While every event typically has a storyline of a team looking to prove themselves, DreamHack Anaheim is something special in that regard. The second big event of 2020 features a list of teams made up entirely of those looking to show they have what it takes to compete on LAN.
Complexity came up big in BLAST Premier Spring Series Group B with wins over Astralis and Vitality but fell short in the fourth and final European Minor open qualifier, their third attempt. The European and American mix will be looking to show they are truly a different breed on LAN, capable of taking down anyone.
MIBR has the legacy over the rest, made up of veterans of the scene who have hoisted trophies and claimed an era of their own during their time with Luminosity and SK. The Brazilian lineup is hoping to make a resurgence in 2020 and this is a big first step with a lineup that isn’t exactly made up of world-beaters, but rather teams looking to break in new lineups or make a step up the ladder.
Gen.G has finally got some time under their belt with the lineup following Hansel “BnTeT” Ferdinand’s move to the states. The lineup has a good mix of up-and-coming talent alongside some veterans and capable players for their roles. This is their first chance to show this lineup was a worthy one for Gen.G to use as it’s first step into the world of Counter-Strike.
ENCE has struggled, and struggled, and struggled to show that the decision to bench Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen. The team claims to have made some changes that are moving them in the right direction, which they desperately needed. Anything short of a semifinals appearance (and even that isn’t great) would be another massive disappointment for the Finnish side.
North is another team that has failed to live up to expectations and with the recent re-addition of Mathias “MSL” Lauridsen alongside the introduction of Jimmy “Jumpy” Berndtsson, they’re hoping for a break out event. The pieces are there for this lineup with capable fraggers, good role players, and an in-game leader with a solid track record. However, they’ve had many of these pieces before and still struggled to perform consistently at a top-level.
FURIA went from wow to ouch throughout 2019. The team soared up, impressing the community with their ability to aggressively attack teams, a style that was rocking the worlds of even the world’s best. The team looked to have found a little bit of their footing at the Champions Cup Finals to close out 2019 where they bested TYLOO and Movistar Riders before falling to Spirit in the semi-finals. There was definitely still room for improvement, but the Brazilian lineup is capable of bringing every team attending Anaheim to the limit.
forZe is proving to be a team to look out for as one of the strongest teams considered to be tier 2. The Russian squad took home first at the Mountain Dew League Season 32 Global Challenge and DreamHack Open Winter before finishing 5th-6th at EPICENTER 2019. It wasn’t a disappointing result when considering the lineup bested Evil Geniuses and Virtus.pro in the process. Another strong result here would start to cement Andrey “Jerry” Mekhryakov and company as a real competitor.
Endpoint is the only team on the list, that while they have much to prove, it doesn’t look all that hopeful. The team has failed to do much of note since coming together. The team failed to make it through the European Minor open qualifiers as well as the FLASHPOINT closed qualifier with losses to teams that don’t look as strong as their Anaheim opponents on paper.
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