Final two invites up for grabs at WePlay Academy League Season 3
The play-in stage of the WePlay Academy League Season 3: Online Stage has finally been set with the “quarterfinals” scheduled to kick off on Friday evening. Some interesting matches are up ahead.
Here is a primer of the bracket with a look ahead to how the teams may stack up towards the end of the play in. Can Young Ninjas and Spirit Academy retain their Group Stage momentum and claim the LAN Finals invites, or will a new challenger work their way through the bracket?
Astralis Talent vs Fnatic Rising
Based on the evidence from the group stage, it is hardly surprising that Astralis Talent are considered the underdogs in this quarterfinal against Fnatic Rising. Not a lot separated these two teams in terms of positioning, with Fnatic Rising finishing fourth and Astralis Talent last in Group A.
However, Fnatic Rising finished with a 4-4 record. That middling record also reflected in their round record, winning 124 of 246 rounds at a win percentage of slightly over 50. This is where the delta between the two teams starts to form, at least based on recent form. Astralis Talent won just two of their eight matches, with a round record of 104-118, significantly below Fnatic Rising.
As happens so often in CS:GO though, form will count for nothing in the duress of a playoffs match. Fnatic Rising will rely heavily on Regali for some offensive firepower. We shall stick to recent form while measuring their stats because these are still rising players. In the last three months of CS:GO action, Regali has registered 0.74 kills per round with 0.64 deaths at an average damage per round of 73.
Regali will have to be helped along by Kst and Banjo, who are the only other players in Fnatic Rising with a positive K/D ratio. If these three players can maintain their recent offensive proficiency, there might just be an upset in store.
Whoever ends ups performing on the day, will be met by Natus Vincere Junior in the semifinal. Na Vi Junior also finished with a 4-4 record in the group stage. On account of having some additional rest, you might find that Na Vi Junior have a lot more left in the tank for the winner of this first quarterfinal. Young Ninjas, who pushed BIG Academy for the top of the group, will be awaiting the winner of that match. At that point of the tournament, a lot may have changed with discernible differences in confidence and momentum.
Furia Academy vs VP.Prodigy
The second quarterfinal, between the two teams at the bottom of Group B, is much more of a mismatch. Furia Academy, ranked No. 164 in the world, have struggled from the outset in this competition. They finished dead last in the Group B standings, with a 1-7 record. Their rounds record paints a miserable picture, with just 85 rounds won out of 210.
VP.Prodigy were not too far away, yet they still managed to close out a couple of tight matches to finish with a 3-5 record. They have advanced to No. 96 in the world but to make further progress, they need to find more discipline, especially with respect to maintaining their in-game economy. Of course, that will come with experience as these players are involved in more high-profile tournaments.
If this quarterfinal pans out as expected, VP.Prodigy will face Eternal Fire Academy in the semifinal of this bracket. That will be a fight between two teams that finished with identical group records (3-5). Spirit Academy, who finished second in Group B with a 6-2 record, then awaits the winner of that match.
This part of the bracket seems more straightforward with the highest likelihood of sucess placed on Spirit to cleanly advance forward.
This bracket run is only a warmup for the main event coming in early next month. The two winners from these brackets will be joined by BIG Academy and MOUZ NXT in the fight for the ultimate title of WePlay Academy League Season 3 Champions.