DreamHack Open Anaheim preview

As the second DreamHack Open event of the year draws near, we take a look at the form and some storylines of the teams heading into the tournament.

After a short cooling off period from BLAST Premier Spring Series and ahead of a massive brawl at IEM Katowice, eight teams are set to be in action in Anaheim this weekend from February 21-23. Among them are the juggernauts of Complexity, a pair of Brazilian squads in the form of MIBR and FURIA, and the recently-formed Gen.G squad.

With none of the teams in attendance going to Katowice, a victory in Anaheim will be all the more crucial as the champion will secure not only the lion's share of a $100,000 prize pool but also a spot at DreamHack Masters Jönköping, later in the year.

DreamHack Open Anaheim kicks off on Friday

As in the past with DreamHack Open events, the tournament will utilize two GSL groups that will feature best-of-one opening and winners' matches, with the remaining match-ups playing out as best-of-three series. Four teams will advance to the playoffs stage on Sunday, with all three days of the tournament being held at the Anaheim Convention Center. You can find a complete schedule for the tournament by checking out our viewer's guide.

Below you can find how the teams have been split into two groups:

Group A

Andrey "⁠Jerry⁠" Mekhryakov and his men ended 2019 on a high note, winning both DreamHack Open Winter and the ESEA MDL Global Challenge while also qualifying for ESL Pro League. Additional wins over Evil Geniuses and Virtus.pro at EPICENTER put the Russians on the radar as a team to keep an eye on, despite an eventual elimination in the quarter-finals at the hands of Heroic.

forZe look to add another DreamHack Open trophy to their cabinet

Even so, forZe claimed revenge over Marco "⁠Snappi⁠" Pfeiffer's side in the closed qualifier for DreamHack Open Anaheim, trouncing the Danes on Inferno and Nuke after previously defeating Winstrike and CR4ZY. The tournament wins and individual victories helped to push the team up the rankings to No. 12, and they will be looking to build on that success as they enter Group A of DreamHack Anaheim as one of the favorites to make the playoffs.

Lineup Age Rating
BrazilKaike "KSCERATO" Cerato 20 1.10
BrazilYuri "yuurih" Santos 20 1.02
BrazilHenrique "HEN1" Teles 24 0.99
BrazilAndrei "arT" Piovezan 23 0.98
BrazilVinicius "VINI" Figueiredo 20 0.94
Coach
Offline placings in the last three months
Placement Event
3-4th
Champions Cup Finals
5th
cs_summit 5
5-6th
DreamHack Open Winter 2019

FURIA enter DreamHack Anaheim looking to bounce back after a dismal seven-month period that saw the Brazilians slide down the rankings, from a June peak of No.5 all the way down to No.21 heading into this week's tournament.

The ECS Season 7 runners-up were forced to utilize coach Nicholas "⁠guerri⁠" Nogueira in place of Henrique "⁠HEN1⁠" Teles at cs_summit 5, resulting in a fifth-place finish as they were only able to notch wins over MIBR and ex-Virtus.pro. FURIA’s end-of-year campaign at the Champions Cup Finals went slightly better as they reached the semi-finals following wins over TYLOO and Movistar Riders in the group stage, but a lacklustre showing against Spirit sent the team packing without a title to their name in the last three months of the year.

FURIA hope to start 2020 on a high note in Anaheim

FURIA’s outlook failed to improve as 2020 got underway, with the team once again being forced to utilize a stand-in as they took part in the IEM Katowice closed qualifier. With Lucas "⁠LUCAS1⁠" Teles playing in his twin brother's place, FURIA failed to take a map off of Chaos or Gen.G, leaving themselves out of contention for a spot in Poland.

Now, with their full roster reunited, FURIA will look to get off to a strong start in their first offline event of the year — something that is sorely needed for the Brazilian squad and that will rely on Kaike "⁠KSCERATO⁠" Cerato continuing his strong form from the tail end of last year.

Lineup Age Rating
DenmarkMarkus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye 21 1.10
DenmarkMathias "MSL" Lauridsen 25 1.09
DenmarkNicklas "gade" Gade 25 1.07
DenmarkPhilip "aizy" Aistrup 23 1.04
DenmarkRené "cajunb" Borg 30 0.96
Coach
Offline placings in the last three months
Placement Event
5-6th
DreamHack Open Leipzig 2020
1st
DreamHack Open Sevilla 2019
13-16th
ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals

North made up for a last-place finish at the ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals by securing a win at DreamHack Sevilla to close out 2019. Still, the team looked to make improvements to their roster as the new year got underway, bringing back in-game leader Mathias "⁠MSL⁠" Lauridsen after a failed qualifying campaign for IEM Katowice.

