myDGB.net2LDLC.com1EventMaps / statsnuke_se (1:16)mirage_go (16:11)train_se (16:3)OtherNo demo - Matchpage
The group stage for DreamHack Summer 2012 has finished and we are now down to just Virtus.pro, ESC Gaming, fnatic and Natus Vincere fighting for the championship title today.
As promised earlier, this preview goes over the matchups in the semi-finals of Virtus.pro versus Natus Vincere and fnatic against ESC Gaming which are both scheduled to take place at 10:00.
DreamHack uses an odd schedule due to only showing the first map of the grand final on the main stage that will cause a break to happen in the middle of the match as seen below in the schedule:
|10:00||ESC Gaming||vs. fnatic||Bo3|
|10:00||Natus Vincere||vs. Virtus.pro||Bo3|
|13:00||First map of the grand final|
|15:00||Rest of the grand final|
First part of this preview will talk about each semi-final match up individually before glancing at the possible grand final match ups and potential outcomes of them. Remember that DreamHack will not host a third place decider.
fnatic vs. ESC Gaming
fnatic has continued impressive form for over two months now and it has continued at DreamHack where the organization finally scored its first win over SK Gaming since the loss of Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg and Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund. I don't want to draw too many conclusions over Na`Vi's de_mirage match because the loser got to play an opponent that on paper looks weaker and I don't think the map is very strong for Na`Vi, so playoffs will be a better indicator for the Ukrainians. fnatic are still in top shape, and they have yet to be stopped but at the same time it seems clear SK Gaming wasn't in great shape which takes away some of the credit from the win.
ESC Gaming practiced hard for DreamHack and secured a second place in the tough group with wins over WinFakt and SK Gaming and a surprising loss versus Virtus.pro. Statistically you have to write off the loss as a discrepency so to me it seems like Filip "NEO" Kubski and company are in good shape. They had a close game against fnatic in Copenhagen where arguments caused major issues and again in fnatic PLAY league 2012 a month ago. While all top teams generally improve in the playoffs, I think ESC Gaming along with the Ukrainian giants are the ones that probably benefit the most from the added pressure in elimination games. If they continue playing well, it is anyone's series.
I think these two teams play a similar, simple and direct type of Counter-Strike which makes it interesting to watch as anything can happen - neither team plays overly slow trying to read what the other team is doing and it makes for spectator friendly games. fnatic definitely has a slight psychological edge with this lineup over ESC at this point but it will help fnatic more than it will hurt the Poles in my opinion, as they have learned to not over think that in the pat six years. Neither team has an especially strong tactical side to their game but in this series they cancel each other out advantage wise.
On an individual level fnatic has an advantage overall because they have five skilled players while ESC Gaming has most of their skilled split between two and sometimes three guys, but at the same time Kubski is by far the best player on the server when the two teams meet and can change the outcomes of games by himself, which he has done before. Worth noting is that the events where ESC does well are usually ones where Jarosław "pasha" Jarząbkowski plays well and takes pressure off of Kubski and Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas while the others clean up.
Map wise the Poles tend to avoid de_inferno and de_forge which will both get removed in this series. The team donning black and orange haven't played de_forge at all but have played all other six maps, which include two head-to-head losses against ESC on de_train, a win on de_inferno and two wins on de_dust2. ESC Gaming actually hasn't had a single win on de_dust2 over a top team in 2012 so while they like the map, I would actually remove it because they should know fnatic will most likely remove de_forge as their only choice, and if not, ESC has already played its old version together at e-Stars and at least are familiar with it. On the contrary their only loss on de_train in 2012 was at Intel Core Challenge versus SK Gaming, so fnatic should look into removing that. Out of the other maps, I think de_tuscan is fairly even while I'd give fnatic a slight edge and de_nuke would be a slight edge for ESC. I think fnatic are also favorites on de_mirage, which causes trouble for Wojtas' team as they are underdogs on more maps than not.
