Road to the ELEAGUE Major pt. 1

LucasAM
November 4th, 2016 01:09

With the Minor system in full force, we have put together a chronological account of the events leading up to the ELEAGUE Major. This is the first of a two part series, the second of which will be released when all is set and ready for the return to Counter Strike’s biggest stage.

The eight highest placing teams at ESL One Cologne 2016, the second and last Major of 2016, secured their presence at the ELEAGUE Major to take place on January 22 - 29 by making it out of groups in Germany. These are the eight Legends:

Brazil SK Denmark Astralis
Poland Virtus.pro CIS FlipSid3
CIS Natus Vincere United States Liquid
Kazakhstan Gambit Sweden fnatic

The bottom eight teams of the last Major don't have a secured spot at the next one, and with the amount of top teams without Legends status the Main Qualifier is expected to be the most competitive one to date. These eight teams will have a secured spot at the Main Qualifier and will thus not need to take part in the Minor circuit:

Denmark dignitas United States CLG
Sweden NiP North America OpTic
Europe mousesports France EnVyUs
Europe FaZe France G2

With no further ado here is the first part of the two part series of Road to the ELEAGUE Major, where we track the movements of Legends teams as well as the Minor system which will lead up to the ELEAGUE Major Main Qualifier where eight teams will earn their tickets to face the Legends in the next million dollar tournament.

No third Major in 2016, the first roster changes of the season, and new rules for coaches.


SK won both Majors in 2016

The first news regarding the next Major came on August 11, when Valve unexpectedly announced there would not be a third Major this year like there had been in 2014 and 2015. Instead, the tentative dates would be January 2017. This meant SK would remain the sole champions at Major events in 2016 with victories at MLG Columbus and ESL One Cologne.

The second big news of the off-season, after Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev’s transfer to Natus Vincere followed Jacob "Pimp" Winneche moving to Los Angeles to fill s1mple’s vacancy in Liquid, came in as a huge surprise when fnatic and GODSENT swapped three players, which caused fnatic’s Legend status to be transferred to GODSENT.

On August 18, Valve sent out another notice, this time limiting coach’s roles by restricting their ability to speak in-game. In a later blog post, Valve gave more details about the new coaching rules, including the controversial ruling which grants four thirty second timeouts per team.


CIS teams were quick out of the gate with roster changes in the off-season

Despite making it as Legends in Cologne, FlipSid3 decided to change one of their players after 5 – 8 and 7 – 8 finishes at SL i-League StarSeries Season 2 and DreamHack ZOWIE Open Bucharest respectively. On September 21, Oleksandr "Shara" Hordieyev was taken out and in his stead Russia’s hottest prospect Denis "electronic" Sharipov was brought in on a trial basis.

Another Legend team from the CIS region also made moves that same week as Ivan "spaze" Obrezhan got removed from Gambit’s lineup and in his stead Emil "kUcheR" Akhundov was brought on as a stand-in. In early October, however, Dmitry "hooch" Bogdanov would be pushed out of Gambit, leaving the active roster with just three players: Mihail "Dosia" Stolyarov and the Kazakh duo Dauren "AdreN" Kystaubayev and Rustem "mou" Telepov.

ELEAGUE gets the first Major of 2017 and the first Minors are announced


Atlanta will once again be a hub for CS:GO 

On September 27, the big news came out. Many different organizers had put in their bids for the next million dollar Major, but finally it was the newcomers to the scene that won the bid, and ELEAGUE was granted the rights to the next CS:GO Major. The Fox Theatre in Atlanta, GA., was announced as the event’s venue, the smallest since DreamHack Winter 2014.

On October 7 the first of the Minors was announced by PGL, who would be in charge of running the Asia Minor, featuring two invitations to the Major Main Qualifier and $50,000 in prizes on the line. Renegades and TyLoo were directly invited while six teams would play online qualifiers for a chance at playing the LAN in Malaysia.

Three days later PGL also announced the European Minor, which will be held at their Bucharest studios and will also feature two invitations to the Main Qualifier and another $50,000 prizepool.

Immediately invited to the Minor were fnatic and Heroic, followed by invitations to HellRaisers and Space Soldiers. With invited teams taking up half of the slots at the Minor, eleven Top 50 teams protested the decision for invites to be given and brought up the oft discussed idea of unifying the EU & CIS Minors in an open letter to organizers and Valve.

