Biggest storylines for DreamHack

With DreamHack Winter 2014 set to kick off tomorrow, we quickly go over the biggest storylines surrounding the fourth CS:GO major.

Obviously there are a million things to look out for when the matches go live on Thursday afternoon, but here are some of the most important things to keep in mind.

Remember you can find our full viewer's guide for the event here, and we've been posting a number of interviews with attendees, which are all listed right here.


This year's DreamHack final will be played in an even grander setting


How will the new NiP roster fare?

With so many blaming Robin "Fifflaren" Johansson for NiP's recent struggles, there is obviously an immense amount of pressure currently riding on the new and improved Ninja roster, which added Mikail "Maikelele" Bill on a trial basis earlier this month. The fact that he is on a trial basis can not help Maikelele either, as it makes it even more important that the Swedish AWPer perform well in Jönköping, as it's possible he may not be given another chance.

NiP had a favorable group draw with two - on paper - clearly weaker teams in the form of ESC, and their first round opponents Planetkey Dynamics. Neither team should be overlooked, but there's no question in anyone's mind that Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg's team are the heavy favorites going into either match-up. Richard "Xizt" Landström hasn't led his team to much success against LDLC, and the Swedes are likely to finish second in their group - which is going to make the quarter-finals even harder for them.

Realistically anything but a top four finish would be disappointment for NiP, and even a semi-finals exit wouldn't please all the fans, especially not after the team's strategy advisor Faruk "pita" Pita said he "is sure of NiP's DreamHack win" after the roster change. Still, this team is no stranger to pressure, and should be expected to perform well in Jönköping, despite only having a couple of weeks to practice with its newest addition.

Key player is obviously going to be the formerly world's best player Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund, who has been in somewhat of a slump in recent months. Another factor to consider is that f0rest has a long history of having incredible tournaments on an individual level following roster changes in his teams, so it's likely his motivation has been boosted once again, and we may see a vintage-f0rest performance at DreamHack this week.


Will we see vintage f0rest in action this week? 

 

Can the favorites win it all for the first time?

A year ago VeryGames were favorites with NiP a close second when DreamHack Winter kicked off, yet it was fnatic who came out from the left field to take the first major championship. Four months later the Polish squad of Virtus.pro surprised everyone on their homesoil with a victory in Katowice, and in August it was NiP's turn to win a major, though there was no real favorite going into ESL One Cologne due to results being so mixed in the months leading up to it.

This time fnatic are clear favorites going into the tournament, showing such dominant play at recent events that it almost rivals the 87-0 NiP team in terms of their consistency and how they've at times ridiculed their opponents. In fact, in last night's Counter-Points episode with Duncan "Thorin" Shields, I made the comparison that fnatic to NiP are in CS:GO are the 2008 mTw to 2003 SK.swe in Counter-Strike 1.6. That's how good they are.

Obviously being the favorites means you have the most pressure, everyone eyeing the title will be focusing on you, and you are the most likely to be anti-stratted in key games, especially if you haven't changed your game plan. Further hurting fnatic are the cheating accusations that Robin "flusha" Rönnquist - and even some of his teammates - are facing, which could mess with their concentration leading up to the event. fnatic are currently the best in the world, but will they remain so after DreamHack?


Will flusha's fnatic prevail in Jönköping again?


Was practice all the Americans were missing?

For years lack of practice has been to go-to excuse, or explanation for lack of performance, for nearly every North American team, and neither iBUYPOWER or Cloud9 has been an exception. It also doesn't help their case that every fan has been saying the same thing for years. Well, now Cloud9 has been in Europe for nearly a month straight, bootcamping for majority of it, and it's time to see how much truth that statement holds.

A case has been made in the past that the NA teams' strong performance at ESEA Finals events is linked to the tournaments being much more important to them than their European counterparts, but that argument will now also be removed with everyone surely being at the top of their game for the major. If Cloud9 truly have potential to one day win a major championship, you would expect them to at least make a glorious return to the semi-finals stage, as they did at the inaugural CS:GO major.

For iBUYPOWER the same statement hardly holds as they recently swapped in-game leader Sam "DaZeD" Marine and a versatile player Joshua "steel" Nissan for two youngsters in Derek "desi" Branchen and Nick "nitr0" Cannella, which means they won't truly be ready for this event. Still, they have also been at Inferno Online in Stockholm, and what's more, have apparently done very well in practice, based on our pre-DreamHack interviews. Only time will tell if the North Americans can make a difference this weekend.


Was practice all the North Americans were missing?


Can HellRaisers finally bring it with B1ad3?

