EL Major preview: The Favourites

Striker
January 20th, 2017 15:44

Only two days remain before the ELEAGUE Major kicks off with the first round of the Swiss group stage on Sunday, January 22. Here is our third and last part of our preview series, featuring five teams from the top six: Astralis, OpTic, SK, Virtus.pro, and North.

The ELEAGUE Major will take place at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, from January 22-29, with a $1 million prize pool up for grabs once again, as has been the case since MLG Columbus 2016.

This Major will be the first to use the Swiss format in the group stage, which we saw in play at several Main Qualifiers as well as ESL One New York. Teams with the same win-loss record will be randomly matched in each round before they reach three wins (at which point they advance to playoffs) or three losses (and exit the tournament in groups).

The first round match-ups are the following:

Sunday, January 22nd
16:00 Kazakhstan Gambit vs. Denmark North
17:15 Sweden fnatic vs. France G2
18:30 Brazil SK vs. Europe HellRaisers
19:45 Poland Virtus.pro  vs. North America OpTic
21:00 CIS Natus Vincere  vs. Europe mousesports
22:15 United States Liquid vs. France EnVyUs
23:30 Denmark Astralis vs. Sweden GODSENT
00:45 CIS FlipSid3 vs. Europe FaZe

As always, the upcoming Major will be one of the most stacked tournaments of the year, featuring 16 of the top 20 teams according to our ranking.

We've already taken a look at the Underdogs, ranked #16 to #20, as well as the Mid-tier, which features teams from #7 to #14 in our ranking. Now it's time for the top five teams, the Favourites: Astralis, OpTic, SK, Virtus.pro, and North.

* Ratings used are from the past three months on LAN

Astralis (#1) Age Rating
Denmark Nicolai "device" Reedtz 21 1.24
Denmark Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth 21 1.13
Denmark Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye  18 1.13
Denmark Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen  23 1.07
Denmark Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander 21 1.00
Denmark Danny "zonic" Sørensen (coach) 

Astralis rise after the release of Finn "karrigan" Andersen and gla1ve's addition was one of the biggest stories of 2016's last months, as the new in-game leader quickly re-structured the squad that had been struggling during the year.

Under the 21-year-old's leadership, the Danes qualified for ELEAGUE playoffs from first place with a win over SK and proceeded to do well in Oakland. Astralis placed first in their group with four wins in five matches and met the Brazilians again in the semi-finals, but this time Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo's squad had the upper hand in a close series and left Astralis with a 3rd-4th finish.

Only two weeks afterward at ELEAGUE Season 2 playoffs, gla1ve's team took revenge on SK, ending the Brazilians' winning streak on Train in the process. Astralis fell at the hands of OpTic in the final, but it was clear they were improving.


Anders' blind hope might finally pay off

Finally, device and company traveled to Anaheim for ECS Season 2 Finals. They went on to go on one of the most dominating title runs of the year, decimating their group as well as the Lincoln "fnx" Lau-less SK and OpTic in playoffs for their first title in over a year.

Xyp9x started finding a lot more success in his role, similarly to when the original TSM were at the top mid-2015. Kjaerbye was putting more numbers on the board as well, while device continued to be his usual self.

Astralis' trajectory at the end of 2016 puts them in the position of the favorite, in which they haven't been for a very long time. That also means some of the other heavy-hitters will have paid extra attention to how Astralis play, which will put the Danes to a test.

Being the world's best team on Train, one of the very best on Overpass and Dust2, and solid on Cache and Mirage, Astralis will virtually have no bad match-ups at the Major. They also seem to be working on the remaining two maps, which will help them in series against teams who play both well, such as Virtus.pro.

OpTic (#2) Age Rating
Spain Óscar "mixwell" Cañellas  21 1.11
United States Will "RUSH" Wierzba 22 1.08
United States Tarik "tarik" Celik 20 1.07
Canada Keith "NAF" Markovic 19 1.06
Canada Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz  22 1.03

OpTic is another big story of the last quarter of 2016. Their rise began at ESL One New York, where they showed a lot of promise by beating G2 and Astralis as well as taking Virtus.pro to 30 rounds, although it wasn't enough to advance to playoffs.