Astralis and karrigan part ways, Gambit revamps their lineup, and Astralis pick-up gla1ve to keep their Legends status for Atlanta


karrigan will have to fight his way back into a Major 

On October 11 Astralis, who had already gone through all sorts of issues to make it as Legends in Cologne—with Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander standing-in for Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye who was ineligible to play the Major with Astralis and coach Danny "zonic" Sørensen once again sitting in the spotlight due to Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen needing emergency surgery mid-tournament—benched their in-game leader Finn "karrigan" Andersen after a slew of bad events for the Danes. Standing-in for the short term was youngster Anton "NoTaN1dgl" Pedersen as Astralis got their affairs in order.

Two weeks after the news of hooch leaving Gambit, the CIS team’s flag would change to a Kazakh one with the inclusion of Tengri’s Abay "HObbit" Khasenov to the team. Hours later, ex-Natus Vincere in-game leader Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko was announced as the fifth and final player, closing Gambit’s roster.


Kjaerbye and gla1ve will play together next Major

With karrigan out of the picture, our very own Milan "Striker" Švejda examined what could happen with Astralis’ Major spot, which as we already mentioned was a particularly special case, depending on their course of action. Ultimately, the Danish team brought back gla1ve, who stood-in for Astralis in their quarterfinal run in Cologne and cements the team's Major presence in Atlanta with his Legend status.

The teams for the Asian and European Minors are set after qualifiers 

With TyLoo and Renegades qualified, the slots were divvied up into one for China, one for East Asia, one for India and the Middle East, one for Oceania, and two for South East Asia. These were the teams that rose to the top of their qualifiers for spots at the Asia Minor in Malaysia:

China TyLoo Australia Renegades
Korea MVP Project Indonesia nxl
Malaysia Fire Dragoon China VG.CyberZen
Australia Athletico United Arab Emirates BOT

The first two teams to qualify in one of the two open qualifiers were ENCE and Epsilon, followed by ALTERNATE aTTaX and LDLC. The four teams will join the four invitees in Bucharest for the European Minor:

Sweden GODSENT Denmark Heroic
Europe HellRaisers Turkey Space Soldiers
Finland ENCE Sweden Epsilon
Germany ALTERNATE aTTaX Europe LDLC

Liquid lose peacemaker and fnatic regain their spot in the Major as KRIMZ and Lekr0 swap back, GODSENT to Minor


KRIMZ was the deciding factor getting fnatic back into the Major after the swap

Liquid, who has been struggling since s1mple’s exit announced on October 22 that Luis “peacemaker” Tadeu would no longer be the team’s coach. Both peacemaker and Liquid’s Victor “Nazugl” Goosens cited disagreements about business principles as the reason the Brazilian coach would no longer be affiliated to the North American team. Steve “Joka” Perino was then brought on to coach the team in the interim while Liquid look for a long term solution.

On October 24 big news came out from Sweden once again. Both fnatic and GODSENT were unhappy with the way their teams were performing, and the they agreed to swap one player back. Thus Jonas "Lekr0" Olofsson headed back to GODSENT while Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson rejoined Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer and Dennis "dennis" Edman as well as old LGB teammate Simon "twist" Eliasson. This means fnatic regained their status as Legends ahead of the Major, while GODSENT will have to participate at the EU Minor in Romania.

Renegades and TyLoo make it out of the Asia Minor, Americas Minor qualifiers revealed, CIS Minor teams set, and EU Minor set to start


TyLoo will try to get China into a Major for the first time

Friday, October 28 was the official kick-off to Minor season, with the Asia Minor in Malaysia getting under way at the same time ESWC was going on in Paris and the ESL Pro League Season 4 Finals were being decided in Brazil. Beating VG.CyberZen in the upper bracket final on Saturday, Renegades were the first team to make it through to the Main Qualifier, followed by TyLoo who also beat VG.CyberZen in the consolidation final for the second and final spot at the Main Qualifier.

The same day the Asia Minor kicked-off, the North American Minor qualifier details were released, as the Major organizers announced they would also be hosting the Minor and its qualifiers. Two open qualifiers will lead to a closed qualifier, where Cloud9, Echo Fox, TSM, and Immortals will be waiting. The four winners of the closed qualifier will then play offline at the ELEAGUE Arena for two spots in December’s Main Qualifier.


