Even before the start of the Valiance Summer Season, it wasn’t that hard to predict which teams would be the ones advancing into the playoffs.
However, it wasn’t that easy to guess how the ranking would look like, as the top-tier North American scene is filled with teams that are able to beat each other.
Here are our predictions coming into the last phase of the competition.
D2R vs Impreza
D2R managed to end up first during the Group Stage and considering how well they played, they definitely deserved it.
The matches against Hammers Esports on Canals (13:12 victory) and Impreza on Grounded (13:12 victory) could have ended differently, but D2R stood up to the challenge and have shown a lot of resilience.
In their match against the current best Critical Ops team (Gankstars), they showed dominance as Gankstars could not win a single round on the Terrorist side of Bureau, eventually losing the match with a huge scoreline. (13:6 victory for D2R).
Needless to say, having the likes of “Kam” and “MVP” on the roster improved their team a lot and they’re a serious contender to take the title home in this season.
We also can’t overlook “Milio” who has been the clutch master in the past, and we all know he has the potential to carry the team as well.
Impreza didn’t really show much during the Group Stage.
They acquired the victories over the newcomers (“CycloneGG/Team Virus5” and “UPR”) but those wins were not really convincing.
Once they faced up Hammers Esports and Gankstars, they suffered huge defeats (3:13 to Hammers Esports on Canals/2:13 to Gankstars on Legacy).
Their only bright showing was versus D2R (12:13 defeat on Grounded), but even then, they were not able to close out the match, as they were the first team to reach the match point.
“YungRetroz” was looking solid, but the rest of the team will have to step up if they wish to do anything in their Semi-Final match against D2R.
The fact that “Obzerps” left the team also makes the situation even harder.
D2R is a huge favorite here and a lot of things will have to align for Impreza here if they wish to go into the Grand Finals.
PREDICTIONS: D2R 2-0
Hammers Esports vs Gankstars
Once again, just like in the Critical Ops LAN Finals, Hammers Esports will go up against Gankstars, but this time in the Valiance Summer Season Semi-Finals and it’s all online.
Hammers Esports had a strong performance in the Group Stage, and even though they ended up second, they are the team with the best round balance stats (36).
In the Group Stage, they only lost the match against D2R, and in that one, they had three match points before D2R was able to crawl back and close out the match on Canals.
For the match against Gankstars, Hammers Esports brought up their A-game on the Terrorist side (9:3) lead, not leaving much of a chance for Gankstars to come back in the second half.
After that, they closed it out with 13:6 victory!
Hammers Esports might not have the flashiest players out there when comparing them with the other top-tier teams, but all of their players can step up at any given time and their team play is on another level.
“GOD”, “Vitaly” and “Fish_Bits” showed some nice performance in the season so far.
Gankstars finished up third in the Group Stage, but this is not the first time we see them not perform so strong in the Group Stage.
During the match against D2R, they’ve shown a rather week Terrorist side on Bureau, as all attempts got easily denied by D2R.
Against Hammers Esports, their Counter-Terrorist side on Grounded didn’t look good at all, since they only won a total of three rounds.
Gankstars won the rest of the Group Stage matches fairly easily, but those teams are not on the same level.
They have a plenty of homework to do until the Semi-Finals and try to fix their mistakes.
So far, “Joker” has always found a way to bounce his team back and it’s going to be interesting to see if he can do it again.
They won the first ever Critical Ops LAN for a reason, and they should still be the favorites here.
However, there is a chance that Hammers Esports might prevail this time.
PREDICTIONS: 2-1 Gankstars
Those are our predictions for the North American Semi-Finals.
Who do you see as the two teams that are going to advance into the Grand Finals?
Make sure to let us know what you think in the comments!