1. Carbon – At the New Jersey LAN last weekend, my team had the opportunity to play with this team, just like before Dallas. Once again I feel Carbon will win Chicago. At the LAN the biggest change in this team that I saw was an improvement in their Team Slayer games. Before Dallas I could tell that they were weaker at Team Slayer than objective. That is not the case anymore. The entire team has been playing amazing; however, Gandhi really seemed to improve in almost every facet of his game. I expect big things out of him in Chicago.
2. Final Boss – It’s impossible to predict this team anywhere but Top 2. After their LAN with 5k and XiT, I expect to see them at Chicago with new strats and ways to approach some of their weaker game types. If they have improved as much as the LANs seem to show, then they will have a much closer series with Carbon, but Carbon will still come out on top.
3. FBI The Agency – With the addition of Naded, I think The Agency will solidify their spot as the number-three team. He is a versatile player that I think will help FBI in every way. My only question is whether or not their teamwork will be good enough already to make a push to Top 2.
4. Str8 Rippin – Since the FBI TA team change, a lot of people have been hyping this team, and in my opinion there is no reason not to. When they picked up Elamite Warrior and Legit a lot of people thought they would be an amazing team at Team Slayer, but lack in objective. Having talked to Legit, this is not a problem. In fact, he is running objective almost full time for his team now. This frees up Neighbor, T2 and Elamite to slay as much as they want. On a side note, Legit isn’t hosting anymore; Elamite is now the host for Str8.
5. 5k – This team has proven all year that great objective work can overcome pure slaying ability. Their individual skill is usually overlooked because of the way they win games. The whole “5k isn’t as skilled as other teams” argument is largely ignorant. While they aren’t as skilled as CbN or FB, if you watch any of them play, you’ll see they are on par with everyone else individually, they just play a more teamwork-oriented game that doesn’t require them to out-slay teams.
6. XiT – After their solid performance in Dallas, I only see them improving. Their team has changed their play style to focus on teamwork even more. Killer N has also changed his play style drastically; he is now a lot more objectively oriented. This allows Omega to abuse host, Bonfire to slay, and Luck to help out wherever it’s needed.
7. NLR – LegendJRG and Ray have proven this year that they are a consistent duo in the Top 8. A lot of people doubted them going into Dallas after losing ButterZ and Havok in favor of Pyrocy and Foulacy.They proved everyone wrong with a surprisingly strong fifth-place finish. However, I think their bracket will be too tough and they will have to face Str8 and The Agency and I just don’t see them beating either of those teams. Their run-and-gun play style wont be enough to overcome the slaying power of those two teams.
8. LeGendZ – If my team is going to make a return to the Top 8, it’s got to happen in Chicago. With the addition of Dysphoria we have regained our persona and teamwork that we have lacked all year. He is easily the most underrated pro on the circuit. Our greatest strength is our ability to take momentum and capitalize on it. While we are extremely efficient when things our going our way, when things go wrong we used to have problems getting control back. As long as we can keep our mind on the goal, we will be just fine.