On 24 August one of the long-expected and first tournaments of the new CS:GO season, ZOTAC Cup Masters 2018.
ZOTAC Cup Masters 2018 is a championship with a prize pool of $300,000, which will be held in Hong Kong on 24-26 August. The holding place of the event is Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center.
An interesting peculiarity of this championship is absence of the group stage. Eight collectives will fight at the playoff stage which will be held in the Single Elimination bracket. The collectives will not have the right to make a mistake and all the meeting will be elimination matches.
ZOTAC is a producer of the PC goods for gamers and a organizer of CS:GO tournaments. The previous tournament from ZOTAC was rather small and the prize pool of ZOTAC Cup Elite eSports Arena 2017 was only ~$14,500. It is quite possible that ZOTAC will hold major championships and one day their tournaments will be the same as the tournaments from DreamHack or ESL.
Participants in ZOTAC Cup Masters 2018
Eight collectives will take part in ZOTAC Cup Masters 2018 and among them we can see MIBR, OpTic Gaming, TyLoo, Virtus.pro, Flash Gaming, MVP.PK, Ghost Gaming and Team Kinguin. Five collectives got direct invitations as the others were obliged to pass regional elimination rounds. MIBR, OpTic Gaming, TyLoo, Virtus.pro and Flash Gaming got direct invitations. MVP.PK, Ghost Gaming and Team Kinguin were not lucky enough. MVP.PK made it through the Asian qualifier, Ghost Gaming — through the American qualifier and Team Kinguin became the best team that performed at the European elimination round. We want to remind you that the initial list of the invited teams included the strongest team of North America Team Liquid, but the representatives of Liquid decided to cancel their participation in the tournament and their slot was taken by OpTic Gaming.
The prize pool of ZOTAC Cup Masters 2018 will be $300,000. The winner will get the main money reward of $200,000. The team that will take the second place will get $60,000 for their efforts, while the participants, reaching the 3-4 place, will get consolation prizes of $20,000. The teams losing at the first matches and taking the 5-8 position in the tournament bracket will leave the championship with no prize.
Analysis of the participants
MIBR (also known as Made in Brazil) can’t be named neither favourites of the tournament nor outsiders at the moment. Ex-players of SK Gaming cannot find the optimal decision of reaching the maximum result. After SK leaving, CS:GO roster had a replacement. Ricardo “boltz” Prass, who became inactive by his own initiative, was replaced by ex-player of Cloud9, Tarik “tarik” Celik. Later one of the most famous analysts of the CS:GO sphere Janko “YNk” Paunovic joined the collective as the coach and now he is developing the team. The players think that the fresh perspective can help them to get out of the unpleasant situation they are experiencing now.
After FalleN and Co leaving of SK Gaming, the players took part in two tournament where they participated rather poorly. At ESL One Cologne 2018 they took the 7-8 place and got a money reward of $7,500. After ESL One Cologne 2018, the Brazilians made a replacement in their CS:GO roster, and at ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2018 MIBR they together with tarik got the 5-6 position in the tournament bracket. The Brazilians got a money reward of $40,000 for their efforts at the one-million championship.
Now MIBR are not in a very good play shape even though they are holding the seventh place in the world rating. We could not fail to notice that tarik and YNk help their team to develop but it is unknow how much time they need to get into good shape. We think that MIBR should now get the last place at the tournament for sure. At the first match they will be playing against the Chinese opponents Flash Gaming. At the next match they will meet with TyLoo or Team Kinguin. Getting to the final will be rather difficult for MIBR, which can’ be said about getting to the semifinal. We think that MIBR are more likely to finish their participating at the semifinal.
MIBR roster and the players’ rating:
Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo — 1.07
Fernando “fer” Alvarenga — 1.13
Marcelo “coldzera” David — 1.17
Jacky “Stewie2K” Yip — 1.02
Tarik “tarik” Celik — 0.98
Janko “YNk” Paunovic — coach
The Polish collective had been experiencing a period of standstill before Wiktor “TaZ” Wojtas joined the team. After the ex-player of Virtus.pro joined the team, the collective refreshed and renewed, even if it took them a long time to do it. The Polish started to show good results only in the summer. In June Kinguin managed to take the second place in the Polish league PLE S3, and later they took the first place at ZOTAC Cup Masters 2018 - Europe and got a money reward of $10,000, and also an invitation to the final part of the tournament.
