Turkish team Space Soldiers will be without their AWP/Rifle player Engin “ngiN” Kor, who will not be able to attend the major due to the visa issues.
I will not be able to attend the major because my passport is still in London because of the visa process and he will not come back to me in time. we tried everything to speed up the process but without success. I'm so sad about that.
my coach hardstyle will play for me.. gl :(
— Engin Kor (@ngiNcs) September 4, 2018
He will be replaced by their coach, Canpolat “hardstyle” Yıldıran. Although ngiN is not one of their star players, replacing a regular player with a coach is definitely a downgrade and it could pose serious problems in later matches against the stronger teams and qualifying for the main event. Bookmakers priced them about 1.40 to 1.50 before the ngiN news, now they are available at around 1.70-1.80. As for rounds handicap, -2.5 could be beatable if their star players(XANTARES and Calyx) go berserk, even XANTARES alone can carry their team over a team like Rogue. Many people were picking Space Soldiers as a potential dark horse for getting out of the Qualifier, but with the news about their player ngiN not being able to attend, it is better to bet on them not qualifying as I do not see them winning BO3 matches with a stand-in player.
Rogue are coming into the Qualifier after reaching finals in Austin and at the Minor, where they played well but failed to win either one. At DreamHack Austin, they lost to Space Soldiers and at the Minor they lost to compLexity. They are currently priced at around 2.00 to win the match, and they are favourites at the +2.5 rounds handicap, priced around 1.80. With the recent news about ngiN, they can definitely win the match, especially if Space Soldiers struggle with their stand-in. These two teams played a total of four maps between them, all of the at DreamHack Open Austin 2018. First map was played in the group stage where Rogue won 16-8 on Dust2. They met again in the finals, 2-1 in favour of Space Soldiers(16-8 on Mirage, 5-16 on Overpass and 16-2 on Inferno). All of their matches were under the 26.5 rounds line. As for our prediction, we are going for the Over 26.5 rounds, as both teams had enough time to prepare and study each other, I expect a close affair with Rogue winning at the end.
Prediction: Over 26.5 rounds
Odds: 2.02 Pinnacle
Challengers Stage – Space Soldiers To Qualify
Odds: 1.505 Pinnacle