Overpower #2 – Team Empire vs. Gambit Esports odds&predictions

Tournament briefing

The Dota 2 OverPower Cup is an all about battle between eight teams that have been directly invited from the European and CIS region.

Overpower #2 is the second event organised by ProDota, a UK based esports organisation that aims to take a leading position in the scene with their team, ProDota Gaming.

The tournament is streamed by MoonduckTV, as well as Dota2ruhub, on Twitch.tv.

Format

The tournament features a single elimination bracket contest with best-of-three matches and a best-of-five Grand Final.
Eight directly invited teams will fight for a piece of the $3.000 prize pool, a prize slightly below last editions $5.000 one.

 

Team Empire

Team Empire had a fantastic run through this tournament, trampling over every opponent they faced reaching the Grand Finals with a superb winning streak of 6-0.
On top of this, Team Empire has recently emerged in the second place in The International 7 Regional Qualifiers breaking the points tie with another stampede in the Playoffs.
The CIS Squad is on top of their game this time around, scoring one flawless victory over another with only two small exceptions.
Their shock and awe tactics are paying off in this current meta, putting pressure where it counts and getting the kills and objectives that matter, with little resistance.
Right now, Team Empire are the true masters of the CIS aggressive playstyle, so opponents beware, as Team Empire will be fighting at full strength in this match up.

Gambit Esports

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Gambit Esports recently stepped into the Dota 2 scene after, although their LoL and CS:GO squads make them no strangers to the esports scene.
Gambit Esports Dota 2 division consists the full roster of Thug Life, which was signed on the 27th of March, this year.
Since then, the team kept on climbing the tier two ranking at a rapid pace, defeating teams such as PENTA Esports, Team Singularity and even a more experienced teams such as Vega Squadron.
Being a CIS based team, their strats revolve around aggressive engagements and snowball heroes that can stomp their opposition, a tactic that they managed to pull off more often than not, making them powerful contenders within the regional scene.
Gambit Esports could very well be the next big team within the tier two squads, but there is still a long way towards that goal. For now, Gambit Esports will be deploying its full squad for the upcoming match.

SAE Dota League Germany Season 2 – Team Saphira.TV vs. PENTA Sports odds&predictions

Tournament briefing

The SAE Dota League Germany is a local Dota 2 league, featuring a €10,000 prize pool each season, with three seasons taking place in 2017.

Format

The tournament features a double-elimination bracket with Best-of-Two matches. Each match won will net the winning team €30, with an additional €6,040 split among the top three teams, totalling €10,000 EUR.

Today’s match predictions – Team Saphira.TV vs PENTA Sports

This match will start in 4 weeks due to the ongoing The International event. Even so, it’s nice to see new names climbing the European ladder and new tournaments taking the spotlight for a while.
Today we will be discussing the match-up between PENTA Sports, of whom we have discussed in the previous article and Team Saphira.TV whom we have seen in the TI Open Qualifiers a few days back.

Team Saphira.TV

Team Saphira is a German squad that emerged almost one month ago, playing in the 19th season of StarLadder Pro Series.
Since then, Saphira has competed in the ProDota tournament and, recently, in The International  7 Open Qualifiers.
Team Saphira’s run at TI was riddled with failures and shortcomings and after three consecutive attempts, Team Saphira’s dream of scoring a spot in the Regional  Qualifiers was over.
Although they would go on and win their very first match-ups in each Open Qualifier set, the next match would always in a defeat. They even had a run in with Alliance that ended in a crushing defeat for the German squad.
Team Saphira has much to learn, yet, as their play style is quite disorganised and chaotic.
Sudden engagements make the players scatter and fend for themselves, disregarding target priorities and even positioning, and, ultimately, leading to crushing defeats or uneven trades.  At times, we can see a method to their madness, but that is far from enough when talking about a serious esports team. We are certain of one thing, though: Team Saphira will be playing with a full roster in this match-up.