While I think ESC Gaming have more potential as a team, I think fnatic is a slight favorite going into this match because they have shown a consistent level of play that has been higher than that of ESC's in the recent months and events. Either team can win and it should be an entertaining series, but I do secretly wish for another Na`Vi versus ESC Gaming grand final. However, if I had to put my money on the line, I would go with fnatic this time.
Prediction: fnatic > ESC Gaming 2-1
Natus Vincere vs. Virtus.pro
Natus Vincere has been the most consistent team in 2012 and in my opinion are still the best team in the world until proven otherwise. While they lost against fnatic on de_mirage, they scored promising wins in their other two matches and seem to be in pretty good shape as indicated by their more than usual practice heading into this event Yegor "markeloff" Markelov's interview on our site stating they are not in Jönköping for the money, only to win. They are yet to be truly tested at DreamHack because losing against fnatic happened on a weak map for them and actually offered them an easier route in the bracket so as usual we have to wait until the playoffs begin to see their true form.
Virtus.pro has surprised everyone including most likely themselves because even if Aleksey "LeX" Kolesnikov knew they could do this well, he is smart enough to know he couldn't still predict everything to go right and it to actually happen. Their results online have been mixed but on LAN they won the Skopje CS Masters and now played great in the group stages which boosted their confidence without a doubt. Natus Vincere probably doesn't enjoy playing other CIS teams who are more familiar with them while I think Kolesnikov has always enjoyed the battles within his region.
The Ukrainian side tends to play smart, slow and calculated Counter-Strike where they minimize risks by playing slowly and try to make aggressive moves at the right times to surprise their opponents. I haven't gotten a chance to watch this Virtus.pro lineup play so I can't comment too much on their style but if it's at all like before, their lineup will also play slow but it won't have the same chemistry or team work as the Na`Vi team that has been together for over two and a half years now. Overall Na`Vi has an edge here and Virtus.pro will likely try to cause an upset by surprising their opposition.
Individually there is no question that Natus Vincere is more talented than Virtus.pro but former DTS members Emil "kucher" Akhundov Alexey "xaoc" Kucherov have experienced in taking down their fellow countrymen before so I wouldn't rule out the possibility if then stars align and Virtus has another great day of Counter-Strike. Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev didn't amaze during the group stage but he has often stepped it up in the tough games and Na`Vi will expect him and Markelov to put up big numbers on their way to a possible DreamHack championship.
Virtus.pro has not played de_mirage or de_forge at all in matches with this new lineup and will likely stick to the old familar maps that Kolesnikov and Dmitry "hooch" Bogdanov have played together for years. Na`Vi will not play de_nuke and I would guess de_mirage if they don't think the Russians will remove it, but otherwise they might remove de_inferno as Virtus beat ESC easily on it and Na`Vi have looked better overall on de_tuscan, de_train and de_dust2.
Overall based on all the facts it would be impossible to predict Virtus.pro to defeat Na`Vi in the semi-finals but that is the beauty of upsets; they wouldn't be upsets if they were predictable. I think Virtus.pro has a legitimate chance of scoring a map especially if they end up playing de_inferno, but I think they will probably run out of fuel before the end of an entire series. Regardless, it will be a strong showing for Kolesnikov and company which they should be proud of.
Prediction: Na`Vi > Virtus.pro 2-0
Possible grand final scenarios
The most interesting and hyped up grand final would be ESC Gaming against Natus Vincere as it would pit two of the all time great teams against each other once more in the grand final where both teams' star players always excel. I think fnatic has such a big fan base that overall it wouldn't make a big difference in following if they were to qualify for the grand final against Natus Vincere instead, but as someone who really values longevity and history in our game I would really enjoy to see ESC meet Na`Vi tomorrow.
While Virtus.pro certainly could beat Natus Vincere, I don't think it will happen and as a result won't talk about the possibility. I think the Russian squad is an underdog against both Na`Vi and either team from the other semi-final, so even if they beat their CIS opposition it would be even more likely - but not impossible - for Kolesnikov to bring home two upset best-of-three victories.
