×

Article

DreamHack Masters Marseille preview & predictions

1
Dreamhack Marseille is starting in a few days and it will be one of the most exciting events of the year. We heard about a lot of rumours, had a lot of interesting roster swaps and the tournament will feature the top 10 teams of the HLTV ranking.
But while teams like Faze Clan still sit at first place in mentioned ranking, they won’t play with their full main line up and other teams have been improving and showing it recently and there are a lot of teams who are top contenders or could surprise. In this article I will focus on the previous story-lines of all the attending top teams, which they have been going through recently and predict where these teams will end up placing.

Faze Clan: The #1 (in being second place)

Not only have Faze been struggling to finally top multiple tournaments in a row with this hyped line up and so called super team, now they also have to play with a stand in as Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer is absent for an unforeseeable time, because of personal reasons as he announced on Twitter a while ago.
Richard "Xizt" Landström, the replacement, is a smart player but not the crazy fragger Faze is so reliant on and that has shown in their online performances.

Faze started the year off with losing the major finals against Cloud9, in which they were the clear favorite to then only placing fourth place at the StarSeries i-League Season 4.
Katowice saw them yet again losing a final to fnatic and at V4 they already started struggling and lost against Virtus.pro in the semifinals.
It seems to be an issue they still have to fix, looking at how their game goes when Faze start losing, that Finn "karrigan" Andersen is calling in a more strict manner which backfires as they are a team which really should rely on their individual skill and loose style. Additionally he and his team seem to be breaking under pressure when they play in finals or against their arch rival SK Gaming .

While Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács, Nikola "NiKo" Kovač and Håvard "rain" Nygaard are still 3 of the strongest players in the scene, I still don’t see FaZe topping this tournament but who knows, maybe this will be the deciding factor as there will be no pressure on this line up.

Prediction: Top 8

Mousesports: not a budget FaZe anymore

Mousesports have had one of the craziest evolutions from a German team, kicking their strong in-game leader to then also getting their only strong player Nikola "NiKo" Kovač taken away, who had somehow kept their head over water.
These times were looking grim for them, but now they have come a long way and they are considered the second best team, and have great chances of taking the title in Marseille.

Chris "chrisJ" de Jong has surpassed all expectations with his in-game leading while being a strong fragger himself, and he has Martin "STYKO" Styk as a strong role player and the rest of the team as smart and clutch players.
Tomáš "oskar" Šťastný especially is competing to be called the best AWPer in the scene, consistently finding frags, going for flashy plays but also finding a lot of opening picks for his team and helping players like Robin "ropz" Kool to open up gaps in the enemy system.

With 2 big events won this year already and especially with a weakened FaZe Clan, there is a good chance that this could be their third.

Prediction: 2nd place

Martin "STYKO" Styk

Fnatic: back to being golden

While they are on an up and down trend when it comes to online CS, Fnatic definitely were convincing at their last LAN events.
Their breakthrough came out of nowhere as they just got thrown out of the StarSeries i-League Season 4 in last place and things were looking grim.
With no expectations going into IEM Katowice 2018 it was a big surprise that they were able to take the event over FaZe, beating them in a Best of 3 and then in a Best of 5 in the Grand Final, especially thanks to the massive performance from Robin "flusha" Rönnquist and also from Freddy "KRiMZ" Johansson who is back to the form we saw him in, in 2015.

Even more surprising was the rumour that Maikil "GOLDEN" Selim would get replaced by Richard "Xizt" Landström, right before the WESG 2017 World Finals, which only can be explained with Fnatic wanting a change because of their horrible StarSeries performance.
It seemed to help Golden though as he seemed to be more into the game than ever and Fnatic was able to secure their second big event of the year.

Now that the big names know they have to respect Fnatic again, the question is can Golden take Fnatic’s game even further or will they fall from the top as quick as they got there?

Prediction: Top 4

Astralis: my personal event favorite

Astralis were fighting with a lot of problems towards the end of the year starting with Nicolai "device" Reedtz being absent because of illness.
With him back in the team Astralis decided to go for an interesting move: Peter "dupreeh" Rothmann would take over the AWPing duties and Device is back to lurking again.

A questionable change as Device was such a strong tactical AWPer because he also learned how his AWP opponents play by watching their demos and that made him such a consistently strong player. It turned out to be as bad as it sounded on paper and Astralis got eliminated from the ELEAGUE Major 2018 with a 1-3 score in the swiss stage.

