the Dreamhack Masters Malmo Qualifier which saw them sent packing. All though it is way too early to tell if the Ustilo pickup was worth it, I do feel that it gives them more fragging power than what they once had. I do feel that if Renegades are able to get there play rolling and fragging well that they have a good shot to qualify and add one more continent to MLG Columbus.
C9 vs Gambit- C9
Dignitas vs Renegades- Dignitas
Dignitas vs C9- Dignitas
Renegades vs Gambit- Renegades
C9 vs Renegades- Renegades