As CWL Dallas is the final chance for teams to earn enough pro points to make their way into Stage One of the Global Pro League, tension is high as fans and analysts alike wonder who will crack under the pressure. Clint “Maven” Evans, Jack “CouRage” Dunlop, Matt “Mr. X” Morello and Chris Puckett discussed their picks for which teams will make it through the bubble.
Clint: We’ve all talked about it a lot and I'm sure we will have differing opinions to some degree, but the big thing with the bubble teams is the three right, GosuCrew, Allegiance...
Matt: GosuCrew, Allegiance and Evil Geniuses are your teams on the outside looking in. They have to play through open. You have Pnda in the ninth spot, they are actually going up against Enigma6 in groups, who is seventh overall in pro points, so that is a big swing match - could potentially throw Pnda in a round ahead of Enigma6 in terms of bracket play, which would give them enough points provided they both go out at that time to jump up, pass potentially even Cloud9, but it all relies on whether GosuCrew, Evil Geniuses or Allegiance can even make it out of open. If those guys don't make it out of open then the other teams have nothing to worry about.
Chris: Team Kaliber is another open bracket team that has a long shot of making it in, but with 25K Pro Points per player for first place, anything is possible for any of the teams competing.
Jack: Possible, but not realistic. I don't see any of these teams on the bubble actually breaking on through. A team like Pnda who is going to be in group D, they are starting out in pool play for the first time. I've seen these names, a lot of them forever, like FA5TBALLA and Prophet, this is the biggest event of their career, in my opinion, and Pnda right now in that ninth spot, they are the last seed that would be eligible for the Global Pro League Stage One. They hold their own destiny and I personally think they are going to make it happen.
Clint: I'm curious who everyone thinks has the best chance. As much as I’ve knocked ‘em - and I did during the last roundtable - I've got some faith in Evil Geniuses! They’ve got two top eights - they sneak in the top eight? They got a -
Matt: For me they are the only team in North America that realistically has a chance, because when you look at the other ones, you’re gonna be going up against some pretty good teams to make it out of open. I mean, you are looking at a team like Epsilon or 3G who have had some pretty good success over international competition the last two events, and I think Evil Geniuses is obviously the most prepared to deal with a team like that. I would take EG if I had to pick one to come out of North America, but I think it is going to be very tough still.
Christopher: Currently Fnatic is in the fifth spot, they are holding down the bubble for now, but right behind them is Epsilon as well as Team 3G fighting for that final sixth spot. I know Team 3G is still trying to figure out if they will be attending the event, but Epsilon is definitely a threat and even more so now than ever with Joshh added to the team.
Clint: I think the one thing that stands out, it’s a key number when you are talking Epsilon & 3G. Like Chris mentioned, it is 3,000 pro points separating them… that is insane how small that is.
Jack: Yeah I think at this point if you are Fnatic you are feeling pretty confident in regards to getting into the League itself. Unless you have literally your worst performance and Epsilon and 3G play absolutely out of their minds, they’re basically in the clear.
Matt: Yeah, I would say so as well. I mean you look down past 3G, you are looking at a team like Supremacy, who I'm not sure if they are attending, but they only have 42,000 pro points as opposed to Team 3G's 61K. I think you look, it is definitely in a very good spot for a lot of these teams from Europe to lock down their spots at Dallas.
Jack: Let's be real here folks, APAC is done and done. The Tainted Minds, that was the same pool and Envy and OpTic, they were already behind Mindfreak after losing the CWL Sydney Open 1, I think it was that loss at the CWL Sydney Open 1 really shut the door on the Tainted Mind's chances, I just don't see how Mindfreak give up this spot.
Matt: Sydney was Tainted Mind's chance to actually take control of this region. They go into that event up by about 8,000 pro points overall, they have an opportunity to really blow the doors off of it and kind of control their own destiny going into Dallas. You know with Dallas, starting groups and whatnot, you might have to win only two or three games depending on what happens with Mindfreak. I think Tainted Minds really could have lost the decision there.
Clint: I mean it has been a two horse race for APAC since the beginning for the most part. I'm wondering if they recover... I mean how brutal was that, it was Loser’s Bracket Final, they reverse sweep Mindfreak for Tainted Minds, they have this crazy win, they get all hyped and then they lose two best of fives, they get swept in the second one.
Chris: Real key here is going to be Tainted Mind's performance in the Loser’s Bracket. They have the tougher pool, Mindfreak is going to be with an advantage when it comes to pool play and looking at this squad, they will be facing off, I can definitely see a game versus Cloud9 or Infused – they came close to doing that back at the last event in Atlanta. Tainted Minds though - I don't think anyone is seeing them advance at a pool play, they are going to have to go through a long Loser’s Bracket run, and they are behind in pro points so they have to out place Mindfreak by a bit.
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