On April 18, DreamHack Masters Marseille will kick off with 16 teams fighting for a share of the $250,000 prize pool. With so many roster changes happening, the unpredictable nature of this event makes it especially exciting. Read on to find out about the format and teams.
The 16 teams travelling to France achieved qualification one of two ways - 12 direct invites and four qualifiers. Two qualifying slots were reserved for European teams, one to North America and one to Asia.
With G2, SK, Cloud9, FaZe and Team Liquid all changing players recently, time is needed to embed their new rosters and find a system that works. This lack of cohesion opens up the door for other sides to make a name for themselves and teams such as Space Soldiers, Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) and mousesports will all be feeling quietly confident.
Dreamhack Masters Marseille groups:
DreamHack Marseille betting: Tournament Structure
This event will be using the GSL format throughout the group stages. The GSL format creates double elimination brackets within each group. Teams need two victories to progress to the playoffs, with two losses meaning elimination.
The opening and elimination matches are best-of-ones (BO1), with the winner’s and deciding matches are best-of-three (BO3). The playoffs will feature a single elimination bracket, with each game being a BO3. Losing a single game means elimination.
The GSL format has been favoured by bettors for a while due to it featuring many BO1 matches. Underdogs may carry value in the initial stages of the competition due to BO1 matches being unpredictable and pistol rounds at the start of games will be incredibly valuable. Knowledge of whether a map is terrorist (T) or counter-terrorist (CT) biased and how well suited individual teams are to each map is even more important when betting on BO1 matches.
Due to the playoffs consisting of BO3 matches, the lesser teams will struggle to achieve the same level of upsets as they could in the group stage. With many top sides changing rosters and showcasing their new line-ups on LAN for the first time, bettors need to be careful that they don’t estimate the stronger teams as they might struggle with their map pools to start off with.
Who are the favourites and why?
Five of the best sides in attendance have changed their rosters in the last few weeks. FaZe were forced to acquire Xizt from NiP due to Olofmeister needing time away for personal reasons. Cloud9 lost Stewie2k to SK, with Skadoodle stepping down - they have added FNS and will announce a fifth before the event begins. SK parted ways with TACO and replaced him with Stewie2k, G2 benched shox for mixwell and Team Liquid swapped steel for TACO. It won’t take experienced bettors too long to figure out how these teams are affected once the tournament begins.
Due to the vast amount of roster changes, Astralis (4.330*) are the favourite for this event. Losing Kjaerbye to North was a big blow, but the introduction of Magisk (1.11 rating on HLTV.org so far this year) seems to have been a shrewd piece of business. Achieving online results of 13-1 in the ECS and 12-6 in the ESL Pro League is impressive and if they can transition this form to the LAN event, teams will struggle to defeat the Danes.
XANTARES is statistically the highest rated player in the last 12 months, with a rating of 1.35 from 293 maps.
The recruitment of Stewie2k forces SK (5.360*) to change their calling language from Portuguese to English. Although the majority of their players speak English adequately, in critical moments during a match the lack of cohesion in their communication could cause them some trouble. Their firepower is unquestioned and that alone will give them a chance against anyone.
mousesports (5.420*) achieved victory at the last two LAN’s they attended (StarSeries i-League and V4 Future Sports Festival) and have the most stable roster amongst the contenders. If oskar (1157 AWP kills already in 2018) can continue his MVP form from the V4 Future sports Festival, mousesports could make it three out of three. An improved map pool and their pure dominance on Mirage makes them a nightmare for any side to face.
DreamHack Marseille odds: Teams to keep an eye on
The Turkish team Space Soldiers (13.530*) are looking increasingly impressive. XANTARES is statistically the highest rated player in the last 12 months, with a rating of 1.35 from 293 maps, which is phenomenal. Lacking in LAN experience, holding their nerve on the big stage will be crucial to their success. Featuring a robust map pool, the introduction of Nuke into their play has left this side consisting of very little weaknesses.
Valiance (67.520*) will be making their first appearance at an international event at DreamHack Marseille. Their star player huNter (1.21 rating in 2018) will want to demonstrate he can compete with his cousin (NiKo from FaZe). Since the introduction of impulse their results have improved and in the last few months they have moved up 30 places in the HLTV rankings. They will be aiming to cement their spot in the top 30 for the remainder of the year.
NiP (14.000*) are satisfied at last with their roster. Taking the bold step to remove Xizt for dennis and change their in-game-leader (IGL) seems to have been the right move. Despite a period of negative results in their online matches, they have since recorded victories over Natus Vincere, Gambit and FaZe. GeT_RiGhT and f0rest will have to guide the newcomer’s rez and draken to ensure they hold their nerve the further the tournament progresses.
*Odds subject to change