Team Kinguin hold the 34 place in the list of the best CS:GO rosters according to HLTV.org. At the quarter final they will play against the strongest Chinese team TyLoo, that, by the way, hold only the 12 place in HLTV rating. We think that Team Kinguin are more likely to end up their participation at the quarter final and will leave this tournament with no prize.If they win over the Chinese and get to the final somehow, then apart from the final results, the Polish will make a good impression on all of the viewers as Kinguin are one of outsiders but not favourites.
Team Kinguin’s roster and the players’ rating:
Wiktor “TaZ” Wojtas — 1.04
Mikolaj “mouz” Karolewski — 1.14
Karol “rallen” Rodowicz — 1.18
Pawel “reatz” Janczak — 1.11
Jacek “MINISE” Jeziak — 1.14
Mariusz “Loord” Cybulski — coach
OpTic Gaming are one of the strongest Danish teams. In the world rating of the best CS:GO roster, they hold the fifteenth place while in the list of the best teams in Denmark they hold the third place. The team was created on 24 April and since then their roster hasn’t been changed. In this period OpTic Gaming managed to take the 7-8 place at ESL Pro League Season 7 - Finals, the 2 place at DreamHack Open Summer 2018 and the 2 place at Europe Minor Championship - London 2018.
At the first match OpTic Gaming will face the representatives of the tag Ghost Gaming. We think that OpTic are favourites of getting to the semifinal and the Danish are more likely to become one of the finalists as the will play with MVP PK or Virtus.pro at the semifinal, and OpTic can fight with any of the teams. OpTic Gaming are our main favourites at ZOTAC Cup Masters 2018.
Optic Gaming’s roster and the players’ rating:
Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke — 1.16
Rene “cajunb” Borg — 1.10
Nicklas “gade” Gade — 1.02
Marco “Snappi” Pfeiffer — 0.96
Jakob “JUGi” Hansen — 1.10
Casper “ruggah” Due — coach
At the moment Virtus.pro are having a difficult situation. The Polish players haven’t been able to find an optimal decision to improve their results. They have tried many methods for achieving their goals: changes of the roles in the team, changes in the CS:GO roster and many other things. As judged by the information we have at the moment, we are not going to see the Virtus.pro soon. After their win at Adrenalyne Cyber League 2017, the team haven’t got any team yet. TaZ and Snax leaving of the team didn’t help to improve the results of the teams. On 6 August, Virtus.pro completed their roster one more time. Two days before Virtus.pro, playing with stand-in Piotr “morelz” Taterka, had managed to take the 3-4 place at the major tournament Intel Extreme Masters XIII - Shanghai and got a prize reward of $22,000 for their efforts.
Now Virtus.pro are at the 20 position in the list of the best CS:GO roster according to HLTV.org. After signing of the ex-player of AGO Esports Michał “snatchie” Rudzki , it will be the debut major LAN tournaments for the newed roster of Virtus.pro.
At the match of the quarter final Virtus.pro will play against the South Korean team MVP PK, which is placed on the 52 place in the world rating. We think that Virtus.pro must get to the semifinal but the next battle where their opponents are more likely to be OpTic Gaming, will be more difficult than the match against MVP PK.
Virtus.pro’s roster and the players’ rating:
Filip “NEO” Kubski — 0.94
Jaroslaw “pashBiceps” Jarzabkowski — 1.05
Pawel “byali” Bielinski — 1.08
Michal “MICHU” Muller — 1.06
Michal “snatchie” Rudzki — 1.11
Jakub “kuben” Gurczynski — coach
TyLoo is the best team in China. The representatives of this famous tag are placed on the 12 position in the list of the best CS:GO rosters according to HLTV.org. In our opinion, at the moment TyLoo are one of the favourites of the win at the first matches and at the whole tournament. Recently the results of this collective have been pretty good. TyLoo managed to get the second place at Intel Extreme Masters XIII - Shanghai and Asia Minor Championship - London 2018, and also the 3-4 place at CS:GO Asia Championships 2018.
