28 July 2018

Eleague Premier is the last big CS:GO tournament before the Summer player break. With a meaty $1million prize pool and seven of the world’s top ten teams among the eight competing, it certainly looked like a mouthwatering prospect. The Atlanta-based event delivered on the hype, providing plenty of juicy storylines for CS:GO fans to sink their teeth into. Let’s delve into some talking points that the group stages served up ahead of this weekend’s playoffs.

The good

World number one team Astralis made it through with relative ease given the strength of Group A. Cloud9 did set some hearts racing in the first map on Inferno by taking it to overtime, but ultimately the Danes were just too good. Team Liquid did little to trouble them in their second match, either. Astralis must head into the tail end of the tournament as the favourites ahead of their Semi-final against a rejuvenated Mousesports.

Mousesports’ results may have come as a surprise to many. They’ve fought doggedly for every inch on the server with 2 – 1 series victories over FaZe Clan and fnatic, bookending a 1 – 2 loss to Na`Vi.  Former star Snax is performing better than he has for what seems like ages, even if it has confused the roles in the team a little. I and many pundits didn’t have high hopes for the team after they looked so listless in Cologne. They’ve put the past two weeks to good use preparing.

Na`Vi made it through groups but there have been some hiccups. Neither win was dominant and it seems like in Atlanta s1mple is merely the best player in the world rather than the best to have ever lived, as has seemed the mind-bending norm in 2018. They did enough. Expect to see them ramp it up against Liquid in the Semi-final where s1mple will need the same level of help from electronic and flamie as in Cologne.

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