Astralis was confident in their game though after changing Device back into to the AWP role, but out of nowhere Kjaerbye left the team without them knowing, signing a contract with North.
The replacement was Emil "Magisk" Reif and this unplanned change seemed to be the best which could happen to this lineup. The old Astralis had the problem that they had 2 players who wanted to play aggressive in Kjaerbye and Peter "dupreeh" Rothmann. With Kjaerbye leaving, Dupreeh was able to take over his place and Magisk was taking over Dupreeh’s duties.

Astralis showed quick improvements by finishing top 8 at StarSeries and then making it to top 4 at IEM Katowice 2018.
Now with this long break, the only place we could really follow their game was online CS, but they’ve shown massive improvements compared to Katowice especially noticeable on their CT-side.
Their rotation game has been on point, constantly moving on the map making them unpredictable while always getting a lot of information out of their plays and the communication is so on point that they almost never seem to leave gaps open, which enemies could abuse.
In general, this new Astralis is showing to be way more aggressive than they have been with Kjaerbye to also adapt to the meta which is becoming more and more observed at the moment.

This makes them incredibly hard to read, is showing a lot of synergy and you really have to be on point to beat them.
I personally see Astralis as the favorites to win Dreamhack Masters Marseille 2018.

Prediction: 1st place

Natus Vincere: the rollercoaster ride

Natus Vincere have been struggling for quite a long time already but there was hope that this roster would evolve with time.
So far this evolution couldn’t be observed after NaVi struggled to qualify for ECS. In fact, it’s rather the opposite if the rumours are true, and s1mple and Flamie tried to get out of this line up.
In the EPL NaVi is playing quite well holding one of the top placements at the moment, so things aren’t all bad and that the duo were trying to leave also can work in a good way and be a the huge wake up call everyone needed.

Another big factor is Electronic, who came in as the star player from FlipSid3, but since then couldn’t often enable himself on the roster.

With all this said there still lies a lot of potential in Na’Vi, which they couldn’t utilize for so long and often had to just rely on s1mple to get all the frags.
If they won’t be able to use it now and show up in this tournament, they might never will.

I doubt they have a chance to reach for the 1st place, but there is a good chance to get to the top 4.

Prediction: Top 8

Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev

Team Liquid: NA’s new #1?

With Cloud9 losing Stewie, Liquid can prove themselves in being the best of NA.

It benefited them even more that Steel decided to leave the roster and Taco was leaving SK Gaming at the same time, this meant they could add him to their roster.
Liquid had already made a big change before that bringing in NAF for JDM; and changing their style from having a dedicated AWPer to 3 players being able to pick it up.

This makes them more unpredictable and let’s their stars switch around the AWP depending on the map choice and the economy.
Speaking about star players: Liquid is a star stacked roster, having 4 players with an insane amount of talent and fire power, which makes the addition of Taco even more effective, as he is one of the best players in his support role making this roster scarier than ever and there is a lot of potential to see them rise to the top.

Prediction: Top 4

SK Gaming: change system language → English

SK Gaming started this year stating that they wouldn't be practicing with felps, who they were forced with to play due to the roster locks and instead practice with his replacement boltz so they can focus on more than just winning the major and actually dominate the scene.
SK Gaming brought in boltz for felps, not because felps wasn’t a good player but rather because he was an aggressive one and they already had theirs in fer. And they wanted to also have people focus on supporting him and Coldzera to perform.

SK were still able to perform with felps to finish top 4 at the major, but afterwards the results with boltz weren’t there.
Especially the early exit at WESG 2017 World Finals in the group stage hurt them a lot and made clear that SK is far away from being the best in the world right now.

Changes were needed and came with a lot of rumours. The Brazilian twins Hen1 and Lucas1 joining, which quickly got disproven but an even scarier rumour was that s1mple and Flamie could join the roster for boltz and Taco.
Even though SK would’ve needed to switch their language to English, that would’ve been a roster! Including one of the best in-game leaders in the scene and Coldzera, fer and s1mple, who could’ve overwhelmed a lot of teams simply with their individual strength alone.

The roster change ended up being Taco leaving SK and Stewie2k from Cloud9 joining.
If we take a look at their online results, SK were evolving fast when it comes to communication and switching the language to English but this tournament really will show if the experiment is going to work out.

For some of the players it surely will be hard to switch to English from their mother tongue. Especially in the heat of battle.
It’s also interesting to see how SK went from wanting to support Coldzera and fer to the approach they had with felps, which is understandable considering the aggressive meta which is evolving right now.
But taking Stewie2k could really backfire and there definitely is Brazilian talent available or even their old aggressive player felps, that they could’ve picked from.

I personally don’t see this experiment succeeding but are open for SK proving us wrong.

