Ghost Gaming is NA’s biggest surprise after the first week of play. steel & Co. faced some of the league’s toughest opponents and still came out on top. The Renegades also exceeded expectations, whereas compLexity and NRG have so far failed to confirm their newly acquired roles as favorites.
Are we witnessing the beginning of a steely-Cinderella story? Finally, after his ban, Joshua “steel” Nissan is back on Counter-Strike’s world stage, alongside koosta, Neptune, Wardell and Subroza. And his Pro League debut couldn’t have been any better. Ghost Gaming won four consecutive maps versus two of the league’s favorites, MiBR and NRG, before drawing against eUnited. With a score of 5 maps to 1, Ghost Gaming sit on third place with 15 points and the question arises: can they keep up the pace throughout the season and make it to the finals in Odense?
They very well could. steel is a veteran of the game of Counter-Strike. He already competed before the release of CS:GO and he will function as the bedrock in this mainly young, skilled team. He is amongst NA’s top IGLs, incorporating a strict and systemic style of play, which is often advantageous when dealing with young talent. Having faced MiBR and NRG, the door towards the playoffs is wide open already!
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie
Oi, oi, oi. The Renegades haven’t lost a single map against eUnited, compLexity and Rogue, and sit at the top of the leaderboard with 17 points, tied with MiBR, but two less maps played. The Australians switched two players in the off-season, bringing in Gratisfaction and liazz for Nifty and USTILO. No one knew what to make of the roster move, as the two new players aren’t too well-known in the western hemisphere. But, we got an early, encouraging answer. The lone Norwegian in the team, jkaem, has been on form for months now and the team looks poised to go on another successful Pro League campaign. The Australians made it to the playoffs past season, but especially after losing Nifty, people were doubting their ability to compete. It’s still early to call, especially with some of the big name teams still in the line of fire, but early results are clearly positive.
NRG & coL - favorites or flukes?
NA’s two most promising up and comers had bad debuts in the first week of EPL. After NRG’s successful campaign in Season 7 and with compLexity’s phenomenal performance at the Major, both squads were considered locks for the playoffs, but that may not happen now. NRG and coL had a clash on the server that ended with both sides taking one map. stanislaw’s boys additionaly lost to the Renegades, and daps’ team came up short versus Ghost Gaming. Both sides find themselves at the bottom of the table, and even though I don’t consider either NRG or coL as flukes, they will have to put in the work to finish in the top six!
Check out below the full standings for Season 8 of ESL Pro League:
ESL Pro League Season 8 will be back next week!
Tune into ESL CS:GO’s Facebook channel to watch your favorite teams battle for a spot at the offline finals in Odense. If you want to watch the season finals, you can purchase tickets here.
Season 8 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.