Why North America will be unable to win its own tournament
Luminosity have proven to be a worthy successor to fnatic as they currently hold the title of major winners. Sure, they dropped out of DreamHack Masters: Malmö in the group stages, but that only tells us so much, given how soon after the major it was held.
What has the major shown about the North American CS:GO scene?
There are quite a few points to make here. First of all, the major has proven that Team Liquid are a force to contend with, or at least, they have been. Now that s1mple is gone and GBJames is discontinuing his support as a coach, the team has been somewhat watered down, with lacklustre results against regional competition at best being the result.
The second one pretty much goes to show that there is little competition in North America on the level of the major attendees. Sure, the likes of Winterfox upset higher ranked teams on a regular basis, but you would still not trust them to take out a tier-2 European team, and Splyce have recently shown themselves to merely be a contender when it comes to offline environments.
The final point would revolve around Counter Logic Gaming’s major run. CLG making it into the quarter-finals surprised a lot of people, but in retrospect… was it really that unexpected?
CLG’ quarter-final finish does not mean that much
Many have argued that Luminosity’s major win was gifted to them in some ways, given that both Olof 'olofmeister' Kajbjer and Ladislav 'GuardiaN' Kovacs struggled with injuries, and this exact same point can be made about the CLG run. On paper, their group should have been hard. Sure, there was the underdog Gambit, but there also were Astralis and EnVyUs, two incredibly skilled teams – on paper. Counter Logic Gaming defeated EnVyUs , Astralis went on to beat CLG, who then managed to qualify over Gambit Gaming. The first game of that group honestly stood out as something incredibly unexpected.
But the question remains whether this really demanded an exceptional performance from them, and if you are not wondering about that, we urge you to read our “Nothing to EnVy” feature. And indeed the CLG that has reached the playoffs of a major is nowhere to be found in their recent results, simply because their road into the quarter-finals was not as demanding as it may have appeared to be at first.
The rest of NA is even more behind
Cloud9 started off the year by signing Jake 'Stewie2k' Yip, and now that Ryan "fREAKAZOID" Abadir has stepped down, Stewie has been given the role of the primary entry-fragger. Some people, including the author of this article, believe that his tactical mind is simply too underdeveloped to fit this role at this time. His pushes through smokes and his general timing were causing issues for C9 when he was just their lurker, but now he has been given one of the most crucial roles a terrorist side has.
And not only that, but stepping in for fREAK is Alec 'Slemmy' White, the former IGL of ObeyAlliance, who will be taking over the reigns as in-game-leader. This is a huge change, and means that yet another NA team is being affected by roster issues coming into this tournament. Cloud9 are in a phase of restructuring right now, and Splyce and Selfless have struggled heavily when having to play in an offline environment. The only team that has proven to be able to perform on stage is NRG, but even their mightiest powers should not be enough to overcome the likes of Tempo or Luminosity. So it is highly possible we'll see the two Brazilian teams advance over their competitors at DH Austin.
Why we will almost certainly come to see a full-Brazilian Grand Finals
With the aforementioned reasons in mind, there are many reasons to think an all-Brazilian final is possible. But what stops TS and LG from meeting somewhere in the semi-finals? Quite simply, the seeding system. The highest seeded team of Group A will meet the lower seed of Group B, which means that if both come out on top of their respective groups they will be divided into both semis.
As sad as it may be that the NA scene will most likely be unable to watch their teams succeed in a tournament designed for the North American teams, we will probably get to watch Luminosity clash with their little brothers. How will this develop? Gabriel 'FalleN' Toledo has taught his brothers so much that they could be able to predict LG to the point where the result will come down to raw aim duels.