ESEA Playoff Preview
INSIDER ESPORTS - Chris Cavallari previews the teams for the ESEA playoffs.
Playoff time has arrived ladies and gentlemen, and as such, I have decided to review the eight Counter Strike 1.6 teams in the playoffs.
After losing Mehler to WinOut, x3o has been working their chemistry with dboorN. This team backed up their online performance with a second place finish at KODE5, albeit with Mehler.
x3o has proven to be a well balanced team, as they have extremely well thought-out strats, work together well and are all set on winning the event.
In my opinion, anything but first would be a huge disappointment. Facing Complexity – a team that has been getting hotter – is not something X30 is going to be looking forward to, but they shouldn’t have too much trouble; Complexity did lose both matches on de_dust2 in ESEA.
Complexity started this season 0-4, but lived up to their name as they fought back and squeaked into the playoffs. Although they are the eight seed, don’t let this deceive you as every team has a clean slate so expect them to bring it.
Method – once one of the best players in the game – has struggled this season with the transfer back to 1.6 from Source. He has show signs of his old self later in the season, but still hasn’t become that dominant player he once was.
Zid, the team’s awper, will have to be in beast mode or else this possible Cinderella story will end shortly. Volcano has been playing his heart and it shows as he continually helps his team to wins while maintaining an excellent kill death ratio.
Sunman has been inconsistent so far, but when he is hot, he plays like himself back in 2003. The only flaw I see with this team is da_bears; I’m not trying to point fingers but their success has been halted by da_bears, and he needs to get his 1.6 game back and get rid of his source habits. That’s my opinion, at least.
This all-star lineup has had its success’s and fail’s in the past, but their most recent addition of mehler to the line-up should help them in the future.
Not only have WinOut displayed phenomenal individual skill, but they have built up teamwork very quickly. A devastating 16-0 on train vs. top-seeded x3o put WinOut as one of the elites in many eyes. Mehler is playing the best I have seen out of any single player this season right now, and expect him to continue this throughout the playoffs.
Evolution mixes it up with an AWP – as this team consists of mostly rifles – but he has been playing sensational, not getting greedy after a pick.
chE has performed extremely well, especially in the big matches. Mehler and chE compliment one another as well as I have seen out of any pair this season.
The backbone of this team is quas; no doubt about it. He leads the team, keeps everyone on the right page and most importantly knows the inside and outs of the game which gives him the upper hand more often than not.
I can’t see this team performing below a third place finish, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they dominate the competition.
Lead by goodfornothing, Gravitas has had the best season out of all the teams, despite their record not reflecting it.
The only matches they lost were very close. They could have gone either way, and all of them were certainly not by pushovers. The mark for this team has to be a first place finish at KODE5; this was a big stepping stone as respect was earned. They have been overlooked in the international scene – at least by the tournaments – and I think that might have put a chip on their shoulder.
Ben_st and thoMz are their top rifles, as they have proven throughout the regular season. Impulsive and goodfornothing AWP often, opening up with picks and clearing the way to victories round after round. Tilesoh is a nice fit with these pairs, as he is more of a passive player and has great game sense.
Gravitas Gaming always find a way to impress, so keep an eye on them in the playoffs.
This team I can’t say enough about. fRoD, Storm and Warden have been playing together for over 5 years which speaks for itself. Hanes is an extremely skilled player picked up during the CGS; he excelled when CompLexity was playing 1.6 – most of CompLexity believed he was the best player on the team when they were playing in ProAM and the like – so he was kept on board. Lastly n0thing, one of the youngest professionals, just adds to the already monster team.
fRoD, well… hands down one of the best AWPers ever in Counter-Strike. He has great game sense and is able to do things that other simply can’t.
Warden is a solid player all around and has been known in the past to have one of the deadliest AK’s. Storm plays the game with extreme patience and tactics, letting his knowledge of angles and intelligence to take down his opponents.
This is a very well balanced team and is the type of in your face players that are very capable to destroy you round after round if you give them the opportunity to. Should they keep up their momentum and get on a streak, expect them to move far in the playoffs.
Although forfeiting their last two matches, Pandemic had a great season, but did only defeat one top team, Gravitas.
Consisting of three CGS players, they have rallied together a lineup that I see being successful down the road if they stay together. Not much respect has been shown their way so far, so there is nothing they would love more than to upset EG in the first round and show there for real.
I don’t expect much from this team in terms of a deep playoff run. They are a good team, that’s true, but I can’t see them getting in the top four, much less top six. Expect a pretty early dropout for this team.
iDemise has opened many eyes this season. Coming in as the second seed, they have high expectations and don’t want to put all their work during the season to waste.
naZ and iNERTiA have been making a name for themselves this season by outsmarting, outshooting and pulling in victories for their squad time after time.
Another notable name is punkvillE, who has been helping iDemise win week after week allowing them to earn the high seed that they did.
Should I mention Hazard? Let’s just say… “damn…”.
The only flaw I see with this team is the inability to post the same starting five consistently, which may hurt them down the stretch but only time will tell.
Ups in downs in their season almost spell Paragon of Virtue. They have been very streaky all season, with only one notable victory over X30 (16-14). These guys are random as you never know what they’re going to bring; A game, B game or F game you have no idea how they will play any given night.
I am marking these guys as my underdog team right now. They certainly have the skill, but I just am unsure right now. They could certainly upset iDemise, however, and that would be the biggest surprise of the playoffs in my opinion. I think we’ll see an upset.
That’s all I’m going to say right now. Expect some playoff coverage from Michael “peawok” Fleming, as he has nothing better to do. Sorry… I had to get that one in.