Thursday, February 4, 2016

LVO Predictions

Starting tomorrow is the third annual Las Vegas Open, which includes the biggest 40k Singles event in the world, with over 300 players registered. This high profile event has become the cornerstone of the ITC and serves as the final event in the year long ITC Season, where a winner will be crowned and receive a cash prize; last year's winner, Paul McKelvey, received a check for $2,000 for winning the 2014 ITC season.

In honor of the largest 40k event in the world, I'm going to make an almost entirely unsupported and likely biased stab at predicting the winners and armies that have the best shot at winning this absolutely massive event. The odds are definitely against me; last year, Sean Nayden won with the highly surprising Lictorshame Tyranids list. I won't be predicting a repeat of Tyranids at the top.
First off, let's look at the armies that have the strongest shot of making Sunday's championship round of the top 8. To me, the favorite is some variation of Space Marines. This is simply from looking at recent West Coast ITC events and seeing Space Marines in the top three if not winning the event over and over. Because of the inter-connectedness of Battle Brother Space Marine armies, I will extend my prediction to not only Gladius, but to include other builds that may to a greater or lesser extent build on Space Wolves and Dark Angels. Of the top 8, I fully expect 3-4 to be Space Marine variants, with at least one making the final.

Next best represented, in my opinion, will be Eldar, particularly of the non-Seer Council variety. Seer Council I don't think will make the top 8, but instead lists that build off the speed and firepower available to Eldar. These lists may include an ally to fill some gaps, likely Riptide Wings or Dark Eldar. For the top 8, I expect 2-3 Eldar armies.

I've only gone through two armies and I've already allocated 5-7 of the spots in the top 8. This is because I think Eldar and Space Marines are truly the two best armies suited to winning in the ITC format. For the remaining 1-3 spots, I could see any number of armies slipping in, most likely Daemons, Tau, or maybe a War Convocation. Of these three I'd put the most stock in a Daemons contingent, potentially with CSM allies or Forgewold additions. Another army could sneak in for sure, but to me, it's Space Marines' and Eldar's event, though I can't say I'll be terribly disappointed to be proven wrong.

As for players, I'm expecting almost entirely "known" players who regularly make the top tables at big events. As such, I'm predicting Nick Nanavati, Sean Nayden, Julio Rodriguez, Alan Bajramovic, Ben Cromwell, Aaron Aleong, Steve Sisk, and Tyler DeVries. I would be impressed if this ended up being the exact top 8, but these are definitely some of the favorites in my mind.

As for the winner, I'm gonna go with Julio, taking the LVO for the first time for the West Coast. Julio has been on a mission ever since NOVA, and is coming into LVO off a win at Butchers of Bakersfield with his Gladius Space Marine list.

Good luck to everyone going to LVO, I'm sure it'll be a blast. Who do you think is going to win? What armies will dominate LVO?

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