Dreamhack Masters Malmö is the first tournament after the player break. Many roster changes have happened since the major taken by Gambit over a month ago. Since the start of the tournament on Wednesday, eight teams have debuted with their new rosters. Cloud9, FaZe, fnatic, Gambit, Na’Vi, mousesports, North and Renegades have all made roster changes. Unfortunately since the start of the tournament, mousesports has been eliminated, but the rest stand. North and Na’Vi stepping foot into the playoffs as well. But, with all these new rosters comes mass potential. I’ll go through some teams attending the tournament looking to prove their new rosters.
FaZe over the break picked up Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer and Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovács. This team definitely has the most potential to win tournaments, and even dominate the scene. Going out in last place at the major seems to be the reason for picking up the duo. While many don’t think they should have changed their roster, on paper both players upgrade the team.
All the doubt surrounding the team has definitely made this team more hungry to win, to prove everyone wrong. They have the skill to do so, having some of the best players in the world. And, to top it all off they have one of the best in-game leaders around. This team has the potential to, and probably will, be one of the best if not the best in the world.
GuardiaN and olofmeister also have a lot to prove as players, as both went into a slump once coming out of an injury. Of course, the former had it a lot worse, but both led to losing confidence and motivation. To be both successful as players and as a team would boost the confidence of these players kilometers above what it is now. They have a platform in Malmö to perform as stars and they’re going to make the most of the opportunity.
Cloud9 made a surprising almost last second move picking up Will “RUSH” Wierzba and Tarik “tarik” Celik from OpTic. Both players are huge improvements in terms of skill from the players they replaced. Not only that, in terms of their roles, they plugged right into the system that Cloud9 had. Although tarik is their IGL as of right now. It worked well for OpTic at their last event, maybe it’ll work for Cloud9 in the long run.
There is some doubt surrounding this team about how they have too many star players and no real leader. While this is a fair reason to be worried, as history shows all stars and no IGL doesn’t work, there is huge potential for this team to work. They have all the roles they’d ever need, all the firepower they could get from NA aside from Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski, and overall consistent players. While I’m not saying this team will dominate, it is fair to say that this team should be top five in the coming months.
Coming from OpTic, RUSH and tarik haven’t had the greatest year. OpTic hasn’t come close to the success they had in late 2016, where they won two tournaments and made the finals of another. They have made playoff appearances, but haven’t won a match past that. They obviously have lost a lot of motivation. And, while tarik was able to keep up his form all year, RUSH has been struggling for quite a bit. Maybe having a proper fifth this time around will hopefully help RUSH get back into form.
Malmö will be a testing ground for this new Cloud9, as they haven’t been able to get proper practice in since picking up the duo. Luckily for them, they’re going to play in a best of three against SK, which is probably the best practice you can get on LAN. Even if they lose, they have plenty to look back on to improve for Dreamhack Montreal, ESL One New York and the ELEAGUE Premier.
After leading Gambit to a major win over a month ago, Danylo “Zeus” Teslenko moved over to Na’Vi along with Mykhailo “kane” Blagin. Denis “seized” Kostin was also put back onto the starting lineup for Na’Vi after being removed six days beforehand. This is probably the best move that all parties could have made. Gambit couldn’t be relied on to repeat a performance like what they did at the major, and Na’Vi was going nowhere beforehand. Not only that, Na’Vi was unable to make their first move, so to get this instead is pretty nice.
All the players on Na’Vi have something to prove with this roster. Whether it be in individual skill or in an overall team aspect. They’ve been consistently underwhelming since moving seized to IGL after Zeus was kicked last year. It came to an end after they went out in groups at the Major, being the first time for the organization since Cologne 2014.
Much like the others, Malmö is going to be a test for the new team. Already in the playoffs after wins against Virtus.Pro and Astralis, they’re doing better than recent past performances. Winning one of four Bo3 wins on LAN against a top 10 team for the organization this year is big. If they go out in this stage, there should be nothing but positives moving forward.
North made a surprising move after the major, removing Emil “Magisk” Reif. Fortunately for them, Valdemar “valde” Bjørn Vangså was a free agent after being benched by Heroic. In terms of roles all across the team, this move made a lot of sense. The move seems to have worked out for the organization as they beat both Cloud9 and SK in the groups of Malmö.
Valde has a lot to prove for himself and his old team, as it was a very questionable move removing him from the Heroic lineup. Since joining the team he’s been performing quite well individually. Whether it be in the Pro League or this tournament himself, he’s led the team to some comfortable wins. Philip “aizy” Aistrup has a lot to prove for himself as well.
North have stated they’ll have three tournaments before they consider changing anything. So far going 2-0 in the groups of Malmö, they’ve proven themselves to be top eight. They will need to keep up this caliber of play in order to compete with top tier teams consistently moving forward.
Featured image via Dreamhack
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