DreamHack Open Summer preview
DreamHack ZOWIE Open Summer is set to start in less than 48 hours. We have prepared a preview for the eight-team, $100,000 tournament, taking place in Jönköping from June 18-20.
Another DreamHack ZOWIE Open stop is nearly upon us, as eight teams are set to travel to Jönköping tomorrow for the kick-off of the traditional Summer event, this year giving out $100,000.
|Group A||Group B|
|Astralis||Ninjas in Pyjamas|
The eight teams were split into two GSL groups of four, featuring best-of-one's in the initial round and winners' matches and best-of-three's in elimination and deciding matches.
Feel free to delve into the preview we have written up about all teams who will be participating in the tournament from June 18-20:
(past 3 months)
|Nicolai "device" Reedtz||20||1.21|
|Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye||18||1.14|
|Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen||23||1.10|
|Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth||20||1.01|
|Finn "karrigan" Andersen||26||0.91|
After arguably hitting their worst form at DreamHack Masters Malmö and ESL Pro League Season 3 Finals, at both of which they couldn't qualify for playoffs following a loss to an underdog and another elite-level team, the team swapped René "cajunb" Borg for Kjaerbye.
While it's too early to make a solid comparison, so far the change seems to be paying off. Since the addition, Astralis won both of their ECS Season 1 matches (against FaZe and fnatic) in two maps and grabbed first place in ELEAGUE's Group C despite having to field Danny "zonic" Sørensen in most of the round robin.
Combined stats of the 16 maps Kjaerbye has played so far with Astralis
In the 15 maps played for Astralis, Kjaerbye was not only able to out-perform cajunb significantly, he managed to match the numbers of the Danes' best player up to this point, device. That is a great sign going forward, as the powerhouse could from now on be a consistent triple-threat kind of team.
However, their journey to ELEAGUE playoffs wasn't without a few bumps, which appeared especially in the two matches against NRG, both of which went to double digits on all maps, with and without karrigan.
They have SK in their group, a team they've struggled against even with the new lineup, as we saw at ELEAGUE. Although, with the changes in place — Jacob "Pimp" Winneche and Emil "Magisk" Reif missing —, it's extremely unlikely Astralis wouldn't win that match-up comfortably.
If it wasn't for Immortals' massive drop in form over the last few weeks, I'd say it will be tough for Astralis to advance from first place. It likely still will be, as the Brazilians can turn up at any point, and so there's a fair chance of a premature final with Ninjas in Pyjamas.
(past 3 months)
|Henrique "HEN1" Teles||20||1.10|
|Ricardo "boltz" Prass||19||1.09|
|João "felps" Vasconcellos||19||1.05|
|Lucas "LUCAS1" Teles||20||1.00|
|Gustavo "SHOOWTiME" Gonçalves||19||0.89|
Since the Brazilians joined up with Immortals, they have been unable to live up to their name, quite literally.
After finding their way to quite a bit of success in North America as Tempo Storm, placing second at DreamHack Austin and the Americas Minor, HEN1 and company surprisingly bombed out of the ESL One Cologne offline qualifier following a single win and three losses.
The losses included Envy, but also an underwhelming version of TYLOO, and FlipSid3, not the hardest route by any stretch of imagination. The team by many considered one of the favourites in Katowice only won against Empire.
Immortals were a shadow of their former selves in Katowice
Whether or not the disappointment had to do with coach Luís "peacemaker" Tadeu leaving for Liquid is arguable, but the Brazilians were a mere shadow of the Tempo Storm that earned a place in fans' hearts.
It's hard to see them struggle in Jönköping's group stage, where they're facing Astralis, a significantly downgraded SK and ENCE. But if they want to reach the grand final, either by beating the Danish favourites and winning semis against someone other than Ninjas in Pyjamas, or Ninjas in Pyjamas themselves in case of a second place finish in Group A, they'll have to come back to their earlier form.
If they do, everyone will have reason to be cautious of facing the youngest lineup currently residing in the Team Ranking Top 20 (now sitting in ninth place), the two tournament favourites included. The question is, can they?
(past 3 months)
|Valdemar "valde" Bjørn Vangså||21||1.19|
|Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander||21||1.11|
|Andreas "MODDII" Fridh||26||1.01|
|Michael "Friis" Jørgensen||27||0.99|
|Asger "AcilioN" Larsen||19||0.84|
As if that wasn't enough to damage their chances at the event, their best player, Magisk, will not be travelling to Sweden as well due to final exams. SK will be using the services of another ex-CPH Wolves player, valde.
DreamHack Summer will be valde's first big event, as his only previous showing on LAN was at this year's Copenhagen Games BYOC qualifier under an unknown side Krydsild.
ex-CPH Wolves' gla1ve and valde step in in the last minute
He has shown promise in online competition, which is likely why he was able to go up the local ladder and join up with the Wolves in the first place. Whether he'll be able to replicate that performance in his first real test against high-tier teams is up in the air however.
What bodes well for him and the whole team is that there will be zero pressure on SK to perform. They're going in pretty much as a mixteam, likely with low expectations, allowing for a much less stressful environment.
Opponents with such a mindset can always be dangerous, simply because they don't care as much about the result. I definitely wouldn't bet on it being enough to take down either Immortals or Astralis, but it could help them get reasonably close scorelines and even put ENCE in last place.
(past 3 months)
|Aleksi "allu" Jalli||24||1.13|
|Juho "juho" Lampinen||21||1.02|
|Miikka "suNny" Kemppi||21||1.00|
|Mikko "xartE" Välimaa||24||0.87|
|Niko "naSu" Kovanen||26||0.86|
Last but not least in Group A, we have the Finnish professional eSports organization ENCE E-sports, containing... No, I won't go there.
