Another, quieter week for EPL is in the books. A total of 36 maps across both regions were played, and all sides have now been in action, including OpTic Gaming, the season’s most anticipated new roster.
The leaderboards have seen some significant changes, and especially in the bottom half of both regions a few teams have already dug themselves into a deep, difficult to escape hole.
Let’s see who they are.
Standing out in EU, negatively, are G2 and AGO. By now, a bad start into EPL is routine for the French. What they surely won’t be able to make a routine of however, are miracle comeback runs like in Season 5. Not only is the competition two seasons later too tough, it also seems like their continued shortcomings are nagging at the team. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear of roster related changes in France’s top side, if things don’t improve soon.
The Polish side from AGO started the season with two map wins over LDLC and since then they’ve been forced to learn how merciless EPL’s predators can be with 8 losses in a row. Only one of their players, GruBy, has a positive K/D. That simply won’t cut it in Pro League. Solutions need to come in quickly for AGO, before it’s too late to turn things around.
In more pleasant news, Na’Vi (20p.) made their way to the top spot. After tremendous difficulties after bringing in Zeus and electronic and near relegation in Season 6, it seems as though they slowly begin to figure out their identity. It also helps that S1mple has been absolutely beasting through 2018 so far. If, and that is a big if, the Ukrainian prodigy can maintain this absurd level, we could be witnessing the most dominant season of a player in CS history (including previous versions of the game).
Space Soldiers are ranked second with a solid start into the season, having won 6 out of their first ten maps for 19 points. Astralis and FaZe were both inactive this week, but stay in the top four, both with 14 points.
Check out the entire EU leaderboard below:
Match Of The Week Recap – mousesports vs. North
I predicted a 2-0 for the German clan in this clash, especially because of how well chrisJ’s squad had performed on Inferno and Train recently, but North put up a good fight and in the end split the series 1-1.
On Inferno, mouz started out on the CT side. After winning the pistol, they strung together 5 straight rounds, before North answered with six straight rounds of their own. mouz then won 3 out of the remaining four, for a 8-7 half. After switching to the offensive side, oskar & Co. completely overwhelmed the Danes with relentless aggression as they rushed to a quick 16-8 victory.
Train was a lot closer. For the first half it seemed like chrisJ and his boys were going to run away with it. North started out as CT and won both the pistol and the following round by defusing the bomb. With a lot of money in the bank, mouz went into round three fully bought up and converted the round into a W. This broke North’s economy and enabled mouz to pull ahead with 5-2. North did manage to scramble together four more rounds for a 6-9 deficit on the defense.
Normally, 9 rounds should be enough for mouz to close the game out on the easier CT side. But MSL outplayed mouz completely in the second half, not allowing them to get their economy going, and eventually resulting in a 16-13 victory for North.
G2’s and AGO’s counterparts in NA are Team Dignitas and Ghost Gaming, who both lost all of their first four maps. GG already had tremendous difficulties last season and benefited from the Immortals fiasco, otherwise they might not even have been in Pro League this season. They have changed a couple of players, but the problems continue. Let’s see if they can turn things around.
Team Dignitas fought their way through MDL to make it into EPL. It’s always tough to transition as we’ve seen with so many other teams. Their matches against Luminosity and compLexity have been quite lopsided losses too. I do see potential in the team, but they still need some time to adapt to this dog-eat-dog world that is Pro League. Avoiding relegation should already be considered a success.
SK Gaming was forced to forfeit their match against Liquid and they played their NRG series from Cologne with a ~150 ping, which means, they went 0-4 for the week. This means trouble fr the Brazilians early on, as they are ranked 10th, with a record of 2W-6L- From experience we know that 12 losses can be enough to not make it to the LAN finals. Already some pressure on FalleN’s boys.
Liquid and C9 also clashed this week, and nitro & Co. continue to exert their dominance over their main domestic rivals, winning both maps.
Check the full NA standings below:
Match Of The Week Recap – OpTic Gaming vs. Cloud9
With all the travelling Cloud9 has been through these past weeks, I made the bold prediction that OpTic could walk away with a 2-0 against the Major champs here. In the end, the two teams split maps as we got a first taste of what stanislaw’s boys will be capable of.
C9 started out as CT on Train, their second strongest map statistically and it showed. tarik’s boys sprinted to a 9-3 lead, before OpTic was able to string together the last three rounds of the half for a 9-6 halftime score. Especially on the CT side of Train, coordination is key - and OpTic still lacks the kind of coordination as a new team that you need to beat C9. On the defense, k0nfig & Co. were chanceless, only managing to win two rounds and losing 16-8.
Okay nevermind, nerf the CZ pic.twitter.com/03xEFpFMc6— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) March 7, 2018
Mirage was up next, and C9 are probably the best team in the world on it, alongside mousesports. Which makes it that more surprising that OpTic completely smashed Stewie2k’s side on it. stanislaw’s boys played a 14-1 CT half before closing out the game 16-4.
Highlights Of The Week
See you on Tuesday for Week 3!
As always we will be returning with more EPL action from both regions on Tuesday.