MSL's return to North was considered long overdue by many onlookers

With the experienced tactician back in the fold, North showed improvements at DreamHack Leipzig but still could not make it past the group stage as they fell short in the derbies against MAD Lions and Heroic. Heading into Anaheim, MSL’s troops will look to show their worth with more practice time with their captain under their belts and a new coach in the form of Jimmy "⁠Jumpy⁠" Berndtsson, who will have a baptism of fire against forZe.

The Danes may face even more difficult competition should they advance to the playoffs against the likes of Benjamin "⁠blameF⁠" Bremer’s Complexity and the reinvigorated MIBR. Either way, wins over at least some of the squads at the event are crucial for North as the team looks to begin posting results after spending over a month under MSL, especially with the start of ESL Pro League Season 11 nearing.

#52
Lineup Age Rating
SwedenRobin "robiin" Sjögren 25 1.06
United KingdomMax "MiGHTYMAX" Heath 22 0.96
NetherlandsJoey "CRUC1AL" Steusel 23 -
United KingdomKia "Surreal" Man 23 -
United KingdomThomas "Thomas" Utting 22 -
Offline placings in the last three months
Placement Event
1st
ESL Premiership Winter 2019 Finals

Endpoint’s attendance at the event is not without controversy, given that the organization kept their spot at the event despite retaining just one player, Max "⁠MiGHTYMAX⁠" Heath, from the line-up that attended — and won — the ESL Premiership Winter Finals, in late 2019.

Endpoint's odds of surpassing the group stage look slim

The British side have found little success since joining Endpoint, failing to secure a Europe Minor closed qualifier berth despite participating in all four open qualifiers. That was not the last of their mishaps either as they were also knocked out of the FLASHPOINT closed qualifier after suffering losses to Winstrike and Movistar Riders.

Endpoint may take small solace in the fact that their elimination from the qualifiers and despondent results may lead to teams underrating them heading into Anaheim, but with many of the squads in attendance being well known for their preparation, the chances of Kia "⁠Surreal⁠" Man and company getting out of the group are quite slim.

Group B

Lineup Age Rating
FinlandAleksi "allu" Jalli 27 1.06
FinlandMiikka "suNny" Kemppi 25 1.05
FinlandJere "sergej" Salo 17 0.98
FinlandSami "xseveN" Laasanen 25 0.95
FinlandJani "Aerial" Jussila 26 0.95
Coach
Offline placings in the last three months
Placement Event
7-8th
ICE Challenge 2020
3-4th
Champions Cup Finals

ENCE enter DreamHack Open Anaheim with the goal to showcase their "new approach" to the game, an objective coach Slaava "⁠Twista⁠" Räsänen pointed towards after the Finnish side's last-place finish at ICE Challenge. ENCE will need to display that approach and much more, given their fall from grace after the removal of Aleksi "⁠Aleksib⁠" Virolainen, and the length of time that their downward trajectory has lasted.

ENCE are in dire need of sergej to return to his old form

A key part of ENCE's downfall since the removal of Aleksib has been the steep decline in performance of 17-year-old star Jere "⁠sergej⁠" Salo, alongside their lack of cohesion in the server. During the first nine months of 2019, sergej averaged a 1.15 LAN rating, but since Aleksib's removal that number has dropped to 1.02. With the likes of Complexity, forZe, and MIBR in contention for the title, ENCE will have to hope that their new approach pays off in spades and that their players step up in turn as they look to make up for a less than ideal start to the year.

Lineup Age Rating
BrazilGabriel "FalleN" Toledo 28 1.01
BrazilFernando "fer" Alvarenga 28 1.00
ArgentinaIgnacio "meyern" Meyer 17 0.95
BrazilEpitacio "TACO" de Melo 25 0.94
BrazilVito "kNgV-" Giuseppe 27 0.94
Coach
Offline placings in the last three months
Placement Event
10-12th
BLAST Premier Spring Series 2020
6th
cs_summit 5
9-12th
ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals
5-6th
ECS Season 8 Finals

MIBR are no strangers to qualifier woes: after falling to Cloud9 in the grand finals of the IEM Katowice closed qualifier, Gabriel "⁠FalleN⁠" Toledo and Fernando "⁠fer⁠" Alvarenga were left facing the realization that they would miss the event in Poland for the first time since they achieved a top-eight placement in 2015. Attending DreamHack Anaheim gives the Brazilians a chance to redeem themselves, especially coming off the back of a last-place finish in their group at BLAST Premier.

MIBR looked an improved side against Liquid at BLAST, but ultimately found no success

Not all is lost for FalleN's charges, however, as their practice with Ignacio "⁠meyern⁠" Meyer initially looked to be paying off in their series against Liquid in London. MIBR’s 0-2 loss to the North American squad was in part down to a number of late-round scenarios and clutch situations going the way of Liquid on Vertigo, leaving MIBR to drop the map despite holding consistent advantages throughout. A lacklustre showing against NiP left MIBR with much to reflect on after they returned from their trip to London, with the team now looking to show that they have made the necessary adjustments to their game as they head into Anaheim.

