This weekend, we’re kicking off the Critical Ops Spring Invitational.
If you don’t know yet, all of the matches are going to be played in a Single-Elimination format, meaning that there’s no room for error.
Yep, we’re sure going to see some extra exciting, high pressure C-Ops!
Let’s look into our magic 8-ball and see what is going to happen in the “Americas” part of the bracket.
Gankstars vs D2R
Gankstars had a really shaky start of the Critical Ops Winter Season, where they ended up 3rd in the Group Stage. (3-2 score with loses to both D2R and IFL).
However, that didn’t stop them from dominating in the playoffs, as they beat D2R in the semi-finals and destroyed IFL in the Grand-Finals, without losing a single map!
GS’s “Joker” showed us that they can fix their mistakes on the fly and that you can never count them out, even when things are not going their way.
With the addition of “MVP” and “iSmggg” as their substitutes, their roster is looking better than before and it is very hard to predict who is going to get fielded on what map.
This increases their team’s strategic depth even further.
D2R had a solid start in the previous season, losing only to IFL in the Group Stage (13-7).
However, they couldn’t handle Gankstars in a best-of-three series in the semi-finals.
They had issues with the Terrorist side of Plaza and Counter-Terrorist side of Legacy.
“Milio” was too hot to handle against Gankstars in the Critical Ops Winter Season and ended the match with 33 frags.
If D2R wants to beat Gankstars, someone from their team will have to step up and repeat such a stellar performance.
Gankstars are definitely the favorites coming into this matchup and anything but a victory for them would be a surprise.
We do think that D2R has a chance to win a map, but the series will most likely go into Gankstars favor.
PREDICTION: 2-0/2-1 Gankstars
IFL vs SpacestationGG
IFL had a great run in the Critical Ops Winter season up until the Grand Finals, where they got stomped by Gankstars (3-0 defeat).
They couldn’t close out the game on Grounded, where they had 3 match points before Gankstars turned the game around.
It seems that the pressure got to them once everything was on the line and that could be one of the biggest reasons why they underperformed in the playoffs considering how good they looked during the Group Stage.
Their lineup looks solid and if they can cope with the pressure, they might have a good chance against SpacestationGG.
SpacestationGG is the new team that got formed recently and it has already made headlines in the Critical Ops Community.
With the return of “Kam” to competitive Critical Ops and with the likes of “Alpha” and “Obzerps” on the roster as well, only the sky is the limit for this team.
They even said in the interview that IFL shouldn’t present much of a challenge.
SpacestationGG seems to be very motivated and has a lot of experienced players on the team, that’s why we see them as the favorites in this mathcup.
However, IFL’s teamplay should be better, considering they have been playing together for a longer time.
It will be interesting to see how this one is going to pan out.
This match will probably be decided on the 3rd map.
PREDICTION: 2-1 SpacestationGG
Battalion vs V4lhalla Gaming
Battalion (previously known as Nerds in Arms), reclaimed their number one spot in the region after a flop in the Autumn Season.
They did it by staging an insane comeback in the Grand Finals of the Winter Season versus Insanity killers.
They were down 0-2, before they won 3 maps in a row, crowning themselves as the South American Champions.
Not so long ago, “Mihawk” from New Era team ended up joining the team, after the disbandment of his team.
There is also a chance that we won’t be seeing “Reziq” that has issues with his gaming device and “Iberbel” that is supposedly preoccupied with college in the Spring Invitational.
Of course, this is not fully confirmed yet.
If it ends up being true, we’re yet to see how the team will react to these changes.
V4lhalla Gaming is one of the more stable teams in the South American region.
Even though they didn’t take part in the Winter Season as a team, we’ve seen “PrinhO” play with Screen Shot and he was one of better players of the team, next to “JC DO TREM BALA”.
“007PS” was a substitute player for Nerds in Arms in the previous season, but, he didn’t get a lot of playing time, so he switched teams.
However, it’s hard to imagine Battalion not winning this match, due to their experience and previous results.
We would be surprised if Battalion would lose a map, let alone the series.
PREDICTION: 2-0 Battalion
Insanity Killers vs TNTG
As mentioned before, Insanity Killers almost became champions of the Winter Season, but were ultimately stopped by Battalion.
It’s fair to say they “choked” after being up 2-0 in the Grand Finals.
Still, they’re a formidable team, capable of winning against pretty much everyone in the bracket.
With the recent acquisition of “GOLL1NS” that played for teams such as New Era Team and Nerds in Arms, the team is probably even stronger than before.
The only thing they need to work on is closing out the matches and make sure that the mistakes they made in the Grand Finals don’t happen again.
TNTG received an invite after Never Believed decided not to take part in the Spring Invitational.
Although we haven’t seen them before in the competition as they are newly formed, they definitely shouldn’t be counter out that easily.
The main player on the roster should be “GU4RD1A”, as he played very well for Never Believed in the Critical Ops Winter Season, especially in the fragging department.
Still, Insanity Killer are the favorites here and it does seem that Never Believed is going to get outclassed in this one.
PREDICTION: 2-0 for Insanity Killers
These are our predictions for the “Americas” bracket.
Do you agree with them?
Or do you see different outcomes?
Let us know in the comments!
The Spring Invitation will start on 22nd of April (Sunday), at 9:45 PM CEST/3:45 PM EDT.
Make sure to watch us live at youtube.com/valiancegg