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Name: Michael Fleming
Location: Trenton, NJ
Owner and Editor in Chief
INSIDER ESPORTS - Michael Fleming continues his KODE5 USA Preview.
The opinions expressed in this article are Michael’s alone and do not represent Insider eSports’ opinion or our partners opinions as a whole.
Welcome back for part two. Since you are reading this, I'm going to assume you have read part one. If you haven't, it's right here. To recap, we discussed CompLexity Gaming, Evil Geniuses, eMazing Gaming and Frag Dominant. This piece will discuss the remaining four teams, including Gravitas Gaming, x3o, Texas Allstars, and Pandemic.
At Extreme Masters last weekend, many thought Gravitas Gaming would be destroyed by every team in their group. They did escape with one win and a tie with MiBR, much to people's surprise and they are one of the best teams at the event. Gravitas is certainly one of the favorites to win the event; it just depends on how well they have rebounded since Extreme Masters.
How they will win: Gravitas Gaming will win off of their skill and chemistry. They are one of the older teams in the group and have remained stable for quite some time. They are one of the few USA teams with solid 2009 LAN experience and that could pay off. Add that to having just recently traveled and you have to think that they have a good shot. I know they are gunning for first, as everyone is, but they have what it takes to bring it all the way.
How they will lose: Simply put, Gravitas Gaming will lose if they lose focus or confidence in their game. Should anything go severely wrong - such as an early loss to the boot camping Texas Allstars - they could be out early. Don't expect that to happen, though, but I think it is worth acknowledging.
Prediction: 3rd or 4th. Gravitas is very good, but I think x3o and Evil Geniuses are just a step above them. Unless they really get going in the early rounds, I think they'll come in third or fourth.
Team x3o had a very rough Extreme Masters event, losing several games 16-14 - including one to EG.usa - which ultimately led to their winless record. It was not a good event for them at all, but here in America things are a bit more in their favor. Team x3o won the x3o Winter Classic early this year, the other major North American LAN event and are considered by many the best team in the United States right now. Does that mean, however, that they can win KODE5?
How they will win: Simply enough, x3o will win if they put the Extreme Masters event behind them and come prepared for today. They were taking teams to the end but just couldn't complete at KODE5; I think here they will do just fine.
How they will lose: x3o should have no trouble getting close to the finals. I think that when they start to face EG.usa, Gravitas, and Frag Dominant they might struggle, but I don't they will until then. If they do well against them, expect a victory for x3o.
Prediction: Top two. It all comes down to if they beat EG.usa or if they don't. They have to face Gravitas in the second round, so they might lose early, but I don't think that will be the case. It will be x3o and EG.usa in the final two.
Texas Allstars is pretty much iDemise. They had to make some roster changes but now have a few well known players and big online names (see: hazard). They probably won't win the event, but they could make some dents in some teams.
How they will win: Texas Allstars will need to spurt individual skill out of every orifice if they plan on winning this. They'll have some good strats down after practicing with CompLexity for the past few days, but don't expect this team to take the event. It will likelybe a quick 1-2 out for them, but I think they might have a chance to push deep into the event.
How they will lose: If the individual skill doesn't come, expect these guys to lose quickly.
Prediction: 7th-8th. They are a good team but unproven at LAN, really. They could surprise us with a win over Gravitas Gaming, but I don't think that will happen. Expect this team to drop quickly.
Not too long ago, Pandemic picked up MoB Gaming, who have some old faces back on the scene like CompLexity or Evil Geniuses, as examples. They haven't done too well online, but there's just some thing about Pandemic at LAN. I don't think they will place too high but they are certainly not too low.
How they will win: Pandemic needs to surprise some teams, but with x3o in their way right off the bat they will certainly have trouble doing that. If they don't pull some amazing strats, they might drop early and often in this event. Expect a number of close games regardless, though.
How they will lose: If Pandemic's individual skill is lacking or they play how they have online, I don't think we will see them get very far in the event. An early loss to x3o will certainly hurt, so should they lose there, I think we'll see this team in last place.
Prediction: 7th-8th. Pandemic has good experience on LAN but I don't think they will get very far here. They might surprise me and move up to as far as fourth but I
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