Critical Ops Winter Season Group Stages will start on 17th of February and we finally have all the participating teams for each of the regions.
Do you know what this means? It’s prediction time!
Which team will be the best? Which will be last? And how many wrong predictions will we make?
You’ll never know, if you don’t continue reading. ;)
Looking at the teams, „Learn From Past (LEFP)“ does seem as the clear favorite this season.
With their stellar performance in the Critical Ops Autumn Season, it did look like the rest of the teams are not really on the same level.
We give them the best chances to win the group.
It's important to note that they did get disqualified last time for using ineligible players and that is why we didn't see them in the later stages of the competition.
If they really do learn from the past and will play by the rules, it should be very hard to stop them.
Not so long ago, we'd put „No Mercy (nM)“ as the second best team team in this region, however teams like „iFM“, and „Awakened“ joined the fray, and now it is way harder to call which of those teams is going to come out on top.
„CsPG Immortals“ did end up third in the previous season, but that was mostly due to “LEFP” being disqualified.
Competition seems way stronger now than before, and CSPG will have to step up their game in order to grab one of the top spots.
„Team AyX“ looks like the ideal “dark horse” team in this region, as the Japanese powerhouse had some strong games in the Open Qualifiers and is able to pull off some upsets.
The recent return of team „Elevate“ brought a smile to our faces.
They are the team that made it to the Grand Finals twice in the previous two seasons, and once ended up as C-Ops champions.
They are most certainly the heavy favorites to win it all in Europe this season.
With the recent acquisition of „Alpha“ and the players that they already have at their disposal, the chances of them going all the way are really high.
The only thing that can stop them are internal conflicts, which do seem to happen in their team.
However, if they can keep their head cool and resolve them in time, we don't think anyone can stop them.
The rest of the spots seem to be up for grabs in the European region.
Both „Nova eSports“ and „Kings Uprising“ had some great results in the „Critical Ops 5on5 Community Cups“, making them look better than the rest of the pack.
The teams that qualified through the ladder system („Sky2Fly C-OPS“ & „WLGaming Esports“) are no slouches either, as they also had their fair share of deep runs in the cups.
„SetToDestroyX“ couldn't participate in the previous season, however we've seen some great performances by them in the „Critical Ops Championship Series Online Finals“.
If everything falls in line for them, they have high chances of making it far and surprising other teams.
This one is probably the hardest to predict, as we haven't seen a lot of action in the region lately, except in the Critical Ops Winter Season Open Qualifiers.
Once again, it is very likely that this will turn into a brawl between „New Era Team“ and „Nerds in Arms“, which was the case in the previous season.
However, looking at the rest of the teams, we shouldn't discount „Insanity Killers“ which do seem to be the up-and-coming force in the region and it will definitely be interesting to see if they can change the current ranking of the teams.
„NT Gaming“ and „Never Believed“ do seem like capable underdogs since they had some good showings in the Open Qualifiers.
It is also very hard to judge what „Screen Shot“ can bring to the table, since they qualified through the ladder system, but only after “MILICIA - FPS Mobile” got disqualified for using ineligible players.
They did have a good run in the Open Qualifiers, however, they didn’t face hard competition until the finals where they lost to “NT Gaming”.
You don’t even have to look at the other teams to predict the heavy favorites here.
It’s a pretty safe bet that „Gankstars“, currently the best team in the world, are likely to repeat what they did in the previous season - winning it all.
Only teams that do seem to have some chance against them are „D2R Insidious“ and „IFL“, and that is if “Gankstars” have a bad day.
„D2R Insidious“ did have a disappointing performance in the Critical Ops Autumn Season.
However, with „Legacy“ being at the helm of the team and enough practice time, they've probably fixed their mistakes and should look way better now.
„Impreza“ did qualify through the Open Qualifiers, but in our opinion their bracket didn't have any strong competition except „Team Pharaohs“.
“Team Pharaohs” received an invitation to the Group Stage, because the North American ladder system wasn't played much. We’ll see how they fare against the top dogs.
Even though „Infinity Forge“ lost versus „IFL“ in the final match of the Open Qualifiers, they seem capable of pulling an upset or two.
They might be the dark horse team of this group.
First place in this region is most likely taken, but all the other spots are up for grabs and it’s going to be an interesting group to watch!
Hope you enjoyed our predictions for the upcoming season. Let us know who are your favorites in the comments.