Welcome back to ELEAGUE! Back for its 3rd season, ELEAGUE features its top performers from ELEAGUE Season 2 to clash for $1,000,000 USD. Hosted in the Turner G-FUEL ELEAGUE Arena, teams will be battling it out in 4 separate group stages. The reward is 1 of the 8 spots in the playoffs. Some groups are stacked with top tier teams like SK Gaming, fnatic, FaZe, G2 Esports, and more top tier teams. Teams such as the Cloud9 were expected to disappoint, but these teams surprised and snuck their way to the playoffs. Now, we reach the concluding group stage with Heroic, Team Liquid, Astralis, and SK Gaming.
SK Gaming have been falling down from their title as the #1 team in the world. Even then, they still feature one of the strongest lineups of firepower in the game. SK Gaming look to dominate the group stage and prove they are still a contending force.
Team Liquid have been on the rise ever since the addition of Twistzz. Since their failure at the PGL Major Qualifier, they’ve been on a rise in international showings. Making playoffs consistently, their last two tournaments against european competition saw them make the finals twice. They have yet to claim a championship, but will ELEAGUE be their first?
Astralis have been in a similar case to SK Gaming. Both failed to reach a major championship at PGL Krakow, and they are slowly losing their touch of individual form. Even then, they boast the IGL leader gla1ve and a supporting cast of Kjaerbye, device, dupreeh, and Xyp9x. What change will they make to reach the stars? Can they grab another championship at yet another ELEAGUE event?
Heroic are the outlier of this group. Being the 3rd best team in Denmark, Heroic come into this event with much to be fulfilled. Beforehand, they grabbed es3tag and lost valde, one of the rising talents of Denmark. After an overhaul in the Heroic system, they have looked weaker since the shuffle. Historically, they have been regarded as another dark horse team, but can this new lineup carry on the legacy? How will they perform in their first ELEAGUE tournament?
Opening group stage matches & winner match: best of 1
Elimination match and group stage decider: best of 3
2 teams eliminated and 2 teams advance.
Team Liquid’s finally found their best lineup with Twistzz. After struggling to find a potent 5th, Twistzz has filled in the fragging role that Liquid have truly desired. In addition, Liquid’s leader role change turned nitr0 into an IGL and made stanislaw a support. nitr0, who led the team before, geared up to give it another chance. So far, the switch has been working out. In their 3 events with nitr0 as the IGL, Liquid placed 2nd at 2 international LANs and successfully qualified for ELEAGUE. At ESG Tour Mykonos 2017, Liquid defeated BIG, SK Gaming, and took mousesports to the distance in a bo5. At ESL One New York, Liquid defeated SK Gaming and Virtus.Pro in 2 best of 3s. Sadly, FaZe Clan cruised to victory against Liquid in the grand final.
With Liquid’s form, they have prided themselves in being a true contender against the top European teams. Once they find the key to beating FaZe Clan, there is no telling of the heights that Liquid can reach. For now, they need to maintain consistency, stability, and efficiency.
Astralis have been an oddball within the past months. For the first time in a long time, they were eliminated in the group stages of an international event. Losing to Liquid in a best of 3, this marked the first time since ESL New York 2016. In an interview with device, it is said that Astralis are still trying to find their groove. As the saying goes, you can’t win a game solely on brains; the current CS:GO meta is very heavy on skilled aimers.
Astralis’ last 3 events (including the PGL Krakow Major) have been deflating, but it does not refute the fact they’re a top 3 team. Having the best of Denmark, there is a guarantee that Astralis can bounce back from this. But, against their kryptonite (Liquid), no one knows how their first day at ELEAGUE will go.
Want to read our prediction for the other ELEAGUE Group D opening match? Check it out here: SK Gaming vs. Heroic