The big CEVO-P S7 Finals storylines

In this brief article we take a look at some of the key storylines heading into this weekend's CEVO Professional Season 7 Finals in Columbus, OH, USA.

Despite the event now lacking multiple top teams that previously signed on, it still features three of the world's best eight or so teams, and a couple of interesting challengers.

Na`Vi, Cloud9 and Virtus.pro should light some fireworks in Columbus, while the likes of CLG, Liquid and mousesports will be attempting to prove what they hope to be capable of.

All in all, CEVO Professional Season 7 Finals could still be a solid event. Below are the major storylines to keep in mind and look for as the tournament kicks off tomorrow.

One of the big screens

Who will prevail at the second MLG-related event of 2015? 


Can any new Americans step up to the plate?

Cloud9 has proven to be one of the world's best teams in its current form, there is little question about it. Liquid already scored best-of-one wins over Natus Vincere and fnatic in the spring, and CLG's scorecard includes names such as Titan, HellRaisers, fnatic and Keyd Stars. Those three can be expected to challenge the Europeans, but the best-of-three group stages make it a whole lot more interesting, as a win there would be significantly more important, and more impressive. CEVO Finals offer the North Americans another chance to show what they are made of.

The team now famously led by Sean "seang@res" Gares are now clearly favored to top group A, which means we will finally see Cloud9 play from the position of a favorite, as oppposed to the perennial underdogs they're used to being. They should be able to clear the waters of CLG, Liquid and mousesports without issues, but at the same time, all of those teams can be dangerous on the right day. For CLG and Liquid, group A will be a chance to prove they can compete with Cloud9, or mousesports. One of them must be going home, and I would expect two. 

In addition to the top three teams of North America, we have Luminosity. Ever since adding Jonatan "Devilwalk" Lundberg in a move that made little sense to an outsider, the team has been practicing in order to try to get the team in shape. They still have not had much time - and their ESWC campaign was disappointing. But it has been roughly ten days, and the clock is ticking. They need results. Tempo Storm will be competing with Luminosity for that one win in group B, and it would not shock me if Shahzeb "ShahZaM" Khan's team prevailed -- and took home $5,000, the difference between the last finishes.


flowsicK's Liquid are among the North American hopefuls 


Will Virtus.pro break out of their slump?

Following the anemic, at best, grand final loss to fnatic at Gfinity Spring Masters II, Virtus.pro have had some issues with their performance. They went out in 5-6th place at Gfinity Summer Masters I, getting knocked out by the upcoming mousesports team, and crashed out in 7-8th place at the most recent FACEIT Stage 2 Finals in Valencia. In between they also put up a valiant 2-0 effort in ESL ESEA group stage, before ultimately falling short against the world's very best team in the semi-finals -- not a bad showing at all.

Virtus.pro have always been a team - dating back to the Counter-Strike 1.6 days of Filip "NEO" Kubski and Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas - who has an incredibly high ceiling, yet a deep basement, in their level of play. They have almost always been inconsistent enough to record their share of group stage exits, yet capable of bouncing back the next week with a major tournament win, or vice versa. It is possible CEVO Finals may be another low-point in their history, with the major looming a month from now a clear priority. But like last year at Gfinity 3, they would probably prefer feeling good going into it.

Despite getting knocked out in super disappointing matches versus mousesports and Kinguin - with a 0-16 score on the decider, de_cache - at two of their most recent three tournaments, this team is still dangerous. They once again beat TSM online this week, prompting TSM's René "cajunb" Borg to state they always underperform versus Virtus -- as if match-ups simply did not exist. The ability is still there, the Poles simply need to find a way to summon it more frequently. It has been a while since the legitimate last Virtus.plow-like performance.

