PGL Krakow 2017 Betting Predictions & Coverage
The yearly CS:GO calendar is increasingly packed with events, but Majors such as PGL Krakow 2017, with an announced prize pool of 1 Million USD, stand out as true pillars of the game's increasing popularity. Majors are the structure of every team's yearly schedule and in the opinion of a lot of eSports fans are the only "real" must-see events, particularly those whom one would consider a 'casual' viewer. Maybe it's a combination of the prize pool, the rarity of these events, the advertisement and endorsement by Valve, and the respect that a team commands for not only qualifying for a major, but performing well at one always a teams top priority.
Events like the PGL Krakow 2017 Major can make or break a team's spirit for the rest of the season, and in this article we're going to take a look at some of the biggest contenders for taking home that sweet, sweet prize pool money of a staggering $1 Million Dollars - one of the largest in CS:GO history.
The Swiss tournament format will see sixteen teams competing for the trophy in single-elimination Best of 3 match-ups, guaranteeing exciting, edge-of-your-seat gameplay throughout the entire tournament. Getting out of the Group stage is the most important part for any team. Once a team reaches the top eight finish, they secure their legends status. A Legends status ensures that they are invited to the next Major and secure a higher seed.
This major will see several top teams competing for the title and frankly it could be anyone's catch. The Swiss format has been known to be extremely friendly towards underdog teams, which will surely make for some intense match-ups. Below we'll take a look at some of the top teams competing in this tournament, and those most likely to take home the gold.
G2 eSports is one of the most talented rosters competing in the PGL Krakow 2017 Major. The team, which was called the "French Superteam" upon formation, has unfortunately not lived up to its initial expectations. There are some amazing players on this roster such as Shox and KennyS, two powerhouse players who have been at the top of the eSports world for a long time now. If you look back on the history of French eSports and the teams containing it, you'll notice that in terms of any teams from the region that reached true success, both or one of them has been on the roster. Shox and KennyS are certainly players to keep your eye on during the PGL Krakow 2017 Major group stages.
G2 have not been very active recently; their last three outings had mixed results for the team. While they had an amazing performance during Dreamhack Tours 2017 and in the ESL Pro League Finals, the teams involved in these tournaments were not of the same caliber as those who will be participating in this Krakow Major.
G2 eSport's performance at the Major depends a lot on their match-ups in the group stage and the way their star players perform. Shox and KennyS usually work amazing in tandem, and have been a package for as long as most analysts can remember. NBK's addition to the team has definitely made G2 a force to be reckoned with, however it is only the team's coordination and cohesiveness that seems to be lacking.
Gamers2 should be able to make it past the group-stages and likely into the playoffs with ease; they are a very strong team and considering the quality of opponents in the Group stage of the Major, making it past them should be no challenge, even with the Swiss format being a potential disadvantage to the Frenchies.
Cloud9 are North America's second best hope at this Major, but of course that's really dependent on whether you consider SK Gaming an NA team which, geographically speaking, they are not. Cloud9 is NA's current dream team, and if their recent performance where they reached the Grand Finals of ESL One Cologne 2017 is any indication, then they are surely a top contender going into PGL Krakow 2017, even if they did in the end lose 0-3 to SK Gaming. And while it might seem like Cloud9 is a really strong team, their path to the finals was not exactly a difficult one. They faced off against two lacking teams in NaVi and NIP, who frankly only reached the quarterfinals because of their map votes and the fact that they largely only played on Cache.
Cloud9's roster consists of three huge play-makers in Stewie2k, Valens, and Autimatic, who can adversely impact the results of any match-up for Cloud9. Stewie2k is undoubtedly one of the best NA players, and being so young he has one of the brightest futures in eSports. He has been assigned the role of IGL at such a young age, and is doing a fantastic job of it. He has been instrumental in keeping the team together, polishing their mental attitude, and making the team a strong and united unit.
Valens, their coach, has added a new dimension to Cloud9. While the Cloud 9 roster is definitely one which relies on individual performances and gameplay, Valen's addition to the team means that they now have a very strategic focus and an almost angelic ability to counter-strategize against any opponent.
If Cloud9's recent performances are any indication, they should have no problem storming into the playoffs of this PGL Krakow 2017 Major, and likely far beyond it.
Astralis took a break from professional LAN matches in order to focus on bootcamping for PGL Krakow 2017; they even skipped ESL One Cologne 2017, one of the biggest and most recognized events in the CS:GO eSports scene. The Astralis team is a player-owned organisation, which has since seen recent significant investment by RFRSH Entertainment, a privately-owned eSports media company.
Astralis are one of the leaders in ensuring CS:GO eSports leaves a legitimate mark in Denmark (pun intended). They have repeatedly made moves which showcase them in a very positive and professional light, and they are yet another top competitor going into PGL Krakow 2017, particularly given their rigorous training schedule that has seen the team members putting in outrageous game hours to prepare for the event.
When it comes down to it, Astralis are without a doubt one of the most dominant CS:GO teams in the world today. Their players have shown tremendous skill and have displayed time and time again their dominant and unique style of Counter-Strike. Device is arguably one of the best AWP'ers in CS:GO history, and is extremely proficient with the rifles as well. But it's Dupreeh with his entry frags who can with the flick of his wrist turn the game around at any moment. Dupreeh is probably one of the most consistent entry fraggers in the game, and has been for quite some time.
Astralis employ many measures that traditional sports teams use. Mia Stellberg is their Sports Psychologist who aids the team in getting into the correct mental state for their matches; Astralis have a long history of self-doubt and choking, and it's perhaps a good thing that they have such a renowned Sports Psychologist as Ms. Stellberg in their organization. If this Sports Psychologist's experience is anything to say then the team's choking days could be over and we may see a new and improved Danish Powerhouse.
Astralis should easily make it out of groups. They are extremely talented and the Group Stage should surely be a cakewalk for them.
SK Gaming are a team that has risen from the underground; from the favela's of Brazil and made a name for themselves in professional Counter-Strike. SK Gaming's strength comes from their strategies and the way they follow their leader and strategist in Fallen.
Fallen is easily the absolute best Brazilian IGL, if not one of the best in the world. He has been instrumental in making SK Gaming the team that it is, and has not shied away from making roster changes in order to secure the top position for his team.
SK Gaming have some amazing individual players, but their strength lies in their coordination and team plays. Fer and Coldzera have been mainstays throughout the history of the team, and have a tendency to show up and perform hugely at Majors. These two players turn up in a big way at Majors as we have seen multiple times in the past. They can come into a major after weeks of poor showing and suddenly amplify their performance as if the past weeks were just them toying with other teams so as to not give away newly devised strategies planned for the major. SK Gaming are big-stage players, and the bright lights always seem to bring out the best in their roster.
SK Gaming have secured at the very least a top two position in their last eight tournaments and are definitely one of the strongest teams in the PGL Krakow 2017 Major and will compete for the title alongside Astralis, Faze Clan, and many others.