PENTA Sports

PENTA Sports continues to climb the ranks, although at a much slower pace than last time.  Recently, after a series of lost matches, PENTA managed to snatch a victory from Danish Bears at the ProDota Cup #19 tournament.
Additionally,  we must consider that the European team came 6th in The International 7 Regional Qualifiers being one place away from qualifying.
Even so, we believe that PENTA has all the chances of becoming a strong presence in Dota 2.
In drafting, we’ve seen Blazemons strong plays as Lina and as a mid player, while also not shying away from position one. Another player that is worth keeping an eye on is Bugi, who acts as a pivot in teamfights due to his preference for AoE crowd control heroes such as Tidehunter and Earthshaker.
While they still have much to learn, we believe that PENTA Sports has many of the qualities needed to become a top-tier team.

Wellplay Invitational #8 – Cyber Anji vs. PENTA Sports odds&predictions

Tournament briefing

WellPlay Invitational returns for its 8th season! As always, 7 invited teams and one qualified team will compete for the first place and $3.000 prize pool.

Format

The tournament features a double-elimination bracket with Best-of-Three matches and a Best-of-Five Grand Final!

Seven teams were directly invited and the final team emerged after a successful run through the Close Qualifiers. The Close Qualifiers were a single-elimination bracket, with Best-of-Three matches, that hosted the battle of another set of 8 invited teams.

Today’s match predictions – Grand Finals: Cyber Anji vs. PENTA Sports

The final countdown has started! The Wellplay Invitational #8 Grand Finals draw near as Cyber Anji and PENTA Sports pull out their biggest guns and best strategies in an attempt to secure the grand prize and the title of ultimate victors! Who will win? Let’s find out in today’s predictions!

Cyber Anji

If the name Anji rings a bell it might because Cyber Anji is the esports division of the Russian football team FC Anji. The Russian squad entered the Dota 2 scene back in February and since then they have had a rather shy presence within the esports scene.
Although shy, it was successful within its tier as Cyber Anji managed to win 19 games and only lose 8 through these past months. Only las month Cyber Anji closed the monthly record with 11 victories only 2 defeats.
The team suffered a series of roster changes, changes that still affect the stability of the roles within the team. For example, we’ve seen Chuvash hover around the support role, but also going Kunkka core, with yoky also swapping roles.
Their drafts are also very volatile at the moment, with only some clear preferences, but most of the drafts tend to be on the fly QoP, a Terrorblade and a Lone Druid, every now and then.
While the squad is highly unpredictable, we can be certain of their line-up, as Cyber Anji will be playing with the complete squad.

PENTA Sports

PENTA Sports is also something of a newcomer in the Dota 2 scene, as the team officially came into being, back in January 2017. After a series of roster shake-ups, PENTA Sports started making the rounds within the Tier 2 teams winning matches on a roll.
As of today, PENTA Sports are on a win streak after defeating ProDota, Danish Bears, Effect and Double Dimension. Looking further back, PENTA has a positive track record with 23 victories and 11 defeats, meaning that PENTA has all the chances of further climbing the ranks and even clashing with more well-known teams. In drafting, we’ve seen Blazemon strong plays as Lina and as a mid player, while also not shying away from position one. Another player to keep an eye on is Bugi, who acts as a pivot in teamfights due to his preference for AoE crowd control heroes suchas Tidehunter or Earthshaker.

 

Galaxy Battles – Qualifiers: Team Empire vs. Mousesports odds&predictions

Tournament briefing

In a galaxy not so far away… the National Electronic Sports Open and NEOTV have joined forces to host a new tournament. Galaxy Battles is an 8-team tournament set take place at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Centre Stadium, Shenzhen, China between 16th and 18th of June 2017.

Format

Four invited teams and four qualifiers will battle for $150,000 USD. The round robin group stage matches will be held on 14th and 15th of June 2017 and double-elimination playoffs will be held between the 16th and 18th of June 2017.

  • Group stage
    • Two groups of four
    • Round robin
    • Match format is best-of-two
    • Group stage determines the seedinf for playoffs
  • Playoffs
    • Double-elimination
    • All matches besides grand final are best-of-three
    • Grand final is best-of-five

Today’s match predictions – EU Qualifiers: Team Empire vs. Mousesports

 

The European Qualifiers will debut with today’s match-up as Team Empire and Mousesports return to the battlefield after only four days since their last confrontation. In that regard, Mousesports has a score to settle after a painful defeat. But will they succed? Let’s find out below!

