Remember me

No account?

Already have an account?
ELEAGUE Major playoffs preview
Time: 2017-01-27 00:39
Game: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Less than a day remains before the ELEAGUE Major moves on to the Fox Theatre, in Atlanta, to kick off the playoffs. Here is our preview of the quarter-finals, three of which will take place on Friday, while FaZe and SK will close out the first playoffs round on Saturday.

The first four days of the Major saw 16 teams fight in the Swiss group stage, where teams essentially had three lives and needed three wins to secure a spot in the quarter-finals.

Friday, January 27th
16:00  Natus Vincere  vs. Astralis
18:30 fnatic vs. Gambit
21:00 Virtus.pro vs. North
Saturday, January 28th
16:00 FaZe vs. SK
18:30 Semi-final #1
21:00 Semi-final #2
Sunday, January 29th
16:00 Grand final  

Natus Vincere and Virtus.pro finished the group with a perfect 3-0 score, while SK, Gambit, and fnatic followed closely with three wins and one loss. In the fifth round, North, FaZe, and Astralis secured the last three spots to finalize the bracket.

We have prepared a preview of the quarter-finals, in which we take a look at each team (with their Major Ratings so far), analyze the match-ups, possible maps, and best players. Without further ado:

Natus Vincere
Egor "flamie" Vasilyev 1.70   Nicolai "device" Reedtz 1.40
Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev 1.45   Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander 1.16
Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev 1.35  vs.  Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye 1.10
Denis "seized" Kostin 1.17   Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen 0.98
Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács 1.08   Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth 0.78
Sergey "starix" Ischuk (coach)   Danny "zonic" Sørensen (coach)
Group stage results    
16-3 vs. SK on Dust2
16-6 vs. EnVyUs on Cobblestone
16-3 vs. mousesports on Cobblestone 
  16-3 vs. Liquid on Mirage
17-19 vs. SK on Dust2
16-5 vs. G2 on Train
16-12 vs. OpTic on Train
6-16 vs. GODSENT on Train

The ELEAGUE Major playoffs will kick off in style, with a match between two of the main contenders for the title, Astralis and Natus Vincere.

As one of the best-prepared teams attending the Major, Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev and company ran over all three opponents in the Swiss group stage. On the other hand, the Danish side had a bumpy road to the playoffs, securing their place in the quarter-finals with three wins and two losses.

The biggest worry for Na`Vi at the end of 2016 was their shallow map pool. So far they've shown they can play Cobblestone, which they were previously awful on, and Dust2, where they destroyed SK. They've kept the remainder of their map pool a secret, although it looks like they are ready on all maps except Cache.

Na`Vi dominated the group stage

Astralis continued to show their strength on Train despite the initial loss to GODSENT, and also played Dust2 and Mirage. Overall, they seem to be ready on all maps, or at least that's what they have us believe; they altered their vetoes based on opponents, but Cobblestone is their constant ban and they didn't look particularly keen on keeping Cache in either.

Natus Vincere have a big advantage in the element of surprise, as the Danes have very little to go off of in terms of information. Astralis chose not to practice against Sergey "starix" Ischuk's five, and Na`Vi have only played three maps so far, a total of 60 rounds, of which the majority was on the CT side.

It's all but confirmed Astralis will pick Train, although it's unclear which way Natus Vincere will want to go, as Cobblestone most likely won't be an option. A good possibility is Dust2, where Astralis are very good as well, although we don't have much information about their Nuke or Mirage. The two share a great map in Overpass, which is a solid contender for the decider.

Players to watch

Egor "flamie" Vasilyev has so far been the Major's best player, garnering tournament-high statistics such as 1.70 rating, 122 ADR, and 93.3% KAST (rounds in which he got a kill, assisted, survived or was traded).

On the other side it's all about Nicolai "device" Reedtz, who powered Astralis through a tough battle on Train against OpTic and had a beastly performance in the one-sided affair versus Liquid to secure playoffs.