The stanislaw-led squad then added another 5th-6th finish at Pro League Finals after a quarter-finals loss to Cloud9, and grabbed their first title at a smaller event, Northern Arena Montreal, once again defeating G2.

With a last-place finish at DreamHack Winter, their chances in ELEAGUE playoffs didn't seem very good, but that's when OpTic proved everyone wrong. Passing mousesports and FaZe in comfortable fashion, the GreenWall set their sights on Astralis and beat the odds, taking home a big title alongside $400,000.


RUSH was on impressive form at the end of 2016 

OpTic reached the final at ECS Season 2 as well, breaking their poor streak against Cloud9 in the process, but they fell in a rematch with the Danes and added silver to their cabinet.

The Main Qualifier at the end of the year saw them keeping the Major spot with a 3-1 record, only losing to FaZe in the second round.

NAF's massive performance in the final gave OpTic the big title at ELEAGUE, while mixwell and tarik were considered the team's stars since the two came together, but it was RUSH who deserved the most attention over the last three months. His consistent play over the last three months raised more than a few eyebrows and earned him an MVP at ELEAGUE.

Similarly to Astralis, OpTic have five maps they play very often and are able to play Nuke, while Mirage is their no-go map. With that, they'll be able to alternate their veto depending on the opponents in the best-of-one's and also have good options in series.

SK (#3) Age Rating
Brazil Marcelo "coldzera" David  22 1.16
Portugal Ricardo "fox" Pacheco 30 1.11
Brazil Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo 25 1.11
Brazil Fernando "fer" Alvarenga 25 1.01
Brazil Epitacio "TACO" de Melo 21 0.99

Since the off-season, SK have been the most stable team of all, placing in the top four at all six tournaments they attended, but titles eluded them in the last three months.

Falling short to Virtus.pro twice in a row, the Brazilians finished 3rd-4th at ESL One New York and EPICENTER: Moscow. When SK reached the final, they were bested by Cloud9 (ESL Pro League Season 4 Finals) and NiP (IEM Oakland).

Two series losses to Astralis gave them two more semi-final finishes at the end of the year, at ELEAGUE Season 2 and ECS Season 2 Finals. The latter was, of course, with fox, as fnx had been relieved of his duties prior to the Anaheim event.


It's hard to assess how well SK will do with a stand-in

Technically, SK are the only team who will attend the Major with a stand-in, although it's clear more teams are looking at changes after the $1 million tournament.

They have had about a month with the Portuguese veteran, which should be more than enough for both sides to adjust, but it's unlikely SK have made bigger changes to their setups and overall playstyle for it to fit fox. After all, it is only a temporary solution.

With that in mind, it's hard to assess how well SK will be able to do in Atlanta. They're more than likely to advance from groups, but anything beyond that should be considered a bonus, depending on whom they meet in the playoffs. They'll have a tough time against any of the other favourites and some of the Mid-tier teams.

Virtus.pro (#5) Age Rating
Poland Paweł "byali" Bieliński 22 1.16
Poland Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski 23 1.13
Poland Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas 30 1.11
Poland Filip "NEO" Kubski 29 1.03
Poland Jarosław "pashaBiceps" Jarząbkowski  28 1.03
Poland Jakub "kuben" Gurczynski (coach) 

Virtus.pro were almost as consistent as SK after the off-season, with only one significant misstep at SL i-League StarSeries Season 2 Finals. In the following two months, the Poles garnered a title at DreamHack ZOWIE Open Bucharest, second places at ESL One New York and EPICENTER: Moscow, as well as a rather unimportant third place at WESG Regional Finals.

Despite skipping IEM Oakland to avoid traveling and have more time to practice, Virtus.pro ended the year on a fairly low note, placing 5th-8th at ELEAGUE playoffs following a narrow loss to FaZe.


We've grown used to VP doing poorly after a break, the Major should show their true form

After the New Year, the Poles disappointed at the WESG World Finals, where they had trouble with the lower-tier teams in their group and lost to compatriots Kinguin in semi-finals.

