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Fabio | 4. December 2020

A Look at the Playoffs of DreamHack Masters Winter EU

DreamHack Masters Winter EU have taken an unusual turn. Some favorites already exited early on, even teams like Astralis and Complexity had to fight through the Lower Brackets of their respective groups. Now, they’re in the playoffs alongside the likes of mousesports, Cloud9, and Heroic.

In Group A, Heroic and Gambit were the ones to make it through on their first try. As expected, the Danes put up a solid performance versus c0ntact Gaming, but they still struggled against Team Spirit. On the second map, Niokolay “mir” Bityukov and his men dragged the Heroic players through four overtimes, until they finally conceded.

Gambit played out some impressive matches. The actual favorites of this constellation, Complexity and Cloud9, both lost to this Russian team. Even though the two eventually still made playoffs, this doesn’t really bode well for them. Alex “ALEX” McMeekin still seems to be incapable of making the best out of his roster.

The same holds true for the Astralis matches. Following the upset loss to GODSENT, which really no one had predicted, Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander quickly took over the leading reins. Their two follow-up matches were still close ones, but at least Astralis prevailed and made the playoffs.

Team Liquid unfortunately didn’t have the best of luck with their match draws. They came close to defeating mousesports, but eventually failed on two straight maps. Afterwards, they faced Astralis in the Lower Bracket, which very much sealed the deal. As was expected, they lost on an 0-2 score, even though they put up a 14-16 scoreline on Vertigo at least.

G2 Esports managed to make it one step further, but eventually they also had to admit defeat versus Astralis. GODSENT unfortunately failed to convert their Opening Match upset into anything meaningful, entering the Lower Bracket after their loss to mouz. However, they didn’t face G2 Esports or Astralis there, only North. Even though the Danes gave them a run for their money, Martin “STYKO” Styk and his men eventually pulled through.

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM THE PLAYOFFS?

This matchup between Astralis and Gambit is a legendary one. At ESL One Cologne 2016, Gambit managed to win a 16-6 map over the Danes in Group A and entered playoffs as first seed. At the PGL Krakow Major 2017, the grand upset took place, in which Gambit achieved a 2-1 win over Astralis in the Semi Finals. The Kazakh team then entered the Grand Finals, where they managed to succeed, partly thanks to Mikhail “Dosia” Stolyarov’s 200 IQ grenade.

But today, things look a lot different. Gambit aren’t being led by Danylo “Zeus” Teslenko anymore. Their biggest victory in recent history is a 2-1 win over Spirit in the Grand Finals of DreamHack Open November. But at the moment, Astralis are obviously struggling, and Gambit were the ones who made the playoffs after two straight wins. So there’s definitely the potential there for an upset. Just like during the PGL Major, Astralis might find themselves outside the playoffs bracket soon.

Ever since their loss to Cloud9, Complexity just haven’t been the same. ENCE took them to their absolute limits and, going up against Gambit, they weren’t even competitive. Their star players just completely failed to show up – this way, they stand no chance against FURIA. Over at the Brazilian camp, individual prowess reigns supreme. They more than proved this going up against G2 Esports. Almost every player can just take control of the match, run off with the kills, and carry this team to victory. If they manage to do such things against NiKo, how are Complexity supposed to survive?

MOUZ VS. CLOUD9 AGAIN?

This shortly after the BLAST Premier: Fall Showdown, we can see Cloud9 in action against mousesports again. Just a week ago, we witnessed the mouz players absolutely decimate ALEX and his men. On Vertigo in particular, the superior strength of Finn “karrigan” Andersen as an in-game-leader showed. He gave Cloud9 six rounds to show their tactics and reveal their setup. Afterwards, he and his players almost perfectly ran off to a 16-7 victory, only letting go of one small round.

So the chances of this repeating are quite good. ALEX and his men obviously had no idea what hit them, and mousesports have been looking dangerous recently. Even though Cloud9 have now added two more match victories to their growing list, they only took down ENCE and Spirit.

Their side of the playoffs features Heroic, who are surely hoping for a rematch with mousesports themselves. For that to happen, though, they will have to fend off GODSENT, who have definitely gained some traction with their upset win over Astralis. But the rest of their tournament journey didn’t look nearly as convincing, as GODSENT were quite shaky in their loss to mousesports and their narrow win over North. So it stands to question whether they can actually take down a team like Heroic.

The playoffs race is wide open for virtually anyone. Almost all teams have a shot at making the Semi Finals, but who will actually manage to get all the way to the Grand Finals?