The 21-year-old had the most impact thanks to his ability to open up rounds, recording 0.19 opening kills per round (the most out of everyone), nearly twice as many as any one of his teammates, with a solid 65.5% success rate in opening duels.

fnatic   Gambit
Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer 1.10   Dauren "AdreN" Kystaubayev 1.42
Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson 1.01   Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko 1.04
Simon "twist" Eliasson 0.93  vs.  Mihail "Dosia" Stolyarov 1.00
Dennis "dennis" Edman 0.92   Abay "HObbit" Khasenov 0.94
Joakim "disco doplan" Gidetun 0.80   Rustem "mou" Telepov 0.89
Jimmy "Jumpy" Berndtsson (coach)   Mikhaylo "Kane" Blagin (coach)

Group stage results    
16-11 vs. EnVyUs on Cobblestone
16-11 vs. mousesports on Dust2
16-13 vs. North on Cobblestone
10-16 vs. G2 on Cache 
  16-14 vs. FaZe on Overpass
10-16 vs. Virtus.pro on Train
16-9 vs. GODSENT on Overpass
16-8 vs. North on Cobblestone 

Quarter-final number two will bring us fnatic and Gambit, both of whom secured their Legends status with a 3-1 record in the group stage.

The Swedes went into the tournament as a fairly unknown force, having skipped every event after ELEAGUE Season 2 groups, where fnatic played with Jimmy "Jumpy" Berndtsson instead of Dennis "dennis" Edman. As such, the Major's group stage was their debut with the full lineup, and they beat the odds after four double-digit matches.

A lot was expected from Gambit at the beginning of the tournament, especially the Kazakhstani trio of Dauren "AdreN" Kystaubayev, Rustem "mou" Telepov, and Abay "HObbit" Khasenov, who had been the playmakers at DreamHack Winter. AdreN continued to be the star of the team, while the other two players have yet to reach their best form.

fnatic are looking to make good on their promise

Objectively, fnatic had the easier route in groups, having met only one other playoffs team, North, while Gambit fought three and thus were tested significantly more. dennis still has a lot of room to improve; if he steps up for playoffs, we might begin to see fnatic's true strength.

So far Gambit have removed Mirage each time and remain undefeated on Cobblestone with their comfortable win over North. fnatic stayed away from Nuke and also played Cobblestone well, but they'll most likely pick Dust2, another one of Gambit's favorite maps. We should be in for a good series with Gambit having a chance to go 2-0 thanks to their immaculate Cobble, but if fnatic take Dust2 we'll have a somewhat up-in-the-air decider like Train.

Players to watch

Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer showed solid form in the groups, where he was especially impactful on the Terrorist side. Overall, his ability to open up rounds was supreme, with third-highest 0.17 opening kills per round and a 71% success rate in opening duels.

Gambit's player to watch is AdreN, who has been one of the best players of the tournament due to good numbers all-around: fourth-highest 1.42 rating, and second-highest 103 ADR, 0.98 kills per round, and 1.64 impact rating (a value based on opening kills, clutches and multi-kill rounds).

Another interesting thing to watch out for is Gambit's ability to trade frags; at least 26% of each of their player's deaths were traded.

Virtus.pro   North
Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski 1.44   Emil "Magisk" Reif 1.16
Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas 1.26   Ruben "RUBINO" Villarroel 1.08
Paweł "byali" Bieliński 1.00  vs.  René "cajunb" Borg 1.05
Jarosław "pasha" Jarząbkowski 0.91   Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke 0.91
Filip "NEO" Kubski 0.73   Mathias "MSL" Lauridsen 0.65
Jakub "kuben" Gurczynski (coach)   Casper "ruggah" Due (coach)
Group stage results    
16-10 vs. Gambit on Train
16-14 vs. G2 on Nuke
16-13 vs. OpTic on Cobblestone

  19-17 vs. GODSENT on Overpass
16-9 vs. G2 on Overpass
19-15 vs. HellRaisers on Mirage
13-16 vs. fnatic on Cobblestone
8-16 vs. Gambit on Cobblestone

Tomorrow's last quarter-final features Virtus.pro, who remained perfect throughout the groups with three wins in a row, and North, who started out with two losses but ended up advancing to playoffs with a 3-2 record.

First and foremost, Virtus.pro proved once again that they can quickly regroup after one poor tournament, which in this case was the WESG World Finals.

