The fifth edition of DreamHack’s own DreamLeague will descend upon us in just two days! The League Play portion of the tournament concluded almost a month ago on April 21st, 2016, from which three teams emerged: namely, Natus Vincere, No Diggity, and Virtus.pro. They will be joining DreamLeague Season 4 champions OG in bracket play this Saturday.
This means that the CIS region will have two representatives at the LAN finals, which said region could really use. Empire has been leading the region for a while now, but other than them the others haven’t really been performing. This gives Na’Vi and VP quite the task to fulfill, but at least they make up half of the field right off the bat. As for the other two teams, OG will have to prove once again that they’re still a top team capable of winning tournaments, while No Diggity will have to put the rest of the scene on notice.
Natus Vincere — 5/2 — bet365
No Diggity — 25/1 — bet365
OG — 6/5 — bet365
Virtus.pro — 11/4 — bet365
All hail lord Miracle-, the first to break 9000 MMR. After the performance he put on at EPICENTER (despite his team eventually losing to Newbee in the lower bracket), he deserves every single point of that matchmaking rating. Although he switches roles on the regular with n0tail, no single player right now personifies the phrase “hard carry”. Whether his teammates are rolling like they should be or they’re having off games, they can count on Miracle- to save the day.
In a LAN this short, having the #1 carry player in the world can be a huge deal. Relying on a single player to help you get past tough opponents tends to backfire in longer formats, gassing your team especially if you have to play long series against stronger teams. Should OG get past No Diggity (which they really should, on paper), the rest of the tournament should be easy for them — or Miracle-, at least. They would only have to play a maximum of two sets from there assuming they get knocked into the lower bracket, making the conditions favor them. Plus, knowing that they can be a solid team when they’re all working together and not just leaving it all to the pubstar, betting on them to win it all is still a good idea.
We haven’t even gotten into how they’ve really settled into the patch.
Na’Vi: one of the more questionable invitees to the Manila Major. They’ve definitely been improving as of late, but at the time of the invites announcement the results weren’t quite there yet. They did, however, post an impressive 11-3 record in League Play, in a field that has Empire, VP, and Vega in it. This indicates that their steady rise back to tier 1 hasn’t stopped at all.
The 5/2 price on Dendi and pals is pretty decent, especially for the Na’Vi faithful. Even those that aren’t fans of the team should consider forking out some cash on an outright winner bet on them. It will take them plenty of effort (and even a bit of luck), but to say that they’re not viable contenders for the DreamLeague Season 5 title would be plain wrong. If they’ve been practicing and solidifying their teamwork, they should at least get to the winners’ bracket finals.
SyndereN’s team has been rolling along quite nicely, though of course they’ve yet to win anything. This is technically their second LAN appearance — the first being their wildcard run at Epicenter where they were taken out by CompLexity. This will, however, be the first LAN where they’ll actually be playing for prize money and not just a spot in the tournament itself.
They’re currently priced at 25/1, which would give ridiculously good returns should they win the whole thing — but let’s face it, it’s going to be a while before they get to the point where they’re a serious threat to other teams. If you’re in a high-rolling mood, you’re still better off betting on the last team we’re talking about in this preview. It would be quite the miracle if No Diggity even made it to the grand finals.
Now that Vega Squadron is out of the picture, Virtus.pro will be that other CIS team fighting for the title at DreamLeague. This current VP squad managed to beat the new Team Secret in a best of 3 at Epicenter, but they were not able to defeat EG to advance into the winners’ bracket. From there they just fell to CompLexity, who went on to finally beat EG after so many months.
Though their talent and chemistry cannot be denied, this team has issues keeping momentum. They took the first game against EG in their group B series, but failed to close it out in the next game. From there it looked like they were taken out of sorts, and of course straight out of the tournament. This kind of inconsistency isn’t going to help them here, so we don’t recommend betting on them to win the whole thing. Look out for them in individual matches, though — they’re still quite solid when they’re playing well.
OG to win outright with bet365 at 6/5 (2.20)
Natus Vincere to win outright with bet365 at 5/2 (3.50)
OG is the obvious safe bet, considering their third place finish at Epicenter and the comfort they seem to be enjoying this patch. Na’Vi is a rapidly improving team with strong potential, now just waiting for results to finally come their way after all their hard work. Their chances here are decent at best, but with the potential reward they’re a solid pick here.
— written by Patrick “EthanKairos” Bonifacio (@EthanKairosSC2)