At the first match the representatives of the Chinese team will meet with the Polish opponent Team Kinguin. Taking into account the play shape of any of the teams, TyLoo are more likely to continue participating in the tournament at the semifinal where they will meet with the winner of the pair Flash Gaming vs MIBR.
TyLoo’s roster and the players’ rating:
Ke “Mo” Liu — 1.00
Hui “DD” Wu — 1.08
Haowen “somebody” Xu — 1.09
Hansel “BnTeT” Ferdinand — 1.13
Kevin “xccurate” Susanto — 1.12
Ghost Gaming are a mix of the players from Canada and North America who hold the 37 position in the list of the best CS:GO teams according to HLTV.org. In recent times, the brightest achievement of the Canadian collective is the win at ZOTAC Cup Masters 2018 - Americas, thanks to which Ghost Gaming got an invitation to ZOTAC Cup Masters 2018.
We should mark the fact that not a long time ago one of the players of the team Matt “Pollo” Wilson left the collective and CS:GO roster has only four players now. Before the new season was started, it had been decided to take Kevin “kRYSTAL” Amend by lease from the British tag The Imperial. Kevin will perform instead of Ghost as a stand-in during ZOTAC Cup Masters 2018 and DreamHack Masters Stockholm 2018.
At the first match Ghost Gaming will play against one of the favourites of the tournament , the Danish team OpTic Gaming, so it means that their chances to get to the semifinal are very low. In our opinion, Ghost Gaming are one of the outsiders of the tournament and the fact that the team will be playing with a stand-in just proves our guesses.
Ghost Gaming’s roster and the players’ rating:
Matthew “Wardell” Yu — 1.15
Yassine “Subroza” Taoufik — 1.04
Joshua “steel” Nissan — 1.07
Kenneth “koosta” Suen — 1.10
Kevin “kRYSTAL” Amend (lease from The Imperial) — 1.00
James “JamezIRL” Macaulay — coach
MVP PK is a very famous eSports organisation in South Korea. It can be also said about their CS:GO roster, that, by the way, holds the 52 place in the world rating. Unlike many other participants of the oncoming tournament, MVP PK don’t have a huge number of achievements in their history. Lately, they have managed to stand out with their win at ZOTAC Cup Masters 2018 - Asia, thanks to which the Korean were able to get an invitation to ZOTAC Cup Masters 2018.
At the quarter final, MVP PK will perform against Virtus.pro, whose experience exceed the experience of the representatives of MVP. So that is why we think that MVP PK will hardly get to the semifinal but leave the championship with nothing taking the 5-8 position in the tournament bracket.
MVP PK’s roster and the players’ rating:
Kang “solo” Keun-chul — 1.05
Kim “glow” Min-soo — 1.01
Park “zeff” Min-seok — 1.04
Lee “XigN” Hyun-pyo — 1.24
Seon-ho “minixeta” Son — 1.14
Pyeon “termi” Seon-ho — coach
Flash Gaming is the second strong team in China that hold the 65 place in the list of the best CS:GO rosters according to HLTV.org. This team can’t be named strong. In 2018, Flash Gaming were able to earn only $3,000 thanks to their 7-8 place in the tournament bracket of StarLadder & ImbaTV Invitational Chongqing 2018. We should emphasize the fact that the Chinese got a direct invitation to the championship and didn’t get it at the qualifiers. Except for this tournament, Flash couldn’t express themselves as they have to. Taking this fact into account and also paying attention that the Chinese are to meet with MIBR at the quarter final, we think that this team is a clear outsider. Flash Gaming are more likely to get the 5-8 place and go home with nothing.
Flash Gaming’s roster and the players’ rating:
YuLun “Summer” Cai — 1.07
YuanZhang “Attacker” Sheng — 1.07
KunHua “LOVEYY” Bai — 0.93
WeiJie “zhokiNg” Zhong (leased) — 1.05
Wing Hei “Freeman” Cheung (leased) — 1.10
ZhengHui “z8z” Liu — coach
We suppose that the tournament will end up with these results:
1 place — OpTic Gaming
2 place — TyLoo
3 place — MIBR
4 place — Virtus.pro
5 place — Flash Gaming
6 place — Team Kinguin
7 place — MVP PK
8 place — Ghost Gaming