On the other hand, North started out with two losses on one of their trademark maps, Cobblestone, and had a tough time overcoming HellRaisers on Mirage and GODSENT on Overpass. That's not a good sign heading into the quarter-finals against Virtus.pro, who are good on all three.

Snax played fantastically in groups

There's a fair share of history between the two teams from the last three months of 2016, as they met in two series, at DreamHack ZOWIE Open Bucharest and EPICENTER: Moscow. VP barely escaped the first one with their lives, while Mathias "MSL" Lauridsen's team prevailed in comfortable fashion in the EPICENTER final.

Virtus.pro don't play Dust2, and North dislike Train and Cache. The Poles aren't great on Cache either, which will probably once again sway them away from picking the map, and it'll come down to three of the four maps both teams are good on. That means we should be in for another fantastic series between the two teams, as long as North shake off some of the tough matches in the groups.

Players to watch

Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski shone in many ways throughout the group stage, perhaps most importantly picking up six clutches over the three maps, including a game-changing 1v2 at 12-13 against OpTic.

Snax has often opened up the rounds for his team, and his clutching ability played a big part in his 1.60 impact rating. He also holds a 1.44 rating so far, the third highest of all players.

After a slow start to the tournament in the losses, Emil "Magisk" Reif was North's propeller in the wins, especially in the two overtime battles (1.40+ rating in each). Another player to keep a close eye on is Ruben "RUBINO" Villarroel, who put up good numbers in North's wins, most notably in the deciding match with GODSENT.

FaZe   SK
Aleksi "allu" Jalli 1.17   Marcelo "coldzera" David 1.42
Håvard "rain" Nygaard 1.09   Fernando "fer" Alvarenga 1.16
Finn "karrigan" Andersen 1.07  vs.  Ricardo "fox" Pacheco 0.91
Philip "aizy" Aistrup 1.00   Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo 0.81
Fabien "kioShiMa" Fiey 0.95   Epitacio "TACO" de Melo 0.77
Robert "RobbaN" Dahlström (coach)  
Group stage results    
16-11 vs. EnVyUs on Nuke
14-16 vs. Gambit on Overpass
22-18 vs. Liquid on Nuke
17-19 vs. SK on Mirage
16-9 vs. FlipSid3 on Nuke 
  19-17 vs. Astralis on Dust2
3-16 vs. Natus Vincere on Dust2
19-17 vs. FaZe on Mirage
16-7 vs. HellRaisers on Mirage

The fourth quarter-final, which will take place on Saturday, has FaZe and SK in store, teams who advanced with a 3-2 and 3-1 record, respectively. Both teams had a turbulent group stage, especially the European mixture, who lost two narrow matches and had to play overtimes twice.

Prior to the Major, it was unclear how SK would look at the Major with Ricardo "fox" Pacheco, who is standing in for the team, but a month of preparation seems to have done the job for the Brazilians.

Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo's showing hasn't been up to par with his usual star form, which could have to do with him having to pay extra attention to fox, who didn't have the time to match the chemistry the remaining players have built over the last year. It seems he also changed his role at least on Mirage, where fox was AWPing over him as CT while he played the rifle on the A bombsite.

The fox-infused SK will attempt to take their third Major title in a row

He will need to step it up for playoffs if SK want to grab their third Major title in a row, or even pass FaZe in the quarter-finals. We've seen the match-up at the Major once before, on Mirage, where SK got the edge in overtime thanks to a few decisive plays

FaZe have vetoed Cobblestone every time, a map SK didn't want to play in groups anyway, while the Brazilians will likely remove Nuke, a very good map for Finn "karrigan" Andersen's team. We could see FaZe picking Cache if they feel confident enough on it and Dust2 going the way of SK, with the decider being between Overpass and Mirage.

Players to watch

For FaZe the group stage was very much a team effort, with Aleksi "allu" Jalli putting up the most consistent numbers no matter which side he played on, while karrigan mostly excelled on the Terrorist side.

In SK's case, Marcelo "coldzera" David excelled during the first four days, as he always does at Majors, with a 1.42 rating over the group stage as well as 97 ADR and three clutches.

