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ESL One Katowice: favorites struggle and underdogs deal damage

Philipp Saedler
Senior Editor
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ESL One Katowice 2015 has been promising right from the start and everyone watching the first two groups unfold must admit this. With the Ukrainian and French clashes to open up the groups, there was a lot of tension and Fnatic or surprise team PENTA, who left a lot of fans puzzled after their performance at Dreamhack, only brought more spice to the dish. How did the first two groups play out? Read on for our rundown of the first ten matches of this fifth CS:GO major with it’s US$250,000 on the line!

Group B: Titan to return to the top of the scene?

1st EnVyUs Advancing to the playoffs
2nd PENTA Sports Advancing to the playoffs
3rd LGB eSports  
4th Titan  
GAME ONE
Opening the day was the French duel of EnVyUs, winners of the last Major at Dreamhack, and Titan, who struggled in 2014, but showed a lot of potential after the return of CS:Source legends RpK. With Cobblestone being the first map, the game was very promising to give a first very interesting dip into this tournament. While EnVyUs were starting as CT and gaining ground with only a few rounds of interruption, kennyS underlined time and time again, why he was named the player to watch many times before the event. He turned the tides in many round, giving Titan the bit they needed to come back to a 9-6 halftime lead for EnVyUs after a 6-2 lead in the beginning.

Starting the 2nd half with a 1on2 clutch with the bomb ticking, kioShiMa gave EnVyUs the better start. Two more rounds went to the current reigning champion of CS:GO majors, before Titan struck back. Six rounds in a row saw Titan playing a good defence with Maniac and kennyS leading the board for the challenger and bringing the game to a 12-12 score line. Titan kept carrying on with their dominant play style, but were stopped at 14-12, as EnVyUs were able to pick up another round in a big skirmish and the following to equal the game again at 14-14. EnVyUs found back into the game right with this, to take the next two rounds, bringing the score to 16-14 in their favor. EnVyUs advanced to the Winners Match, while Titan needed to fight through the Losers Match.

GAME TWO
PENTA Sports and LGB eSports were to play the parallel opening match. With the lookout to play one or the other strong French teams, LGB really found their A-game on Dust2, leaving little chances to PENTA and constantly extending their lead as CT. Troubley and his new team had problems finding a way to break LGBs defence and were only able to take two rounds in the first half, seeing LGB going into the 2nd half with a strong 13-2 lead.

After winning the pistol round, LGB were not able to profit on the eco round of PENTA, while the Germans took the chance to take another round in this match. LGB didn’t let them profit on this round and fought back hard, leaving no more chance for PENTA to score. With 16-3 LGB advanced to face EnVyUs in the Winners Match, while PENTA needed to win against Titan to stay alive in the tournament.

GAME THREE
EnVyUs took the CT pistol round on Cache against LGB and scored their equiped round to extend the lead. But LGB were set to show that they don’t wanna give up this match easily, taking the following rounds showing good plays against the somewhat clear favorite. Especially rain showed a great performance early on, giving the French a hard time defending. After seeing a 3-2 lead for LGB, EnVyUs took off, taking round after round. It was eight rounds to EnVyUs before LGB got back on track, taking another two rounds. The end of the first half saw EnVyUs lead by 9-6, still leaving room for the Norwegians to turn things around.

The first three rounds went to EnVyUs, playing strong and leaving little room to LGB to work with. But even a 1on2 for SmithZz wasn’t enough for LGB to come back as he clutched the round and brought his team into an even better position. One more round went to LGB before it was match round time for EnVyUs. rain was once again the one to bring a round into his teams favor, bringing the score to 15-8 in EnVyUs’ favor. But this was only one last glimpse, before the French booked their playoff ticket by 16-8.

GAME FOUR
PENTA had a bad first game and Titan standing in their way in the Losers Match. But the Germans seemed to have shaken that bash of LGB off, as Titan had problems finding a way to break their defense on Cache. After a 2-0 lead for the Germans, kennyS and his team fought back. After a couple of tough rounds and both teams picking up more, PENTA started a streak to earn a lead up to 8-3. Titan only managed to pick up one more round while PENTA looked strong, taking the first half by 11-4.

The T pistol round was also won by PENTA, looking way stronger than in their first match. Round after round Titan were trying their best to take the control about the game, but denis and his team were just too strong and sent Titan packing by 16-4. The Germans advanced to meet LGB a second time in the Decider Match.

GAME FIVE
The second match of PENTA Sports and LGB eSports took a different start, as both teams played a slower pace on Dust2. After winning the T pistol, LGB were able to gain a small lead, but PENTA was able to come back and equal the match out again before building a lead on their own. But the match became another front and back fighting between the two with the better end for PENTA, going into the second half with an 8-7 scoreline.