I think Na`Vi actually is a favorite against fnatic in a possible grand final regardless of their result at Copenhagen Games and the group stage match at DreamHack. It would be an interesting match to see from a strategic point of view as the Ukrainians have always been good at studying other teams and making adjustments at the helm of Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko and I can only hope for them that Sergey "starix" Ischuk has continued that trend.
As I said in my preview regarding the final day of Intel Extreme Masters 6 World Championship, I think at this point it's time to just enjoy the playoffs at DreamHack regardless of who advances from the semi-finals. I have listed my predictions for different matchups below for those interested:
ESC > Virtus.pro 2-1
ESC < Natus Vincere 1-2
fnatic < Natus Vincere 1-2
fnatic > Virtus.pro 2-0
Tune in today as the action kicks off at 10:00 in Jönköping, Sweden where HLTV.org is on-site to provide you with full coverage of DreamHack Summer 2012.
Follow HLTv.org's @lurppis_ on Twitter.
Na`Vi's wins: 10 maps, 10 in playoffs/while contending for the title (Arbalet BO4)
16-13 vs fnatic (IEM4 WC grand final)
16-14 vs fnatic (IEM4 WC grand final)
26-4 vs fnatic (Arbalet BO4)
17-13 vs fnatic (Arbalet BO4)
16-12 vs fnatic (Arbalet Cup Europe final)
16-12 vs fnatic (ESWC quarter-final)
16-1 vs fnatic (ESWC quarter-final)
14-16 vs fnatic (IEM Shanghai)
16-8 vs fnatic (DreamHack quarter-final)
16-13 vs fnatic (DreamHack quarter-final)
fnatic's wins: 10 maps, 6 in playoffs/while contending for title, 3 in Arbalet BO4 where Na`Vi already won the event and fnatic was already third no matter.
16-14 vs KerchNET (IEM4 Europe group stage)
19-11 vs Na`Vi (Arbalet BO4)
17-13 vs Na`Vi (Arbalet BO4)
17-13 vs Na`Vi (Arbalet BO4)
16-1 vs Na`Vi (Arbalet Cup Europe final)
16-6 vs Na`Vi (Arbalet Cup Europe final)
16-9 vs Na`Vi (GameGune)
21-18 vs Na`Vi (IEM Shanghai)
16-14 vs Na`Vi (IEM Shanghai)
16-9 vs Na`Vi (DreamHack quarter-final)
now with that in mind, we see that in matches where everything was on the line Na`Vi actually outscored fnatic 10-6 and knocked them out of three tournaments as did fnatic, but never as early.
i don't know where you're getting that fnatic won more maps unless our system is missing some events but considering those statistics and the fact that Na`Vi's 2010 was significantly better than fnatic's, it would be hard to make an argument for the Swedes that year.
furthermore, fnatic's first win was against KerchNET which hadn't emerged yet as the Na`Vi squad so including that is questionable and the three Arbalet BO4 wins were completely meaningless. lastly, Na`Vi obviously had a giant weakness at GameGune by being forced to play de_nuke which they never practice - while it's their fault and you can't blame the tournament for it, it also doesn't carry the same weight as other maps.
any counter arguments :D
Post edited 2012-06-18 18:36:41
But everything about you posted is correct, fnatic only managed to win Arbalet Cup Europe Final, Shanghai and GameGune against Na´vi. The matches that mattered anyways.
Btw, i'm not Na'Vi hater.
Post edited 2012-06-18 08:33:18
and i see this
vs SK Gaming
vs Natus Vincere
vs Moscow Five
You guys have already done so much for the community and i think everyone is really thankful for it
I hope that they loose cause mirage and nuke their worst maps :(
ggglhf Na`Vi <3
your work is awesome
Post edited 2012-06-18 09:29:17
Final: Na`Vi vs ESC
I hope for Vp, they need that 3rd place very much! ;) Since they added Xaoc and Kucher they're so fuckin' confident!
Markeloff <3 =D
No chance for other teams.
fnatic VS VP
final FnaticRC vs Na`Vi