Team Empire

May has been a bountiful month for Team Empire, as the team participated in almost 30 matches, winning 15, tieing 6 and losing only 7.
Team Empire has been rising the ranks of the CIS scene at a pace that has us thinking about the golden and memeless days of this team.
Aggressive and vicious in their execution, Team Empire opts for tried and tested formulas that leave the enemies scared and paranoid as CIS team ranks up kills on the battlefield, by the minute.
Be it a Naix bomb or a devastating teamfight combo, Team Empire rely on pure shock and awe to steamroll their opposition, their towers and their dreams.. all with great success!
Yet, if their opponents manage to keep them at bay long enough, Team Empire will end up overcommitting and, ultimately, failing to hold their ground in the late game – as we’ve seen in their lost match-ups.

Mousesports

The Greek squad didn’t manage to bring much of their former performance under this new banner, as Mousesports or Ad Finem has been struggling to break even this month.  Taking a look at their stats, each victory seems to show up as a second wind for a rather descending curve of missed opportunities.
Once beloved Major finalist and OD.Pixel-breakers, the Greek squad is struggling to find their place within the EU scene.
At the root of their problems there seems to be a series of stubborn and odd, out-of-meta picks as well as sloppy executions.
While surprising at best, Mouse’s drafting and execution leave much to be desired as games seem to elude their grasp at a rapid pace, each match.

This match-up highly favours Team Empire solely due to their playstyle, Aggressive styles thrive on sloppy responses, slow responses and weaker, more vulnerable drafts by the enemy team, something Mousesports is guilty off on all accounts.
Due to the Best-of-One match-up, Team Empire won’t hold back on their „shock and awe” tactics. Heroes will die, towers will fall and at the end, we see Team Empire being the last team standing.

Team Empire vs Mousesports 1-0.

The Manila Masters 2017: OG vs. Team NP odds&predictions

Tournament briefing

The Manila Masters is the first of a new series of premier tournaments hosted by ESL and the Mineski-Events Team. The Manila Masters features a $250,000 USD prize pool and takes place at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, which was previously home to ESL One Manila 2016 and The Manila Major.

Format

Five out of a total of 8 competitors are directly invited to the event, while the remaining three will fight for a spot, through three distinct qualifiers stage – China, SEA and the Philippines.

The Chinese and the Philippine qualifiers are pit 8 teams organised in double-elimination Bo3 matches, with a Bo5 grand final while the SEA qualifiers boast a higher number of teams – twelve- and feature only Bo3 matches.

The LAN finals will take place at the SM Mall of Asia Arena and, it’s format imitating the Chinese and Philippine qualifiers.

  • Invited teams: Evil Geniuses, OG, Newbee, Team Secret and Team NP.
  • China Qualifier: Invictus Gaming.
  • SEA Qualifier: Team Faceless.
  • Philippines Qualifier: Clutch Gamers.

Today’s match predictions – LAN Quarterfinals: OG vs. Team NP

Both teams have been invited directly into the Manila Master LAN finals, so we still haven’t seen any of these teams compete in this tournament, yet. The double-elimination bracket also allows both teams to keep their “aces” for better match-ups as the lower bracket can provide an invaluable opportunity to gather information about their opponents, for the defeated team.

Yet, at first glance, one thing is certain: Team NP couldn’t find a more difficult match-up than the Major conquerors themselves, but once again, the double-bracket is a merciful God.

OG

 While not invincible, OG is still a juggernaut in the Dota 2 scene. Boasting one of the most impressive tracks records in Dota 2 history. The European team continues to be the favourite in all its match-ups. OG show finesse, paired in an almost symbiotic manner with deep game knowledge and powerful and rich hero pool.
OG’s style is as top notch as it can be and only countered by a combination of luck and momentary excellence.
We have seen OG lose, but their most recent defeat as almost a month ago at the Kiev Major. A failed experimental draft here, leading to a crack in morale there and their boulder of poor decisions and fatal slips in execution came tumbling down, with no way of stopping it.
OG are not without flaw, sometimes showing arrogance and overconfident, experimental drafts that may lead to an unexpected loss, but any team facing this squad has to give their 100% if they are to succeed in defeating them.