HellRaisers have been arguably the most frustrating team to watch since the late Astana Dragons days, following the roster change that brought in Emil "kUcheR" Akhundov in the place of Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev in November last year. They have an incredible amount of individual skill, and therefore clearly visible potential, yet nothing in them is as consistent as their inability to capitalize on it.

Their only impressive result in 2014 has been a top four finish at DreamHack Summer, and even that happened thanks to a best-of-one win over Titan, which resulted in an easy quarter-final match-up against SK. Granted, they put up a very close fight with NiP in the semi-finals - which is why we remember that run in the first place - but once again fell short in the end, as they also did at the previous major where they exited in groups.

Adding youngster Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev has increased the team's skill even more, but most notable has been the team's decision to integrate former dAT in-game leader Andrey "B1ad3" Gorodenskiy as their coach. Based on what I am hearing and the pictures others have posted from the bootcamp, he will be in a very active role on the team, which promises good things for HellRaisers. If he can add some strategy and tactics to their game, we could very well see HR finally live up to its hype - which is only further enlarged by other players in our interviews.


Can B1ad3 make HellRaisers go?


Will new stars emerge?

At the first major a year ago it was the fnatic combination of Jesper "JW" Wecksell and flusha who truly emerged as competitors of the highest caliber. In Katowice the Virtus.pro duo of Paweł "byali" Bieliński and Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski came out of virtually nowhere. Though NiP won in the end, at Cologne fnatic's new members and LDLC proved they can be among the world's best.

As there are once again a number of newcomers and players who haven't yet broken through as stars, it's very likely new stars will emerge at DreamHack Winter this week. Though it's much harder to guess who the stars our, the most obvious suggestions would be Copenhagen Wolves' Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye, one of iBUYPOWER's new members, or one of the players from the teams who are expected to head home early.

It's also possible some players whose ceiling we thought we'd have already seen could elevate their level of play to an even higher ground. Such examples could be Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham, Mike "shroud" Grzesiek or even Nicolai "device" Reedtz, if he were to get over his nerves in big games - pending dignitas' advancement that far. Keep an eye out on new players, as some will almost certainly prove their worth in Jönköping.


Could desi be one of the breakout players of DH Winter?


Will cheating affect this DreamHack?

No story has received as much coverage in the week leading up to DreamHack as the cheating scandal, which started with the VAC ban of Robert "sMN" Fredriksson, and then the bans of Hovik "KQLY" Tovmassian and Gordon "Sf" Giry that ultimately forced their teams, Titan and Epsilon, removed from the tournament due to no longer fielding three players from the team who placed in the top eight at ESL One Cologne.

Since then a so called witch hunt has found a number of potential cheaters in the scene, many self-identified experts have commented on other players, and 99Damage interviewed a supposed expert on cheating. At this point it's hard to know what to believe, but one thing is certain - cheating has been a real problem, and now that we're all aware of it, it's time we figure out a way to battle it, if not put a stop to it.

I mentioned a number of things in my recent article "The lack of supervision at events", and DreamHack's CS:GO admin Robert "LillRobbaN" Jonasson has made sure to implement a number of them, including removing the players' internet access, banning USB memory devices, and forcing players to submit their configs and preferred drivers earlier this week.

Jonasson also told HLTV.org that DreamHack will be taking on a number of other security measures such as not allowing players to have their smartphones with them in the tournament area, as well as others they were not willing to publicly disclose to avoid giving potential cheaters a heads-up. Safe to say the Swedes in charge are doing everything in their power to live up to Tomas "greykarn" Lyckedal's statement, and as a result cheating should not play a part in Jönköping.


Can DreamHack eliminate hacking this week?


DreamHack Winter will kick off tomorrow afternoon with groups A and B starting at 12:00, followed up by groups C and D at 18:30. Playoffs will begin on Friday.

