The Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta is gearing up for an action-packed weekend, hosting a number of tournaments with DreamHack Atlanta and Hi-Rez Expo taking place. Included in this, and our focus for this preview, is none other than the DreamHack Open.
A breath of fresh air following the stacked cast that had attended IEM Chicago just last week, DreamHack Open will furnish competition between eight mid-tier Counter-Strike teams over the course of the weekend for their slice of a $100,000 prize purse.
There’s an interesting mix of teams playing in Atlanta, each with rousing narratives to supplement the action in-game. We’re taking a closer look at the teams and what you need to know in this week’s ESI Gambling Report, powered by BetOnBit.
French debut on LAN
While Team Vitality may be the newest in this lineup, their roster is boasting some serious firepower. Having formed just over a month ago on October 8, the French organisation has expressed designs of becoming a top CS:GO team in the competitive circuit.
The Vitality roster comprised of former G2 men, Nathan ‘NbK’ Schmitt and Dan ‘apEX’ Madesclaire was complemented by the enlisting of Vincent ‘Happy’ Cervoni, Cédric ‘RpK’ Guipouy, and Mathieu ‘ZywOo’ Herbaut – setting some pretty weighty expectations from the start.
It’s incredibly rare for Counter-Strike teams to come out of the woodwork and go on a rampage through the professional circuit – Vitality’s story is no exception. The French roster has undoubtedly faced some hardship online since their inception in October, ending up on the losing side in matchups one would only assume the star-studded cast should win. On Tuesday, news broke that Vitality’s coach Philippe “faculty” Rodier would step down from his position with the team, leaving fans perplexed and the squad’s overall prospect in limbo. Because faculty’s resignation still remains a mystery, we’re not sure how this will pan out; we know his role was an integral part of the Vitality project, so we’re guessing this alteration will come with some complications. DreamHack Open is the first LAN event for Vitality, playing alongside a pattern of teams many believe they can compete with; despite recent troubles, the tournament should be a proving ground for Vitality and a glimpse into what they can do in the servers.
Traces of the London Major
North American side, compLexity, garnered both our attention and our respect at the FACEIT London Major in September.
This is a team with a bulk of capability on LAN who can challenge the strongest teams on their best day – however, their probably searching for better days. Their run at the most recent cs_summit 3 yielded a disappointingly early exit with loses against OpTic Gaming and a rickety G2 side; albeit, the matches were hard-fought and close, compLexity just couldn’t seem to bring it together there. Having a look at coL’s recent outings in the ESL Pro League and ECS Season 6, their results don’t look half-bad; Team Liquid, Renegades and eUnited all found themselves on the losing side against this NA bunch.
While these outcomes might raise an eyebrow, going from online to LAN as they will at DreamHack Open will be an entirely different play-field. The composition of compLexity is deep and talented though – if they can get out on the right foot, they very well could be a contender for first.
On the hunt
Speaking of another NA competitor, eUnited is another team to look out for during the DreamHack Open due to some flashy transfers in the last several weeks. Most notably, former Cloud9 player, Pujan “FNS” Mehta makes his return to professional Counter-Strike by signing with eUnited three weeks ago. FNS will fill the in-game leader role for the squad in hopes of introducing a higher-level of play into the team’s dynamic. What makes eUnited’s prospect even juicier at this event in Atlanta is the acquisition of Austin “Cooper” Abadir, former Swole Patrol player who brings a truckload of fragging power with him to this roster. Dealing one of two blows to send Na’Vi home at IEM Chicago, the NA qualifier had a decent showing all things considered at this skillfully-charged event. Cooper enters this lineup less than a week after their outing in Chicago – whether they’ll turn heads or not in Atlanta within this new configuration, is up for debate.
There are no weak links in this DreamHack Open cast – all things considered, we’re anticipating this tournament to be a real dogfight. While not mentioned in this preview, Ghost Gaming, Fragsters and Luminosity are all teams showing promise as of recent and able to steal the trophy in Atlanta.
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