Another week, another spectacular CS:GO event to talk about. Now that we know the final ESL Pro League S9 Finals contestants (from all four regions), it’s time to turn our attention towards the upcoming DreamHack Masters event in Dallas. Throughout this article, we’ll be talking about the tournament itself as well as all sixteen participating teams. There’s going to be a lot of action in a tight schedule. DH Masters Dallas 2019 stretches out six days and brings forth a total of 29 matches. So, let’s start this DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019 Preview slowly and check out the most interesting facts regarding it.
As stated above, the total prize pool of DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019 amounts to $250,000. Unfortunately, the official distribution hasn’t been revealed yet but we can still make an accurate assumption based on the previous DH Masters iteration.
That said, I reckon the winning team will go home with $100,000 in their pockets, while the runners-up will get half of that. $22,000 goes to the remaining semifinalists, and the list goes on. Once again, this is not the official DH Masters Dallas 2019 prize pool distribution but an assumption based on DH Masters Stockholm held in August 2018.
The format for DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019 is a bit different than what we’re used to seeing with DH Masters events. No worries, this section of DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019 Preview will tell you all about that.
For starters, the biggest difference is in the group stage system. Last year’s DH Masters Stockholm featured four GSL groups with four teams in each. The top two teams from each group advance to the playoffs which started equally for everyone, at the quarterfinals.
This time around, the playoffs’ seeds prioritize between quarterfinals and semifinals start, depending on the group stage placement. As for the group stage itself, it features just two double-elimination groups with eight teams in each. Top three teams from each group advance to the playoffs. Group winners go straight to the semifinals whole second and third place teams advance to the quarterfinals.
As for the match-up types, all opening matches of the group stage will be played with the unforgiving best of one system. All remaining matches afterward are et for Bo3 contests, single-elimination bracket playoffs included.
Moving on with DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019 Preview, let’s talk a bit about the competing teams. Since there are sixteen teams competing here, it would be too much to explore all of them. Instead, what we’ll do here is just go through the most prominent competitors. In other words, the teams that have great chances of lifting the DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019 trophy.
ENCE is the first team on this list. After their massively successful IEM Katowice campaign, many people thought of them as one hit wonders. Some, however, thought this was the beginning of the Finns’ era. Needless to say, the latter bunch was closer to a home run.
Just two weeks ago, ENCE surprised the CS:GO gaming community once again by defeating Astralis two times (on three maps in total) and snatching the BPS Madrid trophy right in front of them. Furthermore, the crazy Finns also ended Astralis’ unbelievable run of 31 consecutive matches on Nuke and left the world in shock.
Coming into this tournament, ENCE is recognized as one of the favorites. Right behind Team Liquid, that is. If Allu and his teammates start off on the right foot, they could easily snowball and cause many issues for the NA darlings. On the bright side, these two teams are in different groups meaning they can go head to head starting from the quarterfinals. However, knowing their prowess, map pool depths, and expertise, I reckon their head to head match will be either semi or grand finals.
I really don’t know what to say about FaZe Clan anymore. But, with all this recent Tfue drama going on, and with many experts predicting the end of FaZe Clan as a whole, perhaps I won’t even have to talk about them for much longer.
Drama aside, FaZe Clan’s CS:GO team is still on a roller coaster of performances. One week they’re defeating the likes of Astralis and Team Liquid. Then before you know it they’re losing against OpTic Gaming, Virtus.pro, and Grayhound. NiKo, their superstar player, must be sick and tired of his teammates’ performances. I mean, the BOSSnian rifler is always performing at the highest levels yet his team is nowhere near the level they should be at.
With the arrival of NEO, things could be looking better for FaZe Clan. But, it seems as though his IGL qualities are only there to alleviate that role from NiKo rather than provide a fresh dose of strats and in-game guidance. Be that as it is, I see a difficult road ahead of FaZe Clan in Dallas. Their group isn’t that difficult, but knowing their choke potential, I wouldn’t be that surprised to see them end up without a playoffs finish.
Obviously, Team Liquid is the heavy favorite to take DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019 trophy home. Even though they have their flaws when it comes to closing tournaments out, they’re still the second-best team in the world. Take the ESL Pro League Season 9 Qualifications as the perfect example. They played well throughout the tournament only to get slammed down by MIBR. Yep, for those of you not in the know, Team Liquid won’t be playing in the ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals. Tough luck, eh?
Despite that, Team Liquid is a force to be reckoned with. There’s no doubt about that. With talents such as Twistzz, NAF, and EliGE in their starting roster, honestly, it’s difficult not to be this good. They find themselves in group A which is, arguably, the tougher group here. However, their path to the Upper Bracket Round 3 shouldn’t be too rough, so I can’t really see them having to deal with the quarterfinals here.
First, they’ll go up against Lucid Dream which shouldn’t really be an issue for NAF and the co. This is, however, a Bo1 fixture so an upset could happen. It’s highly unlikely but I still had to point it out. Presuming Team Liquid wins the first round, they’ll be going up against either Vitality or North in a Bo3 match. While both of these teams are, on paper, much better than Lucid Dream, it’s a Bo3 fixture so Liquid’s map pool depth should do the trick for them.
In all honesty, I had great expectations for Renegades at CS_summit 4. However, looking back at their group stage matches, it’s safe to say their performance was underwhelming. Three losses, two draws, and not a single win. I really expected far greater things from jks, jkaem and the boys.
That said, my heart tells me this Australian team will jump right back up to their usual selves. On the other hand, my mind thinks this is the start of their downfall. Their group has tough competitors in the form of ENCE, G2, NRG, and Fnatic. If Renegades lose their first match against G2, their lower bracket campaign might be pretty tough. Especially in the second and third stages where they’ll most likely have to go up against the likes of ENCE, NRG, Fnatic, or have a rerun against G2.
Vitality has been full of surprises lately. No one considered them to be solid contestants at the Major, yet they were one step away from reaching the Legends Stage. No one expected to see them at the ECS Season 7 Finals and they’ve qualified via the third tournament in the series. And don’t even get me started on their CS_summit 4 performance…
With an astonishing track record in recent months, Vitality really is among the toughest teams to beat here. They are placed in Group A and will have to deal with the likes of Team Liquid, FaZe, NiP, and TYLOO. However, their first match is against North which I believe they should win without too much hassle.
Unfortunately, their next opponent will probably be Team Liquid and I honestly doubt they can repeat their CS_summit 4 performance against the best NA team. Still, the lower bracket shouldn’t be that difficult… Unless FaZe Clan flops again and ends up having to go through the lower bracket just to reach the quarterfinals.
The last thing I got in store for you today is the official first-round schedule. This is the final part of my comprehensive DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019 Preview so lo and behold:
Group A MatchesGroup B Matches
All remaining group stage matchups will be known after the end of the first round.
And that’s it as far as DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019 Preview is concerned. The first round of group stage matches kicks off in less than 48 hours so the spectacle is almost upon us. Let’s just hope for a ton of thrilling contests all across the board!