ELEAGUE S2 Group C preview

With the third group at ELEAGUE set to start we bring you a preview of the action that will take place this weekend in Atlanta - where SK Gaming, Natus Vincere, Astralis and ALTERNATE aTTaX will be looking for a place in the playoffs.

After mousesports and FaZe took the two spots from group A and Virtus.pro and NiP joined them from group B, it's time for the third ELEAGUE group to take place.

Each group features four teams that will compete in a GSL format, with BO1 matches for the winner side of the bracket and BO3's for the elimination and decider matches.

Out of the four teams only two will advance to the playoffs—and with SK and Natus Vincere in the mix group C seems like the most straightforward one yet.

Natus Vincere

Age Rating
Ukraine Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev  19 1.15
Slovakia Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács 25 1.03
Russia Egor "flamie" Vasilyev 19 0.97
Ukraine Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev 28 0.92
Russia Denis "seized" Kostin 22 0.85


 * Ratings are from the past three months

s1mple’s journey with the CIS powerhouse started at SL i-League StarSeries Season 2 where Natus Vincere was eliminated in last place—losing to TYLOO and Astralis in the group stage. After a rocky start, the CIS team went on to take the title at the next event they attended—ESL One New York. 

The success came after a month of practice and s1mple taking over the secondary AWP role from seized. The team looked much better in New York than in it did Kiev and then followed it up with another good showing at EPICENTER: Moscow where they finished 3-4th.

However, the team doesn’t look as well rounded and stable as it did in the Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko era earlier this year.

There are a couple of key differences in today’s Natus Vincere: flamie and GuardiaN are no longer the consistent duo that performs each game, but instead go big from time to time to complement the main star of the team - s1mple.


Natus Vincere build their game around s1mple 

Out of the two more supportive players, Edward’s contribution didn’t change that much, but seized’ rating has dropped from a strong 1.08 in early September to now an all-time low of 0.84—showing the Russian’s struggles in adapting to the IGL role.

Natus Vincere seem to be one of the teams that was hit the hardest with the Valve coaching rule change: flamie’s drop in consistency is probably connected to Sergey "starix" Ischuk not being able to give him input mid-round—which was rumored to be a big part of the youngster’s rise to stardom this yearand seized dropped individually in an attempt to take over calling from their experienced coach.

However, Natus Vincere’s biggest problem at the moment is actually their very weak map pool: they don’t play Cache, have an extremely bad Cobblestone and have just started to play Nuke—but are still not considered a strong team on the map.

Their "Get Out of Jail Free card" is that the group stage of ELEAGUE features BO1’s in the winner’s side of the bracket, potentially allowing the CIS side to go through to the playoffs without having to play some of their weaker maps.

Natus Vincere start ELEAGUE with a match against SK where they should be favorites due to stronger recent form, even more so if they manage to avoid SK’s Train.

If they end up losing the opener, they might find themselves in some map pool troubles in the BO3 games, but with Astralis and ALTERNATE aTTaX as potential opponents—they won’t be sweating too much.

s1mple’s journey with the CIS powerhouse started with a  LAN debut at SL i-League StarSeries Season 2 where Natus Vincere was eliminated in last place - losing to TYLOO and Astralis in the group stage. After a rocky start, the CIS team went on to take the title at the next event they attended - ESL One New York. 
The success came after a month more of practice and s1mple taking over the secondary AWP role from seized. The team looked much better in  New York than in it did Kiev and then followed it up with another good showing at EPICENTER: Moscow where they finished 3-4th. However, the team doesn’t look as well rounded and stable as it did in the Zeus era earlier this year.
There are a couple of key differences in today’s Natus Vincere: flamie and GuardiaN are no longer the consistent duo that perform each game, but instead go big from time to time to complement the main star of the team - s1mple. Out of the two more supportive players, Edward’s contribution didn’t change that much, but seized’ rating has dropped from a strong 1.08 in early September to now an all-time low of 0.84 - showing the Russian’s struggles in adapting to the IGL role.
Natus Vincere seem to be one of the teams that were hit the hardest with the Valve coaching rule change: flamie’s drop in consistency might be connected to starix not being able to give him input mid-round - which was rumored to be a big part of the youngster’s rise to stardom this year - and seized dropped individually in an attempt to take over calling and accommodate s1mple in the team.
However, Natus Vincere’s biggest problem at the moment is actually their very weak map pool - they don’t play Cache, have an extremely bad Cobblestone and have just started to play Nuke, but are still not considered a strong team on the map. Their “Get Out of Jail Free card” is that the group stage of ELEAGUE features BO1’s in the winner’s side of the bracket, potentially allowing the CIS side to go through to the playoffs without having to play some of their weaker maps.
Natus Vincere start ELEAGUE with a match against SK where they should be favorites due to stronger recent form, especially if they manage to avoid SK’s Train. If they lose, they could find themselves in some map pool troubles in the BO3 games, but with Astralis and ALTERNATE aTTaX in their group - they won’t be sweating too much.
Astralis

