Dr. Disrespect is not the only "two time" phenom as our very own Ezekiel "jamaican" Carsella is now the proud owner of back-to-back titles in the RealSport CSGO pickem contest with wins at ESL One Cologne 2017 and ECS Season 4 finals. With a new and improved format (100% not rigged) and new challengers, will the crown be taken from the reigning champion?
The new format was formed to give the semifinals and the grand final predictions more weight and to prevent the contest from being "snowbally."
Quarterfinals5 points for a winner, 10 points for getting a series correctly (i.e 2-1/2-0)Semifinals10 points for a winner 15 for getting series correctlyGrand Finals10 points for winner 15 for getting series correctly
In addition to a new rule-set, we have added two guests to the pickems! One is ESL freelance caster Mamoon "TeaTime" Sabri, and the other is freelance writer/YouTube content creator Eli "Chappers" Chapman who writes about FIFA and CS:GO esports.
The ELEAGUE Boston Major 2018 will be one of the marquee events of the year, and while the current legends will be fighting in the Agganis Arena for CS:GO superiority, we will see who has the best eye for a prediction.
Ezekiel "jamaican" Carsella
Mousesports 2 - 0 FaZe Clan
FaZe Clan are looking strong this major, but Mousesports are one of the few teams in the world to take the international powerhouse to the brink. In a major full of upsets this is one of the more believable ones considering Tomas "oskar" Stastny and company nearly did it before in the ECS Season 4 grand finals.
Natus Vincere 2 - 1 Quantum Bellator Fire
There is a near 0% chance that Na'Vi realistically loses a best of three to a team of QBF's caliber, but their CIS opponents have shown a resilience in best of ones. QBF should take the second map and keeps the series competitive, but playing Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev in a major is not a fun prospect. With Egor "flamie" Vasilev and Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev having much better performances, Na'Vi looks like a team that belongs in the semi-finals of a major.
Cloud9 2 - 1 G2 Esports
Both teams broke a curse by escaping the gravity well of the major group stage, but only one team can keep advancing to more than likely play SK Gaming in the semi-finals. Both teams stormed through The New Challenger Phase, and while G2 beat C9 in The New Legend phase I believe Cloud9 are a better best of three team than the French squad. With a win against G2 in a best of three (ELEAGUE Premier) under their belt, Cloud9 could continue their historic run against a common opponent.
SK Gaming 2 - 1 Fnatic
Despite my complaints that this major had a lot of turnover in the legend phase, the quarter final matches turned out to be rather excellent and while SK Gaming are a better overall team than Fnatic the matchup should be a close contest. Fnatic have only shown ineptitude against FaZe Clan and appear to be much improved under the leadership of Maikil "Golden" Selim as they have consistently been making playoffs of major tournaments. SK Gaming are too good on too many maps for that to be a factor and Epitacio "TACO" de Melo the usual "anchor" has been solid this tournament.
Mamoon "TeaTime" Sabri
Faze 2-0 Mousesports
Faze is picking up momentum. If they aren't able to beat mousesports on both mirage and the other map then I might just see them slipping away in subsequent games. Would rather see them win now in a clean sweep for the sake of the rest of my predictions.
Na'vi 1-2 QBF
I'd say QBF takes this one 2-0 if i wasn't for me being unsure about their map pool. Na'vi has too many question marks that it HAS TO answer. QBF is playing with nothing to lose.
G2 2-0 C9
G2 is going to win the major unless Fnatic is the one who stops them. C9 needs ska to go god mode and needs Kenny to not rise to the challenge. Not a good enough chance.
SK 2-0 Fnatic
I don't see Flusha, Krimz and JW all going off which is exactly what they need. Golden's good, but fallen is the best. This isn't a battle of the wits he can win.
Mads "mygind" Pedersen
FaZe vs mouz - 2-1
The good thing for mousesports in this series is that one of their best maps is Nuke and they will be able to pick it against FaZe. While I give mousesports the advantage on Nuke, I don't see them repeating their ECS performance and matching FaZe in terms of skill or tactics on any other map.
