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Name: Derek Droze
Age: 31
Location: San Francisco

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ESEA Thursday, Week 6 Predictions

ESEA - Two double-headers close out this week's ESEA-Invite league play.

Written by: Derek 'doza' Droze

North Stars United (3-7) vs. Ruins (7-3) - From Tuesday

Dustin "DIZZAMAN" Dilyerd recently said that Sean "SGARES" Gares is the best in game leader he's ever played with. The rest of Ruins is playing like they believe in that as well. It is truly impressive what they have done. Pure hard work has given them a 7-3 record and a 4th place standing. If you watch their game-play, you see a team completely in sync, and that is a must at this level of competition.

NSU, on the other hand, has the opposite record. They have been playing decent counter-strike, but just can't seem to find the breaks. A thrilling OT win against Grid05 might just be the shot in the veins that NSU needs. They have the talent, now they just need to put it all together.

Honestly, I almost want to say NSU in this match. Ruins hot streak, however, has deferred that decision. Ruins will win their seventh straight tonight.

Doza's prediction: Ruins > NSU 16-14

Player to watch: David "Xp3" Garrido  - even in a losing effort.

Dynasty (4-5) vs. Ruins (7-3)

Ruins is set to take part of a double-header tonight against NSU and Dynasty. NSU is a postponement from Tuesday, from which I predicted a Ruins victory (look above).

Tonight, I think the surprising Ruins have a fantastic shot at adding to their win total. Their play of late has been nothing short of stellar, chalking up wins in each of their last six matches. One of those wins was a 16-6 smashing of the very same Dynasty. With Sean "SGARES" Gares leading the way he has been, it seems very unlikely that Ruins will slip up anytime soon. He has instilled a sense of work ethic into his club. They may practice more than any other invite team. And to improve in the rapid fashion that Ruins has, dedication is a must.

Out of Dynasty's four wins, two of them were via forfeit. The others were a 5v4 win over NSU (winless at the time), and a close victory over the league-worst Area51. They have made some roster changes in the past few weeks in an attempt to shake some things up. However, the only thing that looks shaken right now is their confidence. If they don't turn it around soon, they can kiss this season goodbye.

Ruins will pick up the victory in this match, showing that last week's bout wasn't a fluke.

Doza's Prediction: Ruins > Dynasty 16-9.

Player to watch: Kieth "KEEFERS" Spies

Gravitas Gaming (6-4) vs. North Stars United (3-7)

Gravitas desperately wants to forget their last match. Pitted against the league-leading compLexity, they wilted and backed away. It was utter domination. Ben "ben" Hui, usually one of GG's more consistent players, went a putrid 1-17. It wasn't just him who played bad though, the whole team looked lost. It almost looked like they didn't care. For their fans sake, and reputation for that matter, they better start caring. A loss to a team like NSU would not look good. Plain and simple, they need to come out gunning tonight. The community needs to see a confident Gravitas team. If not, the phrase "one of the top North American teams" and Gravitas Gaming might feel awkward to say in the same sentence.

NSU is a solid inferno team. Their T-strats are all over the place, which can cause quite an annoyance for the CT's. Even their CT setups are a little odd, sometimes using multiple AWP's to shut down their opposition. David "Xp3" Garrido will be a key factor in this match. His countrymen in Milenium just put together a very impressive showing at DreamHack, and you know he'll want his squad to do the same.

I really want to say NSU in an upset here, but GG is going to be playing desperate CS. Gravitas in a thriller.

Doza's Prediction: Gravitas Gaming > NSU 16-12.

Player to watch: Shaun "hostile" Catron

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