Photo: By Adela Sznajder for ESL
‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast
This is the second part of my predictions for the quarterfinals. In this one I look at MIBR vs Renegades and Astralis vs NiP.
MIBR vs Renegades
Both Renegades and MIBR have gone 3-1 in the Legends Stage. In terms of overall team form they showed in that stage, I’d favor Renegades. They played an additional bo3 against Astralis and looked competitive for the first half of that series. As for MIBR, they started off cold, but have slowly picked it up through the groups. Having said that, I think the best player on the server will be coldzera. He’d had a phenomenal tournament so far and has always been consistent. An additional bonus for MIBR is that fer is starting to look good again as well.
Another factor to consider is stage pressure. Renegades have done well so far given the fact that they have little experience at this level of play. The only player who has ever been this far into a major has been jkaem. This will be AZR and jks’ first Major playoff appearance. Both liazz and gratisfaction are rookies. As that’s the case, the experience and ability to play under pressure should heavily weigh in the favor of the Brazilians coming into this matchup.
In terms of map veto, this is competitive. Renegades have shown they are willing to play every map in the game. The only ones they don’t seem good on is Overpass. Outside of that they’ve shown good things on Mirage, Dust2, Inferno. They’ve played Nuke, Cache, and Train. The only thing that doesn’t seem to be in their wheelhouse is Overpass.
As for MIBR, they’ve only played Inferno, Mirage, and Train with this lineup. My current assumption is that their favored maps are similar to the past. In which case, their better maps are likely Train, Overpass, and Mirage. The maps in the middle of their pool are probably Cache, Dust2, and Inferno. They permaban Nuke.
As that’s the case, MIBR will ban Nuke. Renegades will ban Overpass. MIBR should pick Train. While the T-side is hard to start, they should feel comfortable enough on the map regardless. Renegades will pick Mirage as that’s been their go-to map. While they could do a wildcard pick, I wouldn’t advise it as they are the ones who need to have a comfort pick given their inexperience at this stage in the Major. After that, I think MIBR bans Cache as they’ve never been big fans of the map. Renegades will probably ban Dust2. The final map will be inferno.
It’s a map veto that slightly advantages MIBR, but Renegades should have a chance. While I think Renegades form looks good and they have a good shot to win this series, I’m banking on the experience and pedigree of the Brazilians to win when the stakes are highest. MIBR 2-1.
Astralis vs NiP
Astralis still feel invincible to me. Even when they lose, it almost always takes monumental effort from the opposing side to make them drop maps. While NiP struggled to come through the Legends Stage, Astralis mostly smashed their way through. In terms of team form, individual form, tactics, and ability to play under pressure, Astralis is ahead in every regard.
The one potential advantage that NiP has is in the map pool. NiP play Nuke, Train, and Overpass. They are one of the few teams left who don’t have to instant ban nuke if Astralis pick it into them. The problem with this scenario is that Astralis have now started to do more punish picks and NiP don’t have a wide enough map pool to cover all of their bases.
Both teams start out with their permabans. Dust2 for NiP and Cache for Astralis. NiP should then choose either Train or Overpass. Astralis’ Overpass looks like the weaker of the two right now, so I’ll assume that’s what NiP go with. This is where the problem begins for NiP. Astralis can either pick Inferno or Nuke. They are undefeated on Nuke and dominant on inferno. I think Inferno is the safer pick and punishes NiP more. After that, it’s likely that Astralis will use their second ban on Train. So the final map should be in NiP’s court. Given their propensity to fight into enemy strengths, I think they’ll challenge Astralis on Nuke.
Overall, this series should favor Astralis. Given what I’ve from both teams, I have Astralis winning this 2-0.