Coming into this tournament, it looked like it was going to be a thriller, and there have been some fantastic games through the group stage. While the playoff stage is perhaps not as stacked as it could be, there are some interesting fresh matches, and I think we could get some more good games out of this tourney yet. Here’s how I personally think the rest of the tournament will shake out from here.
Fnatic vs OpTic
This is a very interesting matchup, as there really is no clear winner. Other than the final, I think this could be the match of the tournament. In terms of likely four banned maps, I’d predict for Cache, Nuke, Overpass and Train to be removed. This one is a real wildcard though, as a team could switch things up easily. I would expect seeing a combination of Mirage, Cobble and Inferno for this match. Picking a winner is really tough, but I think I have to side with the Swedes on this one.
Fnatic 2-1 OpTic
Hellraisers vs Misfits
I expect this to be a white-wash. I personally love an underdog story, such as Gambit at the major; however, I don’t see Misfits, no matter the maps, finding a way to win against a good Hellraisers team. They are just thoroughly out-manned. Then again, that’s what we’ve been saying about them all tournament. There may be some dark horse potential here, as they have played well thus far, but the chances are so incredibly slim that I don’t see it happening.
Hellraisers 2-0 Misfits
FaZe vs Fnatic
To begin this tournament, Fnatic upset FaZe in thriller fashion on arguably FaZe’s best map, Inferno. While that match was awesome, and Fnatic competed very well in that game, there really is no chance that Fnatic beat FaZe two out of three times. Again, maps don’t really matter here as FaZe should just overpower Fnatic on firepower alone.
FaZe 2-0 Fnatic
SK Gaming vs Hellraisers
I’m going to be very clear, SK will not lose to Hellraisers. However, I actually think in a weird way this could be a close one. SK will remove Nuke, which isn’t a good HR map anyways. HR will remove Mirage. From there, I’d expect a Cache pick by SK, followed by an Overpass pick by HR. While I expect the Overpass pick, I think it will be a huge mistake for them too. The third map will probably be Inferno, but I don’t think we will get there. I expect a close 2-0, with a potential to go to a third map; although even if it does go to three, SK should be able to lock it down.
SK 2-0 Hellraisers
SK Gaming vs FaZe Clan
I expect an insane final here. This could go down as one of the best matches in Counter-Strike history. From the gate, FaZe and SK should stick to their guns and ban Cobble and Nuke respectively. After that, things get interesting. An Inferno pick by FaZe to start is not unlikely, and SK picking Cache wouldn’t surprise me in the least. From there I would expect FaZe to pick Overpass, and SK to follow that up with Mirage, leaving map five, Train.
The first map should be a stunner, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it go overtime. I’m going to say that Gabriel ‘FalleN’ Toledo has a big game on the AWP, and Marcelo ‘coldzera’ David does coldzera things, and SK take a 1-0 lead.
Map 1: SK 16-13 FaZe
Second up we have Cache, which should be another close one. I’m saying Nikola ‘NiKo’ Kovač, Håvard ‘rain’ Nygaard and Olof ‘olofmeister’ Kajbjer, all fantastic Cache players, turn up and FaZe win SK’s pick.
Map 2: FaZe 19-16 SK
The pivotal game three, and it should be another thriller. While I don’t think it will be as close as the first two, I still expect to see a sick performance from these two teams; however, I think SK take the series lead with this one.
Map 3: SK 16-11 FaZe
As a fan and viewer I want map five. While realistically, you would expect SK to be able to win this map, FaZe certainly will have their chances, and because I love when best of fives come down to map five, I’m taking FaZe to edge out the Brazilians in this one.
Map 4: FaZe 16-14 SK
While I think Inferno would have been the best map five, I can’t complain about Train. This should be another tight one, but I expect a terrific performance from coldzera, which should push SK over the line, to win the ESL Pro League 3-2.
Map 5: SK 16-12 FaZe
Final: SK 3-2 FaZe
MVP: Marcelo ‘coldzera’ David
Featured image: Cybbet
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