The string of successful event for Dreamhack in 2017 will come to a conclusion with Dreamhack Winter 2017. The marquee event which has seen its previous iterations be CS GO majors will feature a prize pool of $1,00,000 and have eight teams in play. The eight teams will be battling it out at the Elmia Convention Center, Jönköping.
This event is a Tier 2 event, but features some really strong teams including current Major Champions, Gambit Gaming and the forever Major Challengers NaVI. These teams have, however, fallen off their pedestal and are facing a lack of form and results. We take a look at the top four teams in attendance at the event.
NaVI is undoubtedly the most recognised and decorated team in the tournament. The team which has been known to be one of the strongest teams to never win a major comes into this tournament with one roster change. They have added Electronic to their squad who replaces Seized and adds a big boost to their firepower. Electronic is one of the best players in the CIS squad and along with Simple they present a very strong front.
Of course since almost three weeks of his addition to the team, Na’VI have been unable to make any impressive results. They lost 0-2 to Heroic in the semifinals of the WCA EU Qualifier and then BIG Gaming in the third place match. On paper, these two teams are definitely considered weaker than NaVi, but internal issues within the Na’Vi roster mean that they are unable to perform to their best.
NaVi – Simple
NaVI’s CS GO team has been long dependent on Simple and his capability. We have seen the team revolve around Simple’s fragging multiple times. It would be a shame to watch such a talent at work while the rest of NaVI falters. Now the biggest change in the roster has to be the departure of Guardian. Guardian had been associated with NaVi for a long time and his departure to Faze breaks the dynamics within the team. But Zeus has had three weeks to work with Electronic and the time is ripe for NaVI to start peaking in form right now.
We all have seen the brilliance in talent and tactics from the members of the team. Zeus led his ex-team Gambit Gaming to win the PGL Krakow Major and Simple is still considered one of the best players in the world. The question however remains, will NaVI return to form at Dreamhack Winter 2017.
The current CS GO Major Champions come into this tournament after an absence from several professional tournaments. The team led by Adren has been building itself immediately after winning the PGL Krakow Major. WIth the departure of two key members of their team in Zeus and Kane; Gambit lost a big part of their think tank.
Since Krakow, we have only seen Gambit in the finals of one tournament : ROG Masters EMEA where they lost 1:2 to Mousesports in the finals. The team is the highest ranked team currently in participation at Dreamhack Winter, but the have been unable to secure big wins over decently skilled teams in the recent past. The team remains heavily dependent on Hobbit who has been very consistent in the way he has been performing. Hobbit and Mou form the core of the roster. Dosia is known to have impactful plays, but not really show up on the scoreboard. He remains an X factor for the team which sees itself getting pulled down by the poor performances of Adren and surprisingly, their newest member Fitch.
When the new Gambit roster was formed, Fitch played a very crucial role in bringing it to notice. He was always ahead and getting entry frags, which made everyone sit up and notice the new talent. But recently he has been simply absent from the scoreboard with no impact whatsoever. A big part of Gambit’s performance at Dreamhack Winter will depend on Fitch’s performance. He is the raw talent and the skill which set Gambit apart from their previous iteration. While they cannot hope to be at the same pedestal strategically with the loss of Kane and Zeus, they were definitely expecting a lot more firepower and performance from the new roster.
Mousesports are the other top contenders for the tournament. With a lineup which includes Oskar, Sunny and Ropz no team can take Mousesports lightly. Oskar has been one of the most consistent performers in CS GO despite doing so at a high level. But the team has not always been able to back him up with equally good performances. Being placed in the better group, Mousesports will have to face off against North Academy and EnVyUs en route to the playoffs. While we expect to be able to make it to the playoffs, their Group stage form will give us an indication of their potential in this tournament.
The biggest characteristic for Mousesports remains their uncertainty and lack of consistent form. If Sunny, Ropz and Oskar are able to get their performance up at the tournament, Mousesports remain the biggest threat to any other team.
The roster remains strong on certain maps such as Cache, Cobblestone and Mirage. Under the guidance of ChrisJ, they have a very loose and skill based gameplay. Of course with the likes of Oskar and Ropz on the roster it has generally served them well.
Their performance at this tournament remains a question mark on the performance of Ropz and Styko. They should however easily make it out of the group stage into the playoffs.
EnVyUs are a team that has fallen from grace and is definitely in a very weird situation right now. With the likes of Major Winners in Happy and high skill ceiling individuals in Scream, this team has a lot of potential. But ever since the French roster shuffle they have gone down and worse in their performance.
It remains a characteristic of most French teams that they slowly start to degrade their performance over time. This results in a lack of confidence for the individual players which spirals back to poorer performances. It is a disastrous cycle, but it keeps repeating for any and all French rosters.
EnVyUs come into this tournament with not much expected off them. While they have remained consistent in their form with RPK definitely having the time of his career, they still are a low T2 team. Unless we see some amazing performances by Sixer and XMS, this team is mediocre. But if Sixer and/or XMS can perform, we will be able to see the true potential for the roster. EnVyUS have the potential but they need to put it into action at Dreamhack Winter.