FaceIt Major New Legends Phase: Mousesports face early exit as two New Legends crowned
The FaceIt Major: London 2018 has reached a pivotal point. Only 14 teams remain in the tournament. Two teams were eliminated yesterday as two teams became "Legends". Only two more days of action remains before the start of the coveted Main Event or the Champions Phase.
But first, what are Legends? The title of Legends is given to the Top 8 teams of every CSGO Major. They guarantee their spot in the New Legends stage of the next Major. By doing so, they also end up nearly guaranteeing their spot in the Major after that as well.
Let's have a look at how teams are faring in this Major.
Teams that were eliminated with a 0-3 Record
The Swiss system is simple. You win 3, you qualify. You lose 3, you go home. The two unfortunate teams who have lost 3 games in a row have now been sent home. Also, Valve announced a change in regulation as the 15th and 16th placed teams won't get a direct spot in next year's Major.
So, not only do these teams lose their chance at being a Major Champion, they also lose their spot in the next Major. They will, now, have to go through the Minor qualifiers to get to IEM Katowice 2019.
Winstrike were the first unfortunate team to be eliminated from the tournament. Down in the 0-2 bracket, Winstrike faced Cloud9. The North American (NA) team dominated them for the first half before the Russian side came back to force overtime. But Cloud9 won 4 rounds in a row ending the game 19-15 and eliminating Winstrike. They had previously lost to Fnatic and Liquid, both 16-7.
Mousesports are ranked 4th in the World Rankings. So it came as a huge shock when they faltered in back to back games against NiP (16-12) and MiBR (16-6). This dropped them to the 0-2 bracket and they had the misfortune of facing another team who were suffering from shock losses, Faze Clan. Faze beat Mouse comfortably 16-8 and eliminated them.
Teams that became Legends with a 3-0 Record
With 3 victories in a row these teams not only secured their spot in the Main Event Playoffs, but in the next Major as well. These teams are now contenders to win the Major and take home $500,000 in Prize Money.
When the North American Minors started no one expected Complexity to make it to the Major. But they did. They went 3-1 in the Challengers Phase and reached the New Legends Phase against all odds. But it was here that they peaked in their underdog story. They won 3 games in a row and became Legends. They faced fellow underdogs BIG in the 2-0 bracket and beat them 16-8 to secure the spot. They also defeated Fnatic 16-4 and G2 16-11.
Rarely does it happen that NA teams dominate a certain tournament. Sure we saw Cloud9 win the last Major but their entire run was mostly against European teams and SK Gaming, who were Brazilian. Liquid changed that as they beat Astralis, the best team in the world, 19-15 to become the second NA Legend in this Major. They had previously beaten NiP 16-10 and WInstrike 16-9.
Their will be six matches played tomorrow and three BO3 series played the day after tomorrow. Let us take a look at the 6 matches booked for tomorrow.
The 2-1 Bracket Matches
The 6 teams that have 2 wins and 1 loss are still in a more comfortable situation than the other 6. They just need 1 victory to become Legends and can even afford a defeat on the way. They are matched up against each other according to the Buchholz System of seeding.
Astralis vs MiBR
It's ironic that the Buchholz system was implemented because these two exact teams faced each other via random draw during the 2-2 Brackets in PGL Krakow. This caused one of the main contenders to get eliminated and now they are again drawn against each other thanks to the Buchholz system. However, this time it is a lot forgiving as both teams can still go through despite this rule. Although MiBR is looking very strong, I will pick Astralis to win this game and become Legends.
Fnatic vs Natus Vincere (Navi)
Two of CSGO's most legendary teams face off against each other. Navi is one of the favorites while Fnatic looks to regain some of their lost glory. The matchup mainly depends on how Navi's star player Simple plays the game really. If Simple has a good game it is hard to beat Navi really. Regardless of what one individual can do for the game, I will still pick Navi to win over Fnatic in this mouth-watering match.
BIG vs HellRaisers
One of the two underdogs in this stage, HellRaisers are surprising everyone with their performances in this major. They are looking unstoppable at times and have taken down some of the world's best teams already. They will battle BIG who are on a roll to claim a Legends spot. This will crown a Legend who certainly defied several expectations to reach this stage. As for the winner, I believe BIG will be winning this game with ease and become a Legend.
The 1-2 Bracket Matches
A perilous place to be in. Over here one single loss means you are gone from the tournament. And to qualify you have to win one game and then defeat another 2-2 team in a Best of 3 Series. Teams here will always bring their A-Game and we can expect CSGO of the highest level to be played here.
Vega Squadron vs NiP
Vega Squadron were the team that made NiP miss their first ever Major a couple of years ago. It is poetic that an elimination match between these two happens at the Major NiP make their grand return. The loser will go home and on paper, NiP are much stronger than Vega. But we have seen several upsets and another one here is not off the table. But, I will still put my money on NiP for this game.
Tyloo vs Faze Clan
Faze are in unfamiliar territory. They placed 16th at their last Premier Tournament and have had a rough couple of months. They came awfully close to getting eliminated yesterday. Now they have to face Tyloo and the winner has to win a Best of 3 to survive in this tournament. It has been done before and Faze certainly have the capability to do it again. For this match, my money is on Faze.
G2 vs Cloud9
Two of the most troubled teams in the world at the moment, both G2 and Cloud9 have had several internal issues over the past year. With unstable rosters, both teams have expectedly underperformed. One of them will go home with a lot of disappointment and the other will cling on to what little hope they have left. For me, G2 has the greater chance for this game as they are simply a better team than Cloud9 at this point.
The action starts at 2:30 PM IST. You can catch all the action live here.