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KODE5 USA Preview: Part 1

INSIDER ESPORTS - So they are all good, but whose gonna come out on top?  Michael Fleming dives first into the "anyone's game" KODE5 USA Finals.

The opinions expressed in this article are Michael’s alone and do not represent Insider eSports’ opinion or our partners opinions as a whole.

This weekend America's top eight teams will face and each has a chance.
KODE 5 USA. March 14 and 15.
Wait...what?  Do I really mean that?  Yes, I do. As nonsensical as it might be, every one of these teams has a chance to win the event and no, I'm not talking about "in theory".  Sure, teams like EG.usa, x3o, and Gravitas got some good experience getting trashed by the Europeans and Complexity has been bootcamping their butts off since Monday with the pain in the online ass Hazard and his Texas Allstar friends, but teams like Pandemic, formally MoB Gaming, and former Team34 now eMazing Gaming could even get some surprises in.

It will be hard for some, no doubt.  Hell, a few teams I think have good shots could get knocked out early, but I certainly am all for the "anyone's game".  One good round, frag, or match can carry a team through a tournament.  The maps selected could be the team's strong point.

I think we're in for a few surprises and I wouldn't be surprised to see some people pretty upset come Sunday.

But anyway, I decided to give everyone an attempt at a small preview; a "how they will win" and a "how they will lose" sort of piece. I can't promise you five seconds, but I think you'll get it done in five minutes.

CompLexity Gaming

CompLexity Gaming is one of those "let-down" teams so far.  They haven't breezed through CEVO-Main and while they are top dogs alongside North Stars United, they aren't dominating like most expected.  It's hard to say this is holding them down, though.  I'm sure they still practice against the top teams and teams wouldn't be afraid to use their past strategies on CompLexity because they knew they wouldn't play them until KODE5. CompLexity has had the practice, it's just not clicking.

How they will win: Complexity has been fortunate enough to have had five days of solid boot-camping experience.  They have been playing with Texas Allstars, who - while a pug - are the best players in the game.  And not only that; being able to sit down with your teammates is good experience in itself.  The team has good experience and has the potential for greatness, but it comes down to them just not performing as expected.

How they will lose: CompLexity has a problem.  When they win it's "they're on their way to greatness!".  When they lose, we usually hear something along the lines of "more time".  While that usually comes from fans and Jason Lake, you have to wonder whether or not it has reflected on to the players at all.  Should they lose, will they take it as they need more time?  Lack of confidence and a "you aren't ready yet" mentality may be what holds CompLexity back.

Prediction: 4th. CompLexity’s time boot camping will certainly help them but placing about third will be hard.

eMazing Gaming

eMazing Gaming's breakup, which left aZn and evolution with Frag Dominant, also left the eMg organization without a team.  With Team34 already set to play at KODE5, the eMg organization didn't waste any time; a little more than 24 hours if I remember correctly.  They picked up the then-on-now-off team.  At the KODE5 Lethal Gamers USA Qualifier, they did take third, and then they performed well online to start, but since then have died back into the standings.
eMazing Gaming, formally Team 34
How they will win: It will be certainly hard for eMg to take top three or, better yet, win the event, but I wouldn’t call it an impossibility.  Online or not, they have beaten EG.usa before and I wouldn’t call Frag Dominant or CompLexity – the two potential teams Team34 would face if they win – a sure bet as well.  Team34 just needs to surprise people and be prepared each and every match.  Beating EG.usa will be a challenge, but that one win could be the momentum they need.

How they will lose: If anything, Team34 will just be out skilled by EG.usa, x3o, or Gravitas.  Team34 is a very good team, but I don’t think they are necessarily able to compete on the individual level as well. If they aren’t 100% on their strats, I can’t see them placing in the top three.

Prediction: 5th-6th.  Team34 is good but the early match against EG.usa will put them down and fighting for their lives.  I don’t think we will see much more than one victory for the Team34 boys.



Evil Geniuses

The Evil Geniuses lineup has been under fire recently as they have not performed well on LAN since they began.  They are perfect in ESEA currently, which is true, but it seems that fans want more, especially international.  I think what some forget is that it has been a long time since they competed internationally and asking them to stand up to the Europeans the way CompLexity and 3D did back in 2006 and 2007 is a hard task to take on.  The expectations are very high for Garfield’s guys and anything short of top two will be an embarrassment on their name.
Evil Geniuses are considered the favorite.
How they will win: Evil Geniuses had some good practice against the European teams and maybe – to an extent – a reality check while they were in Germany.  They have the individual skill and their chemistry is coming together, but the question is do they have the strategies prepared for teams like x3o, Gravitas, and Frag Dominant?  If they prepared and looked over what they used in Germany, I think they certainly should place top two.

How they will lose: My opinion is EG doesn’t have a “how they will lose”, more appropriately a “how they won’t completely win”.  EG.usa will be in the top three, that in my opinion is certain, but the question is will Gravitas, x3o, Frag Dominant or maybe even CompLexity take them down for first?  Team 34 could even surprise us with another win like they did many weeks ago in CEVO.  It all comes down to that first loss.  If EG.usa takes one early from CompLexity, Frag Dominant, or even worse Team 34, they will be going home a lot earlier than expected.

Prediction: Top two.  EG.usa should have no trouble getting to at least the semifinals and are more individually skilled than most of the teams’ rosters.  They have the opportunity to be America’s new international team and they can’t disappoint here.

Frag Dominant

Frag Dominant is remnants of the former EG.usa team with a little bit of aZn and evolution thrown in.  This for me was their greatest mistake.  Sure, aZn is a good player and evolution – when he isn’t getting ready to retire – a good one as well, but changing your roster only a week before the biggest tournament for North America so far was a mistake.  They were playing together before the public announcement, so we can give them let’s say another week of practice, but I really don’t think it is enough.

How they will win: Simple enough; aZn and evolution need to balance the lack of chemistry with crazy skill.  aZn and evolution can get hot, as we all know, but they need to be way over the top.  At the end of the tournament, should Frag Dominant win, expect aZn and evolution near the top in FPR.

How they will lose: Just the opposite needs to happen.  If the team gets frustrated by their lack of communication and chemistry, they won’t make it very far.  Add that to CompLexity’s boot camping, and Frag Dominant might be knocked down to the lower bracket early.

Prediction: 5th-6th.  That might be a bit low just with how good they could be, but I just am unsure of where to put these guys.  They have talent, so they can go above my prediction but they are so new it’s unsure of just how they will do.  I went with the safe bet.



Stay tuned for part two of Michael’s preview!

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