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Fabio | 20. May 2021

Flashpoint S3: Astralis & mouz in Upper Bracket

Astralis and mousesports have both made it to the Upper Bracket, but they’re bound to face off soon. In the Lower Bracket, we have already waved goodbye to HYENAS, FaZe, OG, and fnatic.

The fnatic boys are having a tough time. Jesper “JW” Wecksell in particular has suffered one of his worst tournament performances of all time. He took to Twitter to apologize to the fans, but that obviously doesn’t change that the team has a lot of catching-up to do. Jack “Jackinho” Ström Mattsson actually isn’t the problem, but the team just doesn’t synergize at all.

The same holds true for FaZe Clan. Bringing in Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken and Finn “karrigan” Andersen, they planned to turn the ship around, but we haven’t seen any of that just yet. To lose to Sprout in a 1-2 affair really doesn’t scream ‘world dominance’.

At least Vitality have shown some preliminary improvement. After an upset loss to Double Poney, they mounted a 2-0 victory over OG. Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut delivered his usual performance, but Shahar “flameZ” Shushan had an uncharacteristically weak showing. If the team’s honeymoon phase should be over already, Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen and his men will have a tough few months ahead.

ASTRALIS AND MOUZ AT THE TOP

So far, the two teams have been the frontrunners of the playing field. However, the other side of the bracket hasn’t been played out yet. Heroic, G2, NiP, and FPX all have the chance to get this far was well. For some, there is no way to progress, though, as there can only be one winner between the troops of Chris “dexter” Nong and Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander.

Ever since Lucas “Bubzkji” Andersen has been given a somewhat permanent spot on the active roster, the player has proven his potential and the Danes are better off for it. While dexter and his men shouldn’t be able to play to their level, this team has also made great strides in recent weeks.

So how will the rest of the tournament unfold? Even though Heroic failed to reach the Grand Finals of DreamHack Masters, they’re still the favorites at this event. Natus Vincere and Gambit – the only teams to have beat them in recent time – are taking part in the CIS region’s RMR event. Flashpoint will thus give us a glimpse into whether the likes of Astralis have finally got what it takes to contend with the Danes. Casper “cadiaN” Møller and his troops will face off with G2 Esports first, who at least bring some upset potential on paper.

BIG apparently haven’t left their performance slump behind them. Again, they’re in the Lower Bracket. After Sprout have already mounted an upset victory over FaZe, they could just as well surprise us going up against BIG. While Vitality have won over OG, they’re bound to clash with FunPlus Phoenix or the Ninjas in Pyjamas next. For a team playing this inconsistently, even a fresh and shaky NiP roster can become too much to handle.

THE NIP DEBACLE

The Ninjas in Pyjamas have lost out in the eyes of the community. After the players had to suffer horrible conditions in their match against Anonymo (which was Flashpoint’s fault entirely) and even lost the game, the management demanded a replay. Days later, Flashpoint arrived at the same conclusion – but not without causing a fair share of outrage. Anoymo had won. The result had been accepted. Only later, the organizers decided to unpack everything again.

On one hand, it’s wholly understandable that Anonymo feel they’re being treated unfairly. On the other hand, the Ninjas in Pyjamas are also right in saying they shouldn’t have to accept a match result when they had to play with up to 40% packet loss. Both sides have at least partially valid points, which makes this situation infinitely more complicated. Flashpoint should have reacted much sooner and cancelled the match when the conditions were this bad.

But now, the third map has been played out again and Anonymo conceded defeat on a narrow 14-16 scoreline. The Polish fans will have a new enemy now, but at least the Ninjas in Pyjamas are still in the Upper Bracket. This might actually change soon, though. After all, FunPlus Phoenix are no easy opponent to go up against.

The two sides are going to enter the server today already. Before that happens, however, we will first see Heroic and G2 clash. The winning side will move on in the Upper Bracket, where mouz and Astralis are lying in wait. The losers will drop to the Lower Bracket and fight for survival against Vitality or Complexity.