Prediction: Top 8

Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo

Cloud9: the one hit wonder

There are so many great things to say about this lineup; but also so many disappointing ones.
Tarik has been surprising with his in-game leading and showed us a lot of far evolved and successful strategies with his team, especially the Mirage mid plays they were going for and how they switched this strategy up all the time, which Seangares highlighted in one of his videos about their major performance.

Skadoodle had been in form, who has previously been looked at as the weak link and all the others had an even stronger performance than usual to beat FaZe in the major final.

This win came out of nowhere as Cloud9 was known to be the greatest in NA but were never expected to bring home the title, being the first NA team to win a major.

It was great to see their ability shine to win the major but also was sad to see how fast everything was breaking apart afterwards, leading to Stewie2k deciding to jump over to their NA resident rival SK and Skadoodle retiring.

Cloud9 in the end decided to pick up FNS as a replacement, also taking over the leadership, while their new 5th wasn’t decided so Skadoodle decided to stand-in.
After a consistent strong online performance the decision was made that Skadoodle will stay on the Cloud9 roster.

Overall Cloud9 had been looking good in NA, but when it comes to the international scene it’s uncertain how they will do. Europe seems to have evolved their game a lot and it might even be tricky for them to get out of groups.

Prediction: Group stage exit

G2: the hometown heroes

The French super team was expected to be a dominant force after they were put together, but while they also had some good results, they recently were completely breaking apart in the playoffs of the major and StarSeries i-League after a dominant group stage. At IEM Katowice they weren’t even able to get out of groups and it was clear something had to change.

Shox was going to have surgery on his hand and with this he got replaced by the Spaniard mixwell who has been learning French to fit into this roster and Smithzz stepped down from coaching the side as well.
With this change NBK took over the leadership on the roster, sounding very confident in the fact that he can take this team to the top.

Looking at their online play since mixwell started playing, they have been looking good but also suffered a loss in the semi finals of the IEM Sydney qualifiers against Virtus Pro.

G2 is a roster that should definitely be able to compete at the top with the players they have in this lineup; especially looking at apEX’s unique and aggressive entry style and kennyS’ AWPing.

It really is all up to G2 being able to push against the pressure which is on them and NBK’s ingame leading working as he wishes.

Prediction: Top 8

Óscar "mixwell" Cañellas

Ninjas in Pyjamas: firepower over an ingame leader

Ninjas in Pyjamas changes are way bigger than they look, if you would just read the names which came and went.
Their whole leadership will restructure itself as their ingame leader Xizt got replaced with Dennis to bring in more fragging power and Threat stepped down from coach to give Pita huge shoes to fill.

f0rest is one of the two legendary players left, taking over the leadership being backed up by GeT_RiGhT.
The other 3 bring in a lot of fragging power to this roster and have been showing off already that they can be strong assets for this team and bring a lot of freshness into it.

The big question is: will replacing Xizt really work for them or could it backfire?
Their online results, especially looking at the EPL where they hold second place, are looking quite good so far.
LAN wise they have only played one big event this year which was IEM Katowice 2018 in which they were getting to the top 6 but it’s really hard to take anything away from this.

We still doubt to see them performing especially with the group they are playing in. SK was as mentioned still a team who also have a lot of questions open but there is a high probability that NiP won’t show up in Marseille and have to leave in the group stage.

Prediction: Group stage exit

Space Soldiers: the much respected underdog

This will be the first major tournament of the year for the Turkish team, although they did make the finals of WESG World Finals, who definitely has to be respected, having now beaten teams like Gambit and North very easily and also dominating the ESL Pro League in their first ever season.
Space Soldiers just qualified for ESL One Belo Horizonte and are going to have the EPL finals in Dallas, BLAST Pro Series in Istanbul and IEM Sydney coming up as well.
A lot of top tier LAN experience to gain and a chance to break into the top 10 of the world.

XANTARES has been a player to watch for a long period of time, always delivering for the Turkish force but by this point Maj3r has evolved all of the players into a fully working team.
Everyone of them has their strengths, everyone of them has potential to clutch rounds as an individual and with their fast evolution, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them having some good results in their upcoming LAN events.

Additional fun fact: After Vega Squadron released 2 of their players just recently, Space Soldiers is the longest lasting roster in the top 50.

