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IEM Oakland 2017 CS:GO: Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) vs. SK Gaming Betting Analysis, Odds, & Predictions

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Introduction

IEM Oakland will be another part of ESL’s Grand Slam series, where the teams with the most Grand Slam tournament wins have a chance of winning a bountiful $ prize (courtesy of ESL). The competition is fierce, especially with the unexpected entrance of steel to Liquid, SK’s hot start with boltz, and Renegades replacing the stagnant Immortals at the event.

Many questions remain to be asked, such as OpTic’s ability to compete at the top with their European all-star lineup or FaZe’s ability to claim a 2nd Grand Slam title and continue their dominant form from the past few months. With CS:GO having a unique esports scene due to all teams having the capability to defeat each other, prepare for a round robin group stage that has yet to reveal its surprises!

The winner takes home $125,000 and extra cash from winning matches in the group stage, who will it be? The current favorites are SK Gaming, Astralis, and FaZe, but can some of the sleeper teams dethrone the three kings? Find out soon!

Format 

Credit to Liquipedia

  • Group Stage
    • Two round-robin format groups (6 teams each)
    • All the matches are Bo1
    • In Regulation winners receive 3pts
    • In Overtime winners receive 2pts, losers receive 1pt
    • Top team in each group advances to the semifinals
    • Second and third teams in each group advance to the quarterfinals
  • Playoffs
    • Single elimination bracket
    • Quarterfinals and Semifinals are Bo3
    • Grand final is Bo5

_________

Ninjas in Pyjamas

  • draken, GeT_RiGhT, Xizt, f0rest, REZ

The Ninjas of draken and REZ continue to have their highs and lows, whereas f0rest has made himself the clear cut star of the team alongside draken. GeT_RiGhT and Xizt put up admirable performances on occasion, but it’s now a matter of finding consistency and translating it into results.

Luckily, the Ninjas come into the tournaments having qualified for the ESL Pro League Odense Finals. It puts a huge break to the Ninjas, who have long sought a considerable result—considering the standards and expectations pressured towards the Swedes. But, considering their inconsistency and their ability to find a fluid strategy/aim based style, this may be a re-learning experience for the Ninjas.

Since they have not been on LAN for a while, the Ninjas surprisingly topped their group, with their only hiccup being a blown lead that equated into an overtime loss to SK Gaming on de_cobblestone.

The last time these 2 met, Ninjas in Pyjamas won in a bo3 to take the championship of the last IEM Oakland tournament.

SK Gaming

  • TACO, coldzera, FalleN, boltz, fer

SK Gaming came in swinging in their first event with boltz, surprisingly winning the event at EPICENTER 2017. Beating FaZe Clan and a revolted Virtus.Pro along the way, the SK Gaming seen at the event saw a huge difference with boltz at the lurking position instead of felps. coldzera and FalleN returned to form, whereas boltz and fer seemed to fit their roles respectively.

At IEM Oakland, they made it through the groups with relative ease, albeit dropping their last 2 maps in the group stage. After defeating OpTic handily, SK Gaming now see themselves facing the Swedes of NiP in the semi-finals. Last time these two faced, SK Gaming lost in the grand finals after a close affair on the final map: de_cobblestone.

Many have critiqued TACO’s play at IEM Oakland. Being caught out on rotations and in many positions in SK Gaming’s time to play on the stage, many have questioned if he is still adjusting to the old SK play style. Regardless, SK Gaming are winning, but very uncomfortably. Most of their wins and losses have gone down to the wire, and shows a very vulnerable SK Gaming compared to the one at EPICENTER. Can SK Gaming pick it up?

 

 

Prediction

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