preview
Home Sweet Home Cup Week 1 Preview

More CS:GO action is coming your way as week one of Home Sweet Home Cup is about to begin. The likes of BIG and North will duke it out hoping to come away with the first-place prize of $30,000. But who will emerge on top? We break it down.

Valentin Gustafsson
Freelance Esports Writer
7th Apr, 2020·☕️ 6 min read
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More CS:GO action is coming your way as week one of Home Sweet Home Cup is about to begin. The likes of BIG and North will duke it out hoping to come away with the first-place prize of $30,000. But who will emerge on top? We break it down.

Competition Information

Home Sweet Home Cup is a weekly series of online cups hosted by GRID, an esports data company based out of Germany. The series will feature $320,000 in prizes over the course of eight weeks and the winner of each cup will take home $30,000. 

Sixteen teams have been invited to take part in the first cup, which will feature four GSL style groups. The opening matches are best-of-one, but the remainder of the matches will be best-of-three. After the group stage has concluded, the top two teams from each group will advance to the best-of-three, single-elimination playoff bracket.

As the name suggests, all matches will be played from home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The groups for the first edition of Home Sweet Home Cup looks as follows:

Group A:

  • 🇩🇪 BIG
  • 🇷🇺 Spirit
  • 🇪🇺 SMASH
  • 🇪🇺 Syman

Group B:

  • 🇩🇰 Singularity
  • 🇧🇬 SKADE
  • 🇵🇱 AGO
  • 🇬🇧 Endpoint

Group C:

  • 🇪🇸 Movistar Riders
  • 🇸🇪 Japaleno
  • 🇩🇰 North
  • 🇩🇪 Sprout

Group D:

  • 🇰🇿 Virtus.pro
  • 🇷🇺 Gambit Youngsters
  • 🇷🇺 forZe
  • 🇳🇴 Nordavind

The first edition of Home Sweet Home Cup will be played from April 7 to April 10, starting with the first group on April 7.

The Current Season

Teams to Watch:

Spirit

Spirit
Record: 48 / 0 / 23
Most Played Map: Mirage (68.8%)
Best Map: Train (80.0%)
Worst Map: Overpass (33.0%)

Spirit ended ESL Pro League on a fairly respectable 2–4 record after beating Vitality and ENCE. They will now be coming in as the definitive favorite alongside BIG to make the playoffs in a group that features two fairly inexperienced teams in SMASH and Syman gaming. Spirit amassed a record of 12–4 in Mountain Dew League, and we saw them pick up wins against the likes of BIG, Sprout and Movistar Riders before ultimately withdrawing as a result of getting invited to the ESL Pro League. There aren’t that many teams that can compete with Spirit in terms of pure individual firepower in this cup, and they will definitely be a favorite to make the playoffs here.

BIG

BIG
Record: 38 / 0 / 22
Most Played Map: Mirage (68.8%)
Best Map: Inferno (75.0%)
Worst Map: Overpass (33.0%)

BIG kicked off the year by winning DreamHack Open Leipzig, and they carried that form over to the ESL Pro League, upsetting two giants in the form of fnatic and Natus Vincere. However, they later disappointingly lost to Complexity, North and forZe to finish on a 2–3 record. This team probably has the highest peak form out of any of the teams in this competition, but as we have seen in the past, they are more than vulnerable to upsets. Regardless, with players like tabseN and XANTARES they will be able to outgun most of the teams here, and they should be able to make it out of the groups here quite comfortably.

Sprout

Sprout
Record: 28 / 0 / 16
Most Played Map: Inferno (63.6%)
Best Map: Mirage (100.0%)
Worst Map: Overpass (0.0%)
Sprout finished Mountain Dew League with an impressive 14–4 record. Both oskar and dycha have looked good for Sprout thus far, and the veteran experience from players such as denis and Spiidi make them one of the more solid teams in the competition. They have a rather difficult group which includes one of the cup favorites in North, as well as two dangerous upset teams in the form of Movistar Riders and Japaleno. However, there aren’t many teams in this cup with an AWPer as dominant as oskar, and if he shows up to play they can definitely compete for a top placing here.

North

North
Record: 10 / 0 / 12
Most Played Map: Nuke (60.0%)
Best Map: Inferno (100.0%)
Worst Map: Mirage (0.0%)

North have definitely started looking a bit better under MSL’s leadership, and they kicked off ESL Pro League in a strong way by beating Natus Vincere. However, they were only able to find one more win after that against BIG, finishing on a 2–3 record overall. North will be the favorite to top this group, backed up by the fact that they are undefeated against Sprout and Movistar Riders. gade and aizy have shown signs of brilliance in their recent outings against fnatic and BIG, and they are going to need to show up alongside Kjaerbye if they want to go all the way here.

forZe

forZe
Record: 23 / 0 / 18
Most Played Map: Inferno (81.8%)
Best Map: Inferno (81.8%)
Worst Map: Vertigo (0.0%)

forZe finished the ESL Pro League group stage with a 3–2 record but were unable to qualify for the second stage after falling to FaZe in the play-in match. Interestingly, they defeated both BIG and North in ESL Pro League, two teams that they might have to face off against once more in the Home Sweet Home Cup. The Russians have a ton of experience as one of the longest standing rosters at this level, and they have enough skill to compete against the best teams here. xsepower has looked fantastic recently, and if he can keep that form going, forZe might just pocket $30,000 as the champions of Home Sweet Home Cup.

Virtus.pro

Virtus.pro
Record: 7 / 0 / 18
Most Played Map: Vertigo (72.9%)
Best Map: Inferno (66.7%)
Worst Map: Dust2 (0.0%)

Virtus.pro were unable to compete with FaZe, G2 and mousesports in Group C of ESL Pro League, but they did finish off TYLOO and OG to finish on a 2–3 record overall. While Virtus.pro have struggled immensely for the last six months, they are definitely one of the strongest teams here. Jame is still an incredibly strong AWPer, and qikert has looked very good in recent matches for Virtus.pro. There are some potential landmines in their group, but they should still have a solid chance of making it through.

Betting Tips:

The opening matches are BO1 in this cup, so upsets are quite likely. Sprout, Gambit Youngsters and Nordavind are all decent candidates to pull off upsets in the initial BO1s. Both Nordavind and Gambit Youngsters have won matches against forZe and Virtus.pro in recent times, and Sprout could definitely overcome North if oskar and dycha show up to play. However, I would expect the favorites to get things done when we reach the latter stages of the tournament.

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