Rarely has a player break felt as long as the one we fans had to endure after the last major. And rarely has the excitement coming in to a new EPL season been greater.
But the CS:GO drought ended this week. ESL Pro League brought Counter-Strike back to our computer screens for six full days, from Tuesday till Sunday. Finally we were allowed a glimpse into the revamped CS landscape, with all its new-formed teams.
Most teams underwent slight roster alterations, many decided to stick with the five from last season, and few surprised us with unforeseen moves: FaZe, Cloud9, OpTic, fnatic most notably.
Let’s see how everybody did.
Just like last year, FaZe Clan top the European standings after week one, already boasting a record of six wins and only two losses. Fnatic and North also did remarkably well, both winning five out of six.
EnVyUs, Hellraisers and NiP on the other hand will already feel the pressure going into week two, as they’ve only managed to secure one map, while losing four and three, respectively.
Another team looking to improve upon a messy debut is BIG. Led by legendary shotcaller gob b, they qualified for EPL through the Mountain Dew League (MDL). At the major in Krakow, the Germans shocked everybody by reaching legendary status and nearly beating the would-be finalists Immortals in the quarter finals. But their start into the most difficult league in CS:GO has been rocky. After six maps played, they have only two in the win-column. And if they aspire to more than just participating, the loss to Hellraisers could already be crucial towards the end of the season.
The rest of the pack lurks in the middle, with their eyes glued to the top, while having to tread carefully to not slip and plummet.
Below you can find a look at the standings after week one of EPL’s sixth season.
Match to Watch – Recap
In Europe we chose FaZe Clan vs. G2 as the match fans should tune into for one key reason: skill! In that category, olofmeister’s new team has a slight edge over an insanely skilled French team. Overall however, I saw G2 coming out on top, due to superior team play. Let’s see how it panned out.
Boy was I wrong. FaZe put on a clinic on the first map, de_cache, wrecking the shox-lead G2 with 16-3. GuardiaN and Co. completely shut down the French squad on the CT side, not allowing them entrance to any of the sites and therefore grabbing twelve rounds. The T-side pistol also went in favour of karrigan’s boys, which allowed them to cruise to the victory and gather their first three points of the season.
The second map was de_overpass, and this time G2 was able to at least make it competitive. On the CT-side, apEX and shox stepped up and after fifteen rounds the French were up eight to seven. After switching sides, FaZe again proved to be too much to handle on that particular day for an underperforming kennyS and his mates, as the match ended 16-12 in favour of FaZe.
One thing needs to be noted. FaZe got off to a good start, which is scary. Even in the era of superteams, their line-up stands out when it comes to skill. They basically have four superstar players, and an all-time great IGL. If karrigan is able to control all the egos in the squad, and the squad in turn buys into his system, we could very well be witnessing the beginning of greatness.
Highlights of the week
NBK was born to kill, but he also knows how to clutch. Here he keeps G2 in it with the ACE!
NiKo channels his inner dennis in the pistol round against mousesports.
Well, if it ain’t JW attempting to double knife!
It comes to no big surprise that SK Gaming tops the NA leader board after week one. This is simply a testament to their reign and superiority over the region. Other usual suspects on the upper half of the standings are Immortals, Team Liquid, CLG, and the new international team of outcasts, Team OpTic, who surprised by winning all of their four matches. The bottom half also looks like most people have anticipated if it weren’t for the new Cloud9 occupying the eleventh rank. The hype surrounding them after replacing n0thing and shroud with tarik and RUSH was big, the disappointment after week one also is.
Find below the full standings for North America after week one.
Match to Watch – Recap
We’ve recommended you watch SK vs. Liquid in the first week of play in North America. The two powerhouses have collided countless times, with the Brazilians normally coming out on top. Nevertheless, Team Liquid is one of the few teams in NA that always puts up a good fight versus SK, and it was no different this time.
The first map was Train, a strong playing field for both teams, and Liquid started on the CT-side. The US boys came out of the gate with guns blazing and stormed to a quick 10-0 lead, it looked all but over, but in typical SK fashion, the Brazilians clawed their way back into the game. Still, the deficit proved to be too large to overcome and Liquid took home de_train with 16-12. Youngster Twistzz once again showcased what he’s capable of, leading the way for his team with 28 frags.
Next up was de_cobblestone, again a map both teams like to play. SK tends to come back with a vengeance when you tickle them, and that’s exactly what happened. The Brazilians defended impeccably on the CT-side and stopped 13 out of Liquid’s 15 attempts to storm the castle. Closing out the match was a mere formality for coldzera and his brothers, as the map ended 16-3 in favour of the Brazilians.
Overall this should be a satisfying start into the season for both teams. After a such a long break teams are looking to solidify their form, and splitting maps with a high calibre opponent is a win for both sides here.
Highlights of the week
Quick scope or no scope? You decide.
CLG looking strong with the victory over Cloud9.
One week, two minutes, all aces!
We’ll be back after a one week break!
With DreamHack Masters Malmö taking place this week, the 28 teams take a break from the ESL Pro League to focus on their preparation for the US$250,000 tournament, which is part of the Intel® Grand Slam: a new system that awards a US$1,000,000 prize to the team that has won four out of the last ten tournaments. Taking the DreamHack event into consideration, we will make our return on Tuesday, September 5th, with our preview of what to expect from Week 2, before we go live that day at 19:00 CET!
Season 6 of the ESL Pro League is brought to you by Intel, the City of Odense, Nvidia, Legion by Lenovo, Logitech, paysafecard, xfinity, MDL and YouTube.