Ever since k1to and syrsoN joined BIG the results have been straight up amazing, as the team has gone from a non-relevant team to a consistent top contender. They even held the #1 rank for a while during the year. The team has been a perfect mix of teamplay and individuals, especially with XANTARES and syrsoN playing on a very high level. While they haven’t kept up the form all along the way BIG is still #6 on the world ranking and their results are super solid. In DH Open Fall BIG only lost to the two finalists in Vitality and Heroic. That tells a story of a team who is extremely competitive and their wins against FaZe, Godsent, G2 and Fnatic showed that.
The latest tournament for the team was BLAST Premier, where they once again had troubles with Vitality, but managed to beat FaZe and Complexity. Long story short - BIG currently beats anyone, but the absolute top of the echelon. With that in mind Flashpoint 2 sounds like the perfect playground for the Germans, as they will face only mid-tier teams or lower. From a betting perspective BIG are the favourites with around 4 times the money for the outright. That is still a bit too low for my liking as there are many hurdles to overcome before the trophy would be in their hands. BIG might however become the perfect bet in the earlier stages of the tournament as they are showing great consistency and are unlikely to stumble against the weaker teams.
OG has seen their fair share of ups and downs ever since the team's creation roughly a year ago. Their recent performances has pushed the team up to a #7 placing on the world ranking, which is an all time high for them. That comes on the back of a very impressive performance in BLAST Premier where they won against EG and Natus Vincere, twice. Before that they managed to place 3rd in IEM New York and 7th in DH Open Fall. With the most recent results weighing significantly higher it’s totally fair that OG joins Flashpoint 2 as one of the odds favourites to win it all.
AleksiB seems to be the genius bringing success to any team he leads and OG looks great as a team with innovative ways to find themselves wins. The individual performances from mantuu has been great all year long, but lately ISSAA has started contributing on a higher level too - a great sign for OG. During earlier parts of the year they were missing that last piece of firepower to be a true contender, but it sure looks like they might have found it.
OG are still missing a trophy in their cabinet and Flashpoint 2 could definitely bring that one home, as well as a huge paycheck. I would still feel slightly sceptical of taking the 4 times the money offered on the outright, but if OG gets off to a good start in the tournament we need to be quick with placing bets on their upcoming games, as the bookies might still have some doubts too.
It’s finally time for this completely new lineup to make their debut on the CS:GO scene. The team has been built by the previous caster HenryG and what they have assembled is very interesting. The previous IGL of Vitality, ALEX, is the main chess piece and he has been given woxic, es3tag, floppy and mezii to build the project. Woxic and es3tag are already proven world class players, but the question marks lie in the remaining two players, who are both young prospects getting their first chance to prove themselves. It is definitely an interesting mix that on paper looks like it could work, probably better so than a team built purely on skill and individual prowess. The odds for Cloud9 to win Flashpoint 2 fluctuates around 12 times the money and I have to say that it’s not enough just yet, as the team is completely new and unproven. However, again, if they start off strong it’s time to smash in the bets on them upsetting even the better teams, or at the very least making it close affairs.
There has been a hurricane around MIBR for years, but maybe it’s time for some calm sailing for the Brazilian flagship - finally. With TACO, FalleN and fer gone from the lineup it is a completely fresh start. Trk and kNgV- remains in the team and LUCAS1, leo_drk and vsm have been recruited to the team as stand-ins. The expectations for the new lineup has been close to zero, but they have already shocked everybody through amazing results in BLAST Premier: Fall, by almost upsetting Astralis and then followed up by smashing the current #4 in the world, FURIA, to pieces. As things look MIBR can become a real threat in Flashpoint 2 and as of right now the odds for them to win at all stand at around 23-26. For my money that is an AMAZING bet and maybe the best I have seen all year long. WARNING: These odds WILL drop very fast. A lot of things might change before Flashpoint 2 starts, but the first signs of the new MIBR is nothing short of astonishing.
The legendary Swedish team has continued their rollercoaster during 2020. The results are so mixed it’s hard to make any sense of it. Their world rank has gone all the way from #1 to #15 and they currently ranked #11. Their latest tournament was DH Open Fall, where they ended up placing 6th, after having a great start with double wins over OG and one against North. It all crackled as they lost three series against Astralis, NiP and BIG, but it honestly was still a step forward as the legends performed fairly well all things considered. For a tournament such as Flashpoint 2 it’s impossible to count Fnatic out, especially with their fluctuating form. If flusha, JW and Krimz can find back to good form the team is a big threat to anyone, granted that Brollan and Golden keeps on performing. 6 times the money would definitely not be enough for me to feel comfortable however, but let’s see how the odds markets change in the week leading up to the tournament.
After a rather tough start to 2020, VP has finally started performing on the level we want to see them again. The addition of YEKINDAR might have been part of the process, but as a whole the team has stepped up immensely. Qikert, buster and Jame are all playing on a star level and the package is ready to prove themselves for real come Flashpoint 2. They have already done so by competing in the CIS region and their win in IEM New York was quite an impressive feat.
VP managed to go on a 20 series win streak before finally getting beaten. It’s important to note that the teams in these tournaments are of a lower level, but they have also managed to beat Natus Vincere during that time. With the great form the team is in they are counted as one of the main favourites for Flashpoint 2 together with BIG and OG. For me that is too much considering they haven’t faced many top level teams during the last months and therefore their real power level is far from a given. The fact that bookies offer around 4 times the money on the outrights is more of a joke to me right now, but it does serve a purpose in pushing the other teams higher.
To round it all out let’s have a look at the previous champion team. AcoR, sjuush and roeJ remains from the lineup that lifted the previous trophy after an incredible run. It’s important to understand how significant that is before we move on. MAD Lions lost Bubzkji and HUNDEN, who were both key pieces in the teams success back then. HooXi and refrezh has replaced them, and while they aren’t bad players, they also can’t fill the gap. The lineup has played very few games together at this point and it’s hard to tell where they stand in terms of a power ranking, but the signs have been positive with 5 wins in a row. That is against weaker tier 2 and 3 teams though and doesn’t tell much of a story just yet. In the best of cases MAD Lions will be able to upset the higher ranked team in Flashpoint 2, but their odds of 12 to win it all definitely doesn’t tickle me.