Age Rating
Denmark Nicolai "device" Reedtz 21 1.13
Denmark Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye  18 1.10
Denmark Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen  23 1.07
Denmark Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander 21 0.98
Denmark Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth 21 0.98

A couple of months of abysmal results are behind Astralis, as the once elite team finished 3-4th at Power LAN, 5-8th at SL i-League Season 2, 7th at ESL One New York and 9-12th at WESG EU&CIS finals.

With results like that, a change had to comewe saw the departure of Finn "karrigan" Andersen and the acquisition of gla1vewho will take over the IGL role after playing under Marco "Snappi" Pfeiffer in Heroic for quite some time now.

Astralis will have their first offline experience with gla1ve at ELEAGUE, and with only a few online games played since the pickup, little is known about how Astralis plays or what we can expect from them. From what little we have seen, gla1ve didn’t bring an instantaneous boost to Astralis’ performance, and it’s hard to see them hitting a much higher form here.

The Danes open up the group with a BO1 against ALTERNATE aTTaX—a must-win match—and then have two top5 teams to face off against to make it to the playoffs.

Even though Natus Vincere’s map pool is pretty slim, Astralis can’t possibly be more prepared than them with gla1ve being in their roster for only about two weeks.


Has gla1ve had enough time with Astralis to prepare his team for ELEAGUE?

Historically, Astralis has been good on Mirage, Dust2 and Train, but it’s hard expect them playing Train against either Natus Vincere or SK who are both one of the best teams on the map.

Astralis have also tried out Nuke in the past, but their only result on it with gla1ve has been a 16-4 loss to Envy—so it’s hard to see them using it as a pocket pick against any of the teams here.

In the end, Astralis have little to lose in Atlanta, but their matches at ELEAGUE could give us a good indication on how the team is progressing under new leadership.

ALTERNATE aTTaX

Age Rating
Germany Kevin "keev" Bartholomäus  24 1.19
Germany Christian "crisby" Schmitt 24 1.00
Germany Oliver "kzy" Heck 26 0.99
Germany Florian "syrsoN" Rische 20 0.98
Germany Tizian "tiziaN" Feldbusch 20 0.98

After a title at ESWC 2016, ALTERNATE aTTaX went back to their old LAN ways and bombed out of the PGL EU Minor in 7-8th place after losses to Space Soldiers and GODSENT.

Even though the losses weren’t as one sided as the ones at WESG EU&CIS, it does show that their ESWC title was more down to a fortunate bracket draw and upsets all over the tournament than brilliant play from the Germans.

ALTERNATE aTTaX’s main problem still remains the lack of firepower—except their AWPer keev, there is no-one who can consistently put up numbers and hold his own against teams from the top 15 of the world rankings. That makes ALTERNATE aTTaX a team that lives and dies on keev’s performances and good momentum—if they don’t get the economy rolling it’s hard for them to save money and come back into matches.


Can crisby be the one to step up and help aTTaX get a win at ELEAGUE?

Their biggest positive may be that they have been together long enough to have a lot of stuff prepared coming into the group stage of ELEAGUE, so expect some interesting boosts and off-meta setups—something that has defined ALTERNATE aTTaX in the past.

Even with tricks like that up their sleeve, it's hard to see the Germans achieving anything more than maybe a BO1 upset over Astralis in the opening match.

SK

Age Rating
Brazil Marcelo "coldzera" David  22 1.24
Brazil Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo 25 1.13
Brazil Lincoln "fnx" Lau 26 1.05
Brazil Fernando "fer" Alvarenga 25 1.04
Brazil Epitacio "TACO" de Melo 21 1.01

The Brazilians are in a weird spot at the moment as their brilliant run in the first half of 2016 has been followed by three tournaments in which they couldn’t pick up the title, but finished with respectable placings.

Their first LAN after the summer break was ESL One New York, where they ended up 3-4th. After that, SK flew to Moscow for EPICENTER, where they once again ended 3-4th—losing to Virtus.pro 2-1, just as in New York.

In their most recent tournament, FalleN and co. had the opportunity to lift a trophy on home soil, but after beating NiP in the semi-finals of ESL Pro League Season 4 Finals SK wasn’t able to defeat Cloud9—who were powered by an in-form Timothy "autimatic" Ta.

