Preview of EPICENTER 2017: Wild Card

The analysis of participants and the brief background of the championship.

The general information

The LAN final of the largest CS:GO tournament, that will take place in Saint-Petersburg, starts on October 23. A prize pool amounts $500,000 and Yubileyny Sports Palace will be a venue. Eight teams will take part in the distribution of a prize pool, they have received direct invitations or will get to the final stage through a Wild Card qualification. Only six of eight participants are known at the moment.

It is unknown how a prize pool will be divided among participants but there is an assumption that the champion of EPICENTER 2017, as the last year triumphant earned, will grab the main money prize in the sum of $250,000.

The analysis of participants and groups

Due to the fact that all eight participants will be determined on the first gaming day, we will analyze six known contenders and also will tell about who will probably become the seventh and eighth participant of EPICENTER 2017.

Group A Group B
SK Gaming
Gambit eSports
Virtus.pro
TBD
Astralis
G2 Esports
North
TBD

Group A

Such teams as Gambit eSports and SK Gaming are obvious favorites in this group.

Virtus.pro

Virtus.pro can’t find their gaming style and achieve stable results for the moment. They have not seen a trophy since they won DreamHack Masters Las Vegas 2017. Also, serious changes have been made in the team recently. After Janusz «Snax» Pogorzelski had been a captain of Virtus.pro for a long time, the team made a decision that Snax’s approach to the game was a reason for a row of failures. For the time being, there are no significant changes in the results of the Polish team but they still can surprise at EPICENTER 2017, despite the fact that they are not a favorite of the tournament.

The team’s roster and the players’ rate:

Wiktor «TaZ» Wojtas — 0.98
Filip «NEO» Kubski — 0.97
Jaroslaw «pashaBiceps» Jarzabkowski — 1.08
Janusz «Snax» Pogorzelski — 0.97
Pawel «byali» Bielinski — 1.07

Jakub «kuben» Gurczynski (coach)

Gambit eSports

It is worth to remind that Gambit made replacements on the roster after the victory at PGL Major Krakow 2017. They dismissed a coach and Danylo «Zeus» Teslenko, the ex-captain of Gambit eSports, left the team together with him. After such turn of events, AdreN held a position of captain and started developing itself in this role, Bektiyar «fitch» Bahytov had been hired to a fifth position who he proved himself well. After a reshuffle season, Gambit eSports could hold the 3rd-4th place at DreamHack Malmo 2017 Besides this achievement, the Kazakhs have not achieved any results in recent time. Considering that Virtus.pro will be in Group A and Team Liquid will probably get there too, Gambit has enough good chances to get to the playoffs. If team prepared something interesting for their opponents, it will reach the final of the tournament and struggle for a title of the champion and the main money prize.

The team’s roster and the players’ rate:

Mikhail «Dosia» Stolyavor — 1.00
Dauren «AdreN» Kystaubayev — 1.12
Rustem «mou» Telepov — 1.11
Abay «HObbit» Khassenov — 1.11
Bektiyar «fitch» Bahytov — 1.08

Andrey «Andi» Prokhorov — (coach)

SK Gaming

Just like Virtus.pro, SK Gaming is overcoming a small crisis in the team. After the victory at ESL One Cologne 2017, FalleN and his team has not found an optimal solution to begin a new series of successful performances. Over the last two months, SK Gaming held the 5th-8th place at DreamHack Malmo 2017 and the 9th-12th place at ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2017. The 3rd place at ESG Mykonos 2017 and the 3rd-4th place at ESL One New York 2017 can be an example of the most successful performances. Also, SK Gaming lost their place on the top of the rate of best teams by HLTV.org.

The team’s roster and the players’ rate:

Gabriel «FalleN» Toledo — 1.16
Fernando «fer» Alvarenga — 1.23
Marcelo «coldzera» David — 1.22
Epitacio «TACO» Pessoa — 1.01
Joao «felps» Vasconcellos — 0.99

Group B

It is difficult to predict which team will get to the playoffs without an effort in this group but the Danish teams: Astralis and North look the most confident. Astralis is on the second place on the list of the best teams in the world by HLTV.org version at the moment. As for North and G2 Esports, these teams are situated on the 4th and 5th places, respectively.

Astralis

Astralis is one of the favorites to come out from the group. However, not all viewers think so. The Danes held the 5th-6th places at such tournaments as ESL One New York 2017 and DreamHack Malmo 2017. Despite this, Astralis is on the second place in the rate of the best teams in the world. If team worked on its mistakes from past tournaments and prepared new tactics, gla1ve with his team-mates will be able to reach the playoffs and to fight for a title of the champion of EPICENTER 2017.