Lineup Age Rating
BulgariaValentin "poizon" Vasilev 21 1.17
United StatesWilliam "RUSH" Wierzba 25 1.16
United StatesOwen "oBo" Schlatter 16 1.07
DenmarkBenjamin "blameF" Bremer 22 1.02
DenmarkKristian "k0nfig" Wienecke 22 0.99
Coach
Offline placings in the last three months
Placement Event
4-6th
BLAST Premier Spring Series 2020

Complexity are the hottest prospect out of the teams heading into DreamHack Anaheim, with the blameF-led roster having impressed on its LAN debut at BLAST Premier after picking up 2-0 victories over Astralis and Vitality. However, their dismal online form, which most recently resulted in three failed attempts to claim a spot in the closed qualifier for the Europe Minor, has sown some doubts as to whether their London run was legitimate or merely the result of teams being unprepared for them.

The juggernaut will need to come out in full force in Anaheim

One thing is for sure, however, and it's that the juggernaut has definitely brushed off some of the "meme" value associated with their roster after the recent LAN results. A crucial aspect to keep an eye on in Anaheim will be the performance of Valentin "⁠poizon⁠" Vasilev, whose stellar AWPing at BLAST was a major factor in helping Complexity prevail over Nicolai "⁠device⁠" Reedtz and Astralis. Should the Bulgarian look to continue his aggressive style of play in Anaheim, the likes of FalleN and Aleksi "⁠allu⁠" Jalli will be prepared, and a test now awaits the European-American mixture as they head up the tougher of the two groups.

A playoff berth is the least that is expected of the squad at the event, with expectations pointing more towards a title victory. A tournament win would come at a much needed time for the team as they look to boost morale ahead of their ESL Pro League appearance next month, especially as they know that they will have to watch IEM Katowice and the entire Major cycle from home.

#51
Lineup Age Rating
IndonesiaHansel "BnTeT" Ferdinand 24 1.12
CanadaDamian "daps" Steele 26 -
United StatesTimothy "autimatic" Ta 23 -
United StatesKenneth "koosta" Suen 23 -
United StatesSam "s0m" Oh 17 -
Coach
No offline placings in the last three months

Gen.G are an exciting prospect as they head into their first offline event of 2020, almost a month after formally welcoming Hansel "⁠BnTeT⁠" Ferdinand. The Indonesian player quickly began putting up numbers for the squad, whom he led to a spot in Anaheim with a 1.39 rating in the closed qualifier. With more practice time under their belts, Gen.G could be a force to be reckoned with.

BnTeT will make his LAN debut with Gen.G in Anaheim

Given that Gen.G have only played five maps since BnTeT's arrival, teams looking to do research on the squad will have little to no background on how Damian "⁠daps⁠" Steele has fit his new star into the system. The Canadian tactician will look to continue adding to an already impressive track record of helping guide teams to success, with DreamHack Anaheim being the first rung on that ladder.