DavCost, now with Spirit, will try to make it to another Main Qualifier

On November 2 the CIS Minor closed qualifier—which used a different system than that of the EU Minor with eight teams advancing from an open qualifier to face eight teams invited to a closed qualifier—ended, giving eight teams an invitation to StarLadder’s event in St. Petersburg. The eight qualified teams to the Minor are:

Kazakhstan Tengri Lithuania VwS
Russia s4s Russia Spirit
Russia Quantum Bellator Fire Russia EYESports
Russia ALLIN Kazakhstan zARLANS

Mere hours before the EU Minor kicks off, fnatic announced a last minute transfer in which Joakim "disco doplan" Gidetun is to join the black and orange, meaning Epsilon will have to play with Karl-William "kalle" Haraldsen in his stead at the PGL Studios in Bucharest.


draken broke out at the first Minor in Bucharest with CG, and is back again with Epsilon

The European Minor is set to start tomorrow at 09:00 with the opening match pitting Epsilon and Heroic. Two spots to the Main Qualifier in Atlanta, which will take place on December 15 – 18, are on the line on top of $50,000 in prizes. Check out our preview of the event, here.

As the ELEAGUE Major dates approach, we will release a second part of Road to the ELEAGUE Major to keep everyone informed on everything related to the first Major of 2017.

Teams qualified to the Main Qualifier:

China TyLoo Australia Renegades
Europe Europe Minor #1 Europe Europe Minor #2
CIS CIS Minor #1 CIS CIS Minor #2
North America NA Minor #1 North America NA Minor #2

Key dates:

November 4 - 6: EU Minor
November 6 - 7: Americas Minor (Open Qualifier #2)
November 8 - 9: Americas Minor (Closed Qualifier)
November 11 - 13: CIS Minor
December 3 - 4:  Americas Minor
December 15 - 18: ELEAGUE Major Main Qualifier
January 22 - 29: ELEAGUE Major

