It is the brand new league season of UK Masters, so as I kind of missed the boat for both UKGT & ESL UK Premiership, we are going to do our famous prediction articles for UK Masters. Multiplay introduced UK Masters early last year, and it became that successful that they saw incredible potential to do more with it. They introduced the Best-Of-Two league stage with money up for grabs each time someone wins.
We are now onto the third season, aptly named Spring Season 2017, and with £15,000 up for grabs it will surely be an intense league season. Marred in some controversy in the qualifiers, we have finally arrived at the correct number of teams for the league season. Eight teams, mostly from the top end of the scene, however we do a few newer teams and people within this group this time. SKUM Gaming who have been marred in all kinds of controversy are included within the league. Nika “NK” Khaburzania is the man caught in the cross-hairs of the entire scene as everyone has been watching his performances since he dropped a 60 bomb in a match against exceL eSports (that went to many overtimes). So much so, that people stood there watching NK at LAN and even got into his face too at LAN. Many people have their own reserved judgement and have been vocal about it, however he continues to plough on and take the shit thrown at him.
Back in the Quickscope days, I used to write “prediction articles” on the EDCSSL league seasons, and assembled panel’s of people to help predict outcomes each week. This is basically what this article aims to do, although the turn-around time between epic.LAN & the new season, has been one of a short space of time, so if panellist’s are rusty, then that is probably why. This season will be incredibly interesting, with the LAN Finals at insomnia60 on Easter Weekend in April, then we are not sure who will make it there. However, first up it is the online stage which we will be guiding you through, all the way through the season, our panel will predict each week’s results. Because leagues have moved away from Best Of One, it means we will have to change the way we do predictions, so each week, I will assign a day of matches to each panellist and they will then take ownership of those days of matches.
fm-eSports: nEiLZiNHo, weber, fre1, Puls3, stan1ey
Team Endpoint: Immi, Esio, MightyMax, Luzuh, HudzG
Team CeX: resu, BrodyC, LS, Astroo, JDD
SKUM Gaming: NK, FiLLeR, DUKK, Hawkins, MMuffin
Imperial: Jakem, conoR, Whindanski, Boaster, REAZN
fish123: keita, Sliggy, robiin, batham, tsack
Team Infused: SHEEKEY, shaney , Lumji , Ozzy , Snakey
exceL eSports: Jenko, Mole, Kryptix, Smooya, Jesp
Michael “Duck” Moriarty – UKCSGO Journalist
Michael is one of our journalists here at UKCSGO, he has written for many different organisation websites including Team Acer, Ninjas in Pyjamas and Reason Gaming. He currently writes for ESL with some IEM posts he has done over the last few months. His CS knowledge is relatively restricted to recent times as he has no prior knowledge or playtime in the UK Scene from either CS: Source or 1.6 and therefore his opinion should be treated as a relatively new to the scene. However he is starting to build on his awareness of the UK Scene in CS:GO and has valid ideas of what teams should be doing what. Michael will be taking on Tuesday night matches in UK Masters.
Ryan “Flakes” Oliver – UK Scene Commentator
Ryan is one of the UK’s leading stars when it comes to commentating. Having started at epic.LAN last year for epic.SEVENTEEN, as an admin, he ended up going to Dreamhack Summer last June on behalf of CAZ eSports, then shortly after that he dived into casting, and got to cast events such as UK Premiership, UK Masters, Starladder, and WESG. He has an in depth knowledge around the UK Esports scene, and continues to thrive on casting events. Ryan will be taking on Wednesday night matches in UK Masters.
Callum “skuxz” Bristow – Chrome Gaming Captain
Callum has been working himself through the ranks over the last year, having won epic.NINETEEN back in October last year, he has the insight to help the panel come to some better conclusions on what should happen in the matches from week to week. Callum currently plays for Chrome Gaming who narrowly missed out in UK Masters and didn’t quite make it to the ESL Premiership either, but he knows how competitive the scene really is. Callum will be taking on Thursday night matches in UK Masters.