Team NP

We haven’t seen much of Team NP outside the NA scene. Competing simultaneously in The Summit 7 and EPICENTER 2017, NA Qualifiers, EternalEnvy’s team is a strong contender in their region. This month alone, within this two tournaments NP won 8 out of 10 matches.
This month’s matches culminated with The Summit 7 NA Qualifiers grand final that saw NP victorious in a 3-2 match-up against Digital Chaos.
Team NP opts for more aggressive line-ups that pressure the opponent while still being capable of aiding their cores. With a lot of stuns and disables at their fingertips, Team NP will always give their opponents a sore throat after 40 minutes of continuous calling for aid.

SK Telecom T1 vs Flash Wolves Preview, Odds & Prediction

The Mid-Season Invitational is Riot Games’ event which sits right between the Spring and Summer Splits of the LCS and the international leagues. This bring together the best team from each region from the Spring Split to compete against each other with World Championships seeding pool on the line. This means is a NA team wins, the top NA seed will be the first seed overall in the World Championships and in theory have an easier run towards the Summoners Cup. A lot of prize money to play for, but as everything with Riot that’s just a side piece.

As the tournament has progressed we are now down to the final four teams of the tournament who’ll compete to lift the MSI trophy, take the prize money home and bag that first seed going into Worlds 2017 towards the end of the year.

SK Telecom T1 vs Flash Wolves – 19th May 7pm BST

The name SK Telecom T1 is synonymous with League of Legends and winning, they are a organisation out of Korea with a single goal, to win. The ruthless pursuit of glory encompasses the team with the management and coach kkOma who are happy to swap and change players where they see fit and if anyone isn’t performing they won’t get game time. This applies to all players, except Faker, in the mid lane he’s been a permanent fixture for the past few years both as the best player in the world as well as the talisman and mid-laner for the team. The international stage is where he shines and although he’s had big offers to join other regions he likes to beat them. SK Telecom had a fairly familiar run through the MSI tournament so far as they haven’t lost this far using the double round-robin format however picking up a couple of draws.

msi

MSI 2017, Photo: Riot Games

 

Flash Wolves scraped through the group stages with an overall map record of 4-6 which matched them with TSM for final spot to make it through the bracket, knockout stage of the tournament where the winner will be found. Flash Wolves battled through a tie-breaker matchup in a best of one shootout for the last place. Flash Wolves came through that match clinically taking TSM down to secure their place in the bracket stage. Their reward was a match against SK Telecom which juding by their most recent match against them might be a good thing. They took down SKT with Faker, Peanut and Huni all not registering a kill or an assist which is pretty embarrassing for them, especially after Peanuts domination with 14 kills from the jungle. Flash Wolves play a fast style which snowballs from a small win or kill in the jungle, generally, into a lead for the laners to push and exert their dominance. They’ll need to start quickly and end quickly to not allow SKT back into the game as they’ve shown in the past they are happy to slow the game down and wait for an opportunity to get back into the game.

Current match odds: SK Telecom T1 1.05 vs 8.05 Flash Wolves

Flash Wolves should be given more credit with the odds but it’s the state of the game at the moment. Flash Wolves might be able to bag a quick win but SKT over the series they can take the wins needed. The map loss to Flash Wolves was a fast quick game but SKT are masters at adaptation and they’ll do it to pull out the win.

MSI 2017: GIGABYTE Marines vs BAU Supermassive Preview, Odds & Prediction

The Mid-Season Invitational is Riot Games’ event which sits right between the Spring and Summer Splits of the LCS and the international leagues. This bring together the best team from each region from the Spring Split to compete against each other with World Championships seeding pool on the line. This means is a NA team wins, the top NA seed will be the first seed overall in the World Championships and in theory have an easier run towards the Summoners Cup. A lot of prize money to play for, but as everything with Riot that’s just a side piece.

The MSI of 2017 kicked off with a Wildcard group stage whereby teams from across the world from regions which don’t sit in a conventional league such as Brazil, Turkey, Russia and many more. These teams battled it out in a best of one group stage across two groups of four to be the two best wildcard teams. The match we’re previewing is the best of fiver, winner takes all, game against the two teams who topped the respective groups. The winner advances to the group stages of the MSI 2017 and the loser goes home, this game is to decide who gets to play with the big boys of international League of Legends.

