We have an action-packed week to look forward to as WePlay! Clutch Island is set to get underway. Will the dynamic duo of s1mple and electronic carry Natus Vincere to the title, or will Spirit have anything to say about it? We break it all down in our preview of the event.
We have an action-packed weekend to look forward to as WePlay! Clutch Island is set to get underway. Will the dynamic duo of s1mple and electronic carry Natus Vincere to the title, or will Spirit have anything to say about it? We break it all down in our preview of the event.
WePlay! Clutch Island is, as the name suggests, organized by the Ukrainian Esports Production company WePlay! and will feature eight of the best teams in the CIS region.
$50,000 in prizes will be up for grabs, in addition to RMR points (Regional Major Ranking Points).
Natus Vincere, Winstrike, Spirit, HardLegion and Virtus.pro received direct invites, and Espada, Nemiga and Gambit Youngsters qualified.
This tournament features two double-elimination (GSL) style groups, with four teams in each group. All matches will be best-of-three from start to finish, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the best-of-three, double-elimination playoff bracket.
The groups are as follows:
WePlay! Clutch Island kicks off with the first matches on June 23 and the tournament will run through June 28.
Note: All stats are from online matches only in 2020
Gambit Youngsters beat Syman twice and took down forZe in the third-place decider to qualify for this tournament. This Gambit Youngsters team has had their ups and downs, but there is no denying the talent on this team, spearheaded by sh1ro who is one of the strongest AWPers in the region.
Spirit have been a bit of a revelation so far this year. They won ESL One: Road to Rio CIS in a dominant fashion, and they also put up some good results in DreamHack Masters against top international competition. This team tends to be dominant against CIS teams, and they are definitely the favorite to win this tournament alongside Natus Vincere.
After winning IEM Katowice earlier in the year, Natus Vincere have had a difficult time adjusting to the switch to online CS. The last time they played a CIS tournament like this was ESL One: Road to Rio, where they bombed out after losing to HardLegion and Syman. It has been very difficult to predict how Natus Vincere will perform. At times, they look incredibly fearsome, like the 2–0 thrashing of MAD Lions in DreaHack Masters with s1mple dropping 37 frags in regulation, and other times they look incredibly lackluster. Regardless, there is no doubt they are big-time favorites to win this event alongside Spirit.
Virtus.pro have amassed a map record of 18 wins and 11 losses since they acquired YEKINDAR, and they are finally starting to look a bit better after a rough start to the year. They have defeated some pretty decent opposition in recent times, including Heroic, GODSENT and Sprout, and they narrowingly lost games to both Spirit and BIG who have been incredibly impressive so far this year. These are promising signs for Virtus.pro, and they might just have what it takes to make it out of this group.
Winstrike impressed at ESL One: Road to Rio, grabbing second place after losing to Spirit in the finals. It is a bit worrying that they have dropped games to the likes of NaVi Junior and Espada in recent times, but they should be in a good spot to make it out of this group. Revenge is going to be the storyline for Winstrike, as a lot is likely going to come down to their two matches against Spirit and Espada, two teams that have gotten the better of them recently.
Natus Vincere are clear favorites to win this one, but we have seen crazy things happen before in the CIS region. I definitely would not rule out Spirit with how good they have looked so far this year, and there will likely be a few upsets in group play. Check out our daily betting tips, as we are sure to break down a few of these games as the tournament goes on.