With the start of the second season of ELeague upon us, it’s high time you got to know the teams worth watching. While some of these will likely crossover with those teams already competing and performing well at ECS Season 2, others haven’t qualified and still need to make a show of it at ELeague. You’ll be able to tune in to the Group A matches tonight on Ginx eSports TV at 11PM BST to find out how the initial matches play out. But if you’re interested in knowing a bit more about who’s who in ELeague Season 2, we’ve got a run down of all the names that will be playing in the competition.
ELeague Season 2 - Group AMousesports
Despite being an underdog in the first season of ELeague, German team Mousesports really began to make a name for in the last tournament. It’s performed well at ECS so far, so it’ll be interesting to see how Mousesports does in this group stage - though admittedly it has an exceptionally tough group to beat. Cloud9 One of the big names in CS:GO, Cloud9’s consistency has to be commended. It’s not achieved first-place victories for some time, but it’s rarely a team to count out of any tournament. It’ll face some tough competition in this group phase, but if it survives that we could expect to see the team go far. FaZe Clan Here’s a team that is really coming into its own right now. It hasn’t really got the victories behind it to prove it’s a team of worth, but when they play they do so with a great deal of skill and control. They’re taking the EU portion of the ECS by storm right now, so it’ll be interesting to see if that confidence helps them with ELeague Season 2. Immortals Since forming from the roster of Tempo Storm in June, Immortals has easily become one of the hottest names in CS:GO. Already it placed first in premier tournaments DreamHack Summer and Northern Arena in Toronto, while placing second in ESL Pro League Season 4. Perhaps the team to beat in Group A, in fact.
ELeague Season 2 - Group BVirtus.pro
It’s always impossible to count out Virtus.pro, since when they win they do with a great deal of skill and composure. But maybe it’s the pressure, but the team isn’t consistent - sometimes failing to make it far in a tournament at all. We’ll have to wait and see which of the two sides of Virtus.pro we witness in the competition before we can make a judgment on its potential. Ninjas In Pyjamas NiP is one of those teams that will always have a following thanks to its glory days, but it has to be said that those days could well be behind them. Despite placing first at StarSeries Season 2, Ninjas In Pyjamas is recently more commonly seen at the bottom end of most competitions, including its current position in ECS. Whether they can turn it around remains to be seen, but current performance doesn’t bode well. G2 Esports Another big name in CS:GO that just can’t be ignored, G2 Esports recent run of results are still erratic to say the least. It placed second to Ninjas In Pyjamas in StarSeries Season 2 so the two teams will be facing off against each other but - as with NiP - the team’s performance doesn’t give much hope for the team. Echo Fox While Echo Fox isn’t likely to compete among the bigger names of the ELeague, it is by no means an incompetent team. Now is it’s time to strike, however, because while Group B has three big name squads, none of them are particularly on a hotstreak right now. If Echo Fox can tap into a hidden strength, ELeague Season 2 could be its chance to stand out.
ELeague Season 2 - Group CNatus Vincere
Na’Vi are one of the top dogs of the CS:GO scene and, despite a few shortcomings recently, has the results to back it up. In the last season of ELeague it came in 3rd-4th and so had an automatic invite to the second season. Group C has a number of big name teams, however, so Na’Vi will need to rediscover its talent if it wants to compete in the playoffs. Astralis There was a time where Astralis was the team with the most hype surrounding it, and though a lot of that was tied to some exceptional plays and incredible moments of CS:GO gameplay it’s not had a huge amount of success in tournaments. Especially recently, where it’s rarely achieved anything more than 7-8th. Not one to overlook, of course, but not one to expect a lot from either. Alternate Attax This German side doesn’t get a lot of recognition, despite its age, because it more often competes in weeklys rather than majors. At this level it does well, and often ends high in qualifiers too. It doesn’t often perform well at higher profile competitions, so it’ll be interesting to see how the team does during this group stage. SK Gaming With SK Gaming’s new Brazilian squad - over from Luminosity - the team has become something to fear. It’s likely to be the team to beat in Group C, with perhaps Na’Vi being its only real competition. SK Gaming isn’t invulnerable right now having only achieved results of 3rd place at iBuyPower Invitational, ESL One New York and ESL Pro League Season 4, but 3rd is by no means an embarrassing result so it’s certainly beats the numbers games over its group opposition.
ELeague Season 2 - Group DFnatic
Few teams have the CS:GO heritage of Fnatic, and as gloried as its history is the past year has flitted between 8th finishes and firstplace wins. It’s latest first-place victory was the recent ESL Pro League Season 4, and with this confidence boost it could be a threat in the second season of the ELeague. It’s known for buckling when it’s needed the composure the most, so it could still be anyone’s game. Team EnVyUs 2016 hasn’t be rife with success for nV, so it could struggle in this group. But recently it did claim a first-place victory at the Gfinity CS:GO Invitational in September. It will need to recall that moment, however, since its most recent competitions - at WESG and ESL Pro League - both game in lower positions. Team Dignitas Dignitas remains a consistent player in the CS:GO world and its recent results portray that. It plays in a number of minors more than its competition too, which will give it a little more competitive practice - a little more valuable than skrims, and that could count for something. It’s got a challenge facing the likes of Fnatic and OpTic, but Dignitas could well manage to place in the playoffs here. OpTic Gaming The roster for OpTic has only been playing since January 2016, and its shifted a number of times since then already. It’s results are equally erratic, and so it’s hard to really know where this team might find itself in the ELeague. If its efforts in ECS are anything to go by, though, it could well be a team worth watching out for in this tournament.
Remember, you can tune in to Ginx eSports TV tonight from 11PM to follow the group A matches on Sky Channel 470 or Virgin Media Channel 290.