For the Poles, this tournament breaks out perfectly. They have two clearly inferior opponents in the group stage, both of whom they will take on in best-of-three series. In addition, by virtue of sharing a group with Na`Vi, it guarantees them they cannot face them in the semi-finals. Jarosław "pashaBiceps" Jarząbkowski's team could beat two weak North Americans, and then defeat mousesports - a team they are favored against - and make the grand final. And that might be exactly what the doctor ordered. Fans know this team could use a pick-me-up before ESL One Cologne.


Snax's team are hoping to end their run of disappointing finishes 


Is mousesports actually a top team?

mousesports's results online were couraging in the spring, as Fatih "gob b" Dayik's team scored wins over the likes of EnVyUs, Titan, and even TSM. In June they added Na`Vi's scalps to their collection. Then, at the end of June, they had their breaking out party. At Gfinity Summer Masters I, Johannes "nex" Maget's fragging led mouz to two wins over Virtus.pro, a three-map series versus EnVyUs, and a damn near opening map win in their playoff game against NiP. Not a bad track record at all.

Since then the Germans have... Well, not so much. They have beaten the likes of HellRaisers, PENTA and Titan online, but also lost against EnVyUs, 1337, a Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev-less FlipSid3, and a Jacob "Pimp" Winneche-less dignitas. All of a sudden one could easily think that it was Gfinity that was the fluke, and the online results are closer to mousesports's real level -- and that may actually be the case, too. The key here is this; we do not yet know how good mousesports is. Are they a top team? This weekend will give us a chance to find out.

If they are, then they should, especially given gob b's preparation, have no issues at least taking down Liquid and CLG en route to a semi-finals spot. From there on out, everything would be a bonus. Defeating Cloud9 in the groups, or playing well in the playoffs, could push them towards the next level. On the other hand, a group stage exit would be devastating. The performance of Chris "chrisJ" de Jong's squad will set the tone for what we should and can expect from Germany's lone hope in Counter-Strike next month at ESL One Cologne.


Is gob b's mousesports a real top team? 


Can Cloud9 win a title on their homesoil?

After three of the unlikeliest runners-up finishes for Cloud9, we will see if they can finally - from nearly being a favorite to win it all, though not quite - clinch an actual championship to end their busy July. Their run this month has been nothing short of miraculous. They were not favored to make the playoffs at ESL ESEA Finals, not many expected that form to continue at ESWC, and when paired up with fnatic at FACEIT Stage 2 Finals last week, they definitely should have been knocked out. Yet they were not.

This team has clearly found something that works for them. Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham is playing out of his mind, Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert has remained the best offline pistol player in 2015 and Mike "shroud" Grzesiek has shown signs of breaking through. Ryan "freakazoid" Abadir has turned life around after the disastrous - and now almost entirely forgotten - best-of-three series versus EnVyUs at Gfinity, and seang@res has turned into a fan-favorite with his calling ability, thanks mostly to ESL ESEA's POV streams.

Cloud9 has thrived from the position of being an underdog. This time, it won't really be the case. They are favored to take down CLG, and either Liquid or mousesports, to top group A. Semi-finals are where it gets interesting. Despite their form, it's not exactly impossible to lose to either Na`Vi or Virtus.pro. Yet, a victory over either, and another spot in the grand final, would show the kind of consistency no North American CS:GO team has ever shown to be capable of.

Whether CEVO Finals wind up being the one Cloud9 finally wins or not, this squad is a top team, and should be considered one of the favorites to make the semi-finals at ESL One Cologne -- though the poor seeding system makes it much harder for them. They are home, and it is the last stretch of a long month with four trips across the pond, and it might be just a little too easy to not take this one as seriously. We will see if Cloud9 can finally get over the hump, and lift the $30,000 check on Sunday.


Will Skadoodle's team finally get that elusive championship? 


CEVO Professional Season 7 Finals will kick off tomorrow with a pre-game show going live at 22:45. We will be releasing our official viewer's guide for the event today.

HLTV.org are on-site in Columbus, OH, USA, to once again provide you with full coverage of the $75,000 tournament including galleries, statistics, hot matches, and more.

