On Saturday Dreamhack Summer begins, the once so prestigious tournament within the Counter-Strike scene. The game and the eSports scene around it has since grown a lot and Jönköping, Sweden is no longer a big enough stage to attract the elite teams.
But regardless there's several exciting teams just below the elite level that will attend this weekend. Dreamhack will be a good pointer to which teams that are in good form and on their way up in the world rankings.
Swedish Godsent faces Polish AGO in the opening match in group A where the bookmakers deem the Poles to be the favourites in the encounter. They're both quite evenly matched teams, the Poles are ranked sixteenth in the world, one placing above Godsent. AGO had some pretty impressive scalps during StarSeries, but Godsent showed some promising signs as well. It's two teams showing good form and the match should be an interesting one to watch.
Godsent's Hampus was a monster during StarSeries and if the rest of the team could just step up their game just a little the Swedes could go far in this tournament, especially with the crowd behind them. With that said they have a tough group and even if they manage to beat AGO in their opening game, the favourites North still stands in their way before they can reach the play-off.
If you look at the head-to-head market you might scratch your head wondering why AGO are the favourites, despite their good form. Out of the last six encounters, the Swedes have won five of them. AGO seem to have recuring problems with Godsent's playstyle. The opening match of the tournament is decided in one single map, if that maps ends up being Inferno the Poles are to be regarded as favourites, but it's hard to see why Godsent would let that one through the ban phase. 11/10 at MrGreen for a Godsent victory feels like a very good bet in other words.
Renegades has during the last couple of months established themselves as a solid "mid-table team", to borrow a term from traditional sports. They seem to have found the right pieces to complete the roster alongside their Australian core of players. The young American sniper Nifty is already seen as a big name for the future of North American CS and the Norwegian Jkaem has been brought back to life after Renegades took a big gamble on the once so promising talent.
The Australians received a good draw as the number one seed in group B. Dreamhack uses the classic GSL-system during the group stage, which means they'll have to win their two opening matches to emerge as group winners. In their first match they'll take on the American team CompLexity, the worst team in the tournament, which they should be able to defeat without much issue. Round two will be a bit tougher as they'll face off against the winners between Gambit and Optic, but Renegades should be seen as favourites regardless of the opposition.
The Kazakh team Gambit has shown poor performances lately and they were one amongst many teams that recently made a change to their roster, bringing in the Russian talent Mir in Seized's place. The question is if it's enough to turn things around for them. The team has undeniable talent, but their problems have mostly stemmed from poor leadership and organization within the team.
Optic also looks quite strong on paper, k0nfig is one of the best players in the world individually, but it's a team that has been recently put together and their results have been far from impressive thus far. Renegades is simply a more complete squad. The Australians faced both Gambit and Optic in May and won both fixtures. Bet-at-home offers 3/2 for Renegades as group winners, which is quite generous.
Danish North is regarded as the tournament favourite. Historically they've shown mixed results with many roster moves that have been questionable to say the least. But now they seem to have stabilized around the tenth place in the world rankings.
They're up against the European mix team Imperial, ranked as number 37, in their first game. 9/20 for an outright North victory on Betway is not a bad bet, but 9/10 with a –3,5 round handicap on the same site is even more intriguing.
It feels a bit excessive to motivate why North is the better team in this match-up, as it should be an easy game on paper for the Danes. The only scenario that could jeopardize the victory is if North would fumble on both pistol rounds and that Imperial would then capitalize on the following eco-rounds.
A lot of things need to go wrong for the Danes if they're to lose this. To sum things up there's definitely value in the beforementioned handicap bet that Betway offers.