ESI Gambling Report: DreamHack Masters Marseille preview

Less than a week left ahead of the first CS:GO Masters tournament of 2018 and it's anyone's race to first.

It’s an exciting week for Counter-Strike fans as 16 of the best teams prepare to descend onto Marseille, France for the DreamHack Masters from April 18 to April 22. As the first Masters tournament of 2018, CS:GO enthusiasts can guarantee a fierce and impassioned contest as teams look to secure the larger end of a $250,000 prize pool (£175,650) at Le Dôme de Marseille. With tensions surmounting ahead of next week’s blue-ribbon tournament, we decided to take a detailed look at how the teams will stack up against each other in this week’s ESI Gambling Report.

Roster Changes

Leading up to the Marseille DreamHack 2018 there has been a flurry of roster changes that will presumably shake up the fixture a bit; elite teams such as SK Gaming, Team Liquid, FaZe Clan and Cloud9 have all had some significant changes in their lineup prior to the first Masters tournament.

Epitacio “TACO” de Melo (Credit: HLTV)

One of the most staggering CS:GO releases back in March confirmed Epitacio “TACO” deMelo’s exit from SK Gaming; the 23-year-old Brazilian was instrumental in SK’s success, guiding the team to gold medal in several international tournaments including two Majors. TACO would go on to further diversify the already multinational roster of Team Liquid, comprised of two North American, Canadian, and Brazilian Counter-Strike stars.

Jake “Stewie2K” Yip would depart from Cloud9 and go on to fill TACO’s spot at SK Gaming in a similar role – whether the American fragger can fill the gaping void TACO left in the side of SK, is still to be determined.

More notable alterations include Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer Gustafsson’s absence from FaZe Clan’s lineup at Dreamhack Marseille due to ‘personal reasons’ – Swedish native, Richard “Xizt” Landström, will substitute in at the tournament. Olofmeister’s unavailability shouldn’t set FaZe back too far, however; Olof’s recent performance has been dicey (probably relevant to his leave) and Xizt is thought to fill that role quite entirely.

Richard “Xizt” Landström (Credit: HLTV)

All this being said, Cloud9 will presumably be in a less than formidable condition in France; aside from losing Stewie2K, Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham, would send another devastating shockwave through C9 fans as he resigned from the team’s active roster. The current Major Champions have experienced a bit of a downward spell since their ELEAGUE: Boston first place finish; that’s not to say the North American squad can’t shape a configuration that grants them a top finish in Marisellie – however, it would appear somewhat bleak at the moment.

The Odds

FaZE Clan

FaZe Clan would make an interesting stake to win DreamHack Marseille outright; the international troop has attractive odds and the mark of a serious contender for being a finalist. Although recent FaZe transfers may onset some uneasiness, the playing field is generally levelled between the top contenders regarding key player absences from France. While Xizt may not be able to match the same chemistry of Olofmeister – he has quite a bit of champion blood in him. Xzit’s entry into FaZe ended a six-year residency with Ninjas in Pyjamas – including an ESL One Cologne Major victory that solidified him as one of Sweden’s best in-game leaders. FaZe squares up against Team EnVyUs in the first bout of the tournament.

Betway 6.00 bet365 6.00 Pinnacle 7.02

 

SK Gaming

Heavily favoured by sportsbooks, SK Gaming is pinned to win DreamHack Marseille; the added bit of firepower that is Stewie2K is presumed to clash well with Marcelo “coldzera” David as an entry unit. The group hasn’t performed so well on LAN this year besides a 3-4th place finish at the Boston Major; with a new rejuvenated and hungry squad, however, I’d anticipate them to come alive at Le Dôme de Marseille. SK Gaming will have their first test against a lively Ninjas in Pyjamas squad in the initial round.

Betway 5.00 bet365 6.00 Pinnacle 4.49

 

Astralis

Danish powerhouse Astralis is another favourite to walk away with first at Marseille and for good reason: The team quickly broke out into the upper-standings after signing 19-year old Danish hopeful, Emil “Magisk” Reif, as their fifth player. Currently ranked fourth in the ESL Pro League Season 7, the Danes have displayed a velocity ahead of Marseille that has established them as a serious threat at this Masters event.

Betway 6.00 bet365 7.00 Pinnacle 4.61

 

Fnatic

In my opinion, Fnatic appears to be the most conditioned for this world-class skirmish. The fearsome five-man squadron has managed to secure two critical tournament wins in the previous months including IEM Katowice 2018 and World Electronic Sports Games (WESC). If Fnatic can perform with as much vigour as in their last two tournaments, they’ll be a sure bet as a top-finisher. Fnatic will face Asian qualifier, Tyloo, first in Group C.

Betway 7.00 bet365 7.00 Pinnacle 10.62

 

Regardless, DreamHack Marseille should deliver on a cutthroat contest between the best CS:GO teams in the world. If you choose to wager on any of the matches over the course of the tournament, Esports Insider reminds you to bet responsibly!