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DreamHack Masters Spring - Preview

Astralis will play their first match without device. We look at how they stack up against the competition in our preview of DreamHack Masters Spring.

Valle
Freelance Esports Writer
29th Apr, 21·☕️ 6 min read
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Astralis will play their first match without device. We look at how they stack up against the competition in our preview of DreamHack Masters Spring.

Competition Information

DreamHack Masters Spring features a $250,000 prize pool and a respectable number of top teams. The field includes Astralis, who are about to play their first match since device’s shock move to NiP, and Vitality, who will field their new roster with newcomer Kyojin. 

The format at this event is competitive, with two double-elimination (GSL) style groups. It is worth noting, however, that the first matches in the group stage are played in best-of-one format. The rest of the matches in the group stage will be best-of-three, with three teams advancing to the playoffs. 

The playoff bracket is single-elimination, with best-of-threes leading up to the best-of-five grand final.

The groups are:

Group A

  • 🇷🇺 Gambit
  • 🇧🇬 Team Fiend
  • 🇷🇺 Spirit
  • 🇫🇷 G2
  • 🇷🇺 Natus Vincere
  • 🇪🇺 mousesports
  • 🇪🇺 FaZe
  • 🇰🇿 Virtus.pro

Group B

  • 🇩🇰 Astralis
  • 🇺🇸 Extra Salt
  • 🇪🇺 Complexity
  • 🇫🇷 Vitality
  • 🇧🇷 FURIA
  • 🇩🇰 BIG
  • 🇧🇷 paiN
  • 🇩🇰 Heroic

The event is set to kick off April 29th with Group A and the event will run through May 9th.

The Current Season

Astralis

Astralis
Record: 23 / 0 / 19
Most Played Map: Inferno (50.0%)
Best Map: Nuke (50.0%)
Worst Map: Overpass (33.0%)

It is still hard to process what has just happened. Astralis will play this one without device, after he made the move over to NiP in a shocking transfer. Needless to say, they are definitely not among the favourites for the title without their talisman AWPer. Stepping in for device will be Bubzkji, who has been on the sidelines for a long time as Astralis’ sixth man. Bubzkji is a very good player, but he is certainly no device. Without a main AWPer, I would expect dupreeh to step into this role. He isn’t a bad AWPer by any stretch, but playing as the main AWPer is a whole different story. Astralis will take on Extra Salt in the opener, a team that will certainly like their chance at the upset after the recent changes. 

Heroic

Heroic
Record: 26 / 0 / 7
Most Played Map: Inferno (85.7%)
Best Map: Nuke (100.0%)
Worst Map: Train (57.1%)

Heroic have been pretty amazing after they picked up refrezh and sjuush from MAD Lions. So far, they have a record of 12 wins and just 1 loss with this roster. They have been drawn against paiN in the opening match, an opponent which they should be able to take out rather comfortably despite it being a BO1. If they win that match, either FURIA or BIG await in the following match. These are two teams that they have gotten the better off recently, so Heroic have an excellent chance of making playoffs. 

Gambit

Gambit
Record: 61 / 0 / 24
Most Played Map: Inferno (64.7%)
Best Map: Vertigo (86.7%)
Worst Map: Dust2 (61.5%)

Gambit have catapulted up to №1 in HLTV’s world rankings after an excellent run of form which included a win at IEM Katowice and a runner-up finish at ESL Pro League. These guys are very methodical, playing that typical slow style which the CIS region has been known for and teams are finding it really difficult to deal with. They have a tendency to get the most out of every situation, making them one of the best teams in the game right now. Like Heroic, they have received a good draw as the top seed, facing off against the Bulgarians from Fiend in the opening match. This is an opponent that they should win against more often than not, but the Bulgarians are an experienced group of players that will like their chances considering the BO1 format. 

Vitality

Vitality
Record: 10 / 0 / 12
Most Played Map: Nuke (60.0%)
Best Map: Vertigo (66.7%)
Worst Map: Inferno (0.0%)

Vitality will play their first ever match with their newest addition, Kyojin. The French youngster has very little experience at the top level, with just 19 maps on record, most of which have been with the French team, Heretics. This isn’t the first time that Vitality have taken a chance on young talent, with misutaaa being the most glaring example. Letting go of Nivera seems to indicate that they have a plan in place for Koyjin specifically, which is intriguing. With that said, I am not entirely confident about their chances at this event. It is quite rare for a player this inexperienced to come in and have immediate impact. They also face off against a respectable opponent in the first round, namely Complexity. 

Virtus.pro

Virtus.pro
Record: 38 / 0 / 22
Most Played Map: Dust2 (61.5%)
Best Map: Inferno (84.6%)
Worst Map: Train (37.5%)

Virtus.pro currently find themselves ranked №4 in HLTV’s world rankings after several impressive showings. Like Gambit and Spirit, Virtus.pro have established themselves as one of the world’s best teams. With that said, their results at the recent FunSpark ULTI event were disappointing. They opened up with a loss to forZe, a team that they really should beat in a BO3, and later fell to HAVU. On paper, these results are disastrous, but I don’t think it is that big of a surprise that they lost to HAVU considering the recent form of the Finns. Virtus.pro take on FaZe in the opening match, a tough opponent and one that they rarely play against.

Natus Vincere

Natus Vincere
Record: 22 / 0 / 10
Most Played Map: Nuke (72.7%)
Best Map: Dust2 (87.5%)
Worst Map: Overpass (0.0%)

Natus Vincere will be playing this event with B1T instead of flamie on the main roster. According to s1mple, they have only lost 5 out of 30 scrims with B1T so far, so it will be interesting to see how they will perform with him. The Ukrainian has excellent aim, and so far they have utilised him primarily on Inferno, much like Vitality used to with Nivera. It is easy to forget about NaVi now when the likes of Gambit and Virtus.pro have made such great strides in the CIS region, but I definitely would not count them out.

Betting Tips

From a betting perspective, it is noteworthy that the opening matches are played in BO1 format. This opens up for some upsets. However, most of the matchups are even so there isn’t as much value as you’d get at some other events. The most lopsided match is Gambit vs. Fiend. The Bulgarians are coming in at odds around 7.00 (and shortening) which is a bit outrageous for a BO1, at least when you consider that Fiend play in the most competitive region.

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