Team Liquid gunning for pre-Christmas bonus at SuperNova Malta
SuperNova Malta 2018 tournament begins, and we’re certain all you CSGO fanatics out there are hyped as hell, right? Well, maybe, as like the gun it is named for this event seems to be a less-than-perfect choice, and certainly not stacked with everything you’d want if money were no object. However, it does have some very spicy matchups with 2019 in mind and one ridiculously good team that need a strong end to the year.
As usual, we’re going to break it down for you, with the likely winners and losers highlighted, and the teams that can pull a shock called out. In term of the venue and the event, Malta is an odd place, but we’d love to see another event come onto the circuit to rival the Blasts and so on, and this has a chance to be that if their inaugural tournament is a success, with owners Quickfire working alongside StarLadder to put it on.
Like Astralis, it’s clear that Team Liquid are struggling to finish the year strongly, and the stress of being one of the truly great players in a global esport appears to be taking a toll on their star man Twistzz too. Some would argue he is feeling that due to how hard he has to carry right now, with NAF and EliGE taking turns to go missing in big finals, and it may be a cold winter for the five men and their coach as they try to work out how to fix their issues in pressure situations.
This is an event they should win though, and with $80k for first prize it’ll be a nice little bonus for them pre-Christmas if they do. There is no team here that should intimidate their star, and most are the sort of level you can expect NAF and co to step up against as well. A win at SuperNova won’t really change the overall trajectory of their year, but a loss would make for an awkward week or two, and rightly so.
The next tier of teams is a tough one to really classify, but if there is going to be a shock here it’ll probably come from the Anglo-German mix, or the North Americans. NRG took a surprising 2-0 win over Liquid recently at ECS Season 6 finals, where Fugly finished the series at +25 and NAF at -15, which tells you all you need to know, but if it doesn’t remember nitr0 was the only TL player not to finish with a negative K/D number, at 0.
As for BIG, since their miracle run in Cologne it’s been a bit of a tough time, but we know what they can do if they anti-strat their opponents and smooya hits his AWP shots. It’ll still need Team Liquid to drop the ball, but both of these sides have proven they can beat any team on their day, including a North American mix with choking issues.
HellRaisers, Tyloo and Gambit
This is probably the hardest tier of teams to predict, those that have a very outside chance, but must still be shown that respect for what they can do. In terms of talent, you’d argue both HellRaisers and Tyloo are ahead of BIG Clan, but their system is apparently not as robust, with the Chinese superteam really struggling to do anything in the second half of 2018.
Nobody is remotely scared of the VP plow anymore
As for Gambit, they beat Na’Vi, which is obviously really impressive, and the rebuild everyone thought would kill them appears to have been a good move, to some extent. Wins over the aforementioned Natus Vincere and compLexity have been set alongside losses to Vega, North and Nemiga, so there is still some distance left to run for the UK org with the CIS team.
Kinguin and Virtus.pro
It’s a sad time to be saying this, with IEM Katowice due to be the next CSGO Major, but Polish CSGO has rarely been in such a weak place as it is today. The slow fade out of the Golden Five is nearly complete, with TaZ trying to pass on his wisdom and Neo just getting those last few thousand dollars out of VP, and there is no real generation of successors coming to replace them.
As a result it is hard to see Kinguin or VP doing anything other than being cannon fodder here, despite the fact that there is a fair amount of talent on both rosters.
Nobody is remotely scared of the VP plow anymore, with losses to some very t3 teams on their card, but the rebuild is slowly taking place and they can still gain a lot from doing well here, relatively speaking, with well most likely being a top four finish.
SuperNova live streams
All the SuperNova Malta live streams can be found here, including:
SuperNova Malta schedule