Lucas Aznar Miles can be found on twitter @LucasHLTV

Norway Karl-William 'kalle' Haraldsen
Karl-William 'kalle' Haraldsen
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
264
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.14
Sweden Simon 'twist' Eliasson
Simon 'twist' Eliasson
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
755
KPR:
0.77
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.15
Denmark Danny 'zonic' Sørensen
Danny 'zonic' Sørensen
Age:
31
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.75
Maps played:
20
KPR:
0.49
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.11
Russia Ivan 'spaze' Obrezhan
Ivan 'spaze' Obrezhan
Age:
20
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
372
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.72
APR:
0.14
Sweden Joakim 'disco doplan' Gidetun
Joakim 'disco doplan' Gidetun
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
457
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.13
Sweden Jonas 'Lekr0' Olofsson
Jonas 'Lekr0' Olofsson
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.05
Maps played:
430
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.15
Denmark Finn 'karrigan' Andersen
Finn 'karrigan' Andersen
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.95
Maps played:
1096
KPR:
0.65
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.14
Russia Emil 'kUcheR' Akhundov
Emil 'kUcheR' Akhundov
Age:
29
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.97
Maps played:
812
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.15
Denmark Anton 'NoTaN1dgl' Pedersen
Anton 'NoTaN1dgl' Pedersen
Age:
17
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
70
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.72
APR:
0.16
Ukraine Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev
Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev
Age:
20
Rating 1.0:
1.19
Maps played:
662
KPR:
0.84
DPR:
0.70
APR:
0.11
Kazakhstan Rustem 'mou' Telepov
Rustem 'mou' Telepov
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.05
Maps played:
705
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.12
Denmark Markus 'Kjaerbye' Kjærbye
Markus 'Kjaerbye' Kjærbye
Age:
19
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
874
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.15
Ukraine Oleksandr 'Shara' Hordieyev
Oleksandr 'Shara' Hordieyev
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.92
Maps played:
346
KPR:
0.64
DPR:
0.71
APR:
0.14
Kazakhstan Dauren 'AdreN' Kystaubayev
Dauren 'AdreN' Kystaubayev
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
1007
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.16
Kazakhstan Abay 'HObbit' Khasenov
Abay 'HObbit' Khasenov
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
312
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.15
Russia Denis 'electronic' Sharipov
Denis 'electronic' Sharipov
Age:
19
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
413
KPR:
0.77
DPR:
0.70
APR:
0.14
Russia Mihail 'Dosia' Stolyarov
Mihail 'Dosia' Stolyarov
Age:
29
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
1100
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.15
Ukraine Danylo 'Zeus' Teslenko
Danylo 'Zeus' Teslenko
Age:
30
Rating 1.0:
0.95
Maps played:
1036
KPR:
0.66
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.17
Czech Republic Milan 'Striker' Švejda
Milan 'Striker' Švejda
Age:
-
Rating 1.0:
1.30
Maps played:
11
KPR:
0.90
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.13
Denmark Peter 'dupreeh' Rasmussen
Peter 'dupreeh' Rasmussen
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1113
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.15
Sweden Freddy 'KRIMZ' Johansson
Freddy 'KRIMZ' Johansson
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
982
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.62
APR:
0.15
Denmark Jacob 'Pimp' Winneche
Jacob 'Pimp' Winneche
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
970
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.14
Russia Dmitry 'hooch' Bogdanov
Dmitry 'hooch' Bogdanov
Age:
30
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.92
Maps played:
564
KPR:
0.63
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.14
Denmark Lukas 'gla1ve' Rossander
Lukas 'gla1ve' Rossander
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
836
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.17
Sweden Olof 'olofmeister' Kajbjer
Olof 'olofmeister' Kajbjer
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.11
Maps played:
984
KPR:
0.76
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.14
Sweden Dennis 'dennis' Edman
Dennis 'dennis' Edman
Age:
26
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.05
Maps played:
702
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.13
#1
rain | 
United Kingdom shitbruh 
gg
2016-11-04 01:09
#2
 | 
United States SjD 
d
2016-11-04 01:09
#67
 | 
Kazakhstan nuxyjlbka 
European minor teams too strong for other minor teams, but rules is rules.
2016-11-04 11:37
#3
 | 
Sweden Daquan 
ence will win the minor
2016-11-04 01:10
#83
 | 
Slovakia wai7ing 
pls godsent & flusha stickers
2016-11-04 19:35
#4
 | 
United States Tryx[M] 
1
2016-11-04 01:09
2
2016-11-04 01:32
#28
 | 
United States Tryx[M] 
can we not?
2016-11-04 02:20
3
2016-11-04 07:48
#5
BnTeT | 
Other TEEZY 
siqq
2016-11-04 01:09
#6
 | 
United States LiquiddZ 
sweet
2016-11-04 01:09
This page is so lol
2016-11-04 01:10
8th
2016-11-04 01:10
lol
2016-11-04 01:09
#10
 | 
Brazil coachdag3x 
fuck this 3rd world internet, I never will be #1
2016-11-04 01:10
#11
 | 
Syria Gonezxzx 
Hello
2016-11-04 01:10
easy for VP vs sk
2016-11-04 01:11
Man.. those teams who have to qualify looks scary!!! Hope NiP make it through
2016-11-04 01:13
#15
DAVEY | 
Canada josef733 
