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Your username is how other community members will see you. Ever dreamt of being called JohnWick ? Now is the time.


ELEAGUE Premier: The good, the 'OK' and the downright diabolical

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 Virtus.pro 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.

The 'okay'

Liquid had a decent, if somewhat unspectacular group stage. At the very least, their performance represented a return their normal level after a dire run in Cologne. They were good at the same things they've always been good at, but still unable to contend with their stylistic doppelgangers Astralis. That must be becoming a real monkey on their backs by now. The recently-rejigged Fnatic looked dangerous and actually had Na`Vi on the ropes at times before capitulating. The same story repeated itself against Mouz. Draken has been terrible and the rest of the team merely good. It’s difficult to see how they could reasonably get much better with their current personnel. The losses in close BO3s are a worry, especially for a core famed for clutch factor in important games.

The downright diabolical

MiBR looks more and more lost every tournament. The addition of Tarik to replace the departing boltz doesn’t seem to have helped. With even coldzera now no longer doing the business, it feels like the team is inevitably going to shatter. The personalities on the roster that are so used to winning will not survive such prolonged failure. I don't expect them to be together past the Major, but their only recent joining of the organization could lock them into prolonged roster hell. C9 is a shambles. They have a good player in autimatic and a solid player in RUSH. That’s all they’ve got at the moment. Skadoodle has been more miss than hit for months now. The temporary additions of STYKO and Golden are clearly not the solution to their problems. They performed as expected. Badly. FaZe Exit FaZe got olofmeister back and immediately crashed out in groups. This was a massively unexpected result for the 2017 Eleague Premier champions. NiKo was in god mode, but there was no assistant to NiKo's magician. It’s the end of a long season and it might very well be that the constant fluctuations in the lineup have finally caught up to FaZe. They have the player break ahead of them to sort it all out but it feels like a rubicon will be reached soon. The playoffs start tonight (Saturday 28 July) at 20:00 CEST with Astralis vs Mousesports over at www.twitch.tv/eleague.