GIGABYTE Marines vs BAU Supermassive

The two teams who have made it this far might be new names to those who don’t follow LoL closely but they have emerged from the dangerous Wildcard pre-MSI stage with equal but impressive records without loss. They both dropped one map on their journey into the bracket stage, which is impressive when facing opponents from entirely different regions playing variations of the current meta which is open to surprise. Both teams have shown the ability to adapt as well as impose their will and play their own game. The bracket stage however was a different story as they faced the lower ranked divisions from the World Championships last year with GIGABYTE Marines paired against Team SoloMid from North America, a predictable win for TSM followed but it was far from predictable how they just about managed that. The GIGABYTE Marines took the first two games in commanding fashion and played fast chaotic LoL pulling TSM across the rift. Levi in the jungle for the Marines was touted before the tournament as one to watch and he outclassed Svenskeren for the first two games. Ultimately TSM wrestled control of the game back and slowed the pace down to reverse sweep the Marines.

gigabytemarines

GIGABYTE Marines. Photo: Riot Games

Supermassive however did not have almost any success as they played against Flash Wolves from Taiwan, a team well known for their fast play that sets the standard usually at international events. The Flash Wolves were able to crush Supermassive in the early game limiting their potential for a comeback later and demonstrating this by only giving away 11 deaths to Supermassive across three games (to compare Flash Wolves got 25 kills in game three alone). This might say more about the Flash Wolves and how good they are that how poor Supermassive played but they need to be able to better control the jungle as Stomaged for Supermassive in this position gave away the most deaths in every game. Supermassive need to follow the blueprint that’s set by TSM and give up early gold and not to take risky plays to then grind out the win later.

Current Odds: GIGABYTE Marines 1.45 vs 2.65 BAU Supermassive

 

EU LCS: G2 Esports vs Unicorns of Love Preview, Odds and Prediction

The Playoffs of the Spring Season of the LCS are in full flow and we now have a final set in both Europe and North America. We’ll quickly preview each game across the day and make a prediction for how we think it’ll go.

The teams here are playing for all the marbles in the LCS, a season victory in the Playoffs gives you automatic qualification to the World Championships, regardless of position in Summer. A huge game then for each time, not to mention there’s a bonus of prize money on the line.

In Europe, we’ve got G2 Esports taking on Unicorns of Love at 4PM BST. A game which comes as no surprise with both teams finishing in the first place in their group, respectively. A playoff dream for Riot games envisioning the new format with the two group leaders clashing in a much-anticipated matchup.

G2 Esports are a team who are seemingly reborn this season with a change of personnel bringing Zven and Mithy in during the off-season they’ve preformed so far to justify the swap. They’ve been the best duo bot lane in Europe which is reflected in the four Player of the Series (MVP) awards he’s received, Mithy doesn’t get the nod being a support but make no mistake he’s enabling Zven to carry the game. It’ll be key for G2 to get these two the comfort and safety in the early game which they prefer. G2 tends to struggle when repeated ganks are sent to the bottom lane and there’s a bit of chaos Zven certainly looks for a slower farm early game until they’ve picked up their first full item. Look for the Unicorns to try and create confusion and uncertainty to put Zven out of his comfort zone.

Zven and Mithy, Photo Credit: Riot Games

The Unicorns of Love will want to do, as a team, flip game from their perspective and get Vizicsacsi the space to work in a one versus one lane where he feels that he’s best. He’s an aggressive player who likes to make an impact; he’s not one of those top laners content on playing a super tank who will stand in the front line and soak up damage. Look towards the Rumble, Camille and Renekton who all have the ability to carry for the top lane. Shen is a champ he’s played the most but not his favourite, and not the best for UOL, they want him on a carry but giving Shen over to G2 who can use his ultimate to swing the bottom lane in their favour may mean that UOL have to take it away from them. This series points to a huge pick and ban phase with gameplans open and easily readable for both.

Match Odds: G2 Esports 1.42 vs 2.78 Unicorns of Love

The game seems like it’s relatively sown up, but a 3-1 score line for G2 is my prediction. Unicorns have the ability and game plans to snowball a game from a small early lead. A tower dive early which goes right for Unicorns likely means a game win but in the long haul G2 have the players, power and support staff to produce a game plan to stop Unicorns early and drag them into the mid-game where G2 will prosper.