Follow HLTV.org's @lurppis_ on Twitter.

United States Ryan 'freakazoid' Abadir
Ryan 'freakazoid' Abadir
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
783
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.15
Poland Wiktor 'TaZ' Wojtas
Wiktor 'TaZ' Wojtas
Age:
33
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.98
Maps played:
1786
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.13
United States Shahzeb 'ShahZaM' Khan
Shahzeb 'ShahZaM' Khan
Age:
26
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
956
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.10
Denmark René 'cajunb' Borg
René 'cajunb' Borg
Age:
29
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
1448
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.63
APR:
0.13
Poland Filip 'NEO' Kubski
Filip 'NEO' Kubski
Age:
32
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.97
Maps played:
1681
KPR:
0.66
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.17
Germany Fatih 'gob b' Dayik
Fatih 'gob b' Dayik
Age:
32
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.85
Maps played:
975
KPR:
0.56
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.13
Netherlands Chris 'chrisJ' de Jong
Chris 'chrisJ' de Jong
Age:
29
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
1464
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.11
United States Jordan 'n0thing' Gilbert
Jordan 'n0thing' Gilbert
Age:
29
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
813
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.15
United States Tyler 'Skadoodle' Latham
Tyler 'Skadoodle' Latham
Age:
26
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
1047
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.59
APR:
0.11
Denmark Jacob 'Pimp' Winneche
Jacob 'Pimp' Winneche
Age:
24
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
976
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.14
Sweden Jonatan 'Devilwalk' Lundberg
Jonatan 'Devilwalk' Lundberg
Age:
28
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.86
Maps played:
400
KPR:
0.58
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.16
Germany Johannes 'nex' Maget
Johannes 'nex' Maget
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1044
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.15
United States Sean 'seang@res' Gares
Sean 'seang@res' Gares
Age:
31
Rating 1.0:
0.88
Maps played:
713
KPR:
0.59
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.14
Canada Mike 'shroud' Grzesiek
Mike 'shroud' Grzesiek
Age:
25
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
676
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.14
Poland Jarosław 'pashaBiceps' Jarząbkowski
Jarosław 'pashaBiceps' Jarząbkowski
Age:
31
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
1592
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.13
Ukraine Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev
Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev
Age:
22
Rating 1.0:
1.23
Maps played:
1060
KPR:
0.85
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.10
#1
 | 
Reunion dklinh 
cloud 9 ez :D
2015-07-23 14:22
YES GG :D
2015-07-23 14:30
Cloud9... but not too ez
2015-07-23 14:56
Omg, this dude again faking he has a clue. I've read only about VP and it was pure cringe how he has no idea about actual CS. I will not bother with rest. Last time he banned me for 1 week for critique but i will try again despite it. "In between they also put up a valiant 2-0 effort in ESL ESEA group stage, before ultimately falling short against the world's very best team in the semi-finals -- not a bad showing at all." Not bad? Lol. It was terrible! LG is tier 3 and for c9 VP is the worst match up. About losing to fnatic 1-2 who is in very bad form is also a big fail. VP was just lucky at ESLESEA (btw. fnatic too) "It is possible CEVO Finals may be another low-point in their history. But like last year at Gfinity 