Written By Sebastian Rooney

The Siege Invitational is finally here where the 20 best teams in the world will be competing for the title of Best In The World! But who will be the team to raise the hammer? Who will be the last team standing? With a guarantee of a new champion this year (sorry TSM fans), what is in store for us as viewers? With only 1 team being eliminated from groups, let’s see who I have going home and moving on.

Group A

  • Elevate
  • G2
  • KOI
  • Spacestation
  • w7m

I have this group going w7m, KOI, Elevate, and G2 with Spacestation being the odd team out. Going into this event, w7m have been a massive favorite due to the talent and recent results. 

KOI, formerly known as Rouge, have the gunners to make some noise in the event. Especially being put into a weaker group. 

The same sentiment applies to Elevate. Spoit and Onigri, from KOI and Elevate respectively, are two of the top fraggers in the world capable of single handedly willing their team into a victory.

G2 right before this event lost arguably their top player in CTZN and having to fill that type of void on the roster is not an easy task. 

That being said, I do think that the coaching staff is going to be able to squeeze into the next round, edging out Spacestation. SSG qualified through the NA Last Chance Qualifications, after having a lackluster year in general. Lucky for them TSM, the reigning SI Champs, came from the Last Chance Qualifications but I am hesitant to say that lighting can strike twice for NA. Nothing against SSG but I do believe they will need to play almost perfectly to advance.

Group B

  • Dire Wolves
  • MNM Gaming
  • Soniqs
  • Team Liquid
  • Wolves

I have this group going Soniqs, Team Liquid, Wolves, MNM Gaming with Dire Wolves being sent home early. 

Soniqs made a splash in the off season picking up CTZN from EU and adding to what was already one of the best teams in NA. With the added firepower they should make a deep run and represent NA well. 

Team Liquid has always been a contender. They finished runner up at Jönköping and look to finish the job this time around. 

Wolves and MNM have been staples of EU. The Wolves are 1 of 2 teams to qualify to every major this year, but they haven’t been able to perform on stage. However they should be able to make it out the group stage with relative ease. MNM have also had success in the EUL but similar to the Wolves, they’ve struggled at the majors. But they are both talented enough to move on past groups. 

This leaves Dire Wolves as the odd team out. Nothing against them but I just feel as if similar to SSG they need to play almost perfectly in a stacked group.

Group C

  • Astralis
  • Cyclops
  • LOS + oNe
  • Oxygen
  • Team BDS

I have this group going BDS, Oxygen, Astralis and LOS + oNe and yet another APAC team going home in Cyclops. 

BDS is fresh off of their Jönköping Major victory and considered to be a favorite for this event. With an all around well balanced team they should finish 1st in this group. 

Oxygen and Astralis, 2 NA teams who were great in the first 2 stages but fell off hard in Stage 3, are still capable of stringing together enough games to make it past groups. Between the two I feel Oxygen will fare better due to seeming having fixed the issues they had in Stage 3. They ended the stage on a four game winning streak and won SCS. 

Astralis are still finding their footing after ruling over NA for Stage 1 and 2. The made a roster change moving off of DPfire and bringing in Spiff with his tier 1 debut being this invitational. It may be a slow start for them but I believe they can do enough to make it out of groups. 

LOS + oNe, formerly Team oNe, and Cyclops are in the same tier of teams. They will both be fighting to qualify past groups and probably be the bottom teams. I’m giving the edge to LOS + oNe just from the fact that LATAM is a harder league than APAC. The level of competition that LATAM has is just overall better than APAC and I feel that the harder experience for LOS + oNe will be enough to edge out Cyclops.

Group D

  • DarkZero
  • FaZe Clan
  • Heroic
  • M80
  • Team Secret

Widely considered the group of death, I have it going DarkZero, FaZe Clan, M80, Heroic and then Team Secret. 

DarkZero is always a scary LAN team. When you have one of the GOATs on your team you will always have a chance. Even with a roster change made, the support system that DZ has will be enough to carry them to 1st place of the group. 

FaZe Clan, a powerhouse in LATAM, always put up a fight but after not winning any hardware in 2022, they look to start the year off with the biggest hardware. 

M80, formerly XSET, has been a top team in NA. Although they had a rough Stage 3, the team is still primed to make that next jump to solidify themselves as a top team in the world. 

Heroic should be able to outlast a Team Secret roster that was able to sneak their way into the Invitational. Heroic has been a top 5 EU team all year and deservingly so. It is unfortunate that they are in this group because they would be a favorite in any other. They should be fine to move on especially with Team Secret having their own problems. With so many roster changes throughout the year they have made it to the World Championship. However, being in the group of death is where their story will be ending.

Post Groups

Now that I have my group predictions done and being unable to see the future for team placements, I will list the top 5 teams that I feel have the best chance of winning it all and raising the hammer. 

At 5 I have KOI. They have the talent to make a legitimate run at the hammer and if the stars align I could see them pulling it off. 

At 4 I have Team Liquid. A LATAM powerhouse that as long as they are still in the dance they will fight with all they got. 

Number 3 is the reigning Major Champs in BDS. Coming off the major they deserve to be top 3. 

At the 2 spot I have the Soniqs. With the addition of CTZN they now may have the most balanced and well rounded in the world. 

The team who I believe will win it all is w7m. The best team throughout the year. Although they may not have the hardware to represent it, they have the skill and talent to beat any team in front of them. I am aboard the bandwagon and look forward to seeing my predictions be 100% accurate. 

Some honorable mentions would be Oxygen, DarkZero and FaZe Clan as they can all catch fire and go streaking late into the playoffs.