Written by Jessie ‘Almost’ Kirby
Tonight at 10:30PM EST, two of North America’s top teams, x3o and EG.USA, will go head to head in the Cevo professional finals. Both of these teams have truly shown what they’re capable of this season, blowing away teams that are the best that North America can offer.
I’ve had the pleasure of following x3o the entire season long, and as a repercussion I’ve also seen EG at work multiple times. These two teams have played against each other three times this professional season: all of which were pretty close matches. Yet, coming into this x3o has a lot more to prove than EG, as they have won two out of the three matches against x3o. However, both teams have had plenty of practice and preparation for the maps selected for the best of three: nuke, dust2, and train. Taking that into consideration, the finals will prove to be neck and neck.
The first time x3o and Evil Geniuses met this season, it was on inferno and both teams struggled back and forth. Personally, I love watching seesaw battles with top level teams like these; those matches where the slightest mistakes cost big rounds. In the end, x3o was able to win the last few rounds in a row to finish it off at 16 to 12. They met again two times afterwards, once on tuscan and again in the second round of playoffs at dust2. Surprisingly enough, x3o let both of these maps slip away.
Knowing that half of EG is the old Complexity roster, you should also know that dust2 is infamously one of their weakest maps. Since the roster change and two new players were incorporated into the starting five, vast improvement can be seen on the way they run things on their ‘worst’ map. Following dust2 is also train, where I’mrelatively sure EG capitalizes on other teams often, especially when fRoD is playing to his best ability.
Nuke: The first of the three maps. This is also the map that’s really out in the air as neither of these teams have played against each other on it in league play. While most players consider the ct side the strongest, these top level professional teams have shown and proven that it can be played a lot stronger on the terrorist side. Taking that into consideration, and knowing how offensive both x3o and EG.USA can get in tight situations, I see EG taking this one by a very small margin of rounds.
Dust2: In playoff situations, it’s always discouraging to lose the first map and have to come into the second with the momentum against you. However, knowing that EG has already played x3o on dust2, and it is supposed to be their weakest map: I’m gonna say this one is going to go to x3o by a small margin of rounds. Mainly because x3o is best known for learning from their mistakes, and I can guarantee you that they’ve reviewed the demos and are going to pull some unexpected things out of their ‘sleeves’. If they don’t bring this one into overtime, I’ll be disappointed.
Train: In the event of both of my predictions being correct and the finals come down to the third map, it’s going to be one hell of a map to watch. x3o had an amazing match against Gravitas Gaming on train, where they were barely able to overcome them in overtime. While x3o fought to maintain their position in the playoffs, EG.USA didn’t even play round 4 or round 5. Train is really going to come down to the wire even more so than dust2, and make each team strive to take a round over the other. So in the end, it will come down to who has the most individual talent. For this reason, and this reason only, i’m giving the map to Evil Geniuses.
Honestly, unlike most predictions that I write, I’d like to see this one be completely wrong. I have never seen a Cevo final match where it’s not incredibly close, and to see either of these teams get dominated would be not only stunning but pure entertainment. In my opinion, however, it seems like with two of the best teams in North America hitting it off, it’d be impossible for it not to be a close game.