Week 1 Predictions – Tuesday
Team CeX Vs Imperial
We’re back for a strong matchup between two strong IGLs in the game between resu and Jakem. With both sides having been together for similar lengths in recent history, their teamwork should be on a par with each other. CeX and Imperial are yet to come up against each other in any of the current season’s UK tournaments so there’s not an obvious result to go up against. Both are doing strong, with Imperial and CeX top three of UKGT and Imperial sitting top four of the ESL Prem, there’s not much of a margin between them both.
However, with CeX coming off of a strong LAN showing, albeit with a disappointing showing in the final, they most likely have the edge. If they have players like Astroo going off on a level like the weekend, they have a chance. However, it’s impossible to rule out Imperial when players like conoR would most likely show up.
Prediction: I’m predicting 1:1 in maps here!
Team Endpoint Vs SKUM Gaming
The two sides recently played each other just before epic20 this weekend, with Endpoint demolishing SKUM. With two of their players coming back from winning epicLAN, they’ll be feeling as buoyant as ever.
SKUM will need to bring everything out of the cupboard to take on Endpoint head on, to avoid a repeat of Wednesday night. Solid performances from those on the team like DUKK will be the key for them to have a chance, but it’d take a lot to do so.
Prediction: 2:0 Endpoint
Week 1 Predictions – Wednesday
Team Infused Vs fish123
Infused is probably the only roster that has me doubtful on a serious note. They’ve had some incredible showings but also some ridiculously weak ones. Last night relying on a CT side cobble to bring things back against Royals UK, they should best them every time. There is much to the Infused roster though, they have that capability, but they are seriously underwhelming at the moment, whereas fish123 being a talented mix often pull out some rather surprising results. This match will be closely fought by both sides, but I just see fish123 pulling out the result here to beat Infused.
Prediction: fish123 will beat Infused 2:0 (albeit very close on scorelines, possibly 16:12/16:13)
fm-eSports Vs exceL eSports
Tonight you have pretty much the top dogs in the UK going head to head in one of the potentially best opening series of UK Masters Spring Season. All of these teams are top 2 potential, see leagues such as ESL Premiership, case and point. Both fm-eSports and fish tied up in points with exceL eSports capable of sling shotting themselves up there. This match will be incredibly close, and I cannot see any possible outcome where either team will win this. I reckon it will be 1 all on maps, but both sides with the talent at their disposal will be incredibly interesting to watch. I think people do need to keep a capable eye on to exceL to see how they cope with Smooya however he needs a team who are willing to adapt to his on the fly calling of where he wants to play.
We can’t keep seeing him run aggro mid solo and get picked every other round while his team play 4v5.
Prediction: I feel like fm-eSports & exceL could go 1:1
Week 1 Predictions – Thursday
fm-eSports Vs SKUM Gaming
FM vs SKUM should be easy for FM in my opinion, FM will completely outclass SKUM in pretty much every aspect and FM are looking very strong after nailing endpoint last night in ESL Premiership however you never know what’s going to happen with NK online he could just get another 60 kill game.. But I highly doubt that.
Prediction: I predict FM to win 2:0 with scorelines coming around 16:7 on both maps
Team Endpoint Vs fish123
Endpoint vs Fish123 is an interesting one. Endpoint looked pretty weak yesterday vs FM in ESL Premiership and there was twitter drama during it making it look like Endpoint aren’t in the best mindset at the moment as teammates, which makes me think that Fish123 could take the series 2:0 if Endpoint perform like they did yesterday. It’s hard to predict and I think the scoreline is one of a close nature, with both sides going to take a map each 16:14, I reckon.
Prediction: If I had to make a final prediction I’d say Endpoint are going to focus up after yesterday and the end result will be Endpoint 1:1.
We will have more coverage of the UK Masters over the coming weeks, including statistical breakdowns of all the major players in the league, interviews, and more prediction articles on a weekly basis. Make sure you keep yourselves posted to UKCSGO as we continue to cover the top tier of UK Counter-Strike. You can follow us on Twitter and like our page on Facebook for further updates so you never miss a beat in the UK Scene.