Canada Damian 'daps' Steele
Damian 'daps' Steele
Age:
27
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.87
Maps played:
1023
KPR:
0.58
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.15
Finland Jere 'sergej' Salo
Jere 'sergej' Salo
Age:
18
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
673
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.14
Brazil Kaike 'KSCERATO' Cerato
Kaike 'KSCERATO' Cerato
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.15
Maps played:
682
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.57
APR:
0.13
Argentina Ignacio 'meyern' Meyer
Ignacio 'meyern' Meyer
Age:
18
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
354
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.12
Brazil Nicholas 'guerri' Nogueira
Nicholas 'guerri' Nogueira
Age:
30
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.95
Maps played:
173
KPR:
0.65
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.15
United Kingdom Max 'MiGHTYMAX' Heath
Max 'MiGHTYMAX' Heath
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.90
Maps played:
789
KPR:
0.59
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.13
Finland Aleksi 'Aleksib' Virolainen
Aleksi 'Aleksib' Virolainen
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.98
Maps played:
826
KPR:
0.66
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.17
Sweden Jimmy 'Jumpy' Berndtsson
Jimmy 'Jumpy' Berndtsson
Age:
34
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.83
Maps played:
175
KPR:
0.56
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.14
Denmark Marco 'Snappi' Pfeiffer
Marco 'Snappi' Pfeiffer
Age:
30
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.97
Maps played:
1268
KPR:
0.66
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.13
Indonesia Hansel 'BnTeT' Ferdinand
Hansel 'BnTeT' Ferdinand
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.17
Maps played:
874
KPR:
0.78
DPR:
0.62
APR:
0.15
Bulgaria Valentin 'poizon' Vasilev
Valentin 'poizon' Vasilev
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.13
Maps played:
920
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.63
APR:
0.12
Russia Andrey 'Jerry' Mekhryakov
Andrey 'Jerry' Mekhryakov
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
1122
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.14
Brazil Gabriel 'FalleN' Toledo
Gabriel 'FalleN' Toledo
Age:
29
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
1346
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.60
APR:
0.11
Denmark Nicolai 'device' Reedtz
Nicolai 'device' Reedtz
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.17
Maps played:
1625
KPR:
0.78
DPR:
0.62
APR:
0.13
Finland Slaava 'Twista' Räsänen
Slaava 'Twista' Räsänen
Age:
33
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.85
Maps played:
380
KPR:
0.59
DPR:
0.70
APR:
0.16
Brazil Fernando 'fer' Alvarenga
Fernando 'fer' Alvarenga
Age:
29
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1328
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.15
Denmark Mathias 'MSL' Lauridsen
Mathias 'MSL' Lauridsen
Age:
26
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.92
Maps played:
1701
KPR:
0.65
DPR:
0.72
APR:
0.15
Brazil Henrique 'HEN1' Teles
Henrique 'HEN1' Teles
Age:
25
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.11
Maps played:
978
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.58
APR:
0.12
Brazil Lucas 'LUCAS1' Teles
Lucas 'LUCAS1' Teles
Age:
25
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.97
Maps played:
883
KPR:
0.66
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.16
Finland Aleksi 'allu' Jalli
Aleksi 'allu' Jalli
Age:
28
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.10
Maps played:
1539
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.11
United Kingdom Kia 'Surreal' Man
Kia 'Surreal' Man
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.97
Maps played:
1133
KPR:
0.66
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.13
Denmark Benjamin 'blameF' Bremer
Benjamin 'blameF' Bremer
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.16
Maps played:
591
KPR:
0.77
DPR:
0.60
APR:
0.15
cool
2020-02-20 19:08
2 replies
#11
OK | 
Peru BIG_FAN
MIBR XDD
2020-02-20 19:28
1 reply
LUL
2020-02-20 19:29
#2
 | 
Sweden Trkmag
Ez4ence
2020-02-20 19:08
1 reply
Fun4ence, but still out in last (well maybe not, there's still mibr in their group).
2020-02-20 21:57
nice
2020-02-20 19:08
nice, gl to the teams!
2020-02-20 19:09
#5
 | 
Norway Wr8th
very nice
2020-02-20 19:09
Nice
2020-02-20 19:09
#7
 | 
Finland XARTEGoD
nice ez4ence
2020-02-20 19:10
#8
 | 
Iraq remind00
wc3 on Anaheim Pogggggggggggggggggggg
2020-02-20 19:13
EZ tourney for forZe Just light train before EPL 11
2020-02-20 19:15
Group A forze, Furia Group B Gen.g Complexity
2020-02-20 19:16
#13
 | 
Russia ToughGuy
looks like forze, complexity are favourites
2020-02-20 19:38
2 replies
#17
 | 
Turkey ColdZer00
I am agree with you. You have nice game sense dude!
2020-02-20 21:42
#25
 | 
Spain N0Love
Unless geng suddenly is a good team.... Wait koosta plays on it nevermind then
2020-02-21 08:55
Easy for BnTeT
2020-02-20 19:41
BnTeT will rekt NA teams .
2020-02-20 19:48
#16
 | 
Turkey ColdZer00
This DH winner is gonna be forZe or Complexity.
2020-02-20 21:40
8 replies
i think you miss spelt endpoint
2020-02-20 21:42
7 replies
#20
 | 
Turkey ColdZer00
Omega lul Hard4PremiershipTeam. North has even better chance to win.
2020-02-20 21:45
1 reply
#26
 | 
Spain N0Love
Come on now you went too far mate
2020-02-21 08:53
#28
 | 
Russia AliasNamer
xD
2020-02-21 11:21
#30
 | 
Turkey ColdZer00
Where is Endpoint fan?
2020-02-21 21:00
3 replies
where is big
2020-02-21 21:07
2 replies
#32
 | 
Turkey ColdZer00
BIG has won 1 LAN tournament and will be one of the most ambitious teams who want to win tournaments in this year. Kappa
2020-02-21 21:58
1 reply
big disband check hltv
2020-02-21 21:58
col forZe final
2020-02-20 21:43
EZ Juggernaut
2020-02-20 21:56
#23
mir | 
Russia M13F
LET'S GO FORZE JUST TAKE IT
2020-02-20 23:03
#24
 | 
United States 1nsaneMe
Excited for GenG. Elmapuddy coach 8/8
2020-02-21 02:53
2 replies
#27
 | 
Spain N0Love
Is he still making YT content on top of being coach?
2020-02-21 08:56
1 reply
#29
 | 
United States 1nsaneMe
I guess so
2020-02-21 20:55
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