Klipses ESEA Invite LAN Playoff Predictions
DALLAS, Texas -- This Saturday, the premier North American online league ESEA is holding their Invite division playoffs and finals on LAN at LethalGamers in Garland, Texas. The playoffs consist of the league’s top six teams, due to two teams – Sway Gaming and Grid05 – not being able to attend.
Opinions expressed are Mark Haney's alone.
Saturday, 11am CST, will be the first round of a double elimination bracket play. EG and coL have bye's the first round due to Sway and Grid05's absence. Sunday, 11am CST, the last three teams remaining will play the Lower Bracket finals, then the Grand Finals afterwards. The teams will competing for the grand prize of $6,000 and the title of ESEA-Invite Season 2 Champions.
The tournament will be running the standard LAN map rotation as well as a straight forward double elimination bracket play, where the losers of the upper bracket are dropped down to the lower bracket, if a team loses in the lower bracket, they are out.
You can find the bracket here.
* Upper Round 1 – dust2 and train
* Upper Round 2 / Lower Round 1 – inferno and nuke
* Upper Round 3 / Lowe Round 2 – dust2 and inferno
* Lower Round 3 – nuke and dust2
* Lower Finals – train and inferno
* Finals - Upper bracket team picks map #1 and the lower bracket team picks map #2
* (1) Evil Geniuses
* (2) complexity
* (3) Back 2 Back
* (4) eMazing Gaming
* (5) Gravitas Gaming
* (6) Blight Gaming
* 1st Place: $5,000
* 2nd Place: $2,750
* 3rd Place: $1,500
* 4th Place: $1,000
* 5th Place: $600
* 6th Place: $600
Since EG's opponent Grid05 is not in attendance that brings us to our first match of the day, Gravitas vs eMg. Gravitas was considered by some North America's top team a few months ago, but recently has slipped in performance mainly due to their team leader Ediz "goodfornothing" Basol being on vacation.
Although his replacement StrikeR was a nice fit, goodfornothing is back now and expect GG to be a totally different team. As for eMg they also had a recent roster change with the acquisition of Garrido "Xp3" David from NSU. eMg had a very nice regular season going 11-5; compare that of GG's 8-8 record, it seems that eMg on paper is the better team.
GG is a very streaky team, when they are hot, they are untouchable; when they are cold, well let’s just say they are touchable. GG without a doubt has more LAN experience than eMg, especially coming off last weekend’s second placing at the WCG Quiver Shoot-Out.
If this match was a regular season online match I would go with eMg, but they way GG has been playing lately and the fact that goodfornothing is back in the lineup I'm going with GG, but I do think eMg is going to take one match. eMg > GG 16-14 on de_dust2, GG > eMg 16-10 on de_train, GG > eMg 16-8 on third map.
The next match is between Back2back(B2B) vs. Blight Gaming. This is the least interesting match of the two in the first round. B2B has had an amazing regular season, only losing two matches. Blight on the other hand finished 6-10 and has struggled most of the season. B2B placed 3rd at the LethalGamers LAN Tournament on Thursday behind EG and eMg. Blight also has had little LAN experience of late except for last week’s WCG event in which they got dominated by B2B 16-4, which makes me think this will be another blowout.
I need to give some credit to Blight, though, because I have seen them play on top of their game and they can hold their own, but I don’t think they have what it takes to beat B2B twice. I don't think it’s any surprise that I'm going with B2B here. I have B2B in two. B2B > Blight 16-8 on de_dust2 and B2B > Blight 16-6 on de_train.
The next upper bracket match according to my predictions will be EG vs. GG. This will be the closest match of whole tournament in my opinion as these teams are very equally matched. I am not going to throw around any regular season numbers at you because I don't believe the GG of the regular season is the same GG now. They faced each other last week at the WCG event, where GG spanked EG 16-2.
I do believe that blowing out EG 16-2 was a fluke, but I don't believe beating them was. I think GG unlike EG has the fire in their eyes and the momentum to win. This will come down to three matches and they are going to be close ones. I'm going to predict GG in three. EG > GG 16-12 on de_inferno, GG > EG 16-12 on de_nuke and GG > EG 16-14 on third map.
The other Upper Bracket match will be between B2B and coL. There’s not doubt in my mind coL is the best team at this tournament, and for the record the best team in North America. They have all the tools to beat any team that comes their way, and with style. Irukandji is an incredible team leader and with the frags of dboorN and NineSpot, I think B2B will not have a chance.
Of course B2B is a very solid team and they will put up double digits on coL at least once, but I still think this is an easy decision and I'm taking coL in two. coL > B2B 16-7 on de_inferno and coL > B2B 16-10 on de_nuke.
Now this leaves the Upper Bracket Finals left, with GG vs. coL. In my opinion these are the two best teams in North American and this should be the grand finals, but an unsettling feeling in my stomach says EG will beat GG in the lower bracket finals. But back to this match, I feel like GG is the one team that can take down coL, but only if they are on their A-game and are gelling together. If they are in one of those GG slumps, they will get rolled and probably not get more than five rounds. With that said, I don’t think GG is going to be playing on the level they need to be to beat coL.
These matches will be close and worth watching, although I don’t think it’s any surprise that coL will come out on top. In the regular season coL beat GG 16-1 but in fairness they didn't have their core player goodfornothing, but last week they also got dominated by coL at WCG 16-3 with him. With that being said I don't think GG is going to lose that bad, but I still have coL in two. coL > GG 16-8 on de_dust2 and coL > GG 16-9 on de_inferno, making coL the Upper Bracket Winners.
I'm going to press fast forward here, until the Lower Bracket Finals. Basically I don’t think Blight, eMg or B2B have the power to take down GG or EG, so my Lower Bracket Finals are going to be between GG and EG.
This match has me twisted in a bunch of different ways, one way is to look at the WCG event last weekend and see that GG dominated EG 16-2 in the Lower Bracket Finals, but then I also see EG dominating GG 16-4 at the same event earlier on.
This match is very difficult to predict, I think the key here lies with GG. If GG is hot and has not lost the fire I think this can be a blowout with GG in two, but I just cannot rule out EG. EG has had a much steadier roster for the past few months and also a lot more LAN experience.
EG I feel will be able to control themselves under the pressure, where GG will get erratic and cause them to slip up. I know I gave it to GG earlier, but I don't feel GG can do it twice. I am not an EG fan by any means (no offense EG) but I have to favor them here and have them taking it in two.
EG > GG 16-8 on de_train and EG > GG 16-12 on de_inferno, making EG the lower bracket finalists.
Finally this brings me to the Grand Finals. I am not going to bore you any more with statistics because it should be clear to me and you that coL is the better team here. I don't think it would feel right if any other team besides coL was crowned this seasons champion. EG has gotten dominated by coL at the WCG event last weekend, beating them 16-3.
Simply put, I think coL has the determination and momentum to win this match. I think EG just doesn’t have the desire or passion to beat coL, let alone compete with them. I think EG will get rounds, but not enough to call it a game. I'm not calling a blow out here, I won’t be surprised if EG wins one too mostly out of luck but I have coL winning in two. coL > EG 16-8 Map One and coL > EG 16-10 Map Two (Maps are being chosen by the teams), making Complexity the ESEA-Invite Season 2 Champions.
That's it for my preview, everyone. I hope you enjoyed it. Stay tuned to Insider eSports for full ESEA Invite coverage!