Our Guide to FACEIT Major Pick’em Challenge

September 3, 2018 | 0 | 6279| |

As FACEIT Major London 2018 draws closer, Valve finally enabled the Pick’em mini-game for fans earlier this week. As always, the main goal is to get the gold badge and for this we’ve made this handy guide.

For newbies, we not only have our favorite pickups but also an introduction to the Pick’Em challenge. So, let’s discover what this mini-game is about, and who are our picks for this edition. Remembering that we will be covering the following phases of the tournament at a later date in following articles.

What is the Pick’em Challenge?

The Pick’em Challenge is an official minigame created by Valve for CS:GO Majors. The objective is simple: guess who will be advancing through the stages of the competition. Easier said than done, the gold medal has been a headache to most players.

Before we go any further, let’s check out how it works:

  • The game is split into three stages, just like the Major itself. In the first two, you will pick the teams who will be advancing towards the next stage. In the last one, you will have to build your playoffs bracket in one-go.
  • In the first stage, each correct pick earns you one point. In the second, three points. In the playoffs, a correct quarter-final pick nets you 12 points, the right semifinals pick hand you 10 points and picking the champion rewards 7 points.
  • You’ll be picking 9 teams in the first two stages. One that will advance unbeaten (3 – 0 record), seven who will advance disregarding the record and one that will be eliminated without winning any match (0 – 3).
  • The key to collecting enough points is a Pick’em badge that can be displayed in your profile. As you can see above, there’s the bronze, silver and gold medals, which will be given at 25, 50 and 75 points, respectively.
  • It’s worthy to remember that the first two stages run in the Swiss system format. This means that a team must achieve 3 wins before 3 loses to advance. The 2 – 2 matches are going to be BO3 for the first time and this will be of importance.

How to join?

To join the game, you will need to buy this Major’s stickers. You can go to the Steam Market or purchase them in-game. Valve has also has made available a package containing all teams stickers in Steam for convenience.

After purchasing stickers from the teams that you think that are going to proceed, just open CS:GO and make your picks. If you earned enough points, your badge will be delivered after the Major. Also, you can re-utilize stickers after the phase you decided to use it comes to an end.

Enough said, who are our picks for the New Challengers Stage?

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Our  3–0 Winners

The 3–0 pick is a tricky one. Astralis, the current number one team in the world, are favorites but just as any team, they are susceptible to upsets.

Why we picked the Danes then?

Astralis will be facing compLexity in their first match which shouldn’t be a problem. At the same time, it should be the perfect warmup for them to avoid the aforementioned upsets later.

We have no doubts that Astralis will make to the next stage, and a 3–0 is completely possible. Thus, especially considering who they will be facing in their opening match, we recommend them as your 3–0 pick.

With two teams advancing to the next stage with a 3–0 record, our secondary pick is Liquid. The North Americans are showing to be a strong enough opponent to the likes of Na’Vi. More importantly, they had one extra week to prepare to the tournament.

Although Liquid seems to have found their kryptonite as Astralis, they’re the second-best team in the Challengers stage. Both teams are going to have reasonable initial match-ups and are good picks for the 3–0 category.

The Teams advancing with a 3–1 record

Three teams will follow with a 3–1 record. Below it’s our predictions for this category:

  • North: the second-best Danish team in the competition has shown to be recovered from the downfall they faced earlier this year. MSL’s squad looks renewed with ‘niko’ with is helping the entire team and the chemistry with this squad is better than ever. If aizy keeps playing as he did since the player break, North can even recover their Legend spot.
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas: The Swedes are looking really good as we’re watching them in DHM Stockholm 2018. GeT_RiGhT, the past question mark  of that roster looks really well at the moment and the same goes for his entire team. This won’t be only NiP’s return to the Major, as it has everything to be one of their best runs.
  • BIG: there’s a lot of unknown variables about the majority-German squad of BIG. For better or worse, this makes them an incognita in this tournament. If we can judge their latest performances though, BIG can make big in London. ‘Smooya’ will play an decisive factor in the success of this team.

The Teams advancing with a 3–2 record

Another three teams will be advancing to the next stage. Although those will have to go through more disputed, BO3 matches. Here’s our list:

  • OpTic: although in a slump currently, OpTic potential when unleashed is the one of a top tier team. The team results in their tournaments post the player break aren’t the ones that they wished for sure, but we do believe that they can make it through. As their coach mentioned, the process is a slow one but the results are certain to come. And there’s no better time to see those results than in the Major.
  • TyLoo: the Chinese squad is coming for their first CS:GO Major ever. Although the team results have been mixed, we believe that thanks to their initial matchup, they can proceed to the Legends stage. The Chinese squad lead by BnTeT has shown some promise since the start of this year. Their initial match also will help them to achieve a spot in the following stage.
  • HellRaisers: coming from CIS region, HR has the potential to make a worthy run in London. The initial matchup of this team might be unfavourable but falling to the lower bracket might be the ideal path to them. Coming with the full roster, we’re excited to see what ‘woxic’ and ISSAA, the two stars of this roster can do in the big stage.

As a quick PSA to clear any confusion, there’s no separation in the mini-game about teams going 3 – 1 or 3 – 2. You can see a preview screen of the Pick’em Challenge below to clear any possible doubt:

The 0–3 losers

As previous iterations of the Major circuit, we will be seeing two teams getting eliminated with a 0 – 3 score. And just like previous Pick’em challenges we have to pick one of those as our 0 – 3 squad.

For this category, we have three favorites: Virtus.Pro and Vega Squadron. The first one will be starting their run with a classic matchup between them and NiP. Almost an impossible challenge, VP will be falling to the lower bracket and could face an early elimination.

Team Spirit in the other hand will be opening their first Major ever against Vega Squadron. Both teams are competing for the weakest challenger in this stage along VP. Although Vega has the experience, it has been months since they last played an official match.

Spirit in the other hand has already won over Vega in the past and managed to book decent results lately. Since Spirit will be opening the tournament against Vega, we believe that them will get one win. Thus, Vega will instantly fall to the lower bracket.

Thus, Vega will be our pick for the 0 – 3 category. As we said above though, VP wouldn’t be a bad pick too.

Final Thoughts

This Challengers Stage certainly is more competitive than the previous one and the same could be said for the Pick’Em Challenge. There’s a couple of observations and tips by seasoned players that you may follow or not.

Some players prefer to put the stronger teams in the advancing teams instead of as the 3 – 0 winners. This guarantee them one point regardless if the team get a surprise loss in a possible upset. We have seen this happen in the past Majors.

So, you might put Astralis and Liquid amongst the 7 ones that are advancing regardless of the score. This will guarantee you the score that could be lost thanks to the upset potential.

It’s always a shot in the dark for the 3 – 0 category, so you might want to work out on what is the best tactic in your opinion. Picking the strongest team available like Astralis for the 3 – 0 can work out well, or not.

The FACEIT Major London 2018 will be starting in less than a week!

Ready up your preparations because the next Major is already knocking on the door. September 5th will be the day where the Major will be starting and the Pick’em Challenge for the opening stage will be closing. So, make sure to make your predictions in-game sooner than later. Once the first match start, you can’t make any adjustment to your picks.

Don’t worry if you can’t make the picks for this stage though! You can still get points in the upcoming phases even if you didn’t enter in the first one. Although obvious, this diminish your chances to the gold medal.

And remember to follow us for the next stage predictions!

The author

My name is Marcos, I have been following the CSGO pro scene since 2015 but really got into in following games and pro teams in 2016. Used to bet a lot, stopped a bit but never stopped following the esports scene. I'm a student right now so I got a lot of time to keep with it and discover new things.

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