EPICENTER Was A Freak Event, Dignitas Are Not A Top Tier Squad

Alex Geenty

Team Dignitas made a marvellous run through the recent EPICENTER tournament to finish in first place after a year which has been inconsistent to say the least. Following an unexpected shakeup to the top teams over the last few months, Team Dignitas found themselves beneficiaries by picking up their first major tournament win.

EPICENTER was the perfect storm for Dignitas – no established top team, recent roster shakeups and strong performances for their players. Despite three Best Of 3 wins over top teams in the playoffs, they were lucky to escape group stages with a 3-3 record. Somehow, an amalgamation of these factors led to the fringe team placing first at a major tournament.

Source: HLTV
Source: HLTV

The term ‘Tier 1′ is thrown around far too frequently, often being poorly defined or misunderstood – the term should be reserved for any team with a realistic prospect of winning a major tournament, regardless of attendees. With that in mind, Dignitas have been improving since the addition of Emil “Magiskb0Y” Reif and René “cajunb” Borg, showing the potential to compete with top level teams.

In terms of the recent LAN games prior to EPICENTER, Team Dignitas have been trending upwards for some time, boasting plenty of top 8 – or more recently, top 4 finishes on LAN. These achievements are not to be scoffed at, an achievement noted by ranking algorithms and experts, both have seen an upward trend in Dignitas’ ranking over the last few months.

Dignitas continue to improve in ranking algorithms (Source: HLTV)

There is degree of uncertainty however, around the legitimacy of these rankings. Due to recent roster changes around the top level of play, many teams have not had sufficient LAN tournaments to prove themselves. This is also the case for the Danes of Dignitas, as their lineup of young blood are yet to prove themselves consistently. Over the coming months there will be plenty of time for teams to prove themselves with LAN tournaments, namely the ELEAGUE major. The Danes will be looking for a far stronger outing to the USA, bombing out in the group stage of the most recent ELEAGUE tournament.

There is plenty of uncertainty regarding Dignitas’ position in the rankings. The young lineup contains a wealth of young talent, a make-up that has a history for being extremely volatile, shown time and time again by young pros who can’t perform consistently at the highest level. Due to the uncertainty of star players, Dignitas may find themselves struggling for frags in games where young guns Magiskb0Y and Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke don’t live up to high expectations of teammates and fans alike.

Source: HLTV
Source: HLTV

While Ruben “RUBINO” Villarroel Brødreskift and cajunb bring some steady fragging to the table, they aren’t enigmas like the two teens are. The other factor which may see Dignitas fall back down to lower tiers of competitive play is the lack of high tier leadership and a somewhat outdated leadership style. Many pundits were apprehensive about the potential LAN performance of the team, namely Thooorin who predicted an underwhelming finish.

Dignitas have the potential to win LAN tournaments from time to time, but the current lineup don’t have the capability to solidify themselves as a tier 1 team over the coming months. This is partly due to the reliance on young blood and the volatile history of MSL led teams – shown by results post EPICENTER. The ESL Pro League Season 4 result shows that although Dignitas have the potential to perform at the highest level of competition, it’s difficult for a relatively inexperienced lineup to perform consistently.

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