Ukraine Ioann 'Edward' Sukhariev
Ioann 'Edward' Sukhariev
Age:
31
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
1414
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.13
France Gordon 'Sf' Giry
Gordon 'Sf' Giry
Age:
27
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.99
Maps played:
183
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.14
United States Nick 'nitr0' Cannella
Nick 'nitr0' Cannella
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
1207
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.14
Sweden Christopher 'GeT_RiGhT' Alesund
Christopher 'GeT_RiGhT' Alesund
Age:
29
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.10
Maps played:
1611
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.15
Denmark Nicolai 'device' Reedtz
Nicolai 'device' Reedtz
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.17
Maps played:
1403
KPR:
0.79
DPR:
0.62
APR:
0.13
Sweden Robert 'sMN' Fredriksson
Robert 'sMN' Fredriksson
Age:
-
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.00
Maps played:
0
KPR:
0.00
DPR:
0.00
APR:
0.00
Sweden Jesper 'JW' Wecksell
Jesper 'JW' Wecksell
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
1597
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.14
Denmark Markus 'Kjaerbye' Kjærbye
Markus 'Kjaerbye' Kjærbye
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.05
Maps played:
1322
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.15
Poland Paweł 'byali' Bieliński
Paweł 'byali' Bieliński
Age:
25
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
1449
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.14
Sweden Robin 'Fifflaren' Johansson
Robin 'Fifflaren' Johansson
Age:
31
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.94
Maps played:
537
KPR:
0.60
DPR:
0.60
APR:
0.15
Russia Emil 'kUcheR' Akhundov
Emil 'kUcheR' Akhundov
Age:
31
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.97
Maps played:
852
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.15
Sweden Robin 'flusha' Rönnquist
Robin 'flusha' Rönnquist
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
1502
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.18
United States Tyler 'Skadoodle' Latham
Tyler 'Skadoodle' Latham
Age:
26
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
1047
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.59
APR:
0.11
Bosnia and Herzegovina Faruk 'pita' Pita
Faruk 'pita' Pita
Age:
28
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.90
Maps played:
173
KPR:
0.63
DPR:
0.73
APR:
0.15
United States Sam 'DaZeD' Marine
Sam 'DaZeD' Marine
Age:
30
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
170
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.19
Sweden Richard 'Xizt' Landström
Richard 'Xizt' Landström
Age:
28
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
1549
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.17
Canada Joshua 'steel' Nissan
Joshua 'steel' Nissan
Age:
29
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
435
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.70
APR:
0.15
Sweden Mikail 'Maikelele' Bill
Mikail 'Maikelele' Bill
Age:
28
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
956
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.14
Ukraine Andrey 'B1ad3' Gorodenskiy
Andrey 'B1ad3' Gorodenskiy
Age:
33
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.83
Maps played:
899
KPR:
0.58
DPR:
0.73
APR:
0.16
France Hovik 'KQLY' Tovmassian
Hovik 'KQLY' Tovmassian
Age:
29
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
250
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.12
Poland Janusz 'Snax' Pogorzelski
Janusz 'Snax' Pogorzelski
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
1597
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.13
Canada Mike 'shroud' Grzesiek
Mike 'shroud' Grzesiek
Age:
25
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
676
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.14
Sweden Patrik 'f0rest' Lindberg
Patrik 'f0rest' Lindberg
Age:
31
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.12
Maps played:
1620
KPR:
0.77
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.12
Ukraine Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev
Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev
Age:
22
Rating 1.0:
1.23
Maps played:
1060
KPR:
0.85
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.10
United States Derek 'desi' Branchen
Derek 'desi' Branchen
Age:
26
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
349
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.71
APR:
0.13
u wot xdd
2014-11-26 18:20
N1
2014-11-26 18:20
#5
Vietnam hcd 
11 sec cause misclick. FML !!! Will Vaccenning be happen at main stage :))
2014-11-26 18:22
#6
 | 
France -huhu- 
can wait to see if there will be any vacation given :D
2014-11-26 18:20
#7
Finland milA 
