GG.BET Ice Challenge Preview

By: Kord’s Network
Feb 03, 2019

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GG.BET Ice Challenge is a fascinating CS:GO event in a lot of ways, which I’ll detail in the following sections. This tournament brings together just 4 teams and offers a prize pool of $50.000.

From a practical point of view, GG.BET Ice Challenge is clearly designed to give the fans a way of getting to know the betting operator (GG.BET) and a healthy reward as a bonus. That’s because of the tournament’s design and participants. Everything seems to be set up in a certain way, if you know what we mean. If you don’t, you don’t have to worry. You’ll figure it out when we get to the teams.

Scheduled to take place between February 5th – 7th, GG.BET Ice Challenge is an excellent opportunity for CS:GO bettors. But it is also a short and likely very fun event to watch even for casual esports fans. Regardless of what your situation is, you should regard this tournament as the appetizer for the IEMXIII Katowice Major. And since two of the teams from GG.BET Ice Challenge will also be playing in the Major, watching how they perform may give you a better idea of how strong or weak they are.

Participants

As I’ve already mentioned, GG.BET Ice Challenge is a fascinating CS:GO event. And one of the reasons has to do with the teams who will be taking part in it. You might know them already if you’re informed about the tournament but if you don’t, let’s take a moment to think about the whole situation.

First of all, all of the 4teams have been directly invited to the event. So this is an invitation based party. Nothing unusual so far, as various other tournament organizers have done this from time to time.

The next part gets interesting though and starts to reveal a few things. And it is this: the organizer is GG.BET, who also happens to be a huge sponsor for Natus Vincere. Now let’s imagine that you’re working for GG.BET and are trying to promote yourself. How would you go about it?

Well, one way would be to organize a tournament, invite your sponsored team to it, and then pick some very convenient opponents for that team, so that not a single one of them could seriously challenge it.

Let’s face it: Na’Vi are probably at the top of their game right now because we’re getting close to the Major. And the other 3 teams that got invited to GG.BET Ice Challenge are considerably weaker. Keep in mind that Na’Vi are either 2nd or 3rdright now in global rankings while AVANGAR, Heroic and North are not even in the top 15. This creates a massive opportunity and reveals the betting operator’s plan for this event: they clearly wanted to have an event through which they could promote themselves and what better way to do it than by having your sponsored team crush a bunch of mosquitoes?

Needless to say, the main contender for winning the title is Na’Vi. Who comes next? That’s a trickier question. If they’re in good shape, North should come next. But Heroic are also a great team and have proved over and over that they can play CS:GO at the top level. But what about AVANGAR? After all, they’re the ones who qualified for the Major while both North and Heroic haven’t.

Event structure

GG.BET Ice Challenge will be played in a double elimination bracket format (GSL). Initially, all 4 teams start in the Upper Bracket. Every match is a Bo3 series, including the GrandFinal.

This structure is very simple and perfectly suited for a 3-day event: 6 matches, 3 days, adding up to around4-6 hours of spectacle each day. Good enough for a small event and we’re pretty sure they’ll get a good audience too. The Londoners are probably waiting enthusiastically to see s1mple and the rest of the famous players at the ExCelLondon venue.

Team analysis

Here’s a short analysis of the 4 teams who will be competing at GG.BET Ice Challenge.

Natus Vincere

With s1mple and electronic in their roster, Na’Vi look invincible in most of their matches and it’s only the likes of Astralis, Team Liquid, mousesports and FaZe Clan who can seriously challenge them. These 2 players often with the match on their own and little can be done do stop them.

In 2018, Na’Vi played in10 Grand Finals of tier 1 CS:GO events. By comparison, GG.BET Ice Challenge is a tier 3 tournament. So at least on paper and considering the fact that this tournament takes place shortly before the IEM Major, Na’Vi are more than an entire division above the other competitors. Subsequently, anything less than a victory in the Grand Final would be shocking.

It’s still not known who their opponent will be in their first match, but we assess that regardless of who will be the unlucky one of the 3, Na’Vi won’t have to struggle too much to win the match.

Navi_Team_IEM_Katowice_2019

Keep in mind that the competitive format of GG.BET Ice Challenge allows teams to lose a match without being eliminated. It takes two defeats to go home and it is hard to believe that two of these 3 teams will figure out a way to beat one of the best teams in the world and the best player not just of 2018, but in the history of CS:GO.

S1mple has looked unstoppable almost the entire season last year. At his young age of 21, it’s very unlikely that he might have lost his motivation after just one successful year. He hasn’t even won a Major yet so we are confident that he’s still hungry and still very passionate about the game that has given him so much.

Heroic

Ever since friberg joined the team in April last year, Heroic has transformed into one of the strongest tier 2 teams in the game. This is a very dangerous lineup that managed to finish 7th – 8th at ESL Pro League Season 7 Finals (this was a very big tier 1 event), 1st at Game Clash Masters 2018 (tier2) and 1st at TOYOTA Master CS:GO Bangkok 2018 (tier 2).

These results clearly indicate that Heroic is a solid team. They may not have much of a chance against Na’Vi, but they can certainly go head to head with anyone else at GG.BET Ice Challenge and play in the Grand Final.

North

In theory, this is the second best team at this tournament. Given their past results and their roster, it’s actually quite shocking that we haven’t seen North on the big stages in more than 2 months and only once in 5 months.

In 2018, North won 2 tier2 events, 1 tier 1 event, and placed 3rd – 4th in 2 other tier 1 events. Not bad at all.

Going into GG.BET Ice Challenge, we expect North to finish 2nd.

AVANGAR

AVANGAR is a big question mark at this point. In 2018, they won 6 tier 3 events and managed to place 3rd– 4th at EPICENTER 2018, a tier 1 tournament.

Going into GG.BET IceChallenge, we expect AVANGAR to finish 3rd or 4th. Anything better than that would be a huge surprise.