Season 4 grand final preview
As of the 18th of November, Dmondo are known as Akatsuki
With BESL Pro Season 4 grand final set to kick off in less than 72 hours, we bring you the ultimate preview article that takes a closer look at the matchup and analyses it throughout the lens of different factors.
lukjjE & pounh could win back-to-back BESL Pro titles in Tallinn
The culmination of the €9,000 CS:GO competition will happen on the 23rd of November at the Saku Suurhall arena in Tallinn, Estonia with the grand final being hosted as part of the HyperTown Tallinn 2019.
Additional information about the festival and tickets can be found by visiting hypertown.pro.
The Grand Final
On the 23rd of September, sixteen best Baltic state teams began their journey in the BESL Pro Season 4 competition. For five weeks, teams battled one another in the Swiss group stage in order to find the eight best teams that would advance further into the next stage - the playoffs!
The final two weeks of the regular season saw the aforementioned eight teams fighting their way through the single-elimination playoff’s bracket in order to reach the most important match of the season - the grand final!
Now, after seven weeks of online play, the competition is transitioning to an offline setting, where, on the 23rd of November, the two best teams are going to meet each other in an epic best-of-five grand final with the winner of the duel not only taking home the beautiful BESL Pro champions trophy but also - the lion's share of the prize pool in the form of €3,000!
The grand final start time is scheduled at 19:00 Baltic time.
Want to find out a little bit more about this season’s grand finalists and their journey here?
Check out our “A look at the finalist” article series:
The Grand Final
Edvards “hek” Zakrevskis - 92 ADR, 1.44 KDR, 7 clutches in 10 games
Germans “MyLastChance” Romanvoskis - 84 ADR, 1.40 KDR, 4 clutches in 6 games
Renar “reN” Grodsky - 84 ADR, 1.33 KDR, 9 clutches in 18 games
Aleksandrs “klaudi” Meinarts - 74 ADR, 1.11 KDR, 7 clutches in 8 games
Aleksandrs “d3k” Rumjancevs - 71 ADR, 0.97 KDR, 2 clutches in 10 games
Mirage (4-0, 100% winrate)
Dust2 (3-0, 100% winrate)
Nuke (2-0, 100% winrate)
Inferno (1-0, 100% winrate)
Artur “leakeN” Gonserovskij - 85 ADR, 1.04 KDR, 2 clutches in 15 games
Aurimas “Kvik” Kvakšys - 83 ADR, 1.07 KDR, 3 clutches in 12 games
Armandas “maty” Kneita - 82 ADR, 1.10 KDR, 12 clutches in 18 games
Lukas “lukjjE” Baciliunas - 79 ADR, 0.94 KDR, 12 clutches in 12 games
Eimantas “pounh” Lazickas - 70 ADR, 0.89 KDR, 6 clutches in 11 games
Mirage (2-0, 100% winrate)
Train (2-0, 100% winrate)
Dust2 (3-1, 75% winrate)
Nuke (1-1, 50% winrate)
Overpass (0-1, 0% winrate)
Vertigo (0-1, 0% winrate)
Although these two teams were scheduled to battle against each other in week two of this season’s competition, they never actually got around to play the game as SACRAMENTO guys were not disciplined enough to turn up for the match in time and thus they received a forfeit loss.
One can only wonder what the outcome would’ve been if the game had been played out, but as it stands right now, neither SACRAMENTO nor Akatsuki have an advantage when it comes to historic head-to-head duels.
In the time span of 12 games, Akatsuki has played 6 different maps thus coming to a result of 2 games per map played. On the other hand - SACRAMENTO has played 10 games on 4 maps resulting in 2.5 games per map played.
However, if we look at how dominant the maps that a team has played have been, then SACRAMENTO clearly takes the cake as they boast a lossless record on all four of the maps (100%) that they have played while Lithuanians of Akatsuki don’t really have that kind of stability and their repertoire has only two maps (33%) that they have been undefeated on.
And finally, if we take this a step further and calculate the average win rate per map played then Latvians have an average of 100% (400%/4) win rate on each of the maps that they have played, while Akatsuki’s numbers are obviously much lower - only 54% (325%/6) average win rate per map played.
Despite Akatsuki having a deeper map pool, SACRAMENTO’s incredible win streak of 10 games across 4 different maps is the factor that gives them the edge here. While that doesn’t necessarily guarantee them anything in the actual grand final series, it’s should be pretty scary for Lithuanians to go into the match knowing that they can only take out one of those four maps that SACRAMENTO is undefeated on while having to play the remaining three. Definitely, a mountain to climb!
With that in mind, SACRAMENTO should be opening things up with their classic ban of Train - a map that they have banned first in every single one of their series this season and a map that Akatsuki has played twice with a 100% success rate on it.
On the other hand, Akatsuki has to choose whether they want to ban out Vertigo or Overpass. The former is a map that has not gained much popularity in the scene since its release and Akatsuki have only played it once (7:16 defeat against Timechasers) while the latter is a map that they have also played only once (8:16 defeat against Domino Gaming), but would probably be a better option as the map has been in the active duty map pool for quite some time now and everyone knows at least the basics of how to play it properly. With that being said, we expect Akatsuki to take out Vertigo here with the plan being to eliminate any randomness that might be coming their way.
As we come into the first round of picks, this goes without saying - both teams just love to play the ultimate PUG-style maps, namely Mirage and Dust2, as they complement their individualistic, aim-based playstyles the best. So, with that being said, we expect that in the first round of map picks both teams are just going to pick one of each Mirage and Dust2, and those are going to be the two opening maps in the game series between SACRAMENTO and Akatsuki.