A good start for PENTA ment taking the pistol round and extending their lead. LGB found only little way to set their defence up successfully, but took out some weapons, while PENTA looked like getting the redemption for losing their first match this hard. PENTA was at 13 rounds, before LGB were able to take another round, kicking of a forth and back between the two teams, with the Norwegians getting closer and closer. At 14-12 PENTA took over again bringing the game to match round and taking the 16th round to advance to the playoffs, while the Norwegian miss the big step at their first ever appearance at a CS:GO major.
 

Group A: Did Fnatic find their A-game?

1st Fnatic Advancing to the playoffs
2nd Natus Vincere Advancing to the playoffs
3rd Vox Eminor  
4th Flipsid3 Tactics  
GAME ONE
Vox Eminor managed to take the pistol round as T on Inferno and gain a two round lead on Fnatic, but the Swedes found their formation soon and didn’t leave much of a chance to the Australians to score more rounds. By the end of the first half, 13-2 was the scoreline for Fnatic showing that they are here in Katowice to win it all after the drama at Dreamhack.

After a pistol round to Fnatic and a won eco round by Vox Eminor, the Swedes got rolling again. Two more rounds were played before pronax and his team advanced by 16-3 to the Winners Match, sending the Australians to meet the losers of Na’Vi and Flipsid3.

GAME TWO
Natus Vincere and Flipsid3 Tactics meet on Mirage, seeing the former CS 1.6 IEM World Champion Na’Vi getting rolling starting as CT. Only one round went to the hands of B1ad3 and his mates, while Guardian led Na’Vi to a strong first half, switching sides at 14-1 left about no doubt about the winner of this match.

Flipsid3 were able to pick up the CT pistol round, but Na’Vi struck back. Natus Vincere secured the two rounds they needed to send their fellow Ukrainian team down to the Losers Match, while seeing themselves advancing to meet Fnatic in the Winners Match.

GAME THREE
Fnatic and Na’Vi have both been stomping their first rounds opponents and things were looking good for the fans at IEM Expo to see a good Winners Match. Cobblestone was once again the map to set two big teams apart. An ace by olofmeister started off a good T site for Fnatic as the Swedes were taking round after round until Na’Vi was able to take the sixth round. But Fnatic did a good showcase on how the T side can be played on the new Cobblestone, taking round after round again. The final round of the first half was picked up by Na’Vi again, bringing the score to 13-2 in favor of Fnatic.

Picking up the T pistol as well, Na’Vi were able to come back into the game with Fnatic letting some rounds drop in a sloppy fashion. The Ukrainian team picked up a couple of rounds, but Fnatic found back into their A-game, finishing the game by 16-7, advancing to the playoffs, while Na’Vi had to play the Decider Match to stay alive.

GAME FOUR
Vox Eminor turned up strong against Flipsid3 winning the pistol round as CT on Cache, extending their lead on and on while Flipsid3 didn’t find a way to break their defense to a point they could profit from hit. It took nine rounds of VoX Eminor scoring before B1ad3 lead his team to score a round. But Vox Eminor still managed to keep their routines up and played a solid CT half, leading at halftime by 13-2.

Taking the pistol round, Vox Eminor was more than ever looking like taking the step toward the Decider Match. Flipsid3 did find ways to make rounds looking good for them, but in the end Vox Eminor were able to win by 16-2 and advance to the Decider Match.

GAME FIVE
A big fight for the pistol round saw Na’Vi taking the lead, starting as CT with Vox Eminor planting the bomb. But this glimpse of hope didn’t last long as Natus Vincere started a streak from here on, extending their lead to 8-0 seeing seized doing a great job fragging for his team. The first round for the Australians was scored, but Na’Vi stopped their attempt to gain ground right in the round after. The Ukrainian team played an almost perfect first half, taking the game to second half at a 14-1 scoreline.

With the pistol round going to Vox Eminor, we saw the Australians cheering once more. But Guardians Desert Eagle set an end to the hopes for the comeback of the Ausis. But right in the first match round, Havoc and his team turned things around another time to score their third round of the match. But Natus Vincere used their next chance, scoring the 16th round to join Fnatic and the other teams in the playoffs.


Find all details on the following steps of the tournament on the ESL One website. Also make sure to check our Twitch.tv hub for all stream from IEM Expo in all available languages, as well as our YouTube account for all VoDs being available as soon as possible. If you want to get all the latest updates, follow ESL Counter-Strike on Twitter and Facebook