Prediction: Group stage exit

0 comments — write comment

The comments below are written by users on Fragbite. Fragbite do not review the truthfulness of the written text and you are recommended to critically review the text. Do not assume the content of any post is truthful.
Show 0 comments

Write a comment

DisplayTemplate("related");?>
The Norwegian Renegades-player Joakim "jkaem" Myrbostad takes home what seems like an unwinnable round for his team, in the ESL Pro League Finals versus the fellow countryman Grayhound.
Read more and watch

0 comments — write comment

The comments below are written by users on Fragbite. Fragbite do not review the truthfulness of the written text and you are recommended to critically review the text. Do not assume the content of any post is truthful.
Show 0 comments

Write a comment

DisplayTemplate("related");?>
The Finnish Ence-player Sami "xseveN" Laasanen almost wins home the 1vs5, after pulling off one of the sickest spray-transfers in the history of Counter-Strike!
Read more and watch

0 comments — write comment

The comments below are written by users on Fragbite. Fragbite do not review the truthfulness of the written text and you are recommended to critically review the text. Do not assume the content of any post is truthful.
Show 0 comments

Write a comment

DisplayTemplate("related");?>
The Indonesian Tyloo-player Hansel "BnTeT" Ferdinand takes down Renegades one-by-one with his AK-47, in the recently played IEM Sydney 2018-tournament!
Read more and watch

0 comments — write comment

The comments below are written by users on Fragbite. Fragbite do not review the truthfulness of the written text and you are recommended to critically review the text. Do not assume the content of any post is truthful.
Show 0 comments

Write a comment

DisplayTemplate("related");?>
The Swedish Godsent-player Joakim "disco doplan" Gidetun completely tears down the A-push from Tyloo!
Read more and watch

0 comments — write comment

The comments below are written by users on Fragbite. Fragbite do not review the truthfulness of the written text and you are recommended to critically review the text. Do not assume the content of any post is truthful.
Show 0 comments

Write a comment

DisplayTemplate("related");?>
The next instalment in my "Why we do it" series, aimed at understanding and appreciating the work people put in behind the scenes in esports, is here. This time we are getting to know Michal Slowinski, League Ops at ESL, who is one of the key people who bring us non-stop Counter-Strike.
Read more

0 comments — write comment

The comments below are written by users on Fragbite. Fragbite do not review the truthfulness of the written text and you are recommended to critically review the text. Do not assume the content of any post is truthful.
Show 0 comments

Write a comment

VISA issues mean that both Natus Vincere and Space Soldiers will be directly replaced by G2 Esports and Legacy Esports respectively, with no changes to the already drawn groups.
Read more

0 comments — write comment

The comments below are written by users on Fragbite. Fragbite do not review the truthfulness of the written text and you are recommended to critically review the text. Do not assume the content of any post is truthful.
Show 0 comments

Write a comment

The Swedish Fnatic-player Robin "flusha" Rönnquist saves the round for his team with a 1vs3 against AGO.
Read more and watch

0 comments — write comment

The comments below are written by users on Fragbite. Fragbite do not review the truthfulness of the written text and you are recommended to critically review the text. Do not assume the content of any post is truthful.
Show 0 comments

Write a comment

DisplayTemplate("related");?>
The Swedish Godsent-player Simon "twist" Eliasson single-handedly takes down the opposing side consisting of the Chinese team 5Power.
Read more and watch

0 comments — write comment

The comments below are written by users on Fragbite. Fragbite do not review the truthfulness of the written text and you are recommended to critically review the text. Do not assume the content of any post is truthful.
Show 0 comments

Write a comment

DisplayTemplate("related");?>
Last night we attended a roundtable for media in which FACEIT executives spoke about, and answered questions relating to FACEIT, ECS and the London Major.
Read more

0 comments — write comment

The comments below are written by users on Fragbite. Fragbite do not review the truthfulness of the written text and you are recommended to critically review the text. Do not assume the content of any post is truthful.
Show 0 comments

Write a comment

The standings for both the North American and European Season 7 of the ESL Pro League have been confirmed. With the hearts broken as teams are relegated, some have the pressure of the S7 Relegation battles and some the excitement of LAN finals.
Read more

0 comments — write comment

The comments below are written by users on Fragbite. Fragbite do not review the truthfulness of the written text and you are recommended to critically review the text. Do not assume the content of any post is truthful.
Show 0 comments

Write a comment

The QI Invitational event held in Belgrade, Serbia saw eight teams battling it out for their share of the $75,000 prize pool.
Read more

0 comments — write comment

The comments below are written by users on Fragbite. Fragbite do not review the truthfulness of the written text and you are recommended to critically review the text. Do not assume the content of any post is truthful.
Show 0 comments

Write a comment

The latest patch to hit the PUBG test server is Update #12, and this is set to change the game in a big way. Introducing weapon changes, map selection, Miramar improvements, a new weapon, vehicle and more.
Read more

1 comments — write comment

The comments below are written by users on Fragbite. Fragbite do not review the truthfulness of the written text and you are recommended to critically review the text. Do not assume the content of any post is truthful.
Show 1 comments

Write a comment

Load more content