You can follow HLTV.org's Milan "Striker" Švejda on Twitter

Truth joining jkaem team, sick

Post edited 2017-01-27 00:39:57
2017-01-27 00:39:39
Lol why does nobody ever reply to the first comment instead of trying to get first? Now I'm guaranteed to be the second one down on this page no matter what!

Post edited 2017-01-27 00:41:06
2017-01-27 00:39:54
NaVi Will win major
2017-01-27 00:40:35
IVaN will choke this major. #Gambit4life
2017-01-27 01:31:23
2017-01-27 00:41:08
2017-01-27 00:39:41

Post edited 2017-01-27 00:39:56
2017-01-27 00:39:42
2017-01-27 00:39:44
2017-01-27 00:39:44

Post edited 2017-01-27 00:40:23
2017-01-27 00:39:46
2017-01-27 00:39:46
2017-01-27 00:39:47
ez 4 gambit
2017-01-27 00:39:53
truth joins jkaem
2017-01-27 00:40:06
EZ major win 4 fnatic
2017-01-27 00:40:13
one bo3 on saturday?

why not two on friday and two on saturday
2017-01-27 00:41:50
Striker - HLTV.org
There will be semis on saturday as well
2017-01-27 00:43:00
three on friday and three on saturday
2017-01-27 01:22:55
You think they will play grand final on Monday? :D
2017-01-27 01:24:11
2017-01-27 03:48:22
Xyp9x 0.78 LUL new HUNDEN
2017-01-27 00:42:16
NEO 0.73 xd
2017-01-27 00:51:37
Win major = fuck rating :D
2017-01-27 01:05:27
MSL 0.65 xd
2017-01-27 07:58:26
2017-01-27 00:47:31
Fox playing in the fox theater LUL
2017-01-27 00:55:51
So funny.
2017-01-27 02:23:28
I'm not confident on SK due to the lack of performance by FalleN.

Right now it looks like the old Keyd is back: FalleN is just a great IGL with below average rifling skills, and he's just there watching zqkS (fox) being bad/passive with the AWP. The monster has tied his hands to allow the stand-in to play at his best. I hope it don't cost the semis to them.
2017-01-27 01:03:39
Fallen is too "good guy" with fox.

He should be using fox just as a pawn/bait.

He should put him in a position where he gets one kill and then the SK guys can play 4v4 rest of the round.

And on T-side it's crazy how many times fox has been last alive. Fox should be first ones going in and making more targets to the enemy so TACO could live longer.
2017-01-27 11:12:42
He is already using fox to bait for him in long dust2 lol
I think in T they put fox on back to not give him so much pressure considering stand in and lurker

Post edited 2017-01-27 13:59:25
2017-01-27 13:58:10
wrong chat

Post edited 2017-01-27 15:35:35
2017-01-27 15:34:09
go vp
2017-01-27 01:20:52
Hobbit isn't in Gambit is in SK.
2017-01-27 01:22:36
NaVi vs. Gambit, VP vs. SK.

Navi vs. VP --> VP winning the major.

You heard it first here.
2017-01-27 01:30:46
Na'Vi eat VP. Each team they eat on this major.
2017-01-27 01:43:35
pasha MVP ?
2017-01-27 02:12:58
ez for god allu
2017-01-27 01:52:31
I believe sk picks train.
2017-01-27 02:04:43
lol first ban pick for FaZe for sure.
2017-01-27 03:14:37
The start time of grand final is wrong?
2017-01-27 02:47:49
Striker - HLTV.org
Yes, it was, got the timezones mixed up. Fixed now
2017-01-27 04:30:13
2017-01-27 14:31:30
Striker - HLTV.org
2017-01-27 14:48:12
2017-01-27 18:56:01
Gambit 2-1 fnatic
Faze 2-1 SK
VP 1-2 north
Astralis 2-0 navi
2017-01-27 03:14:48
2017-01-27 03:25:56
Bruh have you seen NaVi playing? They'll destroy those overrated Astralis guy.
2017-01-27 12:26:31
9 am for the final??

im going out with the lads saturday night and i gotta wake up at 9am to watch the final ANDERS aRE U KIDDING ME
2017-01-27 03:20:25
2017-01-27 03:37:24
Same xd
2017-01-27 03:50:09
Striker - HLTV.org
No, it's at 4 PM CET, sorry!

