Preview and Predictions: FACEIT Major New Legends stage

With the Challengers stage coming to a close, the New Legends stage is ahead of us at the FACEIT Major in London. Much like the Challengers stage, the New Legends stage will feature best-of-one matches (Swiss system) along with the Buckholz system which is responsible for seeding matches in a fair manner. Additionally, the last teams with a 2-2 score will battle it out in a best-of-three format instead. Eight out of sixteen teams advance to the New Champions stage where a more traditional single-elimination bracket is implemented.

Below are all the teams that will compete at the New Legends stage starting September 12:

  • Vega Squadron
  • TYLOO
  • HellRaisers
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP)
  • Winstrike (previous Quantum Bellator Fire roster)
  • mousesports
  • G2 Esports
  • FaZe Clan
  • Cloud9
  • fnatic
  • MIBR
  • Natus Vincere (Na’Vi)
  • Team Liquid
  • Astralis
  • compLexity
  • BIG

The list is a mix of surprises coming from the Challengers stage, such as compLexity or Vega Squadron, and the big dogs such as Astralis or Na’Vi.

The very first match-ups look as follows:

Courtesy of Liquipedia

The day-one match-ups will feature two matches that avid Counter-Strike fans should be looking forward to the most: Mousesports against the surprising NiP and of course Astralis versus Na’Vi.

Teams that will go through undefeated (3-0)

A lot of people’s guess would be to go for both s1mple’s Na’Vi and Astralis. However, neither of them can go undefeated because of them facing each other in the very first round.

Astralis

The Danish squad has been amazing, to say the least, this year. Even though they haven’t gone 3-0 in the Challenger stage because of a defeat to the Ninjas, I personally consider it to be a one-time fault, especially since all the maps were in a best-of-one format. An undefeated run at the ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier, a victory at the ESL Pro League Season 7 Finals, as well as ECS Season 5 Finals and DreamHack Masters in Marseille is a list so impressive that everyone should be trembling when having to face the Danes. It’s clear that device and his teammates are hungry for a Major victory this year to capitulate on an already fantastic season.

Team Liquid

The American formation is walking in the shadow of the Danish Astralis, failing to close out a final on an astounding three occasions this year. Even though they could not overcome Astralis, they are looking sharp as ever. After advancing from the Challenger stage with a clean sheet along with NiP, the Canadian duo of Twistzz and NAF will surely be looking to snatch a win in London. Even more so, if they can conquer Astralis in the final, it would surely be the most satisfying feeling in the world.

Can Twistzz and his team finally end the curse of finishing second?

Teams that will go through with a 3-1 score

FaZe Clan

Surely the Major must be the time to shine for the international superteam. After disappointing fans at the elusive ELEAGUE Premier and DreamHack Masters Stockholm, olofmeister and his squad have something to prove. Hopefully, FaZe have gotten enough time to practice with olof’s return and will show up big this tournament.

Hopefully, we will see olof with FaZe in full star power form.

NiP

Swedish fans should be excited as finally, we get to see the legendary Ninjas in a Major. f0rest and GeT_RiGht have been looking on point lately, paired with young talent in the form of REZ, the Swedes are a threat yet again. They have fully proven their form at the Challenger stage when they successfully defeated the dominant Astralis in a triple-overtime performance. Surely, NiP can manage to qualify for the next stage with such form.

Na’Vi

It is difficult to doubt a team with probably the best player of the year, Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev. Pair the Ukrainian with an in-form electronic and flamie and you have an unstoppable machine from Eastern Europe. Despite the disappointing showing at DreamHack Masters in Stockholm, Na’Vi is having a great year thus far and opponents should always be wary of s1mple’s abilities.

Teams that will go through with a 3-2 score

MIBR

The American-Brazilian mix looks fantastic on paper. However, in practice, we have only seen a good performance at Zotac Cup Masters 2018 where they swept the Polish Kinguin. However, this isn’t enough to be certain of a great performance in London. Moreover, fans were left disappointed when coldzera and co. could not hold their own against Astralis at DramHack Masters Stockholm, getting blown out 2-0 in series. Hopefully, since their lackluster performance in Sweden, Janko “YNk” Paunović had enough time to work on his team’s drawbacks and finally, we will be able to witness the full potential of this amazingly talented formation.

mousesports

The addition of Janusz “Snax” Pogorzelski to the squad may be or may not have been the best of decisions. It’s difficult to measure mousesport’s chances at the Major. A fairly inconsistent form has been the case for this European squad. Nevertheless, the potential is there. With chrisJ and oskar on the AWP, the double AWP setup can be a deadly weapon. Add the young and talented suNny, Snax, and ropz with rifles and mousesports can become real predators.

Can Snax make a big enough impact for his new team?

HellRaisers

After advancing with a 3-1 score from the Challenger stage, outstanding performances from Issa “ISSAA” Murad have been key. Even though Özgür “woxic” Eker is the true real star of the team, people have come to expect much more from the 20-year-old AWPer. Hopefully, we will have the chance to see a more consistent play by woxic, matched with ISSAA who is definitely in shape and ready to give it all for his team.

Other likely possibilities

Naturally, it is difficult to estimate which team will place with what score. Below are my secondary guesses for teams that have not been mentioned at all before.

fnatic 3-1

For me fnatic are a mysterious team. Some days they perform very well, others they are disappointing. They managed to beat FaZe at ELEAGUE Premier, but fell short to Heroic on home turf in Stockholm at the DreamHack. Nevertheless, if they are going to be in-form then they have a big chance to advance further.

Cloud9 3-2

A big question mark. After failing to qualify for the upcoming IEM Chicago against the likes of eUnited and getting completely demolished at ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier by top-tier teams, it is difficult to even call this formation tier one. Perhaps if the new in-game leader, Golden, had enough time to figure something out with this team, the defending Major winner will show up somewhere in this stage.

Are we going to see Cloud9 compete for the trophy again?

What are your pick for the New Legends stage? Let us know below in the comments.

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I like to give out free AK-47 headshots in CS: GO, spend some quality time in the kitchen marinating a tender chicken breast and approximately 3 times a week I lift some relatively heavy metal stuff at the gym. Oh, and I also like to write about e-sports and everything related to gaming. Who knew one could have such contrasting interests?