ELEAGUE Playoffs: Preview
Posted 2016-07-28 Dare_Dev1L
After the convincing quarter final victory against EnVyUs, we now look to the remaining teams in the playoffs. Fnatic will be facing Na’Vi this Friday in what looks to be an exciting match between two consistent teams. At the other side of the bracket, Virtus.Pro and mousesports will be butting heads in order to meet us in the grand final match. In this preview, we’ll discuss recent performance, our game against Na’Vi, and the teams we’ll possibly be facing in the grand final.
Semi Final Preview: Na'Vi
Surprisingly, Fnatic and Na’Vi have managed to avoid each other completely at LAN recently. In total, we have only faced Na’Vi three times since last December. The first game we played against them was in the grand final of the ESL ESEA Pro League Season 2 Finals back in December, where we defeated them in an exciting Bo5 series. As it stands, Fnatic remain undefeated against Na’Vi since the acquisition of Dennis 'dennis' Edman in November, winning all three LAN games (including one online Bo3) thus far. The last time we faced Na’Vi was back in April, where we met them in the group stage of IEM Katowice and we won 16-10 on Dust2.
The interesting point is that both teams have performed extremely well since November, with the exception of the few months where Fnatic played with stand-ins. Na’Vi may have dropped lower on the official ranking lists, but have been consistent enough to remain within the top five. Na’Vi generally have finished within the top eight in the majority of their recent tournaments, but were always on the opposite side of the bracket to Fnatic. It is difficult to predict the outcome of the match between the two teams, with no recent matches to compare them to. According to the interview with KrimZ, the players believe they should be able to defeat Na’Vi. However, if Na’Vi brings their A-game, it would be a challenging game.
Grand Final Preview Part 1: Virtus.Pro
Since predicting a victor is not foolproof, there is no real way to foresee who Fnatic might face in the grand final. Therefore, let’s take a look at both teams that may make it to the final!
First up, we take a look at Virtus.Pro, the Polish super team from the east. VP were struggling for quite a while, usually being one of the first teams to fall to major upsets from underdog teams. That said, they have slowly been regaining their form lately. The last tournament victory for Virtus.Pro was SL i-League Invitational #1 back in May. After their small but important victory, they settled back into their slump and have only recently started reaching higher ground. Virtus.Pro’s players are still masters at momentum based Counter-Strike and that should never be underestimated. Though teams have gotten a better understanding of how to counter momentum based game styles, Virtus.Pro’s confident runs can still be hard to stop. Fnatic have had a good record against Virtus.Pro in the past. This is especially due to our boys’ ability to not get fazed by teams who rely on confidence and miracle comebacks. If we face Virtus.Pro in the grand final, it should be a great match with great displays of individual abilities. However, judging by history Fnatic will steal the game.
Grand Final Preview Part 2: mousesports
If you’re looking at where mousesports lie on the ranking list, you might think they do not look like a threat to Fnatic. That is because mousesports have always been the underdog in tournaments. The mousesports players have had an incredible ability to cause a lot of upsets for a long time now, and are often voted as the dark horse of competitions. No one expected them to reach this far, as Astralis was predicted to be the victor in their quarter final matchup. Especially since Astralis’ recent lineup change showed promise. The mousesports players did, however, earn their 2-0 victory against Astralis. The real question is whether they can keep their momentum going, defeat Virtus.Pro, and meet Fnatic in the grand final.
Fnatic have a strong record against mousesports online and that is unlikely to change on LAN. With mousesports having skipped all LAN events in between DreamHack Masters Malmö and ESL One Cologne's offline qualifier, there’s not a lot of recent history to build on. If mousesports do pass Virtus.Pro in the semi final, I believe Fnatic has enough team and individual ability to take it all the way and win the league.
Fnatic will play against Na’Vi on Friday July 29 at 11 PM CEST/5 PM ET. If Fnatic wins the match, we’ll be playing in the grand final on Saturday July 30 at approximately the same time. Any updates to the match schedule will be provided on the Fnatic homepage.