Dreamhack Masters Stockholm bodes well for FACEIT London

We’re a couple of days into the first major CSGO event since the player break, and there is a lot to be pleased about. The return of old gods, maybe the fall of the new ones, and just having our favourite FPS back after a fortnight of amazing esports provided by The International 8 is a relief, especially when compared with the horror of Fortnite esports...

The most exciting thing at Dreamhack Masters Stockholm for most fans is likely to be the return of Made In Brazil - or the artists formerly known as SK Gaming, as they maybe should be called. Since hiring their new coach, Janko ‘YNK’ Paunovic, the team has looked a little better than in their previous, lost iteration, but at the Stockholm event it has started to come together in a very special way.

Facing off against mousesports on Thursday was a big challenge for the Immortals-owned team, who have failed to make any impact since signing massive, long-term contracts with the North American org. While it is true mous have also made changes recently, the German org is in a great place, and has looked a lot more coherent with their new men than the MIBR team has managed to appear with Stewie2K and Tarik aboard.

It should also be pointed out, before we go any further, that this writer has said it is very unlikely the MIBR experiment will work out for YNK, not because of any shortcomings on his part, but because of a lack of intelligent thought about how the players were signed. While we stand by that, the caveat must be added that if he can make it work, YNK will deserve massive praise, and vault himself to the top of the coaching ranks.

Now, on to their match vs mousesports, which was an extremely impressive one. Somehow, YNK seems to have found a way to get the two North American players working in tandem with their Brazilian counterparts, and it resulted in a dominant victory over a team many consider to be top five in the world. Even on Mirage, the MIBR boys just looked too strong, and dare we say it, back to their old form, something the rest of the game needs to be very concerned about.

FaZe click again

Over in Group C, it is FaZe Clan who enjoy top spot, and they have been the other major story to this point. Their first games at the event were a real struggle as the team obviously lacked cohesion with Olofmeister just back in, but yesterday they made a talented OpTic Gaming team look like a group of NA amateurs, with NiKo saying after the game that it finally feels like the team is motivated again, with the man they view as their key player back in the fold.

You might find that a strange statement for NiKo to make, but he’s not the first FaZe player to outright call Olof the most important cog, and his reasoning goes something like this. Nobody in the scene can do what Olof does when it comes to a combination of map knowledge, game sense, mechanical skill and sheer belief, and to have a player like that willingly filling the support gaps is incredibly valuable. There are other top-class supports out there of course, but NiKo makes a very convincing case for Olof being in a class of his own.

This is all in stark contrast to the pre-tournament favourites and the form they have brought into the event, as Astralis have struggled to show anything to worry their peers so far. Considered the best team in the world, and coming off the back of a break, one would think the tactical masterminds would be ready to win, but the calendar shows why it’s maybe not as easy to judge them as it might be a FaZe or MIBR.

Astralis are 100% focused on winning another Major title, and for the group that is known for their tactical innovation rather than just gun skill, that raises an interesting dilemma. They can come to Stockholm and run all of their best strats, but that gives teams time to anti-strat ahead of the FACEIT Major in London.

The alternative is to try to sharpen their aim in Sweden while sitting on their plan for the Major, and if you’re a fan of the Danish five that is what you’ll be hoping they are up to right now. So far they’ve dropped a game to North, as well as a game to Tyloo in the elimination decider, with star man dev1ce looking a little better vs the Chinese than on day one, when he underwhelmed in a big way.

Still, this provides hope for the rest, and great news for the rest of Dreamhack Masters Stockholm, too. After what has been one of the weakest periods in terms of top-10s in CSGO history, we are finally starting to see the best come back to their form, and just in time for London’s first ever CSGO Major. Let’s hope it continues, because if it does we’re set for one of the best CSGO events in the history of esports.