#HSH Week 8: Group D Preview
The last group of #HomeSweetHomes final week is upon us and as always we preview the teams. AGF Esport, Complexity Gaming, Hard Legion ...
IEM Katowice has finished the group stage and the playoffs are about to begin, where the winners advance to semi-finals against Astralis and G2 Esports. Several big teams have already had to leave the tournament after a lot of huge upsets and great matches. In the rock solid A-group, both FaZe Clan and Team Vitality were thanked after they ended up in the lower bracket together with Natus Vincere, who eventually pulled through. However, the biggest contenders come from Group B where the pre-season favorites, Evil Geniuses and mousesports are knocked out as they both have folded against a staggering 100 Thieves. We will take a look at the conditions for today's two quarterfinals and what the upcoming semi-finals may look like.
None of these teams were seen beforehand as favorites to go a long way in IEM Katowice, but had a small chance to get to the playoffs. Both teams can already pat themselves on the shoulder, as a quarterfinal is a huge success. Above all, 100 Thieves surprised everyone when they started the tournament losing to G2 Esports 0-2 (3-16.2-16) and looked utterly helpless. In the lower bracket, however, the Australians gained momentum and won against TYLOO, EG and mousesports to secure their playoff spot. The last two matches were a solid three maps each and several times over 100 Thieves were shown a test of strong willpower. That, if anything, should give the team confidence in the playoffs.
Fnatic, on the other hand, has had a fast track to this quarter-finals. A relatively simple victory against Renegades in the opening match was followed up with a really impressive victory against Natus Vincere, where the team was pressed to its absolute max. Even then and there, Fnatic was ready for at least the quarterfinals, but a match for a semi-final place would also be played. There, the dominant machine Astralis became too difficult for the Swedes when Astralis won 2-0 (16-9,16-8).
With all that said, do we have a really exciting quarter-final to wait, where the question is if 100 Thieves can shock the CS world once again or if they just had a really, really good day yesterday?
Our tip: Fnatic wins 2-1 and goes to the semi-finals against G2 Esports.
The situation is basically the same here as in the previous match where Liquid had a short road to the quarterfinals, while Na'Vi had to go the long way. Liquid won its first two games, against Virtus.Pro and EG, but it was hardly worrying. This was followed up with a match for a semi-final place against G2, where Liquid did not have what was required and lost by 0-2 (11-16,10-16).
As I said, Na'Vi had a longer road when they ended up in the lower bracket after a loss to Fnatic in the second round. There, however, the team first made the case briefly with Ninjas in Pajamas which was easily dismissed. It was followed by a tough battle against FaZe where Na'Vi finally pulled the longest straw when Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev closed the store after another relatively pale effort from the team's superstar.
Hardly an easy match to say as Liquid starts to find its way back to the nice shape they had last year, while Na'Vi seems to have got their package together better than before. Especially the difficult Na'Vi taken at the same time as their superstars delivered when needed most, we believe in them a little extra in the end.
Our tip: Natus Vincere wins 2-1 and goes to the semi-finals against Astralis.
Natus Vincere to win against Team Liquid - 1.92 times the money at Pinnacle.
Na'Vi has shown that they can go through fire and water to advance in this tournament while the game just got better and better. Their two wins against the FaZe Clan show what strength the team possesses and the only question mark is as usual whether the superstars in the team are awake or not. We believe that s1mple, electronic and the rest of the gang are ready this time. They also encounter a Liquid that had a hard time against VP and EC, but still redeemed profits, and then put in place by G2. Probably because G2 looks really good for the moment, but we think we see more gaps in Liquid's games than most. Everything that is close to double the money at Na'Vi feels good to us, but it is approaching 1.7-1.8 then we renounce.
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