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Pre-Fire Predictions 6 November 2020
We have an action-packed schedule of matches to look forward to this weekend as IEM Beijing is set to get underway.
Valle | Nov 06, 2020 | Pre-Fire Predictions
FaZe vs. OG
Top Pick: valde/mantuu (OG)
Outsider Pick: coldzera (FaZe)
FaZe are currently playing with olofmeister as a stand-in after NiKo made the move over to G2. They were unable to get a win on the board at BLAST Premier, losing to both BIG and Complexity. While they did show flashes of hope at times, there is no doubt that losing NiKo is a big hit to the team. OG, on the other hand, showed great form at BLAST Premier, beating Natus Vincere twice and Evil Geniuses to top their group.
FaZe have been the stronger team in this matchup historically, winning three out of four series against OG. However, this was back when they still had NiKo on the team. With NiKo gone, coldzera may have additional room to shine, and we saw him top frag for FaZe in both of their losses at BLAST Premier. However, with OG being the most probable winner, the likes of valde and mantuu are better picks, in my opinion. valde was the top fragger for OG when they defeated FaZe in the group stage of IEM New York last month, and mantuu managed to top the entire server despite losing to FaZe at ESL Pro League Season 11.
FaZe will likely pick either Mirage or Dust2 in this series, and their map choice will decide who has the better chance of top fragging on OG, in my opinion. Mirage is an excellent map for valde, who has posted 0.75 frags/round on this map this year. However, on Dust2 it is mantuu who shines the most, having posted 0.74 kills/round as opposed to valde's 0.68 kills/round. It is worth noting that FaZe have picked Mirage in their first two matches without NiKo, and when you consider that OG have a lower overall win rate on this map, it is likely that they will pick it over Dust2. This makes me lean towards valde in this one, but you can certainly make a solid argument for mantuu, as well.
Liquid -vs- Rugratz
Top Pick: EliGE (Liquid)
Outsider Pick: Twistzz/Grim (Liquid)
Liquid are coming in as a huge favourite in this matchup against Rugratz. These teams have never played against each other before, but it is hard to expect anything else but a comfortable victory for Liquid. There is some quality on Rugratz in the form of Infinite in particular, but considering how likely it is that Liquid comfortably wins this, it is hard to make an argument for any Rugratz players.
A lot of the early money has been coming in on Liquid's EliGE, and for good reason. The American has been in great form for Liquid, posting a team-high 0.78 kills/round over the past three months. Another name worth mentioning is Twistzz, who has been very solid ever since they picked up Grim. We may see maps like Inferno and Overpass in this matchup, and these are maps where Twistzz excels, just slightly trailing EliGE with 0.74 kills/round across all matches on these two maps. The only thing that worries me about Twistzz in a matchup like this is that he is a pretty passive player, and he may not be as involved in the action in case of a blowout. A player like Grim may step up in that sort of scenario like he did in their recent win against RGB, where he posted 53 frags and a +23 kill differential on Inferno and Overpass.
Complexity -vs- fnatic
Top Pick: blameF (Complexity)
Outsider Pick: Brollan/KRIMZ (fnatic)
Complexity are coming off their first tournament with jks, whom they picked up from 100 Thieves in late October. It wasn't the smoothest start with jks at BLAST Fall Series, as they dropped games against BIG and Vitality. Despite a less than optimal start with jks, they are coming in as the favourite in this match with fnatic, who have found it difficult to perform in the online landscape.
fnatic have actually been the better team in this matchup historically, winning four out of five meetings between the two sides. Standout names in past series include Brollan, who has been the top fragger in three of these five matches, as well as KRIMZ and JW, who have either top fragged or closely trailed Brollan in several. Another name that stands out is blameF, who has consistently posted high frag totals in past series against fnatic, despite being on the losing end the majority of the time.
To get a better grasp of who could perform on the day, let's break down the map veto in this one.
Nuke has commonly been the map choice of Complexity, a map that has been a clear weak point on the side of fnatic for a long time. However, fnatic have recently started floating Vertigo, a map that was previously their perma-ban. This allowed them to ban Nuke in their last match against Complexity, forcing Complexity to pick either Vertigo or Dust2, two maps where they aren't as confident. This gave us a veto of Train and Vertigo in that match. These are excellent maps for blameF, who is an absolute monster on Train and Vertigo compared to his fellow teammates. He has posted a crazy 0.82 kills/round on Train in 2020, with k0nfig being the second-best with 0.75 kills/round. The same is true on Vertigo, where he has posted 0.77 kills/round, with k0nfig trailing him once more with 0.70 kills/round. This is a stark difference compared to maps like Nuke or Dust2, where the likes of poizon and k0nfig usually have a similar level of upside. The possibility of Train and/or Vertigo being played in this series, makes blameF an excellent pick, in my opinion.
On the fnatic side of things, both Brollan and KRIMZ stand out for the same reason, as they are both very good Vertigo and Train players. While JW has been a great player in past series against Complexity, he mostly excels on maps like Inferno and Nuke, two maps that could easily get banned in this matchup.