In the grand final match, SK made an impressive comeback on the first map, Overpass, but looked out of sync and not on-par with the individual skill of the North Americans on the following two.

That, combined with the uncharacteristic lack of composure in closing out rounds where they have advantages seem to be the cause of SK’s problems at the moment.


SK haven't won a title since their summer break

SK's map pool is similar to that of Natus Vincere in that they don’t play Cache and have yet to impress on Nuke. However, SK can play Cobblestone and are probably the best team in the world on Train—so even though the CIS side might be more dangerous at the moment, SK could easily end up in an advantageous situation if they do the veto right.

SK are no longer the dominant team that regularly wins titles, but they are still a pretty scary squad that is looking good to make it out of the groups in Atlanta.

Professeur writes for HLTV.org and can be found on Twitter.

Brazil Marcelo 'coldzera' David
Marcelo 'coldzera' David
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.19
Maps played:
1086
KPR:
0.80
DPR:
0.61
APR:
0.12
Brazil Epitacio 'TACO' de Melo
Epitacio 'TACO' de Melo
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.94
Maps played:
996
KPR:
0.62
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.12
Slovakia Ladislav 'GuardiaN' Kovács
Ladislav 'GuardiaN' Kovács
Age:
28
Rating 1.0:
1.12
Maps played:
1450
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.62
APR:
0.11
Denmark Markus 'Kjaerbye' Kjærbye
Markus 'Kjaerbye' Kjærbye
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.05
Maps played:
1329
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.15
Russia Denis 'seized' Kostin
Denis 'seized' Kostin
Age:
25
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.99
Maps played:
1224
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.15
Denmark Marco 'Snappi' Pfeiffer
Marco 'Snappi' Pfeiffer
Age:
29
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.97
Maps played:
1110
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.13
Denmark Andreas 'Xyp9x' Højsleth
Andreas 'Xyp9x' Højsleth
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
1580
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.61
APR:
0.17
United States Timothy 'autimatic' Ta
Timothy 'autimatic' Ta
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
987
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.14
Germany Florian 'syrsoN' Rische
Florian 'syrsoN' Rische
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1090
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.10
Ukraine Ioann 'Edward' Sukhariev
Ioann 'Edward' Sukhariev
Age:
31
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
1414
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.13
Germany Tizian 'tiziaN' Feldbusch
Tizian 'tiziaN' Feldbusch
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.99
Maps played:
1119
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.13
Ukraine Danylo 'Zeus' Teslenko
Danylo 'Zeus' Teslenko
Age:
32
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.92
Maps played:
1400
KPR:
0.63
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.17
Denmark Peter 'dupreeh' Rasmussen
Peter 'dupreeh' Rasmussen
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1523
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.14
Brazil Gabriel 'FalleN' Toledo
Gabriel 'FalleN' Toledo
Age:
28
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1158
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.60
APR:
0.11
Germany Kevin 'keev' Bartholomäus
Kevin 'keev' Bartholomäus
Age:
28
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
594
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.09
Germany Christian 'crisby' Schmitt
Christian 'crisby' Schmitt
Age:
27
Rating 1.0:
0.95
Maps played:
1078
KPR:
0.66
DPR:
0.71
APR:
0.13
Denmark Nicolai 'device' Reedtz
Nicolai 'device' Reedtz
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.17
Maps played:
1403
KPR:
0.79
DPR:
0.62
APR:
0.13
Russia Egor 'flamie' Vasilyev
Egor 'flamie' Vasilyev
Age:
22
Rating 1.0:
1.05
Maps played:
1239
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.14
Brazil Lincoln 'fnx' Lau
Lincoln 'fnx' Lau
Age:
29
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
504
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.17
Denmark Finn 'karrigan' Andersen
Finn 'karrigan' Andersen
Age:
29
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.93
Maps played:
1543
KPR:
0.63
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.13
Ukraine Sergey 'starix' Ischuk