EU minor is so hard to predict. Team like Attax, LDLC and Epsilon have good chances of getting to the quals.
2016-11-04 01:14
EZ MAJOR WIN FOR ENCE c9 2nd tyloo 3rd
2016-11-04 01:27
#22
 | 
France kennySsSsS 
n1
2016-11-04 01:38
good read
2016-11-04 01:40
#24
 | 
Poland Marcines 
4 spot legends are joke: gambit,flisid3,astralis and liquid.fnatic are also bad lulz so much has changed these times
2016-11-04 01:44
still a great concept imo, but I could settle for 4 legend teams instead of 8.
2016-11-04 02:15
Agree. Valve should require the legend status teams to retain at least 4 original players instead of 3-man core. If you changed 2 players then you should play in qualifer.
2016-11-04 03:06
Flipside 4 man-still bull shit
2016-11-04 06:30
Bo3 win over Nip is legit, stop saying it is a joke
2016-11-04 09:42
"fnatic announced a last minute transfer in which is to join the black and orange" Forgot a "disco doplan" here.
2016-11-04 01:45
+NiP +dignitas +FaZe +G2 +Cloud9 +mousesports +GODSENT +TyLoo
2016-11-04 02:14
-Godsent +EnVy if you want more competitive pool
2016-11-04 02:55
EnVy is shit.
2016-11-04 03:15
#44
 | 
France t3r4byt3 
and GODSENT aren't? lmao
2016-11-04 03:33
Name one event Godsent has done better then nV in recently? nV won gfinity, got to quarterfinals in Starseries with a stand in, got semis in Bucharest, got top 5-6 in EPL finals.
2016-11-04 08:46
Envy has been pretty consistent lately, hate to burst your bubble.
2016-11-04 15:24
#29
 | 
Sweden lagcats 
fking fnatic win dis now
2016-11-04 02:21
Come on Tyloo I Belive, Do You?
2016-11-04 02:23
Tyloo is bootcamping in California right now with several NA and EU teams. They will have a better chance at major this time.
2016-11-04 03:10
Yeah and they have the ibp masters coming up which i know they do good enough to make it to IEM Oakland
2016-11-04 03:18
Tyloo is insane i want to see them in major but the offline qualifier is stacked as fuck. They would need some crazy upsets to make it out.
2016-11-04 07:37
#31
 | 
United States lybrel 
Who is even still on CLG?
2016-11-04 02:39
You can literally see.
2016-11-04 02:42
He's saying that there are no important/good players left
2016-11-04 02:55
Well, thats obvious.
2016-11-04 02:56
ez 4 ence
2016-11-04 02:45
Too bad no South Americas Qualifier again...
2016-11-04 03:10
dont need one....not good enough yet. Wesg was prime example of that.
2016-11-04 08:43
Excuse me, but our top teams are recking the world, what are you talking about? In less than a year we had a 2 times Major winner... and with Immortals a solid Top15.If we got the chances (that's why I said my first comment) we deff. will be topping the world. No doubt. Otherwise what you called that it took +10 years for a NA team to win something in CS? We got the mindset, but we don't have the chances.
2016-11-04 09:47
Yah, and you don't have the chances because you don't have the players/teams. Stop saying 'we'.
2016-11-04 15:25
cloud9 best team
2016-11-04 03:12
wheres cloud9 guys?
2016-11-04 03:43
#46
 | 
Brazil LukkasYuki 
Ez 4 Sk
2016-11-04 03:53
#47
 | 
Indonesia jouningakurey 
gambit.f3,fnatic is legends? lul
2016-11-04 04:57
astralis legends flipside legends gambit legends liquid legends fnatic legends Hehe
2016-11-04 06:18
#52
 | 
Indonesia jouningakurey 
liquid got finals before with s1mple maybe its okay they put on the list but f3,gambit.astralis? envy and nip is better
2016-11-04 07:29
gambit flipsid3 astralis liquid LUL
2016-11-04 05:37
Gambit astralis flipside liquid legends lul This system is so fucked up
2016-11-04 06:54
Why is VWS allowed to play in CIS region?
2016-11-04 08:18
whats wrong with VWS they are allowed cause we are living near Russian etc so we classifed to CIS region :) hype iz real
2016-11-06 12:28
teams that will qualify envy nip faze mouz c9 optic dignitas g2
2016-11-04 08:52
#59
Albania ^aj 
So this means Valve is sticking by their terrible 4x 30s timeout rule for the Major? :(
2016-11-04 08:55
LOL WHY AMERICANOS? TIER 5. ITS WEIRD THAT ASIAN GAMERS ARE THE BEST BUT IN CS THEY SUCK
2016-11-04 09:48
the qualifier itself is like a tier 1-2 tournament almost lol
2016-11-04 09:55
#65
 | 
Poland mamba99999 
Tyloo stickers incomming PogChamp.
2016-11-04 10:01
#68
 | 
Netherlands Funtobedavid 
Hopfully fnatic will win
2016-11-04 12:27
GJ
2016-11-04 13:11
Flipside is a wasted spot. Just kick them out right away
2016-11-04 13:35
Flipside gambit liquid... What a was te of legend status..this depicts the csgo elite status in summer (the famous sk era lmao). Lets hope that in this tournament the legends will be the absolute best teams
2016-11-04 14:21
These teams got legends because of shit groups in major, and having 4-5 bot teams in legends, we will have at least 1 easy group. Easy group = easy legends = bot teams in legends. God fucking damnit.
2016-11-04 14:38
#79
 | 
Serbia ZAG0R 
Nothing about cloud 9 ?
2016-11-04 15:03
i really appreciate this article since i havent been following the news scene in cs go for a long time. I didnt even know eleague was hosting the next major so thanks for the news!
2016-11-04 16:48
as Zews is much likely returning to coach SK, this major should be pretty easy for SK. And then you'll see a new era in CS GO, as the brazilians will be the second team in CS GO history to win 3 majors in a row. Everybody had doubts on LG at Columbus. Nobody believed that the newly acquired SK lineup and former LG could win two in a row. And both times we, brazilians, did it. And now once again nobody believes SK could make a ''major hat trick'' (despite they are the dominant team in 2016 and have been top 1 for a long time... weird, isn't it?), and once again, we will. Wait and you shall see. (I say we, because I feel like the 5 boys are representing all of us as a nation)
2016-11-04 20:56
VWS HYPE !!!!!!!!!!
2016-11-06 12:27
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