NaVi vs QBF - 2-0
Quantum Bellator Fire have had a nice run so far, getting a lot of BO1 upsets. But BO3 is a different beast and they are traditionally a lot harder for underdog teams. QBF's best map seems to be Inferno which NaVi will happily play them on and probably beat them like they did in the Challenger Stage.
G2 vs C9 - 2-1
All of G2, perhaps most importantly Shox, has looked on point thus far. I think Cloud9 have the ability to make this series close and they can certainly take a map, but if G2 shows up like they did in the Legends Stage, Cloud9 will have a tough time.
SK vs FNC - 2-0
One important factor in this series is that both teams share a permaban of Nuke. This allows SK Gaming to ban Inferno, which is seemingly their only other weakness and the only map I'd edge towards Fnatic. SK has the advantage both in terms of skill and tactics, so I think they take the series with relative ease.
Jacob "GodPancakes" Doharty
Faze Clan 2-1 Mousesports
mousesport’s T side literally relies on Oskar. With preparation, I think Faze has an easy matchup because Karrigan won’t be surprised.
Na'Vi 2 - 0 Quantum Bellator FIre
As much as I don’t trust Navi as a team, I trust s1mple. Also QBF has just been lucky up to this point. I don’t know how deep their map pool is, but I do not think it will be deeper than the Danil "Zeus" Teslenyov led Na'Vi.
Cloud9 2-1 G2 Esports
G2’s problems as a team have not been punished yet. I think this will be a close best of three with Cloud 9 coming up in the clutch.
SK 2-0 Fnatic
Fnatic is not looking too good. On the other side, SK looks fine. I feel a bit happier knowing that Felps isn’t doing poorly
Phoebe "Dualism" Dua
FaZe 2-1 MousesportsThe clash of these two sides at the ECS Season 4 Finals showed that mousesports are more than capable of taking down FaZe Clan, but problems closing out games could easily be their downfall. FaZe are the highest rated team and the obvious favourites not just in this bracket, but for the entire Major itself.
Natus Vincere 2-1 Quantum Bellator FireWhile Quantum Bellator Fire's journey to the playoffs has been incredible, Natus Vincere have already beaten the underdogs during the Qualifier stage and have managed to get stronger over the course of the Major. With the firepower and skill of Oleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev and Denis ‘electronic’ Sharipov, the odds are in favour of Na'Vi, but QBF are unlikely to make it easy for them.
G2 2-0 Cloud9As the two 3-0 teams from the qualifier, G2 has already beat Cloud9 in their opening match. Despite the team's inconsistency in 2017, G2 have started 2018 with Richard 'shox' Papillon coming back into form and Nathan 'NBK Schmitt as the second highest rated player in the Major so far.Cloud9 were close to being eliminated in the Group Stage and compared to G2's results, the French side is the clear favourite.
SK Gaming 2-0 FnaticFnatic have struggled to beat FaZe Clan in their best-of-three meetings and I think it will be the same story here against SK Gaming. SK have managed to get through the Group Stage with decent but not incredible performances for the most part. With all of the Brazilians playing at their best to win in the playoffs, fnatic are unlikely to stand a chance.
Robert "BCG" Thomas
FaZe 2-1 Mousesports
With the arguable exception of Oskar and Guardian FaZe outclasses mouz man to man. Mousesports should be able to take Nuke but the individual skill and more experienced IGL on FaZe should see them into the semis with little trouble. It will take off games from Rain and NiKo and ropz stepping up for mousesports to be the superior international side.
Na'Vi 2-0 Q.B.Fire
Na'Vi comfortably beat QBF on Inferno in the Qualifying stage of the major. With Oleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev leading the way for Na'Vi compared to the AWP of Nikita 'waterfaLLZ' Matveyev on QBF. Na'Vi have the firepower to dominate a side like Q.B.Fire, and thus far the upset of the tournament has struggled against sides of the calibre of FaZe, G2 and of course Na'Vi.
