IEM Shanghai 2018 Semi-Final 2 Preview: NRG vs Gambit

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NRG will hope to reach another final and set up a date with Tyloo as they face Gambit in the second semi-final of IEM Shanghai 2018.

NRG seems to have brushed aside the disappointment of losing out on a spot in the FACEIT Major 2018. The North American organisation secured a spot at StarSeries i-League Season 6 by sweeping the American Qualifier.

Gambit on the other hand, are attending their first event after the addition of Blade as a coach for the CIS side. The legendary IGL will add some much needed structure to Gambit’s game. But, it could have an impact on the free nature of play that Gambit are known for.

Tyloo are waiting to know who among Gambit and NRG will join them in the final of IEM Shanghai 2018. Bntet and co. overcame the threat of Virtus Pro, albeit marginally. We take a closer look at the two teams.

Road To The Semi-Final

NRG defeated 5Power, despite the Chinese organisation putting up a credible fight. The North American stack then invariably struggled against HellRaisers. They dropped Mirage but then managed to gather themselves up to win the two remaining maps.

Key to NRG’s success. (Picture Courtesy – HLTV)

Gambit themselves struggled from the start. BOOT-d[S] shocked them in the opening game. Gambit though, regained composure to sweep Grayhound. The rematch against BOOT-d[S] saw the CIS stack prevail in straight maps, despite a brave performance from the Singaporean organisation.

Potential Map Veto

NRG have continued to ban Dust2 and should follow suit against Gambit as well. Gambit have removed Nuke and Inferno in different fixtures at IEM Shanghai thus far. But, the CIS stack should ban Inferno.

Overpass is a strong suit for both teams, which should make things interesting. NRG are likely to pick Overpass, which could see Gambit lean towards Nuke.

Train is another map both the teams are comfortable with on the server. Thus, we should see Train be the decider, with Gambit more likely to ban Mirage and NRG to remove Cache.

Result

NRG 2-1 Gambit

Unlike NRG, Gambit have a major to prepare for. The addition of Blade is with the view of expanding their playbook. The CIS stack might just be using IEM Shanghai to experiment. NRG though, will be looking to make the final and go for the title.

NRG will be more focused on winning, which should see them edge Gambit on the server. Gambit are still learning newer ways with Blade as a mentor, which will affect their chances to an extent.

If the map veto does pan out similarly to what we have speculated, NRG will have an upper hand solely based on an established playbook.

Unless Gambit spring up a surprise in the map veto, we should see NRG prevail and join Tyloo in the final of IEM Shanghai 2018.


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