As we approach the second round of picks, teams should start shifting their focus a bit more towards abusing their opponent’s weaknesses rather than just sticking to pure comfort picks. For SACRAMENTO, this would mean picking Inferno as their second map with the reason being that Akatsuki has not only not played it even once this season, but are also the ones who like to ban it quite often during a best-of-three series veto.
And finally, Akatsuki has to then choose the playing order of maps such as Nuke and Overpass as the fourth and fifth map of the series. It’s actually quite hard to predict where Akatsuki see themselves having a bigger edge between the two, but if we had to take a random guess, then it would probably be Nuke just based on the fact that they have been successful on it before, whereas on Overpass they are yet to taste a single victory.
In the end, if the best-of-five series veto does result in these five maps (Mirage, Dust2, Inferno, Nuke and Overpass) as the maps that are going to be played, then we would say that overall, on paper, SACRAMENTO has a slight advantage here as they boast a lossless record on four of the five maps that would be played in the series. Of course, this doesn’t mean that SACRAMENTO being victorious on any of these maps is a given, but it’s definitely hard to go against a statistic like that when it comes to predictions.
While SACRAMENTO has scored advantage-points in categories like Map pool and Potential veto, all of that gets swung right back into Akatsuki’s favor when it comes to actual win conditions - the things that have to go right in order for a team to win the series. For SACRAMENTO, the win conditions are pretty straight-forward - their players have to be able to take the performance level that they displayed online and transition it to an offline setting. Sounds easy right? Well, it definitely isn’t! SACRAMENTO’s players are without a doubt less experienced than their Lithuanian counterparts as these are their first-ever BESL Pro LAN finals, not to mention big events with live audiences as a whole. An environment like that can quickly turn into a nightmare if you’re not used to it and things don’t go your way right from the get-go. That has to be the biggest scare for inexperienced players like SACRAMENTO’s. But, if they do manage to somehow not get affected by their surroundings, then they surely could be the ones lifting the trophy in Tallinn.
As for Akatsuki - despite not having an advantage in the Map pool and Potential veto departments, Lithuanians still hold a huge advantage over their opponents when it comes to experience playing at events like these. Starting from Kvik - a player that has played at the Majors, has his own stickers in the game and has once earned the status of a legend by showcasing his skills against the best teams and players that the world has to offer - to the likes of lukjjE and pounh - players who have not only played at the Minors previously, but also boast a wide range of Baltic state CS:GO achievements with BESL Pro Season 3 champions being one of them. Even with the two remaining players, leakeN and maty, not being such heavy-weights, Akatsuki is lightyears ahead of SACRAMENTO when it comes to the overall experience at LAN events. With that being said, the win condition for Akatsuki is pretty clear and it’s them being able to convert their past experiences into another successful offline event run in Tallinn. However, SACRAMENTO could throw a wrench in the works for Akatsuki if their win condition comes true as well and then anything could happen!
“Season 4 of BESL Pro has been one heck of a ride (no pun intended) and at the end of the day, I’m really happy to see a Latvian team making it to the finals. It definitely wasn’t something that I expected coming into the season. But now, seeing how SACRAMENTO played in playoffs I’m convinced that it’s going to be hard for anyone to beat them. On the other hand, Akatsuki was on my radar from the very beginning as they have a great line-up, but their run here has not convinced me that much to be honest outside of the semi-final showing. With all of that being said, combined with the fact that we are not going to see kAliNkA at this event, I would say that both teams can win this grand final, but I’ll go with the Lithuanians of Akatsuki taking it 3-2 just because I feel like Lithuanians always have something up their sleeves that just gives them the extra edge in close battles like these.”
“It's been a while since I've watched BESL Pro and been a part of it, but looking back at things and predictions that I’ve made in the past, I figured that I will try a completely different approach this time around. So, rather than me purely relying on the fact that Akatsuki has an experienced LAN roster that on paper has the advantage, I will remind myself that it’s not like there have not been instances in the past where experienced teams have struggled at LAN events due to pressure. Seems like people, and my colleagues as well, are relying on this factor a bit too much. I think that this grand final being a more PUG-ish one in the play-style and map pool aspects actually even things out as Latvians could come up with a few tricks of their own that could catch their opponents off guard. Then again, I haven’t seen them play at a LAN event before, so it’s actually quite tough to expect anything at this point. Though there is one thing I do know and that is that scenarios like these often trick the more experienced players into overthinking things and maybe even underestimating their opponents. At the end of the day, I think that this is going to be a nail-biter of a series and I will give the prediction of 3-2 in favor of SACRAMENTO just because Akatsuki is facing the unknown."
“Right from the get-go we have few interesting storylines here at the BESL Pro Season 4 finals. First of all - we have two completely new teams in the finals that no one saw going all the way. Both of these teams have players who have not been in the BESL Pro finals before which leads them both to a very interesting confrontation on the big stage and gives us, the spectators, a very exciting grand finals! Secondly - we have the ultimate test of stamina and endurance for any team in Counter-Strike in the form of the Best-of-Five format. With all of that in mind, I’ll have to go with the veteran smarts and experience of Akatsuki guys and predict a 3-1 victory for the Lithuanian squad here in the grand finals.”
During the event, you’ll be able to follow the action LIVE from the Saku Suurhall arena in Tallinn on both of our streaming platform channels.
Be sure to follow our broadcast and social media channels in order to not miss any action:
News by: Bruno ‘Gekons’ Gailītis