CGS Pro-Am CS:S Playoff Preview

BY Andrew Miesner / January 1, 2009


CGS Pro-Am CS:S Playoff Preview

If you have had anything like the week that I’ve had – and trust me, I’ve had a pretty crazy week – you may have missed one of what I would consider most important online gaming events going on right now.  The CGS Pro-Am Season One playoffs are already underway.  I know what you are thinking; as the title suggests, this is supposed to be a Pro-Am playoff ‘preview’.  The playoffs have already begun, but for the sake of this article, I’m going to imagine they haven’t.  That, or I guess we could all jump in a Delorean.  It might be pretty hard to fit all of you in, though.

For the sake of argument, we’ll say it is pre-playoffs right now.  To sum up the playoffs, it’s a twenty-four team double elimination bracket that takes place from Friday, November 7 to Tuesday, November 18.  The top two teams from each division – central, east and pacific – receive a first round bye.   And of course we need to discuss the prize money!

Prize Distribution


1st Place: $5,000
2nd Place: $3,500
3rd Place: $2,500
4th Place: $2,000
5th/6th Place: $1,000
5th/6th Place: $1,000
7th/8th Place: $750
7th/8th Place: $750
Total: $16,500


Pacific Division

1.  San Francisco Optx* (8-0)
2.  Vanskap* (7-1)
3.  Warchild (6-2)
4.  Chicago Chimera (6-2)
5.  Drop Them Nikes! (6-2)
6.  Digital Uprising (5-3)
7.  Skull Gaming (5-3)
8.  Dark Machine (5-3)


Central Division

1.  Dallas Venom* (8-0)
2.  Carolina Core* (7-1)
3.  FEVER* (7-1)
4.  PuG KiNgZ* (7-1)
5.  LA Complexity (6-2)
6.  Panic (6-2)
7.  New York 3D (6-2)
8.  9Frame (6-2)


Atlantic Division

1.  jB* (8-0)
2.  Dynamic* (7-1)
3.  fivealive (6-2)
4.  Devastation (6-2)
5.  Stand As One (6-2)
6.  Veritas (5-3)
7.  Monster (5-3)
8.  Give Up Nothing (5-3)

All six CGS teams made it in, thankfully.  It would have been rather embarrassing if they missed the playoffs against so-called ‘amateurs’.  Joining them are some fairly strong CEVO-m and CEVO-p teams as well.

A small side note here; I really believe that the Central division was unfair to teams like Zomblerz.  Zomblerz is one of the best teams outside of CGS and they should not have missed the playoffs.  My question to CGS is why place four of the six CGS divisions in the central division.  They should have done it by location; The Chicago Chimera and Dallas Venom in the Central Division, the San Francisco Optx and the Los Angeles CompLexity in the Pacific Division, and the Carolina Core and NY.3D in the Atlantic Division.  That would have made more sense to me.

It would take forever to go through all twenty four of these teams and I’m sure nobody aside from me would read the preview for every team.  Instead, I decided to take some of the major contenders for the CGS ProAm crown.


How They Got Here

The San Francisco Optx dominated the pacific division, winning all eight of their games, many of them in convincing fashion.  They had two close games, one against Vanskap and the other against Skull Gaming.  Vanskap and Skull Gaming are decent teams, but close matches like that could have swung the other way with just one missed round.  Optx should go deep in to the playoffs, but they need to be careful and avoid any costly mistakes.  They will face off against the Carolina Core should they make it past round two, but I think they’ll have what it takes to move on past them and place first or near first in the division.

Prediction: (1st-5th)

I’d be surprised to see them fall anywhere out of the top ten, top five even.  If they make mistakes and lose to a team like Veritas or drop a game to the Carolina Core and then lose to another ‘no-namer’ team, they will place outside of the top ten.  But with a first round bye and being the team that they are, they should place at least top six.


How They Got Here

Vanskap was fairly lucky with their schedule.  They did face the Chicago Chimera and the San Francisco Optx, but aside from they looked fairly dominant throughout the rest of their matches.  Dark Machine, another top finisher, did put up a 10-7 fight against them.  However, Vanskap did take down the Chicago Chimera, something you have to give them credit for.  With a first round bye, they should have ample practice time and put up a fight against Devastation, most likely.

Prediction: (10th-24th)

If they have to face off against Devastation, which will likely happen, I’m not sure they will hold up.  Devastation is a very good team.  If they do take down Devastation, I can’t see them getting beyond Optx, who they will likely run in to in the semifinals, should they beat jB.  Once they drop to the lower brackets, you really have no idea who they might face, but one thing is certain;  it will be good teams who have been in ‘do or die’ already, and I’m not sure Vanskap will be ready for them.


How They Got Here

Chicago got in through a strong first five weeks.  After that, they became a little rocky, losing to Vanskap and then a team called ‘yac’ later on.  They did dominant another playoff contender – Skull Gaming – and have smashed most of their opponents, but when they went up against better teams they struggled.  If they have their minds and practice schedule set, I think they can take down their first opponent, warchild, but it’s the Dallas Venom right after that and I doubt they will win that game.

Prediction: (10th-24th)

I can’t see them winning against Dallas in the second round.  That should drop them to the lower brackets, where either Dallas or CompLexity could easily get in their way again.  Chimera will likely place the lowest among the six CGS franchises.