G2 Esports 2-0 Cloud9
G2 have looked to be in the form that won events such as ESL Pro League Season 5 and DreamHack Masters Malmo. They beat C9 16-8 in the opening match of the tournament and have shown no signs of slowing down. A quick 3-0 saw 4 of their players sporting ratings over 1.20, and Richard 'shox' Papillon looks to have recovered his old form.
SK Gaming 2-1 Fnatic
Freddy 'KRIMZ' Johansson has been on god tier form at the major, but I don't think he will be enough to win a BO3 against SK, even with a stand in. SK have looked far from convincing in wins over Space Soldiers and mousesports, but they should find the form to shut down a Fnatic side with similar inconsistencies. After a rocky start Marcelo 'coldzera' David has found form and Fnatic will have to be happy with Legend status once more.
Eli "Chappers" Chapman
Mousesports 2-1 FaZe
After an impressive showing at ECS Finals, it showed that mouz can hang with the top teams and will it be something of a regular occurrence or a rarity? If oskar and suNny are on their A-game a win is possible. FaZe have seemed far from their best in the past two weeks. Plus, who doesn't love an underdog?
Na'Vi v QBF 2-0
The battle of the CIS region, I think Na'Vi should take this with ease. They've looked rough at times and for prolonged periods, however, they cannot afford to underestimate QBF like many others may have. Although there's upset potential I cannot see s1mple allowing it to happen.
G2 v C9 2-1
The French scene has endured some rough times over the past year or so and G2 will be looking to set the record straight. We've already seen this matchup albeit in a best of 1 where G2 were the eventual victors and I think the same result will happen here possibly in a closer fashion.
SK 2-0 FNATIC
The descent of Swedish Counter-Strike has been a sad sight with many roster changes and revitalisation attempts and unfortunately, I cannot see FNATIC advancing through to semi-finals. As Golden said they're already proud of obtaining a Legends spot and I believe anything else would be a bonus for this roster, their map pool isn't the strongest nor the deepest. Veteran IGL FalleN will prove too much to handle as new boy Golden will test his wits against the best.
Elbert "eb3rt" Nguyen
FaZe 2 - 1 mousesports
After what was the Grand Finals of ECS Season 4 Finals, karrigan and the FaZe Clan should be prepared, given mouz's sole reliance on oskar for T-side. The map pool also favors FaZe ever so slightly, but individual performances from ropz and suNny and a potential Nuke pick keep mouz competitive in this matchup. However, the firepower on FaZe, spearheaded by rain and NiKo, will prove too much to handle.
Na'Vi 2 - 0 QB.Fire
Despite QB.Fire surpassing everyone's expectations at the Boston Major, a best-of-three series is a completely different beast than what the Russian-Lithuanian squad are used to. Boombl4 and his rather aggressive playstyle will be countered by Na'Vi's two star players, s1mple and electronic. Zeus's tactical play and the overall experience on the Ukranian-Russian team will surely outmatch that of QB.Fire.
G2 1 - 2 Cloud9
I'm calling the American upset. I think that, while shox and kennyS will show up in this matchup, the Stewie2K-autimatic duo will show up in Boston and aggressively manhandle G2's play. Skadoodle, after failing to qualify for the Major playoffs eight(!) times, will prove himself to be worthy of a Legend spot, as he is versatile and capable on both the AWP and AK/M4.
SK 2 - 0 FNATIC
The Swedish scene hasn't seen much since FNATIC's truly historical era throughout most of 2015, and has in fact spiraled down into oblivion. FalleN's experience in-game leading will easily trump that of Golden's, and despite krimz returning to that pronax-era form, it won't be enough to pick up a single map. Expect coldzera to explode, both in-game and on-stage. Seriously.
Who do you have in your pickems? Comment yours below!