The Dreamhack Masters Malmo 2017 has come to an end with the French team, G2 announced the winners of the $250,000 tournament. This was the first tournament post the self imposed Player break. Held at the Malmo Arena in Sweden, this tournament saw the top CS GO teams in attendance. There were a total of 16 teams participating in the tournament.
With the teams coming fresh off a player vacation, the form of the teams was pretty much unknown. The PGL Krakow Major definitely threw a few surprises at us. With Gambit winning the Major,will we have a new team order on our hands? Or was that just a fluke? While Gambit as a team definitely have lots to improve, their form at Malmo definitely puts them as a top 5 team in CS GO.
Dreamhack Malmo did have some changes in terms of format and coaching rules. However overall, it was definitely a pretty balanced tournament especially when it comes to the seeding.
Dreamhack Malmo saw a break from the Swiss Format. With multiple tournaments using the Swiss format in 2017, we had witnessed several flaws in that particular format. Without any credible seeding in the tournaments, the draws of the format would always provide a big advantage to the underdogs. The Swiss format is decent as long as there is a proper seeding mechanism. With the two majors using the Valve seeding system, which is often outdated; several problems arise as a result.
The format for Dreamhack Malmo brought back the old double elimination system. However it had a slight twist. Instead of having the losers play out a Best of Three, the winners matches were Best of Three matches. This ensured that we have the best seeding possible going into the playoffs.
There are counterpoints to be made about the format, especially with the BO1 elimination stage.
Does playing two Best of Ones and being eliminated from the tournament sound fair?
However due to time constraints it is simply not possible to play all matches as Best of Three. If we have to choose between a fair chance for the winners as opposed to losers, giving the winners a fair chance and also ensuring the future matches are properly seeded sounds more plausible.
Fall of the titans… again?
The finalists for Dreamhack Malmo were North and G2. North were able to salvage some Danish pride after Gambit eliminated Astralis in the semifinals. The Danish roster was extremely impressive until the finals however fell flat against G2. CajunB has had an impressive tournament with some incredible one taps. North has become the team which makes for a disappointing finalist. With several finals under their name, the team has been unable to secure any tournament victory. They recently brought in Valde in place of Magisk. This made the team more structured with a team player brought into the roster. Having a very aggressive star studded team is not something that anyone other than Faze can pull off. And even they have had several problems in doing so. Valde brings out a new angle to the Danish roster. He is ready to make sacrifices when needed and even at times provide weapons. However the player is extremely skilled and was one of the most impactful player for the team this tournament.
The French team G2 who came into the tournament following a poor finish at the Major were truly inspirational. They were able to make some impressive plays throughout the tournament. Their stubbornness paid off as they were able to mount a massive comeback against SK Gaming. That match definitely seemed to have bolstered their confidence. There was a definitive aggression to their gameplay in the next few matches.
However these were not the two teams expected to make the finals. The two teams which everyone expected to meet in the finals were SK Gaming and Astralis.
The World No 1 and 2 teams however had a rough set of quarter finals and were eliminated from the tournament.
This is the second tournament in a row that we have not seen either SK or Astralis in the finals. While it’s still too early to say anything definitive it seems there are more teams constantly in contention for the title than just a handful of teams.
September and October will see many more tournaments which feature the top international teams. The performances in these tournaments will provide a good overview of the world rankings.
A special mention to Gambit has to be made. When Gambit won the PGL Krakow Major, there were several analysts who believed that it was due to the limitations of the Swiss format. With the exit of Zeus and Kane from the organization shortly after Gambit was not considered a threat anymore.
However the core group of player still remained the same. We have the firepower of Dosia, Mou still contributing to the same extent on this roster. However the player who had the biggest impact at Malmo was Fitch. Fitch is the latest addition to the Gambit roster.
His entry frags and multiple kills have been extremely strong for the team. The performance of the youngster has brought about a new level in the Gambit performance, which was already very good when Zeus was on the team. Gambit don’t seem to strategically impaired with the loss of Zeus. Their tactics in game look sound and actually quite strong. They are able to execute these tactics with fluency which just shows the amount of hard work that has gone into their game.
The role given for Fitch so far has been to aim and shoot. He said something along similar lines in his interview on HLTV. The newest member of Gambit has managed to do just that with everyone being surprised at the new talent.
Gambit are definitely a very strong team and one that deserves their team rank. If they can continue this form and probably even get better it will not be long before we see them win many more tournaments in the future.
Long Term Project
G2 came into this tournament as a team with a lot of potential, but not many results. The French roster has all the ingredients necessary to win any tournament, however a win has definitely been eluding them. Their journey to the finals was an arduous one. They faced off against EnVyUs in their opening match. The opening match was a very close match with a strong T side saving face for G2.
Somehow G2 have always been the kryptonite to SK Gaming. Despite being almost down and out, they managed to bounce back against SK Gaming and win the series. This series was an extremely exciting match to watch. SK Gaming, the world No 1 team now go with multiple tournaments without a finals finish.
The player break has definitely made some changes in the CS GO team order. We see the top teams such as Astralis,SK still being dominant in their performances. But the silverware is eluding them for the time being. On the other hand we have new and rising teams such as Gambit, G2 and North constantly pushing the boundaries. With several new tournaments on the horizon, we can expect a closely contested season in the coming months.
Image Courtesy : HLTV.org