ESL Pro League Week 1 Recap
With twenty-four matches wrapped up in the third season of ESL's league that offers $750,000 in cash prizes, we take a look at what has taken place, standings, best performances of the week and what lies ahead.
Featuring twenty-four teams divided into two divisions, ESL Pro League's first week contained twenty-four games as the teams played each other twice on the same day. Both Europe and North America hosted appealing matches, including Liquid's debut and Na`Vi's astonishing comeback against Astralis.
Astralis faced Na`Vi on Tuesday to officially kick off the European competition and they picked up de_mirage 16-13 despite Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács's efforts who had a 1.49 rating. The Danes blew up a huge eleven-round lead on de_overpass, allowing Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko & co. to come back from a 2-13 deficit as Na`Vi secured a win with a 16-14 scoreline. Nicolai "device" Reedtz & Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen combined for 61 kills on the second map but they were unable to stop the CIS team as both teams added a win and a loss to their sheet.
Happy had a commanding match against SK
The Frenchmen Kenny "kennyS" Schrub & Vincent "Happy" Schopenhauer's 72 kills in total on de_mirage helped them get past SK in overtime. The second map (de_cbble) saw EnVyUs dominating SK, beating them 16-6 as Happy carried his form over from the first map, having a 27-10 KD and 1.79 rating.
One of the most dominating performances of the first week belonged to Yaman "yam" Ergenekon from Renegades as he led his team to a 16-12 victory on de_train against Enemy with a 2.49 rating and a 42-14 KD in what could only be described as a monstrous show in the opening match of the North American division. Enemy came back at the Australian side who recently made roster changes with one of their own on de_mirage, splitting the two matches.
Renegades' yam chewed Enemy like a gum on the first map
OpTic had a fairly comfortable beginning to their season, defeating AGG twice thanks to Damian "daps" Steele who averaged 1.52 rating on de_train and de_cache, managing to acquire six points in their debut.
Astralis played again on the second match-day, going up against Kévin "Ex6TenZ" Droolans's G2. Just like the first day, the Danish team clinched the first map (de_inferno) 16-10, with four of their players having a rating more than 1.00, but came up short against the French-Belgian team as Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom's thirty-two kills on de_cache was enough to get his team the three points.
Snax has been struggling in 2016
The Polish side Virtus.pro lost to FaZe on de_train and de_mirage, as the fourth best player of 2015 Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski averaged 0,46 rating, letting his team down and only picking up 16 kills in 51 rounds while every single FaZe player but Ricardo "fox" Pacheco had a positive plus/minus figure.
Liquid's recent addition to their roster Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev had 51-41 KD as they faced compLexity on de_cache and de_dust2 with both teams winning a map. The story was the same in the match between Fatih "gob b" Dayik's new team NRG and their opposition Enemy as they exchanged map wins.
Liquid are finally with s1mple
Virtus.pro didn't have a chance to get over their loss from the previous day, losing to the world's best team fnatic in two maps. Na`Vi bent the knee to SK as the Danish youngster Emil "Magisk" Reif had an absolute stellar showing, having an average 1.91 rating in one of his best online matches.
To end the first week, NA presented some of its best teams going against each other. Cloud9 played CLG and grabbed the six points by beating their rivals on de_cbble and de_overpass. The most improved team of the recent tournaments Luminosity finished off Liquid on both maps in a relatively close fashion to conclude the third match-day.
Player of the week: Emil "Magisk" Reif
The up and coming Danish player had a rough evening against EnVyUs but he was able to bounce back and dominate one of the best teams in the world. His great showing on de_cbble with 27-12 KD seemed mediocre after he got 37 kills on the second map.
He had a 68% success rate in opening duels across four maps, which was the highest of the week. He got more than one kill in 53.5% of the rounds, second only to device. A rating of 1.29 and 0.87 kills per round put him in the first place in these categories and earned him the player of the week award.
Team of the week: SK
Despite only going 2-2, the Danes have shown they are not going to be an easy matchup on their rivals' fixture as they beat Na`Vi on two maps and pushed EnVyUs into overtime on de_mirage. Although they won't have a match next week, on week #3, they will go up against fnatic to try and cause another upset. If Magisk can keep up his form, they could be the ultimate upset team of the European division.
What to look forward to next week:
|Feb. 15||Virtus.pro||vs. dignitas|
|Feb. 16||EnVyUs||vs. fnatic|
|Feb. 17||dignitas||vs. NiP|
|Feb. 19||Cloud9||vs. Liquid|
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