The DreamHack Masters are sneakily one of the best tournament series in CS. They have one of the most expensive formats, and generate a glut of quality BO3 matches. They teams are separated into two groups of eight playing in double elimination brackets. The opening matches are best of one, and all the following matches are best of three. Six teams make the playoffs, with the two group winners being given a semi finals berth.
The tournament starts May 28th, with playoffs kicking off on May 31st.
Do remember to check out our recommended betting sites here:
This is one of the most stacked tournaments we’ve seen in a while. The field is very competitive, and it feels very much like this could be anyone’s tournament. All of the teams in the top five feel like they have a convincing case to take home the trophy.
Liquid are the prohibitive favorites, and for good reason. Neither Astralis nor Na’Vi will be in attendance, which makes Liquid the only team here to have recently won an event, besides ENCE. Liquid have some of the most potent star power out of any of the teams on this list, with twist, EliGE, naf, and stewie capable of toeing off against any team here.
This core is still relatively young, having played only 60 maps with Stewie. This puts them in a sweet spot for CS:GO lineups. They have played together enough that they should all have a good sense of who is doing what, but they’re still young enough to have room to improve, and are still (hopefully) not sick of each other. Liquid should be cresting now, hitting their stride in the run up to the Berlin Major. A win in Dallas would do a lot for their spot in the world ranking, and would likely be enough for some to crown them as the new number one team in the world.
This tournament is ENCE’s chance to really solidify their position as a top three team in CS:GO. They’re coming off a strong win over Astralis in the grand finals of BLAST Pro Madrid, where they manhandled Astralis in a 2-0 victory, ending the Danes map win streak on Nuke and showing them up on Train.
The most encouraging part of their performance in Spain was Aerial’s monster statline. He put up 46-34 over the two maps with an ADR of 91. Aerial playing well is ENCE’s win condition, as he is the tertiary factory on the team that can put them above teams like Astralis and Liquid. When Aerial is playing his best and allu and sergej are performing at their normal level, ENCE becomes a team that has world beating potential.
The fact that FaZe are this high up is just silly. They’ve accomplished nothing this year, they’re playing with a brand new IGL, and this roster has been in turmoil for the better part of six months. I don’t really see a world where FaZe take this tournament, so having them at the third best odds makes no sense at all.
Not to mention the fact that their map pool is all over the place. The bottom four maps in their pool are all awful, and this tournament is going to be played predominantly on best of threes. I don’t see FaZe making playoffs, much less being a contender for taking home the trophy.
The Frenchmen of Vitality have non-negligible underdog potential. There are very few best of threes where they won’t have the best player on the server in ZywOo. At this point though, that’s a known factor. What really makes Vitality interesting as an underdog is what supporting cast shows up.
Are we going to see prime NBK, all star entry fragger apEX, and rock solid RPK? Or are we going to see a bunch of buffoons squandering the talents of one of the best young players in CS? History would show we are likely to get the latter. But, in the event we do see the former, this tournament could get even more interesting.
Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Fnatic have taken second at the two biggest tournaments since the Major, StarSeries and IEM Sydney. They have looked like a team on the rise since Katowice, and are starting to put together an impressive resume. A win in Dallas would put them securely in the top five conversation, which would be a first for them since they broke up their Major winning lineup.
Krimz and JW have both been putting together legitimate cases for comeback player of the year. After a disappointing 2018 filled with roster shuffles ad nauseum, the old guard have been playing particularly well under the loving care of new IGL Xizt. This combined with the emergence of Brollan as a potential superstar, have turned Fnatic into a real force in international CS.
Speaking of comeback player of the year, NiP have had a surprise resurgence in tier one CS. Their run of good form has mostly been predicated on f0rest’s recent run, where he was routinely putting up ratings of over 1.10, which is pretty good.
Unfortunately the supporting cast around f0rest has been struggling to produce. REZ is their next best player statistically, but he tends to be pretty up and down. The real disappointment, for me at least, has been Dennis’ lack of impact on this team. He has been one of the best Swedish players over the course of the last couple years, and it’s a shame to see him underperforming on what would otherwise be a pretty competitive roster.
It looks like NRG might be starting to put it together. They’ve had two 3rd/4th place finishes at their last two big events, and they’ve been able to put together some impressive wins, taking best of threes over North, MIBR, BIG, FaZe, and Vitality. The team seems to be gelling under the leadership of daps, and all of their players are fragging consistently now. I’ve said for a longtime that NRG would be a force to be reckoned with assuming all their players could frag at the level we think they can. If CeRq, tarik, ethan, and brehze can all play at their best together, NRG could be a top five team in the world.
