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ESL One Cologne Semi Finals Predictions

KarY 2019-07-06 07:33:43
  The fans are roaring, the heat is soaring, the action is anything but boring at the LANXESS Arena in Cologne. The four best teams of the tournament will be locking horns tomorrow in the semi finals to determine who goes through to the finals. Astralis vs Vitality These two teams have NEVER played against each other, so that eliminates comparing them head-to-head. This is no surprise, considering Astralis is known to skip tournaments to focus on practice. Them not showing up to several LANs in the recent past is also exactly why they fell down to the fourth spot on the HLTV Rankings. They used to be the best team in the world at one point. Who knows, maybe they still are. Maybe all the hype that Liquid is getting for being at the top now is just a bubble that will explode the moment Astralis show up again. That being said, we have to acknowledge how far Vitality have come. Established last October, they’ve had quite some time together. Eight months to be precise. They have been long enough to iron out the initial jitters, yet they are still in their honeymoon phase. This is a sweet spot, which might also be their peek. Map wise Now, this is where statistics are tossed out of the window. If we go by the numbers, Vitality has a higher win rate than Astralis in EVERY map except Train. But do not let that fool you. The Dane’s have not played enough maps to rack up the numbers. However, here is what we do know. Astralis are very strong on Inferno. In fact, they were the ones who invented the current utility usage on Banana. On the other hand, Vitality have an 83% win rate across 12 maps of Inferno. Astralis are on 82%. Naturally, it tells us that Inferno is going to be a bloodbath. Secondly, Nuke used to be a staple map for Astralis. That was before Furia and several others figured them out. Now, Astralis will have to go back to the drawing board to refresh their playstyle. After such a long break, one can expect them to bless us with some brand new CS tomorrow if we get to see Nuke. That being said, Vitality are not the ones to shy away from Nuke as they have a 76% win rate across 17 games. These were the maps where things can get super close and uncomfortable. Let’s talk about maps that might directly grant either team a win. Vitality have a 67% win rate on Mirage across 18 games. While it may not be bad, we know that Astralis too are very comfortable on Mirage. Vitality need much more than 67% if they want to score Mirage against the Danes. On the other hand, Dust2 is somewhere that Vitality might have an advantage. Due to it’s nature, Dust2 is more of a brawl-y, trade-fraggy map, rather than one that requires careful planning and mind-games. Astralis are the kind of team that thrives on mind-games. Dust2 renders this ability useless. Not to forget, it is one map where AWPers can shine. Zywoo will be happy to see Dust2 being picked up. Players to watch out for In an interview today, s1mple admitted, “I think that Zywoo is closer to my level than any other pro”. If the best player in the world says this about Zywoo, you know he packs a punch. Astralis don’t usually have a star player that shines out. They are more consistent as a team. However they do have some players who are the absolute best at their roles. Glaive is an excellent in-game leader. Device may not be as flashy as s1mple or Zywoo but he is still an incredible smart AWPer. Magisk and Dupreeh are fluid as both can anchor and create space well. Predicted Winner - Astralis Upset Potential - Medium  Natus Vincere vs Liquid It’s the rematch of the year. Earlier in this tournament, Na`Vi were on the verge of beating Liquid on Dust2. Nitr0 clutched an impossible 1vs3 clutch to keep them alive and force the game into overtime, where Liquid won. A lot of people give s1mple flak for his failed knife attempt, but they forget that he was the one who carried the team to that near win in the first place. Also, nitr0 deserves the credit for his performance. Na`Vi could have beaten them 2-0, but instead lost 1-2. One could say that history repeated itself a few days ago. Na`Vi has never defeated Liquid in the recent past. Liquid beat them 2-0 at ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2018, ESL Pro League S8 Finals and IEM Katowice 2019. Map wise The only map where Na`Vi have a considerably higher win rate than Liquid is Train. Na`Vi have won 5 out of the 6 Train games they played recently. But Liquid are aware of that, and hence they have always banned Train first. Once there was a time when Na`Vi used to ban Cache and Liquid had no choice but to pick up Dust2. But Liquid always made it work because if all else fails, they tend to fall back to playing a loose, brawler style of CS. Dust2 and Cache are conducive environments for such playstyles. Na`Vi realised that they need to have at least one brawler map in their arsenal. At this point, Na`Vi are so comfortable on dust2 that they pick it up themselves. Their previous game is proof that of this. It is very likely that we will see Dust2 being picked up again. That brings us to the tougher choice. Either Overpass or Inferno will be up for grabs. Both the teams are pretty comfortable on overpass and do not hesitate playing on it. Even though the boys in yellow won Overpass against Liquid a few days ago, they  won only four out of the ten games they last played on overpass. Whereas Liquid have won ten out of twelve.  This veto will put Na`Vi in an awkward spot as they have to choose between evil and greater evil - overpass or Inferno.  It is highly unlike they would be looking forward to playing Liquid on Inferno. That leaves us with Mirage and Nuke. Liquid have a significantly higher chance on both these maps. Na`Vi has lost half the games they played on Mirage. To add to their trouble, Liquid can play Vertigo if the situation calls for it. Na`Vi have played it only once, and lost. They most definitely will not be comfortable with heights. Players to watch out for The players on Liquid have a variety of skills. Stewie2k is the monkey wrench who makes plays that nobody else will. Perfect for chaotic situations, or when you want to throw a spanner in the works of your opponents. Nitr0 and Elige radiate consistency and stability. It’s needed to maintain balance when you have aggressive players like Stewie2k on your team. Twistszz is pretty much an all rounder. When it comes to Na`Vi, we won’t even bother talking about s1mple. We’ve already praised this man a lot. Number 1 player in the world. ‘Nuff said. The other thing that we want to point out is how well boombl4 is gelling into the roster. He likes to talk, he likes to push. It is exactly the thing that Na`Vi need to keep track of Liquid’s movements. But the question is, will it be enough? Predicted winner - Liquid Upset Potential - High
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