The road to the Dreamhack Winter CSGO finals event has one last rest-stop before we reach Jönköping in November – but really, who’s going to be resting? We’ve got a huge prize pool, the best teams in the world, and some damn fine CSGO matches coming up in this town in north-western Romania. Need a quick preview? I’ve got you covered, let’s dive right into it.
Where are we going, exactly?
Cluj-Napoca (generally referred to as “Cluj”) is up in the north-western region of Romania, and is essentially the second-largest city in Romania, after our more standard locale of Budapest. The spooky thing I found about Cluj (given the current timing of this event) is that this town is considered to be the unofficial capital of Transylvania! I’m sure for the dedicated nerds chilling out at the event there will be some Dracula cosplays scooting about.
The Polyvalent Hall in Cluj is where our CSGO heroes will be battling it out – essentially a large multi-purpose hall that can be used for all sorts of things, with a maximum crowd capacity of 10,000 people.
What’s in the prize pool and who’s driving this hype-train?
$250,000 in cold hard skins cash will be showered on the players who make it through to the top 8. First-place heroes receiving $100,000, second place picking up $50,000, third-fourth nabbing $22,000 and fifth down the eighth taking home $10,000 each.
The usual top-notch folks will be presenting, hosting, analysing and dropping in the knowledge bombs where needed. Hosting will be Richard Lewis and Redeye, commentating all the action will be Anders, Semmler, Sadokist, HenryG, ddk and JZFB. Thorin, Fifflaren, Natu and Moses will be looking after the analysis desk, and Mantrousse and SirScoots will look after interviews. There’s an incredible depth of talented hosts and experts here and I always look forward to the production and the wealth of knowledge that these guys bring to us each and every event.
Which teams will be present, and what’s the format?
If you hadn’t already seen the amount of stickers and signature swag in the CSGO store in-game – we’ve got 16 teams competing, separated into squads of “Challengers” and “Legends”. The Legends are the teams that finished in the top 8 at the last major CSGO event, ESL Cologne, and the Challengers are those who finished top 8 at the last Dreamhack event, DH Stockholm.
- Ninjas in Pyjamas
- Luminosity Gaming
- Natus Vincere
- Team SoloMid
- G2 Esports
- Counter Logic Gaming
- Team Dignitas
- Flipsid3 Tactics
- Team Liquid
- Vexed Gaming
We will be starting out with a Group Stage where 2 challengers and 2 legends will be battling to see who takes the top two spots in the groups. Once these teams are decided, they’ll be slotted into the final ‘playoff’ bracket which will be in a normal best of three format.
A couple of key things have been adjusted with this tournament. The map veto process has been changed, and once the group stage reaches the deciding game – this game will be played out in a best of three which is a little different to what has been done previously. This makes it a little nicer for the teams trying to break into the playoffs – and I think this will really heat up the intensity of the matches during the group stage.
What else should I know, and who are you picking?
Make sure you tune in to watch, because this event is going to be a great showing of who’s-who given that we’re close to the biggest CSGO event of the year, Dreamhack Winter which is coming up at the end of November.
You’ll be able to check out all the action through the DreamhackTV channel on Twitch, and of course you will be able to hop in and check it out via GOTV. If you’re watching via GOTV or if you’ve connected your Twitch account to Steam you’ll be eligible for the community souvenir drops as well, so keep an eye out for that.
Valve threw an awesome video up in the latest blog update, showing some great footage from the last big CSGO event; ESL Cologne. Will Cluj be able to top it? Only time will tell!
I’m predicting that Fnatic will want to come out and lay down the law after a recent slump, but TSM and EnVyUs will definitely be looking to stop that from happening. My top 3 at the end of this event:
Let me know what you think will go down this weekend, post in the comments who you think has this one in the bag.