Evil Geniuses vs. Rogue
The first series of the day should be one of the best matchups of the tournament. Stakes are high and both Evil Geniuses (EG) and Rogue are two of the most closely matched teams in the bracket. It could go either way.
EG has a Season Five record of 4-3 and Rogue is a record of 3-4. When they faced each other in week four, the series went to all five games. EG took a quick two-game lead, but Rogue battled back with two wins in a row to force game five. Ultimately, EG took the series, but it’s hard to declare them the better team based on one series.
The teams stat lines are neck and neck. EG has an edge when it comes to goals scored this season with 66. That’s the second most goals for any team in NA. Rogue has an advantage for saves with 125 on the season. That’s the third most for NA teams. That can mean that Rogue is under duress against their opponents offense, but 125 saves is no easy feat.
Rogue winning and qualifying for LAN is a foreseeable outcome, but it should be a close series that could go all five games.
Cloud 9 vs. Ghost
Cloud 9, despite being on of the strongest teams in NA, had a rough end season five after looking unstoppable at the beginning. They lost their last three series including losses against G2, NRG and a stunning upset to Counter Logic. They’ll have to be in top postseason form to overtake Ghost.
Ghost barely squeaked in to the NA Regional Championship with a record of 2-5. Their two wins are only against the bottom two teams who didn’t qualify for the tournament: Counter Logic and Out of Style.
Despite Cloud 9’s disappointing end to Season Five, a quick win over Ghost should put them back on track for a spot at World Championship LAN. Some notable stats for Cloud 9 include second most saves with 166 and fourth when it comes to assists per game with 1.7.
If the matches above go based on predictions, this is what the remainder of the bracket could look like.
NRG vs. Rogue
NRG has had the most impressive season for the NA region. They’re riding an impressive undefeated run with a record of 7-0. That consistency should lead them to an easy win against Rogue.
This series has intrigue. Jacob played for NRG last year. After a disappointing appearance in the Season Four World Championship, Jacob was dropped and picked up by Rogue. He has a lot to prove when facing he old teammates. NRG topped Rogue three games to one when they faced in Week Three.
NRG has been an unstoppable force all season. They lead the region in goals with 72, and have the smallest number of saves. There’s not much need for defense when you’re always on offense. They’ll be difficult to stop in the bracket just like they have been all year.
G2 vs. Cloud 9
Here’s a rematch of what was arguably the best series of the season. G2 faced off against Cloud 9 in Week Four of League Play. The series went back and forth and eventually culminated in a thrilling overtime win in game five for G2.
G2 is the best team from NA last season, and they have a lot to prove this season. Being the best team in NA won’t be good enough, as they’re looking ahead to take down either Complexity or GaleForce from the EU side. But they can’t look past a very game opponent in Cloud 9.
Cloud 9 is looking to reach their full potential this season. They haven’t won a major since the Northern Arena invitational last year. If they perform well and make it to the finals of the NA bracket, that rough end to League Play will be well behind them.
If this series happens, it should be the best matchup of the day. My prediction: Cloud 9 takes it in five games.
NRG vs. Cloud 9
If NRG makes it to the finals, they’ll be riding a stunning eight-series win streak. But, having only played each team once this season, that’s a small enough sample size to see upsets. There aren’t many teams in the world who can match Cloud 9 when they’re playing at their peak, but NRG dominated them when they face off in Week Three.
NRG took that series three games to one, but the game breakdown tells a more lopsided story. NRG outscored Cloud 9 in that series by a staggering 14 goals to 6. The final game in the series was taken by NRG with a score of 6-1. NRG figured out everything Cloud 9 could muster.
Stats don’t lie, everything on paper suggests that NRG should take the NA region this year, but don’t count out Cloud 9 that easily. They have some of the most electrifying skills in the world.
So who do you have taking it all this season? With every team only facing off against each other once in league play, there are sure to be upsets. Here’s hoping the best teams in the region are represented in the World Championship later this year.