3, they would probably prefer feeling good going into it." Wow, You just said: VP can win or they can lose in groups. GJ. "this team is still dangerous. They once again beat TSM online this week[...] the Poles simply need to find a way to summon it more frequently." Who cares the match was meaningless and TSM was again on vacation break so they throwed the match as they dont have time to play another stages anyway. "Jarosław "pashaBiceps" Jarząbkowski's team" Is the author another mad fankid of pasha who doesnt see pasha is the problem? The question should be: How will VP try to manage pasha's cs impotence this time? as this is the most interesting aspect of following VP now. They do constant changes related to pasha. How to put him to the least important positions. They moved him from entry to lurk(with snax) and from mid to flanks. He doesnt mess their team play but he still dies first and later fails in almost all clutches. How will VP try to solve this? This is the interesting question. Anyone who think VP is able to win anything now(with this pasha problem unsolved) is delusional like Lurpiss.
2015-07-23 16:01
Printscreen'd just in case lurpiss decides to ban you and remove this
2015-07-23 16:19
your post is pure cringe, just some butthurt VP fanboy ranting about stuff no one cares about. Nice article as usual lurppis.
2015-07-23 17:05
One word, 'impotence'
2015-07-23 17:17
woop here's the #1 hltv hater
2015-07-23 18:35
Lol Cloud 9 > Normal Cloud
2015-07-23 17:18
#2
Poland miiR 
VP got this
2015-07-23 14:22
since taz is back to igling and neo is now main awp snax is back to dropping 35 bombs per game neo is on point so vp wont lack to guardians and skadoodles awp dumbBiceps has only to get kills with rifles which might be easy for him and depends on byali who likes to drop 30/10 online and 15/20 on lans.
2015-07-23 14:42
It is not. Pasha still lose ~70% of duels, his timings as lurk are off in 70%. Same with clutches. It is almost for VP like playing 4v5. Source about taz being igl now?
2015-07-23 16:06
source for pasha losing 70% of duels?
2015-07-23 16:30
I watch VP and do notes. You want stats? Ok. Last matches: tsm hr hr hr navi kinguin kinguin kinguin tsm tsm tsm dust2 cbble dust2 overpass overpass train dust2 cache train cache mirage 21% 38% 42% 50% 28% 56% 50% 20% 35% 33% 37% 3-11 8-13 10-14 14-14 5-13 18-14 14-14 2-8 7-13 4-8 7-12 He was positive only vs. kinguin on train.
2015-07-23 16:42
Score is everything right? And those aren't notes...you can find that shit on here lol
2015-07-23 16:54
#99
Australia BCP 
if teams were to kick players every time they were in bad form we would see monthly roster changes for just about every team. the scene would be a joke.
2015-07-24 00:15
Nice
2015-07-23 14:22
#5
 | 
Ukraine Marx Garition 
NaVi go go
2015-07-23 14:22
always "scored ONE MAP AGAINST TOP TEAM :OO SO GUD"
2015-07-23 14:23
#17
Barcode | 
Sweden mlns 
I fail to see where it says that. If you're talking about mousesports, he just says "not a bad track record at all"
2015-07-23 14:34
vp vs fnatic
2015-07-23 16:22
Na'Vi to win vs c9 in the finals again
2015-07-23 14:25
#28
 | 
World Vidua 
Na'Vi is likely to meet C9 in semis, so there's that.
2015-07-23 14:49
Which one of them do you mean are "likely" to finish second in their group?
2015-07-23 17:12
c9 pls.
2015-07-23 14:27
I really wanna see mouz perform. I constantly run into them on FFA/FaceIt
2015-07-23 14:29
c9 ez
2015-07-23 14:31
C9EZ
2015-07-23 14:31
#18
 | 
Australia Pocket_Sack 
ayylmao
2015-07-23 14:35
VP has to win his event to rebuild their confidence before Cologne. Otherwise rip in pepperoni and after Cologne roster change.
2015-07-23 14:37
like someone is going to retire? roster change is not what they need. they keep on ignoring other teams setups and strats and rely on themselves and thier skill.
2015-07-23 14:39