Really good coverage of dreamhack so far!
2014-11-26 18:20
najs
2014-11-26 18:20
Biggest story line: Who will get caught?
2014-11-26 18:20
hopefully they clear their inventories before boarding
2014-11-27 01:57
how will flusha and co do after million cheat accusations
2014-11-26 18:21
a
2014-11-26 18:21
We pro wrestling now
2014-11-26 18:21
ayayayyayyayayaya
2014-11-26 18:22
Yes Flusha will prevail. Kappa :D
2014-11-26 18:22
yes you are retarded. no kappa.
2014-11-26 19:52
You
2014-11-26 21:35
vac ban while in game. make it happen volvo
2014-11-26 18:23
Wouldn't happen, but imagine the internet implosion if it did
2014-11-26 19:00
#128
shox | 
Canada dB- 
It happened to Emilio, can't see how it couldn't happen
2014-11-27 01:16
gj lurpp
2014-11-26 18:23
Good Read
2014-11-26 18:23
The biggest story line is flusha at the moment. How I wouldn't wish to be in his shoes when stepping through the door at DHW ahah.. Poor lad.
2014-11-26 18:24
lol how the "news" completely ignore the fact, that flusha and olof ARE cheating (confirmed by pita, shox, koin, etc.) and are allowed to play on dhw. so it cannot be taken for serious, its just like a sports event in north korea :)
2014-11-26 18:24
Where was it "confirmed"?
2014-11-26 18:26
readmore.de/forums/90-esport/78-counter-.. thats koins statement on german -> hltv.org/forum/683508-ko1n-about-flusha-.. translated version vimeo.com/112903459 thats shox's statement as audio and so on..
2014-11-26 18:31
"I can tell with almost 100% accurency" i know that you're from germany, but even you have to understand what the word "confirmed" means, right?
2014-11-26 18:44
You're attempting to use logic on HLTV, good luck with that.
2014-11-26 18:52
well if some1 murdered someone and you find his fingerprints, you also say with 99,99% of not two people having the same finger prints, he goes into jail... theres is no 100% even if he commits, he could be forced to do this, etc
2014-11-26 18:54
#123
AdreN | 
Kazakhstan Aiomie 
Sorry for replying under top comment. I will add 1 case for JW. youtube.com/watch?v=fGPmj9OPXe0 1:20, 10:14. Second is more suspicious. Gif: gfycat.com/PhysicalGlamorousIceblueredto.. I suspect JW is also using same cheat, although he is often reluctant to use it, and seemingly hides it under some other move, like strafe jump(see gif above.) JustWondering, if JWonderchild also uses cheats. Needs more research, i agree, thought there will be(probably)
2014-11-26 22:44
1:20 Did you even look at where he was aiming without x-ray? Or did you just go apeshit about "on model through wall, on model through wall"? 10:14 Are you kidding me? He doesn't fucking know that there is a guy in banana, there is not more to it. You are trying to make something out of nothing, thats not how things work. Send me a demo of you playing and i find more "suspicious" shit than this.
2014-11-27 01:10
Well at this point the only one who can confirm things is Valve handing out a vac ban or if the creator of the cheat would come out and show us and prove that they are using it.
2014-11-26 19:01
Even lurppis twitted about it. And for others (Pimp, shox, sgeares, pita etc.) i though that you heard.
2014-11-26 18:42
Well all these pros and ex-pros are basically saying the same thing as the normal hltv user, which you dont seem to take in consideration, just because it comes from a known personality.
2014-11-26 19:03
Well, consider this like public OW system :)
2014-11-26 19:04
wow, a sane hltv mod that is not lurppisstruck, kudos to you, sir !
2014-11-26 21:41
dont forget it was also confirmed by meastw, nerdyhltvuser1, virginforlyfe69 and many other people that we all trust!?!!
2014-11-26 18:33
Another one that does not know what "confirmed" means...
2014-11-26 19:05
why are you people so stupid?
2014-11-26 19:45
#129
shox | 
Canada dB- 
that's not CONFIRMED at all, it is only SPECULATED by people, you have no idea what you're talking about my deutsch friend
2014-11-27 01:17
ez $$$ for cheaters
2014-11-26 18:24
Welp, Fnatic cheats. that is all
2014-11-26 18:25
nice read
2014-11-26 18:25
"With so many blaming Robin "Fifflaren" Johansson for NiP's recent struggles" Psychiotic behavior, I'd be worried you know. n1 tho
2014-11-26 18:26
I blame him, sometimes. Not recently tho. Whole team is struggling. I hope maikelele will be able to hit more than fiff and help them get something after to many loses in group stages/early stages of tourneys.
2014-11-26 19:54
#28
 | 
Austria db42 
inb4 4 fnatic players get vacced in groups, rest in pieces
2014-11-26 18:28
GG fnatic will lose no cheats Kappa
2014-11-26 18:29
I wonder if Flusha is going to call in sick :D
2014-11-26 18:29
n1
2014-11-26 18:29
Did lurpis just praised nip *_* !
2014-11-26 18:32
They don't have fifflaren anymore so no reason to hate them :D
2014-11-26 18:50
if fnatic win...
2014-11-26 18:33
davaj