The team’s roster and the players’ rate:

Nicolai «dev1ce» Reedtz — 1.17
Peter «dupreeh» Rothmann — 1.16
Andreas «Xyp9x» Hojsleth — 1.10
Markus «Kjaerbye» Kjaerbye — 0.99
Lukas «gla1ve» Rossander — 1.05

Danny «zonic» Sorensen (coach)

North

North is in the top 5 best teams at the moment, having held the 4th place of the world rate. During the summer reshuffle, North became stronger, having replaced Magisk on valde. A conclusion about the improvement of their gaming shape can be made, considering the recent results of the team. At DreamHack Montreal 2017, the players raised a trophy of the winner of a tournament over their heads for the first time and North held the 3rd-4th place at one of the first largest tournaments of the season 2017/2018, ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2017. All above-mentioned facts speak to a big possibility of North to get to the playoffs but the team looks not so confident and experienced, compared to Astralis.

The team’s roster and the players’ rate:

Mathias «MSL» Lauridsen — 1.02
Kristian «k0nfig» Wienecke — 1.14
Rene «cajunb» Borg — 1.08
Philip «aizy» Aistrup — 1.08
Valdemar «valde» Bjorn — 1.10

Casper «ruggah» Due (coach)

G2 Esports

Many people may not agree with this statement but G2 Esports looks as the weakest member of Group B. After the victory at DreamHack Malmo 2017, G2 have not found their own play. Playing at ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2017, G2 didn’t reach further than quarterfinals and stopped on the 5th-8th place, having earned a reward in the sum of $35,000. G2, just like Astralis, have not made replacements on the roster for a long time and think that their power is in the stability of the roster. EPICENTER 2017 will prove if this statement is right or not.

The team’s roster and the players’ rate:

Richard «shox» Papillon — 1.06
Alexandre «bodyy» Pianaro — 1.03
Nathan «NBK-» Schmitt — 1.05
Kenny «kennyS» Schrub — 1.15
Dan «apEX» Madesclaire — 1.11

Edouard «SmithZz» Dubourdeaux (coach)
Niclas «enkay J» Krumhorn (analyst)

Probable participants of the LAN final

Such teams as FaZe Clan, Team Liquid, TyLoo and Vega Squadron will take part in the Wild Card qualification.

Definitely, the European team FaZe Clan is the most obvious favorite of this four. First and foremost, this team has a courage: they have won two tournaments in a row and have an aim to continue this winning streak. It is worth to notice that the level of the tournaments is impressive enough. A prize pool of ESL One New York amounted $250,000 and ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2017 had $1,000,000 up for grabs. Secondly, FaZe is the strongest team in the world by HLTV.org version.

An interesting fact: FaZe Clan has not lost any map at ESL One New York 2017 and ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2017.

Thirdly, the Chinese team TyLoo, that is probably not ready to the confrontation with the strongest team in the world, will face the European team in the Wild Card tournament. The team has never won such world scale tournaments as DreamHack with a prize pool in the sum of $100,000 or any other analogic championship. TyLoo takes part mainly in Minor tournaments and other Chinese competitive events.

The statistic of teams and the players’ rate:

FaZe Clan TyLoo
Havard «rain» Nygaard — 1.30
Finn «karrigan» Andersen — 1.01
Nikola «NiKo» Kovac — 1.30
Ladislav «GuardiaN» Kovacs — 1.22
Olof «olofmeister» Kajbjer — 1.18

Ke «Mo» Liu — 1.10
Hui «DD» Wu — 1.09
Haowen «somebody» Xu — 1.29
Hansel «BnTeT» Ferdinand — 1.34
Vladyslav «bondik» Nechyporchuk — 1.08
Luis «peacemaker» Tadeu (coach)

It will be difficult to choose a favorite in the confrontation between Vega Squadron and Team Liquid. On one hand, Vega Squadron that won the October Chinese tournament China Top 2017 - Kunshan and on the other hand, Team Liquid that became the silver medalist at ESG Mykonos 2017 and ESL One New York 2017. The majority of viewers and analysts tend towards the opinion that Team Liquid will probably become the eighth member of the Russian tournament, however, it is not worth to forget that the participation of Vega Squadron in the home scene will give a load of freshness and motivation that may help players to defeat Liquid.

The statistic of teams and the players’ rate:

Team Liquid Vega Squadron
Nicholas «nitr0» Cannella — 0.99
Jonathan «EliGE» Jablonowski — 1.16
Joshua «jdm64» Marzano — 1.00
Peter «stanislaw» Jarguz — 1.07
Russel «Twistzz» Van Dulken — 1.17
Wilton «zews» Prado (coach)

Dmitriy «jR» Chervak — 1.04
Nikolay «mir» Bityukov — 1.20
Sergey «keshandr» Nikishin — 1.06
Pavel «hutji» Lashkov — 1.10
Leonid «chopper» Vishnyakov — 1.08
Artem «Fierce» Ivanov (coach)

The observing of the tournament

The main host will be a person that is experienced in this role, Alex «Machine» Richardson. Matthew «Sadokist» Trivett, Anders Blume, Henry «HenryG» Greer and Jason «moses» O’Toole will comment matches. Janko «YNk» Paunovic and Chad «SpunJ» Burchill will work on analytics.

You can use the link to go to the Twitch channel where the broadcast will be run.