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DreamHack Masters Malmö Preview

DreamHack Masters is set to begin in Malmö, Sweden. Read on as we break down the competition as well as all of the recent roster moves.

Valentin Gustafsson
Freelance Esports Writer
30th Sep, 2019·☕️ 6 min read
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It is time for the teams to head over to Sweden for DreamHack Masters Malmö. The likes of Team Liquid and Astralis will be making the long flight over from New York hoping to collect another trophy on their quest to secure their second grand slam title.

Competition Information

This is a stacked event, with sixteen of the world’s best teams in attendance. Several teams will be making their first appearance with their new rosters as roster mania is still in full effect.

There will be two groups of eight and they are as follows:

Group A:

  • 🇩🇰 Astralis
  • 🇺🇸 EnVy
  • 🇫🇷 G2
  • 🇧🇷 FURIA
  • 🇫🇮 ENCE
  • 🇸🇪 fnatic
  • 🇫🇷 Vitality
  • 🇨🇳 TYLOO

Group B:

  • 🇺🇸 Liquid
  • 🇩🇰 OpTic
  • 🇺🇦 NaVi
  • 🇩🇰 North
  • 🇪🇺 mousesports
  • 🇸🇪 NiP
  • 🇺🇸 Evil Geniuses
  • 🇦🇺 Grayhound

The tournament format is GSL system (Double-Elimination). The opening matches will be best-of-one, but from there on it will be all best-of-threes. Three teams will advance from each group and the winner of the group will advance directly to the semi-finals. The two remaining teams will advance to the quarter-finals, with the team finishing in second receiving the higher seed.

The last time this tournament was played was back in 2017 when G2 came out victorious in the final against North. The French side has of course gone through plenty of changes since then, with only kennyS left standing from that roster. The same goes for NiP that won this tournament in front of the home crowd back in 2016. From that team, only f0rest remains.

DreamHack Masters Malmö kicks off with the group stage on October 1. The playoffs begin October 4 starting with the quarter-finals. The semi-finals will be played the following day and the winner will be crowned October 6.

The Current Season

Several teams will be making their first appearance with their new rosters this week. Let’s take a look at these recent moves and what they mean for the teams.

fnatic

fnatic
Record: 51 / 0 / 50
Most Played Map: Mirage (66.7%)
Best Map: Mirage (66.7%)
Worst Map: Overpass (29.4%)

fnatic have chosen to let go of twist and Xizt in favor of flusha and Golden, two players that played with fnatic back in 2018. Under the leadership of Golden, fnatic were able to take down tournaments like WESG and IEM Katowice off the back of brilliant performances from flusha and KRIMZ in particular. However, the results fizzled out which ultimately led to Golden’s removal. With Golden and flusha returning to the roster, the swedes will be hoping that they can repeat the form that they showed in early 2018.

Teams picking up former players has historically not been a winning concept. However, flusha is the type of player that most teams would love to have and there is no question that he will be a huge boost to the team. The verdict on Golden is still up in the air, as his leadership has come into question after his time with a struggling Cloud9 side. However, the options for in-game leaders in Sweden is severely limited and Golden was the best available option as GamerLegion seem reluctant to let go of their top-fragging IGL, hampus.

Vitality

Vitality
Record: 82 / 0 / 46
Most Played Map: Mirage (63.0%)
Best Map: Overpass (69.6%)
Worst Map: Train (50.0%)

Surprisingly, Vitality have chosen to make a change following their quarter-final exit to AVANGAR at the Berlin major. In comes shox in favor of NBK- who at times had been in-game leading for the team alongside ALEX. The move means that ALEX will now lead fulltime, whereas shox will strictly be taking over NBK’s role and positions. Vitality have been lacking firepower for a while, with most of their production coming from their young star, ZywOo. It has been quite some time since we saw the best of shox, but it is undeniable that the talent is there and he should give the team a boost in the fragging department.

NaVi

Natus Vincere
Record: 52 / 1 / 42
Most Played Map: Mirage (66.7%)
Best Map: Inferno (68.8%)
Worst Map: Overpass (40.0%)

With in-game leader Zeus announcing his retirement following the major, NaVi have chosen to reunite with the Slovakian AWPer GuardiaN who last represented the organization back in 2017. The move means that s1mple will go back to rifling and will likely be the one to pick up the secondary AWP for the team. A role that should give the Ukrainian more freedom and could also be a boost for his fantasy value as he will now be getting more headshots and assists. Additionally, this move means that Boombl4 will take over the reins as the in-game leader for the team. He has previously been leading for teams like WinStrike in the past but he is unproven at the highest level in this role. There will likely be a transition period for the team, however, the addition of GuardiaN will undoubtedly be a boost in the fragging department.

NiP

Ninjas in Pyjamas
Record: 37 / 2 / 52
Most Played Map: Dust2 (27.8%)
Best Map: Nuke (56.2%)
Worst Map: Inferno (12.5%)

NiP have just announced the departure of GeT_RiGhT, who has been the face of the organization together with f0rest since they entered CS:GO back in 2012. In his place comes twist, who has notoriously turned down NiP on a number of occasions in the past. Many have been disappointed with this move, as it isn’t a new exciting prospect. However, twist will be able to slot in as a fulltime AWPer for the team, a role that the team has juggled around ever since they let go of draken back in 2018. Most recently, this has hurt f0rest’s production immensely, as he has looked far from comfortable in this role. This means that f0rest will now be able to return to fulltime rifling which will benefit both NiP and those picking f0rest in fantasy. I expect twist to be a better addition to the team than the public perceives. However, the problem for NiP remains that they have no real in-game leader and it seems unlikely that they will be able to return to the top without one.

FURIA

FURIA
Record: 59 / 0 / 37
Most Played Map: Nuke (65.2%)
Best Map: Mirage (76.5.2%)
Worst Map: Inferno (50.0%)

The Brazilian side FURIA have chosen to let go of ableJ in favor of the AWPer HEN1. This means that arT will likely transition over from being the main AWPer to rifling more frequently, a role that he had on previous iterations of FURIA and INTZ back in Brazil. ableJ was always the worst performer on FURIA, so this is simply an upgrade in firepower. HEN1 is commonly touted as an inconsistent AWPer, which is true, but he is more than capable in the role and his aggressive style is in many ways tailored for a team like FURIA. In addition, arT is more than capable as a rifler and he should have even more freedom to make aggressive plays now. A team like FURIA has always had upset potential and I expect that to continue with HEN1.

Betting Tips

Despite a pretty respectable format, I would not rule out some big upsets in this tournament. The opening matches are a clear target as usual due to the BO1 factor. In addition, teams like Astralis, Liquid, EG and G2 will be making the 12 hour trip over to Sweden from the US just a day before the event starts. There are several interesting first-round matchups, and the one that I would target is the match between FURIA and G2. I will give the nod to the Brazilians in this one at current odds of 1.82. G2 are still playing with kioShiMa as a stand-in and will play a fired up Brazilian side that has spent the last week bootcamping in Malmö. They will have had plenty of time to prepare for a G2 side that will arrive just hours before the match kicks off in Malmö.