This week Ground Zero pulled out a victory and managed to defeat Breakaway Esports - now they head to the grand finals of the LPL CSGO ANZ Championship to take on AVANT, who were the top team from the round robin stage.
Ground Zero were looking shaky coming into the Semifinal this week, but managed to just eek out a victory over Breakaway Esports with two very tight maps going the distance to 16-14. Outside of that victory, as I said last week, they haven't really shown up too well as of late and are the weaker team that is competing in this grand final.
My 'Player to Watch' on Ground Zero is still going to be Peter 'zemp' Renouf. He played really well in key situations in the semifinal and was strong throughout the round robin stage. Also, I wouldn't sleep on Cooper 'void' Farrell though, these two together are going to be the factor of winning or losing this grand final.
AVANT didn't need to play in the semifinals because their winrate in the round robin stage was the best of all the teams and so they got a direct invite to the grand finals. Recently though in ESEA MDL Season 30 they made it to the playoffs, and they just qualified for the IEM Sydney Oceanic Qualifier from the first Open Qualifier. The form from this team has been very good and the biggest hurdles for them have been the A-Tier Australian teams.
AVANT started playing the LPL CSGO ANZ Championship with pan1K, it wasn't until week 5 that they made a roster change and brought in ap0c, formerly of Chiefs, to round out the roster. Mike 'ap0c' Aliferis is actually going to be my 'Player to Watch' as he has been the driving force behind a lot of their wins lately, but I do want to mention Jay 'soju_j' Jeong while I am here as he has been really clutch and instrumental for the teams performance in the LPL CSGO ANZ Championship so far.
Head-to-Head and Favourite
These two teams know each other very well, they have faced off 4 times this year, twice of which were in a best-of-three. The first clash was in the LPL CSGO ANZ Championship Qualifier and that saw AVANT win 2-1 against Ground Zero, although both teams went on to qualify. Secondly, there were two best-of-ones in ESEA MDL Season 30 and LPL CSGO ANZ Championship and in both games AVANT were the victors. Finally, just two weeks ago the teams faced off in the ESL ANZ Championship Season 8 and the trend continued with AVANT winning the series 2-1.
From these historical results AVANT have won all of their last 4 series against Ground Zero and 6 of the 8 maps. Ground Zero are also on a bit of a cold streak, but seem to have broken that in the semifinals. I would pick AVANT to claim the victory and the $5000nzd prize for winning the LPL CSGO ANZ Championship, and probably in a 2-0 fashion, based on the historical form and their head-to-heads.
Last time I got the maps perfectly correct, so there is a bit of pressure on this one. I think the opening bans will be Ground Zero removing Dust2 and AVANT removing Nuke, which also happens to be a great Ground Zero map. From there AVANT will take Overpass and Ground Zero will probably pick Mirage, this is the pick I am least sure on. Finally, AVANT remove Cache and Ground Zero remove Inferno to leave the final map, if required, to be Train.
How To Watch
The Grand Final between Ground Zero and AVANT will take place on at on Twitch.tv/LetsPlayLive worldwide.