We have been waxing on about how great the CS_Summit will be for months, and now it is finally here we can hardly contain our excitement. This could be the best CS event we have ever seen, as eight of the best teams in the world are heading to The Summit house just outside LA for four days of fun and games.
Beyond the Summit believe in second chances, so the tournament is using a double elimination format, something that we pretty much never see in CS anymore. There is no group stage, with things kicking off with the first round of the upper bracket. A loss here and you are in the lower bracket, a loss there and you are out of the competition. The first round of matches features a few interesting clashes, so we shall take a shot at predicting who comes out on top in each of those, before revealing our top four.
SK vs EnVyUs
This could be the match that defines the entire event. Heading into it, SK look like the clear favorites. They are the only team to have placed in the top four at any major event this year, and could probably be considered one of the best five teams in the world right now. However their recent form has been a little lacking.
As for EnVy they, too, have been a little unpredictable of late. They show moments of greatness only to throw away winnable games at the last moment. The one thing that gives them hope is that they have yet to play at a LAN, and as we saw with G2, playing on LAN can lead to much better results than online. A win for EnVy here and they could easily go on and take the entire thing, but we have to believe that FalleN and co will bring this one home with a 2-0, to kick off a decent run through the winners bracket.
OpTic vs Cloud9
In the battle of North American teams in the first round we have Cloud9, without Skadoodle and with swag, and the new OpTic roster, with JasonR making his LAN debut for the Green Wall. This could be a very close match, and honestly could come down to how well swag does in a rare professional return to C9. If C9 was at full strength then we would have to give it to them, but now we aren’t so sure. It’s a tough one, but we are going with OpTic to win 2-1 here.
Gambit vs GODSENT
We haven’t really seen much of GODSENT since the Major, but they just won a spot in the ESL Pro League for next season and have been posting some solid results. As for Gambit we don’t really know what to expect. Their form has been incredibly inconsistent, with losses to some teams that they really should be able to beat with ease. They do however have a lot of talent and can always be counted on for an upset. If the CIS team show up then this should be a simple win, and we are feeling positive so we are going with a 2-0 for Gambit.
Ninjas in Pyjamas vs Team Liquid
NiP fans prepare to be disappointed. We are giving this as a close win to Team Liquid who will take the series 2-1. Before you get angry hear us out. NiP have certainly looked a lot better of late, but we think their prime focus at the CS_Summit will be getting Draken used to LAN and working on new strats. Sure they will want to win, but they probably won’t be too disheartened if they don’t. On the other side of things you have Liquid, who will be looking for results. While their roster is only recently complete they have made a big deal about this version of the team being the best, and will be looking to send a message to the rest of the world.
We have EnVyUs down as losing the first game, but we think they will recover and have a decent run in the lower bracket. The threat of elimination should give them a kick up the backside and get them to play to their potential. Unfortunately we think their luck will run out when they get to the losers semi final. Lower bracket runs are not easy, and with a packed schedule we think this will be a little too much to handle. They will go out to Gambit, who will find some good form and be the underdog to win the entire competition after this match.
While Gambit may eliminate EnVyUs we think making it to the final will be a stretch too far. Third is still something to shout about, but we think whichever of the final two comes down from the winners bracket will be a little too hot to handle, and will easily sweep past Gambit to set up a rematch in the grand final. Hopefully this will be enough to spur on Gambit, and we can see them finally become a consistent top 10 team.
We almost don’t want to say this because it is so difficult to call, but we think Liquid will make it all the way through the winners bracket, before losing in the final. Stanislaw now has a team he is seemingly happy with, and that should allow him to return to the kind of shot calling we saw in OpTic at the end of last year, where he didn’t have to worry about other things other than outsmarting his opponents. We think this will be enough to beat everyone in the competition, but a quick 2-0 win the winner bracket final will give Liquid’s opponents so much info to work with, which will eventually be their undoing.
1st: SK Gaming
We have seen it time and time again in other esports with double elimination brackets, and we think it will happen here as well. SK will get dominated by Liquid in the winners bracket final, dropping down to losers where they will easily stream roll Gambit and return to face Liquid in the grand final. First time around they were outsmarted by one of the best in game leaders in NA, but this time they have the answers. They watched the tapes, analysed what went wrong and come back with a plan. It won’t all be smooth sailing, but we have them taking the final without dropping a map.