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Bla, bla, bla and in the end it always come down to roster changes as it always's been in counter strike. Pasha is obvious choice. In recent online match against TSM they changed setups to hide him a little bit. Maybe it will work out.
2015-07-23 15:34
and who can replace him? michu is not good enough.
2015-07-23 15:41
He is, but not as stand-in. He was always performing good after playing month or more with his team
2015-07-23 15:51
I also think that you can't really judge player for being stand-in in two tournaments. Besides, afair in one torunament he was average but in Moscow he was actually the best in vp.
2015-07-23 15:57
It's your opinion. I think he is already better than pasha and has a lot of potential to improve.
2015-07-23 15:52
vp has really good record against c9 but their form has gone down when c9's gone up. Hope we see this match some stage.
2015-07-23 14:38
vp still beat tsm yesterday, they're not that much out of form
2015-07-23 15:04
Online
2015-07-23 15:14
this
2015-07-23 15:24
#21
 | 
Finland terquie 
ayy lmao
2015-07-23 14:38
mouz <3
2015-07-23 14:40
hltv.org/?pageid=188&teamid=6021&statsfi.. only story line that really matters
2015-07-23 14:43
well, they scored 16 rounds vs Titan. But Titan scored 19 :D
2015-07-23 15:53
LOL :D
2015-07-23 18:11
no no no no :)
2015-07-23 14:44
ez mouzJ
2015-07-23 14:48
#29
 | 
Spain akproxx 
i will cheer for cloud9 navi and vp
2015-07-23 14:52
ez navi
2015-07-23 14:56
According to Zeus's VLOG, Na'vi haven't practised together since their loss to TSM, therefore I would not expect them to win the whole tournament. If they beat VP and lead the group, I can see them making the finals easily.
2015-07-23 15:10
And my dick is 15" according to my vlog done recently.
2015-07-23 15:12
Based on facts.
2015-07-23 15:11
flamie to drops 30 hamburguers
2015-07-23 15:17
#41
Jame | 
Bangladesh NyAn_NeKo 
Lets go c9 <3
2015-07-23 15:40
#43
s1mple | 
Turkey Hemta1 
Ez mouz gob b nex chrisJ denis ayyy
2015-07-23 15:48
lmao what storyline only trash teams except for Na'Vi who're gonna ez win 3-0 C9 rofl what fucking joke the tournamnet how it even go I have no idea, must be monkey or something who talked to into.
2015-07-23 15:55
B8 ISRAEL M8
2015-07-23 16:15
Ez VP
2015-07-23 15:57
VP to stumble again
2015-07-23 16:10
#70
 | 
United Kingdom smoggy:. 
Hoping C9 win and mous can perform outside the German EPS.
2015-07-23 17:01
gogo mouz, school dem muricans
2015-07-23 17:09
"They are favored to take down CLG, and either Liquid or mousesports, to top group A." Why do everyone (not only lurppis) keep insisting that Liquid are better than CLG? It's done to a point where it seems implied that they're a whole tier ahead when imo CLG is clearly a bit better.
2015-07-23 17:20
#95
Canada jKr` 
I would say, they are about the same. They can both beat each other. On lan, Liquid is ahead but not by much.
2015-07-23 22:48
i don't honestly have many thoughts on whether clg or liquid is better, though if i had to choice, i'd say the former. you're misinterpreting that sentence - clg is listed first because cloud9 plays them in the first round.
2015-07-23 23:25
Aah, you were one step ahead then my man. Thanks for replying!
2015-07-24 01:29
mouz <3
2015-07-23 17:35
i think this is the first title for mouz in csgo
2015-07-23 17:53
#88
ptr | 
Poland EvilMack 
Will Virtus.pro break out of their slump? No
2015-07-23 18:25
#89
 | 
Poland FX eXpected 
NaVi and then alot of t2 and t3 teams shit tournament
2015-07-23 18:30
c9 > na'vi 16-0 sit the fuck down
2015-07-24 00:05
#100
 | 
Poland FX eXpected 
c9 won only 1 bo1 agaist navi, when navi won alot of bo3 and bo5 maps, NA fag
2015-07-24 00:19
#93
oskar | 
Europe gatsby__ 
gogo mouz :)
2015-07-23 21:11
Rofl events never near me then the moment I go on vacation for a weekend one literally an hour away comes. GL c9
2015-07-24 00:33
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