 

EU LCS: Fnatic vs Misfits Preview, Odds and Prediction

The EU League of Legends LCS Playoff Third Place Playoff, kicks off with Fnatic against Misfits. A win here for either team will give them a more Championship Points and it will likely be a straight shootout with these team to qualify for World Championships next time round if the season falls the same way. This is a pivotal match for both teams as they try to grow and improve so they can compete at the very top level in the Summer Split.

We briefly look into the match up and make a prediction.

Fnatic are a team which, as always, seem possessed during the playoffs as they glide through the playoffs. Rekkles has stepped up in the past few weeks for them to really bring them to a new level, as the sweeped H2K in round one but ultimately fell to G2 in the semi-finals. While a loss to G2 isn’t ideal especially in the semi-finals isn’t the result they’d would have hoped for this is a team built for the future as we move into the Summer Season and the World Championships. Rekkles is taking the team on his back with new motivation and dragging them through the playoffs and taking them into a new chapter of Fnatic.

rekkles

Fnatic Rekkles. Photo: Riot Games

Misfits are a team which entered the season buoyed by being purchased by Miami Heat basketball team having secured their place in the LCS. This is probably one of the best-case scenarios they could have wished for as a rookie season in the LCS. Misfits are a team who recovered for a 2-0 deficit in round one against Splyce to come back and take the series with a reverse sweep. It’s well seen in behind-the-scenes footage that they ride high on momentum especially Kakao as he races through the jungle making shot calls.

Match Odds: Fnatic 1.97 vs 1.80 Misfits

SL i-League Invitational Season 2 – Elements Pro Gaming vs. Vega Squadron odds&predictions

Tournament briefing

StarLadder i-League Invitation is an international Dota 2 event that will take place in Shanghai, China between 18 and the 21st of May.

The tournament will be hosted by StarLadderTV in partnership with ImbaTV and it features a $100.000 prize pool.

Format

Out of the 8 teams, only 6 are directly invited, as teams will be chosen from only two, major, regions: EU(including CIS) and China. The remaining two slots are reserved for one European Qualifier stage and one Chinese Qualifier stage.

Both qualifiers are single-elimination with Bo3 matches and a Bo5 Final. The victor of each qualifier will take the spot one of the two spots in the Main Tournament. Each qualifier also features a tiering system with Tier 2 teams have a reserved spot in the Quarterfinals of the Qualifiers stage. Tier 1 teams will have to face their first opponents and if they are victorious, they will face the Tier 2 teams in the next match.

As of the time of writing this article, there are only two invited teams and we have the results of the Chinese qualifier.


Invited Teams
: Team VGJ, Newbee.
Chinese Qualifier Victor: Invictus Gaming.

Today’s match predictions – EU Qualifiers, Upper Bracket: Elements Pro Gaming vs. Vega Squadron

Elements Pro Gaming vs. Vega Squadron will be the second match-up of the Quarterfinals. Vega Squadron hasn’t yet spun its gears in this tournament due to it being a tier 2 team and, as a result, it got a direct spot in the QF, but we did EPG play. This match-up is nearing a 50%-50% odd of success for both, but there are certain elements(no pun intended) to take into consideration.

Elements Pro Gaming

We’ve seen EPG in their latest match-up against Anji, as they fought and won after a slightly disappointing game 2. Despite properly defining it’s player’s roles, EPG continues to experiment with role swaps that mostly cost them the match.
Also, taking a look at their past performance we see EPG coming out with a rather even score and 50% win chance against most of its opponents.
As far as team composition goes, we can expect a stand-in for the mid position, as we’ve seen many other past games.

Vega Squadron

Vega Squadron almost had its breakthrough from a period of two weeks of constant losses. In March, we saw Vega Squadron struggling to secure any victory and things started to turn for the bright side in April, but after their recent loss against ProDota, we are not sure if this will lead to more lost games, in the future.  Vega Squadron continues to hold to their preferred hero drafts, disregarding the current meta and the weaknesses of their picks. While not conforming to certain trends isn’t damning, this continued preference for certain heroes leaves them vulnerable to key bans and counter-play.
Thankfully, Vega Squadron is expected to play with their complete line-up so there shouldn’t be any unexpected variation on this end.