Photo: By StarLadder
‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast
With the EU Minor starting tomorrow, I thought I’d take a hand at picking out the three teams that I think will make it through the qualifiers and make it to the Challenger Stage of the Major. The field is surprisingly competitive as a majority of the teams are on a similar level of strength. In terms of a huge favorite, I have to pick Mouz to win it all. They are clearly the best team here in terms of overall team play, tactics, and individual player strength. The only struggles I can see Mouz having is the fact that there is a ton more data on them compared to the rest of the teams in the qualifier, but in terms of sheer firepower, no one in this qualifier comes close to what they have to offer.
The second and third place teams were much harder to decide from. For now I’ll take out the teams that I think have the worst chances. The first is Space Soldiers as they have lost Xantares who was their best player and have replaced him with yam. While four of the five players remain the same, Xantares was clearly their best player and the team play and tactics of the squad never impressed me that much. After them, I’ll also have to take out Valiance and Windigo. I haven’t seen many results from either of those squads, so I can’t justify putting them above more well known quantities.
This leaves four teams: ENCE, North, OpTic, and Vitality. Among the four teams, I think ENCE have shown the best overall performance of the year, so they’re the easy pick for coming out second.
As for the last three teams, it’s hard to say. Normally, I’d just throw OpTic out of contention as they’ve been hugely disappointing through all of 2018, but they recently recruited refrezh into their team. With him, k0nfig, and cajunb, they just need two of those three players to go off and they have a chance to make it out. On the other hand, North probably have the single best player in the entire qualifiers in valde and have a seemingly good coach in ave. Finally, Vitality have the young star AWPer in ZywOo, but he has yet to prove himself on LAN to a consistent degree (though he did kill it at DreamHack Atlanta). Between these three choices, I could see any of them taking the third spot.
In the end though, I think leadership and team play was the biggest differential for me. While OpTic and Vitality likely have better firepower than North, both teams have had problems in terms of team play and leadership. Snappi hasn’t done anything with the amount of talent he’s had for the last year. NBK is still trying to figure out what his style of leadership is supposed to be. As that’s the case, I think North have the best chance of making it out third in this Minor.