With the biggest story from last week’s action coming in the form of Cloud9 setting up a rematch with Team SoloMid in the final of the NA LCS Spring Split, as well as Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman claiming victory at Dreamland following victory over Zachary “SFAT” Cordoni in a star-studded final, the upcoming seven days provides eSports fans with yet more high quality action. The CS Summit kicks off in Los Angeles, with eight teams competing to take home the $150,000 prize money, while many are counting down the days to the DreamHack Hearthstone Grand Prix next week. Elsewhere, the ESL Pro League and League of Legends Spring Splits continue to dominate the headlines, as the latter stages take place across the globe.
The format of this competition differs from the majority of events, with the entire tournament containing bo3 matches, rather than a bo1 group stage. While this will decrease the likelihood of causing upsets, there are still a whole host of exciting encounters to look forward to, with many coming on the opening day. The likes of SK Gaming and Ninjas in Pyjamas stand out at an initial glance, however Gambit are a potential outsider for the title.
SK vs EnVyUs
Despite their recent struggles, Brazilian team SK Gaming are the favourites for the entire competition, with recent addition ‘Felps’ likely to bring fresh impetus into their roster. The former world champions have been overtaken by Astralis recently, however with Danish team, along with runners-up FaZe not taking part at the CS_Summit, SK’s chances have been increased dramatically. Meanwhile, French team EnVyUs are far from being in-form themselves, with only a recent victory over Fnatic ending a three-game losing streak, which included defeats to Kinguin and mousesports.
SK Gaming @ 2/1 (Bet365, Betway)
Gambit vs GODSENT
Although many believe that the bo3 format will not be to Gambit’s liking, with best of 1 encounters normally where they shine, they are still among the favourites for the tournament. The introduction of ‘Zeus’ as an IGL has certainly improved their performances, however their best display is still reaching the quarter-finals at the last major. Meanwhile, Swedish team GODSENT have 18 wins from 34 maps played so far in 2017, with significant roster changes effecting their consistency. Both ‘Twist’ and ‘Disco Doplan’ are likely to line up at the Summit, with the latter having placed 3rd/4th at the ELEAGUE Major with Fnatic.
Gambit Gaming @ 7/1 (Bet365, Betway)
OpTic vs Cloud9
OpTic have performed relatively well in the build up to the Summit, with stand-in ‘JasonR’ helping them to wins over SK Gaming, Team Liquid and Team Misfits. However, with a new coach on board, it remains to be seen as to how they will fare in Los Angeles. ‘Rush’ will undoubtedly be their player to keep an eye on, who having stuck with the team through thick and thin, continues to show consistency. OpTic know only too well the threat posed by Cloud9 having recently been on the receiving end of defeat from their compatriots at the iBUYPOWER Invitational Spring, with this encounter too close to call at present. ‘Swag’ will return to action after a ban for match-fixing, with his presence potentially lifting Cloud9’s spirits.
NiP vs Liquid
2017 has begun in disappointing fashion for Ninjas in Pyjamas, failing to qualify for the first major of the year back in January. Bringing in ‘Draken’ to replace ‘Pyth’ did not change their fortunes, as the Swedes went out in the group stages at several tournaments. However, they have shown signs of a return to form over recent weeks, with a win over Astralis in an online match demonstrating their potential at the Summit. They take on Team Liquid on the opening day, another team with plenty to prove at the Summit. Heading into their first LAN appearance with new leader ‘Stanislaw’, alongside reported new player ‘Twistzz’, Liquid’s chances are up in the air at present. Should they replicate the form they showed at the ESL Cologne last year, they could well make a successful LAN debut.