Post edited 2017-01-27 04:30:33
2017-01-27 04:30:27
that rating from flamie holy...
2017-01-27 04:54:20
I know the major feels like it's been going on for a while now but it's just getting started B) LETS GO! Hope we see 3-4 majors in 2017 too
2017-01-27 07:41:14
snax and flamie, damn
2017-01-27 08:12:03
"The Poles aren't great on Cache either" Striker is wordworthly stupid to think so, that VP ain't good on Cache especially vs North. That guy is so awful lul.
2017-01-27 08:22:33
yup there is no way VP bans cache against North, that would be retarded

VP cache > North cache ez
2017-01-27 10:30:06
Atleast someone who is smart enough to realise it
2017-01-27 13:32:04
Striker - HLTV.org
They are okay on it, but not great. (http://www.hltv.org/?pageid=192&teamid=5378&am.. And they didn't pick it even against dignitas when they played in Bucharest and Moscow.
2017-01-27 13:52:06
Thanks atleast you've corrected your argument. Sorry for the hate :-) VP always lost on close Scores Cache due individual mistakes. Not because they ain't good on it. VP was one of the first teams who loved to play cache. You should consider all of their stats sins 2014 :-) Especially if you've to play vs North you shall not pick Mirage and Cobble as we've seen at EPICenter. As VP you need to play Cache and Nuke or otherwise it is probably gonna end rough.
2017-01-27 17:19:20
Striker - HLTV.org
I didn't correct myself :D in the article I said VP aren't great on it. It's completely misleading to look at stats from two years ago, you look at how good they are on it now, in recent matches.
2017-01-27 18:02:10
You simply can not overestimate those Matches at WESG. Especially if you're playing vs a team who doesnt likes to play cache and if you're a team who was always been pretty good on Cache as VP (even if they're shaky on it, if you wanna say it) VP should never to consider to ban or avoid it vs north
2017-01-27 18:51:13
Striker - HLTV.org
You need to understand how some teams, especially the elite ones, think in their vetoes. They don't want to pick maps they're shaky on, no matter how shaky the other team is on it. They pick one they're very confident on.

Post edited 2017-01-27 21:29:59
2017-01-27 21:29:39
If VP is going to pick a Map which North are as good as VP instead of picking a Map which VP is clearly better, than it will end like at EPICCENTER. Sorry Bro I get your point completely but if VP has a chance to play Cache and Nuke then they have to aim for it. Due North is much more dangerous on Cbble and Mirage than on Cache. If VP has the chance to pick a Map which they're clearly better on it than North they'll do it. SO THEY PICKED CACHE BTW GG

Post edited 2017-01-28 00:35:13
2017-01-28 00:28:26
1.70 rating by flamie. Godly
2017-01-27 09:35:00
will metallica perform?
2017-01-27 10:59:40
vp beat north
faze beat sk
vp always lose to faze
faze ez final?
2017-01-27 11:02:25


Grand Finale:
NaVi 60% - VP 40%

That's it
2017-01-27 12:28:54

2017-01-27 13:54:25
Awesome preview. Navi has some sick stats so far.

I was so glad they got Astralis in the way. Even if they win, it wont be easy and they will get a lil shaky!

SK got an easier way going against Faze. If they step up their game, semi finals against VP will be an awesome series AGAIN!
2017-01-27 12:58:32
I think people are overestimating Na'Vi's edge on Astralis. 3 maps is a really small sample size, and we know they've had problems with map pools in the past.
2017-01-27 13:11:56
Why would SK not pick Train vs Faze and instead pick D2? I know Faze were decent at Train at one point but they're not bad at D2 and it favors aim heavy teams.
2017-01-27 15:52:12
they didnt want to risk as you can see they won easily on train
d2 kinda risky all of faze members are doing good on it so are sk but its risky
allu sucks on train etc
2017-01-30 17:36:13
Thats my point train is SKs best map they would have been foolish not to pick it imo.
2017-01-31 09:51:45
Gambit, lez go bro!
2017-01-27 16:36:50

Login or register to add your comment to the discussion.