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Pre-Fire Predictions - 11 December 2020

ZywOo will look to carry his team to yet another final, but he will face tough competition from XANTARES' and syrsoN's BIG.

Valle | Dec 11, 2020 | Pre-Fire Predictions

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Natus Vincere -vs- FURIA

Top Pick: s1mple (NaVi)

Outsider Pick: yuurih (FURIA)

NaVi are set to face off against FURIA in the lower-bracket of BLAST Premier Fall Finals. This will be the first time that these two teams face-off, so there is no map history to break down between the two teams. Thankfully, the veto should be pretty straight forward for this one. Both teams should stick to their usual perma-bans of Dust2 and Vertigo. FURIA will likely go for Inferno, which is their most picked map in the pool and a pretty poor one for NaVi. When NaVi cannot pick Dust2, they usually go for Train and considering that this is FURIA's worst map in terms of win rate, it would be surprising to see them pick anything else. Nuke is a map where both teams are pretty comfortable, so this seems like the most reasonable decider if this was to go to three maps. 

With this in mind, there are a few names that stand out. The most obvious one is s1mple. I don't think it is necessary to ramble too much about his quality. He is simply one of the world's best players, and Train is a map where he can really get the most out of his sniping prowess. The second one is yuurih, who has been excellent for FURIA, leading his team in several statistical categories on Inferno and Train. Over the past three months, he has been dominant, posting 0.77 kills/round on Inferno and 0.87 kills/round on Train. 

While s1mple and yuurih are my top picks for this matchup, there are a few other players worth considering. electronic has the potential to really pop off now and then, and he is the only other guy that I would consider on NaVi. It is also worth noting how unbelievably good VINI is on Inferno. VINI has always been a solid player on this map, but over the past three months, he has taken things to a different level. Over the past three months, he is tied for first alongside yuurih with 0.77 kills/round on this map. This is noteworthy because he is otherwise the bottom fragger on a very individually skilled roster. The problem is that his upside is limited on the other maps in the pool, and if this goes to three maps, his chances of top-scoring are slim.  

Vitality -vs- BIG

Top Pick: ZywOo (Vitality)

Outsider Pick: XANTARES (BIG)

A spot in the grand finals will be up for grabs as Vitality take on BIG in BLAST Premier Fall. Vitality have been the better team in this matchup historically, winning four out of five games against BIG this year. 

The map veto is hard to call, as we have seen both teams mix it up during this time period. Dust2 has been BIG's map choice in the last three games against Vitality, and they have continued to pick it despite losing three straight. Vitality have picked Overpass and Nuke in the last two, but before that, Inferno was their most common map choice. Considering that they lost Nuke to BIG in their last match, I would expect them to go back to picking either Overpass or Inferno.

Inferno and Dust2 are maps where Vitality use their sixth player, Nivera. Since he joined the team, they have not dropped a game on Inferno, winning six straight. Considering that Dust2 is a probable map choice for BIG, Nivera could be in action more than twice in this match -- and he could be in for a big night if he does. Since joining, Nivera has posted an incredible 0.80 kills/round, just a decimal point shy of ZywOo on these maps. However, picking anyone but ZywOo, RpK and apEX is risky without knowing the map veto beforehand, since any of the other players could be swapped out depending on which map is played. For that reason, I can only recommend picking ZywOo with confidence from Vitality, but both Nivera and shox have potential depending on the veto.

On BIG, it is a close call between XANTARES and syrsoN. Personally, I would edge it slightly in favour of XANTARES due to the possibility of Inferno being played, where syrsoN isn't quite as impactful due to how difficult it is to AWP on T-side on this map. An added bonus is that the Puntt AI has syrsoN ahead of XANTARES, so a bet on XANTARES may yield a bigger return. 

Espada -vs- Movistar Riders

Top Pick: degster (Espada)

Outsider Pick: Patsi (Espada)

Espada will be the favourite heading into this best-of-one against Movistar Riders in the European Development Championship. HLTV recently did a piece on degster of Espada in their "One for the Future" series, but I think people who have followed the CIS scene has known of this guy's quality for a while. 

So far this year, the Russian AWPer has averaged 0.81 kills/round in all competitions, making him the clear cut favourite to top the board in this matchup. However, it is worth noting that this will be a BO1, which does open up for a few outsiders. The best players tend to come out on top over three maps, but a BO1 is a different story altogether. 

We may end up on Overpass in this match, a map that both team like to play and have a good win rate on. This is an excellent map for Patsi, who has had a few crazy performances on this map recently. He dropped 37 frags in a win against NaVi Junior, and he dropped another 30 bomb against SG.Pro just a couple of days ago. 

Another player worth mentioning on Espada is Dima, but I like Patsi a bit more due to current form and the chance of Overpass being played.

Movistar Riders will definitely have a hard time against this hot-firing Espada team, but I would never rule out the chance of an underdog topping the board in a BO1. Normally, ALEX is a guy I would look to on Movistar Riders, but he has not been in good form recently. Instead, I would consider the Estonian player shokz, who leads all players on Movistar Riders with 0.73 kills/round over the past three months. His play on Overpass has also been solid, especially in the past month where he has posted 0.79 kills/round in six matches.

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