Well, that crept up upon us. No hype anywhere, no promotional activity, nothing. Due to this, hardly any bookmakers have actually priced up this tournament, which is a big shame as there are two decent fixtures for us to focus on.
Three months ago the previous Fragbite Masters was won by TSM (who beat Fnatic in the final) – although it can be argued that three months is a long time in CSGO and we predict Fnatic to get one over on the former TSM team today.
Ninjas in Pyjamas (1/4 bet365) v SK Gaming (14/5 32Red)
NiP have spent the last 3-6 months living under a toxic cloud of alleged uncertainty regarding their salaries and prize money but haven’t allowed this to get to get in their way at events. Occasionally they completely bomb out and don’t show up whatsoever, but in the last few months they’ve taken some big scalps. EnVyUs, Virtus Pro, Titan, Fnatic and TSM have all been beaten by NiP. When was the last time a team was so demotivated and still beat all of the top teams on LAN? It’s quite an achievement to be fair and has to be applauded.
The event is on their doorstep and we think that NiP will want to put in a strong performance here, especially given that it seems that some of their players have not finalised their plans for the 2016 season yet. We expect NiP to clean sweep SK. SK struggle to qualify for majors, let alone win against top 10 teams with any consistency and they find their best players being picked off by other teams time and time again.
You’d have to imagine NiP could cough and splurt their way to a 2-0 win by just playing their normal “yolo” style CS. They have superior aimers and will be hard to predict when playing as terrorists.
NiP -1.5 maps with Skybet at 10/11 (1.91)
Fnatic (1/2 Betway) vs ? (ex-TSM) (7/4 Skybet)
This is the match of the day by a mile. TSM looked out of sorts during the FACEIT Stage 3 Finals at Dreamhack Winter. After cruising to a straightforward 16-5 win over Luminosity on Mirage everyone was resigned to the fact they’d breeze through the second map and find themselves in the final. Far from it. They capitulated and lost the second map, Overpass, 16-6. The final map was potentially one of the greatest games of CS:GO in the modern era, a back and forth battle on Inferno that went into overtime. Neither team was willing to give up and you have to give ex-TSM credit for finally showing their battling qualities in the face of adversity. However, they lost in the end despite having chances to win the match.
Despite choking against Luminosity, let’s not forget the 16-0 defeat of Team Liquid earlier in the tournament. Not every day you see a clean sweep in a $250,000 event.
On the other hand, Fnatic showed a real professional attitude which reminded us of the Fnatic of six months ago rather than the one that has been off the boil more recently. I have massive respect for a team that loses the first map of a best of three and then cruises to a 2-1 victory. So many teams are momentum based and as soon as you put a chink into their armour, they fold like a pack of cards. Fnatic lost the first map in both the semis and the final at Dreamhack and both times they proceeded to comfortably win the remaining maps to win the tournament.
Its worth noting Fnatic also matched TSM’s feat of 16-0’n a team in the first round. They 16-0’d the eventual finalists, Luminosity, on Dust 2. Wow. They also beat NiP 16-4 on the same map.
We do rate Fnatic over the former TSM side, but can we be 100% certain they’ll win this series 2-0? We can’t be sure. Fnatic know if they lose TSM’s map choice that they can cruise to a 2-1 victory on more favourable maps. TSM are without doubt a top five team and you’d expect them to nick a map and potentially look the stronger team off the back of it, but then the Fnatic’s consistency will kick in and we’re hoping for yet another 2-1 victory in the favour of Fnatic.
Fnatic to win 2-1 with Skybet at 11/5 (3.20)
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