Tonight sees the commencement of the final step on the road to the Community Shield Masters Wildcard Qualifier with sixteen teams set to duke it out in the Sapphire Showdown
The Showdown sees eight teams from the Sapphire Genesis and DO-OR-DIE Proving grounds respectively set to battle for one of only four seeds for the upcoming DGL Community Shield Masters Wildcard Qualifier, where they will face off against the lower four teams from the Masters League for a chance at participation in the Masters Cup.
Round 1: Thursday 9 March at 20:00 SAST.
Round 2: Monday 13 March at 20:00 SAST.
Round 3: Tuesday 14 March at 20:00 SAST.
Round 4: Wednesday 15 March at 20:00 SAST.
Meet the 16 Teams:
- Ventus Black – CS:GO™
- VxP | BlaZe
- [Pew]PewPew Counter-Strike
- vA | Ventus Academy White
- eG.Elision Gaming
- bvd – Bravado Gaming CS:GO
- iLLusive- iL.CS
- Damage Amplified
- •D4•Anarchy Gaming
- VnR – Rejects
As you can tell there are some pretty strong up and coming teams competing in this best-of-three showdown with only four ablel able progress to the Community Shield. Notably, there are some favourites, like the 2016 Masters Champions Bravado Gaming, followed by other strong contenders (which we will get into later) who will be expected to make it through relatively unscathed. Let’s take a look at round 1:
Matchups and Predictions
PROWolves vs. Damage Amplified: The PROWolves teams is definitely the favourite after winning the whole the Sapphire DO-OR-DIE cup. They will be up against a team who has been knocked out multiple times but made it through the Sapphire series.
D4 Anarchy Gaming vs. WRG Aspire: Like most of these matches there will be a clear favourite and WRG Aspire are no little team. Going into this matchup is going to be a tough hill to climb for the D4 squad, with the WRG Aspire side sporting a strong roster and quite the successful history under their belts, this could be WRG’s game to lose.
VnR Rejects vs. HG Legends: With the VnR squad making it to the finals against the PROWolves team, they are also going down on our favourite list. Going against a team that has little-known players in the competitive CS:GO scene will surely put them at a disadvantage though it could lead to some surprise tactics from the up-and-comers so an upset is always on the cards.
Ventus Black vs. VxP BlaZe: An uphill battle will be fought in this match as both teams have something to prove. Ventus in particular houses some strong individuals though their teamwork might not be solid. Looking at raw talent and experience the Ventus team definitely have the upper hand.
Bravado Gaming vs. DDC Voltaic: The team in blue are undoubtedly the favorites coming into this one. While the Voltaic squad houses some pretty strong players in the scene, their battle would be futile going against a heavy hitting giant. It will be extremely interesting to see the scoreline between these two.
BzK Kingz vs. Singularity: The BzK team has landed multiple unlucky matches, having to face off against some top South African teams in their previous games – even going up against Bravado Gaming in one of their first rounds – so they must be commended on their persistence. Their first game against Singularity should be a respectable match between these two upcoming squads with BzK getting a chance to show off some of their newfound experience against a team more of their caliber.
Ventus Academy White vs. iLLusive: iLLusive gaming has forfeited their match and we will see the Ventus squad moving forward onto round two, where they will face the winners of PewPew vs Elision Gaming.
PewPew vs. Elision Gaming: This is likely to be a much more even matchup compared to our other one-sided game as both teams are currently housing some talented individuals, although teamwork might not be there yet. Going on experience, the players of PewPew should have the advantage, yet eG still have a strong potential to upset in this matchup.
Once again I am honoured to throw my opinion around like an overused trash dove (please note that these picks are my own).
Teams to make it through round one:
- WRG Aspire
- VnR Rejects
- Ventus Black
- Bravado Gaming
- BzK Kingz
- Ventus Academy White (Who knew)
While some games might be a great deal closer than anticipated we can, for the most part, expect the favourites to win in the end. Round One might be a predictable outcome but, looking ahead to Round Two, we should start to see some more exciting match-ups.
Did you know that you can play CS:GO in the DGL?
The DGL is South Africa’s largest online gaming league and is open to everybody.
Join the DGL for free and you could win cash and prizes playing CS:GO.