Sergey 'starix' Ischuk
Age:
31
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.97
Maps played:
574
KPR:
0.66
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.14
Brazil Fernando 'fer' Alvarenga
Fernando 'fer' Alvarenga
Age:
28
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.10
Maps played:
1146
KPR:
0.76
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.16
Denmark Lukas 'gla1ve' Rossander
Lukas 'gla1ve' Rossander
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
1246
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.17
Germany Oliver 'kzy' Heck
Oliver 'kzy' Heck
Age:
29
Rating 1.0:
0.95
Maps played:
878
KPR:
0.64
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.14
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
 | 
Sweden cute! 
Like CTFU world on facebook dot com
2016-11-10 23:08
EASY FOR GABEN
2016-11-10 23:08
EZ4ALLU #RUNallu
2016-11-10 23:52
#24
 | 
Japan Th3Koala 
Ehh, i'm god of first reply on first comment, good job lexz0
2016-11-10 23:09
cool
2016-11-10 23:08
Close
2016-11-10 23:09
i will come back stronger
2016-11-10 23:12
on a good day ill be #1. already did it twice.
2016-11-10 23:12
i made it like 10x
2016-11-10 23:18
#3
 | 
Norway RealSlimShady 
Rain top 1
2016-11-10 23:08
ez
2016-11-10 23:07
1
2016-11-10 23:07
#7
 | 
Sweden Holsik83 
1
2016-11-10 23:07
k
2016-11-10 23:07
ez for navi
2016-11-10 23:08
k
2016-11-10 23:08
n1
2016-11-10 23:08
gogo
2016-11-10 23:08
#13
meesHa | 
Lithuania pahmiel 
+1
2016-11-10 23:08
#14
KRIMZ | 
Sweden magrob 
wow
2016-11-10 23:08
#15
 | 
Brazil R_ananias 
SK wins
2016-11-10 23:08
1
2016-11-10 23:08
#17
 | 
Czech Republic fnx_2_majors 
who cares
2016-11-10 23:08
#18
 | 
Poland kiero 
ok
2016-11-10 23:08
#19
 | 
Argentina func_wall 
Nice... poor aTTaX tho
2016-11-10 23:08
nice
2016-11-10 23:08
kys my 3rd worlder internet (literally took like 7 sec to wait for the page to load
2016-11-10 23:08
#37
 | 
Poland mamba99999 
You forgot the ")" at the end of your comment.
2016-11-10 23:22
yeah i noticed that, didn't wanna edit ;>
2016-11-10 23:52
Asstralis, lol :)
2016-11-10 23:08
#26
 | 
France France98123 
cant wait for SK vs attax Kreygasm (will be close game)
2016-11-10 23:08
in the decider match !
2016-11-10 23:52
#30
 | 
Japan Th3Koala 
Seized worst rating? Wtf
2016-11-10 23:13
#31
 | 
Denmark clutchkongen 
rip astralis :S
2016-11-10 23:15
We dint really care about the attax team I mean come on
2016-11-10 23:19
BRAZIL VS GERMANY Kreygasm
2016-11-10 23:20
#35
 | 
Poland mamba99999 
Hmm, automatic's surname is Ta, interresting.
2016-11-10 23:21
SK and NaVi will win
2016-11-10 23:22
#38
 | 
Brazil NeymarJunior 
If Na'Vi starts the veto: Na'Vi removed Cache SK removed Dust2 Na'Vi removed Cobblestone SK removed Mirage Na'Vi removed Train Nuke or Overpass In this scenario i think Na'Vi has an edge because they've beaten Dignitas on nuke @ EPICENTER, but i'm not sure about how good both teams are, since they only lost to the very best teams on that map (NIP and VP). If SK starts the veto: SK removed Dust2 Na'Vi removed Cache SK removed Nuke Na'Vi removed Cobblestone SK removed Mirage Overpass or Train If it goes like this SK should win the match, but it would be a really close one since both teams are gr8 on these maps.
2016-11-10 23:39
Great analysis! btw,I think only Overpass will be a close game. IMO, SK is much better on train and Na'Vi is much better on Nuke.
2016-11-10 23:59
#44
 | 
Brazil NeymarJunior 
I mean, SK's train is on another level rn but i wouldn't be surprised if navi beat them on it, but it depends on how guardian will play, because fallen is always on point playing bombsite A train and the awpers need to deliver in this map. I'm not sure about nuke because, as I said, the two teams only lost to the best nuke teams (VP and NIP) i think navi has an edge on that map but nothing like SK has on train. For overpass I expect a rly close match.
2016-11-11 00:06
train is the best map for both teams
2016-11-11 15:45
but that's pretty much what they say lol
2016-11-11 15:54
#48
 | 
Brazil NeymarJunior 
Nope, it says navi's best map is overpass, not train like you said.
2016-11-11 15:57
try to watch some maps live than. Stats won't show u the truth allwayse
2016-11-11 16:03
#50
 | 
Brazil NeymarJunior 
That's why I said that's not what stats say, but I highly doubt navi is as good as SK on train
2016-11-11 16:05
Attax need to 7 rounds to beat echo fox ;d
2016-11-10 23:50
ez for favela
2016-11-11 16:34
#52
 | 
Turkey KacaKTV 
Go NaVi
2016-11-11 19:27
Rip NaVi
2016-11-13 03:08
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