It’s rare to have the number one team in any competition be considered an underdog, however the Team EnVyUs “god squad” holds that title heading into the HCS Fall Finals, with OpTic Gaming proving themselves in LAN events.
However, with a steady stream of success ever since the summer season, this may be nV’s best opportunity to take home their first season title, despite OG being their biggest test.
Here’s how the team looks heading into Burbank:
(Coach: Marcus “Elumnite” Lovejoy)
- Overall: 13-1 (39-16 Map Count)
- Vs. OG: 2-0 (6-2)
- Vs. TL: 1-1 (3-5)
- Vs. Str8: 2-0 (6-2)
- Slayer: 16-2 (+130 +/-)
- Coliseum: 2-0
- Eden: 1-1
- Plaza: 3-0
- Regret: 4-0
- The Rig: 4-0
- Truth: 2-1
- Strongholds: 12-9 (+329 +/-)
- Eden: 4-3
- Empire: 5-2
- Plaza: 0-2
- The Rig: 3-2
- CTF: 11-5 (+15 +/-)
- Coliseum: 5-2
- Fathom: 2-0
- Stasis: 0-1
- Truth: 4-2
- K/D: 1.14
- KDA: 1.83
- Damage/D: 141.0
- Perfects/Game: .555 (17th in League)
- Strongholds Secured: 47 (T-5th in League)
- Stronghold Defends: 41 (7th in League)
- K/D: 1.26
- KDA: 2.03
- Damage/D: 162.2
- Perfects/Game: .685 (7th in League)
- Strongholds Secured: 42 (T-9th in League)
- Stronghold Defends: 55 (2nd in League)
- Flag Returns: 17 (T-7th in League)
- K/D: 1.19
- KDA: 2.03
- Damage/D: 144.1
- Strongholds Captured: 97 (6th in League)
- Strongholds Secured: 44 (T-7th in League)
- Stronghold Defends: 40 (T-8th in League)’
- Flag Returns: 19 (T-4th in League)
- Flag Captures: 12 (5th in League)
- K/D: 1.01
- KDA: 1.64
- Damage/D: 138.9
- Perfects/Game: .574 (15th in League)
- Strongholds Secured: 55 (1st in League)
- Stronghold Defends: 43 (T-4th in League)
How They Got Here:
After forming the “super team,” nV went on a tear in the Pro League, only dropping a single match to Team Liquid in the first game of the season before going on an impressive 13 game winning streak.
Their dominance can mostly be seen in Slayer, where they received a few steak dinners throughout the season and ended the fall with an average of just above seven kills more than their opponents per game.
In terms of LAN events, every LAN that OpTic was not present for, nV shined. They took home the Las Vegas event, as well as UGC St. Louis with a roster that did not include Mikwen.
How They Can Win:
It’s deceiving to look at this team’s game statistics, as all of these matches were held online, while they’ve lost to OpTic three times on LAN. Furthermore, they’ve had closer encounters at the Las Vegas LAN against Team Liquid, where they had to beat TL twice in two close seven game sets.
With that said, they were dealt a good hand in facing off against Str8 Rippin, as that side was unable to even touch nV in the tournament with a loss to Allegiance in the losers bracket semifinals.
The question is not whether nV will reach the winners finals, or if they will make it to the grand finals. Being a fast team against slower sides like Str8 and Liquid, nV should see as many problems as OpTic in getting to those games, which are close to none.
Rather, the big question is if nV can take down OpTic in two out of three matches, something that they have only done online. For that to work, a solid choice of maps (Slayer on Plaza, CTF on Fathom) as well as quality plays are going to be key in those matchups. Rotating the automatic weapons through Huke, giving Ola the Sniper whenever possible, and also giving The Wizard open objective lanes while he snipes are all strategies that nV will have against OpTic.
OG will most likely prepare for these plans, so nV may have to play out of their element slightly to outmatch OpTic. If they are able to flip the script against the reigning champions, and catch them on a bad day in Burbank, then they may be taking home $75,000 come Sunday night.
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James Mattone is a journalist for GAMURS and can be contacted on Twitter –@TheJamesMattone.