The recent addition of naSu who came in to lead the Finns didn't come to much fruition thus far, though it needs to be said that ENCE unexpectedly reached fourth place at the European Minor, DreamHack Tours.
Shortly after he was brought in, then only as a stand-in, allu's squad managed to defeat GODSENT on three out of four maps in France before losing two series in the playoffs, to Dignitas and HellRaisers.
allu alone won't nearly be enough to get ENCE through to playoffs
As a result of the change, allu also began AWPing full-time again and led his team to a spot at DreamHack Summer in the second closed qualifier.
I don't see that happening just yet, every match in the group stage will be a tough battle, SK included, as mentioned above.
|Ninjas in Pyjamas||Age||Rating
(past 3 months)
|Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg||28||1.12|
|Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund||26||1.12|
|Jacob "pyth" Mourujärvi||22||1.00|
|Richard "Xizt" Landström||25||0.99|
|Adam "friberg" Friberg||24||0.93|
The massively revamped playstyle following the criticized and seemingly small roster change at the brink of 2015 and 2016 truly started paying dividends at DreamHack Masters Malmö, where the Swedes emerged victorious to the delight of their ever-avid fans.
A little over a month later, they fell to the world's best team Luminosity following a three-map series in the semi-finals of ESL Pro League Season 3 Finals and topped the last two months off with a group win at ELEAGUE despite dropping two maps to G2 in the round robin.
NiP are looking to add a second 2016 trophy to their cabinet
That spot was well-earned however, and neither of the four teams surrounding them will be present at DreamHack, making Ninjas in Pyjamas the bigger favourite of the two, combined with the fact that Astralis have been known to struggle against the Swedes.
There's little doubt Ninjas in Pyjamas will make it out of the group stage in first place, but just to play devil's advocate, there are a few factors that could end up costing them. GODSENT were extremely close to making it to the Malmö final over their Swedish comrades, though admittedly they only ever played once and since then, Markus "pronax" Wallsten's team dropped off marginally.
HellRaisers can also be dangerous in a best-of-one scenario, where they can end up on a map like Dust2, which is a good map for Ninjas in Pyjamas, but doesn't allow for the tactical advantage to present itself as significantly.
(past 3 months)
|Tomáš "oskar" Šťastný||24||1.27|
|Martin "STYKO" Styk||20||1.04|
|Vladyslav "bondik" Nechyporchuk||22||1.02|
|Patrik "Zero" Žúdel||17||1.01|
|Kirill "ANGE1" Karasiow||26||0.95|
The Ukrainian-Slovak-Czech mixture was also heartbroken at the Cologne offline qualifier a few days ago, as they were only two rounds away from qualifying for a major for the second time in a row now. As a result, Sergey "lmbt" Bezhanov was relieved of his coaching duties within the team.
Individually, the story in Katowice was somewhat different. oskar was still very much at the top, but this time he got a significant amount of help from STYKO, who especially shone on Nuke against Dignitas when the Czech dropped to an average performance.
STYKO and company are surrounded by Swedes. In Sweden.
Before we get to the elephant in the room, the same problems many experts agree on were still there. When the AWPer didn't turn up against FlipSid3, not even Zero's heroics were enough to save HellRaisers from disappointment.
bondik was initially supposed to bring in more consistency and possibly add another solid performer to the roster, who we've known him to be in FlipSid3, but that wasn't nearly the case in Poland. He posted an underwhelming 0.84 rating and generally disappeared for most of the tournament, aside from the Dignitas match.
(past 3 months)
|Andreas "znajder" Lindberg||23||1.18|
|Simon "twist" Eliasson||21||1.12|
|Jonas "Lekr0" Olofsson||22||1.06|
|Mathias "pauf" Köhler||19||0.97|
|Markus "pronax" Wallsten||24||0.86|
Their European Minor performance a month ago was particularly underwhelming, as after reaching top four at a stacked event many expected GODSENT to be the next big thing in CS:GO.
In Tours they were eliminated in 5th-6th place, losing to ENCE on two occasions in the process. Then they travelled to Kiev for the SL i-League Invitational and somewhat repaired their reputation, but they were inconsistent there as well.
GODSENT have to get rid of the incredible inconsistency to go far
On their way to fourth place, they defeated FlipSid3, lost in an incredibly one-sided fashion to Dobry&Gaming, were close to getting eliminated by a completely new team in Worst Players and ended on a high note by taking Natus Vincere to a narrow series.
(past 3 months)
|Joakim "disco doplan" Gidetun||20||1.15|
|Fredrik "REZ" Sterner||18||1.04|
|William "draken" Sundin||20||1.04|
|Fredrik "freddieb" Buö||22||1.01|
|Jerry "xelos" Råberg||23||0.99|
The team led by xelos don't have much experience but still have a few results to their name, such as a 9th-12th finish at Copenhagen Games, where they almost took out E-frag.net (now Orbit) in groups.
xelos' team may not be as clear underdogs as you'd think
More recently Epsilon attended the European Minor after qualifying over CPH Wolves and GameAgents. Their journey there was quite short, but they still made a good account of themselves, getting to double digits with Dignitas, defeating SK and, once again, getting very close with Orbit, that time on three maps.
For a young, inexperienced team, Epsilon have quite the LAN resumé against a similar tier of competition they'll be facing in the group stage, outside of Ninjas in Pyjamas of course, and so I wouldn't count them out just yet.
Their statistically best player, disco doplan, hasn't impressed many at the Minor though, and instead it was the AWPer leading the way in Tours. If disco doplan can at least come close to some of his performances online, Epsilon will be a force to be reckoned with in Group B and overall at DreamHack Summer.
You can follow HLTV.org's Milan "Striker" Švejda on Twitter