How They Got Here

Sheer, total, annihilation.  They destroyed the hardest conference in the entire division, including a 10-2 smashing of the Carolina Core.  The most rounds they gave up – five – was in the first week of play.  Dallas looked fantastic.  The one thing I’m worried about for them is that they have yet to face CompLexity, who they are almost certainly going to face in round three of the upper brackets.  Should CompLexity come out with some interesting de_tuscan strategies, Dallas might drop here.  If they do, I still see them fighting their way through the lower brackets and placing high in this tournament.

Prediction: (1st-3rd)

Dallas was the best team at CGS last year.  Now, they are dominating Pro-Am in the hardest conference of them all.  I doubt they place anything below fourth here, regardless of which bracket they are in starting in round four.


How They Got Here

Carolina, too, made their mark on the central division.  They tore apart most of their competition – aside from Dallas – and should win their first match.  However, they are going up against San Francisco in round three, where I believe they are the underdog.  Should they lose, they drop into the lower brackets in an area where I don’t see any top teams.  That should help them place closer to eighth for the tournament.

Prediction: (4th-10th)

Carolina is a very good team, but an early match against Optx could ruin their chances of making it far into the playoffs.  I think, should they get far in the playoffs, it will be through the lower bracket.  I don’t consider Carolina a very good ‘lower bracket’ team though, so I can’t see much better than about eighth for these guys.


How They Got Here

FEVER really looked sharp throughout the season, winning matches with dominance, including a 10-3 embarrassment of 3D.NY.  I believe General Manager Dave ‘moto’ Geffon played during that match, but regardless, it was a thrashing.  They are playing 3D again, but I don’t expect the same results.  However, a lower bracket push might get them just inside the top ten.

Prediction: (8th-16th)

FEVER has a good shot of moving deep in the lower brackets.  They will be facing off against CAL-main teams, or potentially even worse teams, so you think they should move deeper in the lower brackets.  Sooner they’ll meet up against a team they can’t match up in raw skill, but they might just make it in the top ten.


How They Got Here

CompLexity nearly missed the playoffs.  Fortunately for them, they found a way to win out after an unexpected loss to 9Frame and a loss to 3D.NY two weeks later.  They have had a few strong showings – their match against ’94Knicks, for example – and they have been playing very well lately.  I expect them to dominate PuG Kingz and then keep winning in either the upper bracket or lower bracket, should they lose to Venom.

Prediction: (1st-4th)

It’s foolhardy to put CompLexity anywhere but top five in this tournament.  They have the raw skill, the teamwork and it’s online.  What more could you want?  CompLexity has picked their game up and is playing fantastically right now.  I expect them to win over Pug Kingz and then have a nail biter against Dallas.  Should they lose against the Venom, they will probably work their way through the lower brackets to at least a fourth place finish.


How They Got Here

By getting lucky, pretty much.  They just squeezed into the playoffs this season.  They had two unfortunate losses, including the FEVER one discussed above.  The other loss was against the Dallas Venom.  They made it in, however, and have a great shot at moving deep in the upper bracket.

Prediction: (1st-6th)

I can’t see 3D losing in the upper bracket before they face either Dallas or Los Angeles.  I think the FEVER match was a fluke and it won’t happen again.  They should make it to round four – at least eighth place – before they run in to any trouble.  Then, I think they’ll take their first match and place fairly high in the money.


How They Got Here

Through the most interesting schedule.  Their first three matches were all forfeited and they never were able to make up their week two match.  They did beat Devastation 10-7, but I’m not sure they can do it again.  I’m expecting Devastation to face off against them again and I think Devastation will take them this time.  jB* might move through the lower bracket a bit, but not for long.  They were the best most uncontested team, which isn’t good for a playoff like this one.

Prediction: (8th-24th)

I doubt they get much farther than round four of the upper brackets and that’s if Devastation can’t take them down.  Should they beat Devastation, I doubt they’ll beat Optx or Carolina in round four of the upper brackets.  From there, it’s the lower brackets and Carolina Core or San Francisco could be waiting right there.  It doesn’t look much better than eighth for jB*.


How They Got Here

Fortunately for fivealive, they never had to face a CGS team.  They got away with matches against teams like Skull Gaming and Veritas.  They lost early to a team called Monster and then dropped a game to Dynamic, but overall they performed well.  They took down Skull Gaming in round one of the playoffs, but it was close and I can’t see them beating Carolina tonight.

Prediction: (12th-24th)

I doubt fivealive gets much beyond the Carolina Core.  They might move pretty far in the lower bracket, but at some point they will face either San Francisco or the Core again and it is all over at that point.  Fivealive won’t get much beyond round four of the lower bracket.


How They Got Here

Devastation is one of the best teams that isn’t a CGS team.  They have some fantastic players, many of whom deserve a CGS spot.  They haven’t played very well recently, but I think they are the “sleeper” team of the playoffs.  I highly recommend watching these guys in the early rounds of the upper bracket.  They could potentially get as far as round four, where they will face against jB*, the Atlantic leaders in the ProAm season.  They dropped a game to jB* earlier in the season and another to Dynamic, but I think they’ll pick it up here and move pretty far in the playoffs.

Prediction:  (4th-12th)

I know.  It’s a bold prediction, but I really think they could place as high as fourth if they pick their game up.  I’m expecting a sixth place finish for these guys, but fourth isn’t out of the question.  A few surprises here, and Devastation could end up being the bracket shaker.

That’s more than enough teams!  Hope you enjoyed the preview and I’ll probably be writing up a Source recap later on!  See you Sunday for my WiR.