2014-11-26 18:34
inb4 Dignitas DH Winter 2014 Champions.
2014-11-26 18:35
ROFL, a guy who is cheating and who should be banned for that is decribed as someone who can be under pressure. That's a f*** joke for me in 2014.
2014-11-26 18:35
Where at DH will they play the final?
2014-11-26 18:36
good article, I'm extremely happy that despite the cheating BS, I no longer have to carry a worry on my shoulders and watch the event with relief. Thank god, DHW saved. However, going offtopic a bit, post DHW, Valve really needs to step and ban likes such as flusha, the evidence is beyond belief that this little prick is cheating. I hope he gets whats coming to him, and everyone else for that matter. #SaveCSGO
2014-11-26 18:36
hope somebody gets vacation mid match :D
2014-11-26 18:38
cheat wont affect that dhw, but there are cheater in here
2014-11-26 18:38
Ban flusha live on DH stage plz :D
2014-11-26 18:40
ESC EZ
2014-11-26 18:40
ban fnatic pls
2014-11-26 18:40
wow! ":D"
2014-11-26 18:41
BAN FNATIC NOW
2014-11-26 18:42
dont think nip are the favourites tbh, but very nice article
2014-11-26 18:43
for the love of fuck lurppis stop mentioning fifflaren in every fucking article. hes not in NiP anymore you sad fuck you got what you wanted hes gone now pls have some respect for once in ur life
2014-11-26 18:43
hope to see flusha olof krimz suck on DHW14 no cheat no win
2014-11-26 18:44
n1
2014-11-26 18:47
I want to see VACBAN on DHW ! Otherwise all respect from this game is gone.
2014-11-26 18:47
k see ya
2014-11-26 18:52
When players bringing their own mice and keyboard, there will always be a chance for someone to cheat.
2014-11-26 18:56
Fnatic won't get banned and won't get beaten. Who the fuck is gonna beat anyone from fnatic ? A bunch of nerds ? Pasza ? Let's get real, pasza doesn't even know how to kick. He's got big biceps and that's it. Probably can't even land a proper hit without hurting his hand. Fnatic will win and they'll have to deal with it, unless any members of fnatic get banned live.(as I said, won't happen)
2014-11-26 18:58
its glad to hear that they doing everything to avoid cheating, but i think its impossible ;p
2014-11-26 18:59
Good stuff again lurppis!
2014-11-26 19:05
"...on the new and improved Ninja roster." so far i haven`t seen any improvement, but somehow lurpis did.
2014-11-26 19:06
The roster did improve, Maikelele is better than Fifflaaren without a doubt.
2014-11-26 20:25
Im pretty sure that NiP will be No1 again P.S. I will miss ScreaM :(
2014-11-26 19:07
You can't really say Fifflaren was brining NiP down, when we now know he was the only one playing legit.
2014-11-26 19:16
Dreamhack can only dream about taking out the hacking from dreamhack. Huehuehuehuehue
2014-11-26 19:32
rip fnatic
2014-11-26 19:33
Good shit.
2014-11-26 19:34
fucking hacking shits.
2014-11-26 19:36
Biggest story: fnatic not ashamed of attending with two cheaters.
2014-11-26 19:37
I will laugh my ass off if fnatic loses all their maps now because they turned it off ;)
2014-11-26 19:54
really the only story going in is the cheating.
2014-11-26 19:59
Will flusha's cheaterino prevail in Jönköping again?
2014-11-26 20:13
Flusha_cheaterino_cheaterino
2014-11-26 20:59
Fnatic best CHEATER TEAM alive ! I hope someone beat the shit out of these cheaters..
2014-11-26 21:24
inb4 DHW 2015 news: -fnatic cheated to win in the finals, defeating LGB, that, unfortunately, couldn't afford the best coder -flusha called a new God: 'Hey there people. My nams is Flusha. I was given an amazing skill of aim-lock! Bless you all, I'm legit, no cheaterino!' -jw eaten by pasha - 'lack of protein is no good my friend, no good! biceps is always with you, rip piggy!' -gaben buying his brand new ferrari, nothing new here -KQLY comes back in da hood as there's a competition between the cheaters -if you can't reach the top, then hack~emilio's sentence becomes a new motto for all new, young hackers no kapparino here my friends
2014-11-26 21:25
ban pls
2014-11-26 21:26
I don't care about this lurppis. This is joke. No one semes to care now days about cheaters. Hope you enjoy your major kids... GL Flisha. Steal more money
2014-11-26 21:37
Hype is real
2014-11-26 21:39
#122
 | 
Latvia Ke]R[4u 
former dAT in-game leader _ he is still igl in dAT, nothing changed, this coaching is only for dhw
2014-11-26 21:57
Get it Right . Dreamhack Winter is in?
2014-11-26 23:19
Looking foward to this. Tired of hearing about cheat and witch hunting already
2014-11-27 00:05
#130
 | 
Belarus Starvoid 
fnatic will suck big dick without of cheats
2014-11-27 01:32
Hats off to LilRobban - he's a great guy and doing a lot for CSGO. Needs more recognition IMO.
2014-11-27 03:43
now anyone who sucks will be flamed on hltv for hax lol
2014-11-27 05:35
How fun.
2014-11-27 08:13
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