I feel kind of like I was duped by the Renegades. After a respectable set of wins in Katowice and a near playoff berth at StarSeries, they went on to get dumpstered on their home turf at IEM Sydney. They’re in a pretty tough group in Dallas, and it’ll likely come down to them versus NRG for the third spot in the playoffs, and I’m not sure I’d pick them to move on. JKS and jkaem have both been admittedly excellent this year, but I don’t think the team has enough oomph to turn them into a contender.
It will never cease to amaze me how poorly the Danish scene performs, minus Astralis. They seem to be one of the deepest regions in CS, and yet can’t seem to put together a second team capable of making deep tournament runs.
North are coming into this tournament fresh off removing their in game leader cadiaN. This isn’t a bad move per se, as cadiaN is a replacement level IGL at best. But North has been a team marred by a lack of continuity for essentially their entire existence. Maybe jugi will make a big difference for them? I’d wager no, but it’s certainly possible. This event should be looked at as a measuring stick for their future performance, and nothing more. It’s highly unlikely they make any real noise in Dallas.
I’m impressed that G2’s odds are this low. They are a team that has been consistently overrated, due to the starpower on the team. +2200 to win seems right to me, as I consider them the least likely team here that actually has some shot at winning the tournament. Personally I would be surprised if they make the playoffs, but it’s not impossible.
First Round Matchups
Vitality (-167) vs North (+120)
Against my better judgment, I kind of like North here. Vitality have a notoriously weak supporting cast, and I wouldn’t put it past them to crumble in the opening best of one.
FaZe (-223) vs Windigo (+155)
FaZe just picked up a new IGL. Like, last week. Then they lost to Virtus.Pro who are, for all intents and purposes, a tier three team. I’ll take Windigo here, although I’d make it a small bet. It’s rarely smart to put big money on NiKo losing.
NiP (-400) vs TyLoo (+255)
I like NiP here, but -400 is too much. I really want to buy TyLoo, especially because I love Chinese CS, but they don’t have much going for them. NiP might be fun in a parlay, but not much to be gained here.
Fnatic (-250) vs Cloud9 (+175)
Fnatic are hot right now, which seems crazy, especially if you’re familiar with these two teams. Cloud9 essentially poached the in game leader that Fnatic developed on their academy team, the same IGL that led them to some of their best placings in years. You’d think that C9, especially after taking the Boston Major in 2018, would be in a better spot. And yet, I’m picking Fnatic over them. Crazy how that happens, huh?
NRG (-334) vs Furia (+220)
I really like Furia here. I’m pretty consistently shaky on NRG, and Furia are underrated right now. They play in the Mountain Dew League, not a lot of people watch them, and the marquee names on NRG tend to tip odds in their favor. While NRG definitely has the edge in star power, Furia have been playing together as a unit for much longer, and kscerato has been playing lights out for months, solidifying him as one of the best up and coming players in the world, much less in the NA region.
ENCE (-2000) vs Isurus (+700), Liquid (-2000) vs Lucid Dream (+700), Renegades (-154) vs G2 (+110)
The first two are obvious stay away games. There’s no value to be had on a -2000 overdog, especially when playing against two no name teams like Isurus and Lucid Dream.
The Renegades G2 game is a less obvious stay away, but still not a game I’d like to put money down on. I find it hard to bet against G2 in best of ones, as their talent can occasionally be overwhelming, especially to teams like Renegades. No value to be had here, so an easy stay away for me.
Getting Fnatic at +1000 to win the event feels like a steal. They’ve been playing exceptionally well since the Major in February, and have come close to stealing titles from Liquid and Na’Vi within the last two months.
NRG (-334) vs Furia (+220)
Furia is being criminally underrated here. This tournament feels like it could be the breakout for kscerato and the boys, and that would have to start with trouncing NRG in the opening best of one.
Vitality (-167) vs North (+120)
Before you say anything, yes I know I didn’t sound very bullish on North in the outrights section. But +120 to beat Vitality is pretty nice, especially with how fragile the Frenchmen are.
This event should be a ball, to watch and to wager on. An expansive format, a great batch of teams, what should hopefully be some scrappy games, should all combine to put on a great show.