Normally, that would be cause for a lot of concern right before the Major. However, we've grown used to Virtus.pro doing poorly at one event following a break, and coming back to show their true form at the next.

I expect that will be the same in this case; WESG shouldn't be a reason for us to expect any less from the Poles, who remain to be one of the favourites at the Major.

North (#6) Age Rating
Denmark Emil "Magisk" Reif  18 1.16
Denmark Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke 19 1.10
Denmark René "cajunb" Borg 27 1.03
Norway Ruben "RUBINO" Villarroel 22 0.97
Denmark Mathias "MSL" Lauridsen 22 0.81
Denmark Casper "ruggah" Due (coach) 

Lastly, we have the ex-dignitas team who were recently signed by F.C. Copenhagen and now represent the North banner. They have earned their place as one of the Favourites with several good results following the off-season, starting with SL i-League StarSeries Season 2 Finals and DreamHack Bucharest, where they finished in the top four.

Following a triumph at the WESG Regional Finals, a fairly small event, the Danes went to Moscow for EPICENTER and advanced from a tough group including Na`Vi, G2, and NiP. Passing fnatic, Natus Vincere, and Virtus.pro in playoffs, the change from Jesper "TENZKI" Plougmann to "" reaped rich dividends, a title at one of the big events towards the end of the year.


MSL & co. welcomed the month off after a busy end to 2016

The remainder of the year wasn't quite as successful for the Danish side, however, as they exited Pro League Finals in groups and went on to place last at DreamHack ZOWIE Open Winter. ELEAGUE Season 2 playoffs saw them losing to SK in the tight quarter-finals, while at ECS Season 2 they added another group stage exit, admittedly without Magisk who went back home to finish his exams.

MSL's squad earned their place at the Major through the Main Qualifier, where they only lost to GODSENT on their way to a 3-1 record at their last event under the dignitas banner, defeating Spirit, CLG and G2.

North's last month of 2016 is a bit worrying, although they were one of the busiest teams at the end of last year and barely had any time to evaluate their play. They will have had nearly a full month of practice as well as a bootcamp prior to the Major, so they should be back on form. The focus is on none other than Magisk, who was one of the most consistent players in the past several months and dignitas' best player, as well as k0nfig and cajunb, the remainder of the hard-hitting trio.

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

Brazil Marcelo 'coldzera' David
Marcelo 'coldzera' David
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.22
Maps played:
600
KPR:
0.82
DPR:
0.61
APR:
0.12
Brazil Epitacio 'TACO' de Melo
Epitacio 'TACO' de Melo
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.96
Maps played:
509
KPR:
0.63
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.13
Poland Paweł 'byali' Bieliński
Paweł 'byali' Bieliński
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
1108
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.15
Denmark Danny 'zonic' Sørensen
Danny 'zonic' Sørensen
Age:
-
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.76
Maps played:
19
KPR:
0.49
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.11
Poland Wiktor 'TaZ' Wojtas
Wiktor 'TaZ' Wojtas
Age:
31
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
1266
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.13
Argentina ''
 ''
Age:
-
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.00
Maps played:
0
KPR:
0.00
DPR:
0.00
APR:
0.00
Poland Jakub 'kuben' Gurczynski
Jakub 'kuben' Gurczynski
Age:
-
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.95
Maps played:
167
KPR:
0.62
DPR:
0.63
APR:
0.16
Denmark René 'cajunb' Borg
René 'cajunb' Borg
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1020
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.63
APR:
0.13
Poland Filip 'NEO' Kubski
Filip 'NEO' Kubski
Age:
30
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
1271
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.17
Denmark Jesper 'TENZKI' Plougmann
Jesper 'TENZKI' Plougmann
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
626
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.15
Denmark Nicolai 'device' Reedtz
Nicolai 'device' Reedtz
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.16
Maps played:
955
KPR:
0.79
DPR:
0.63
APR:
0.13
Brazil Lincoln 'fnx' Lau
Lincoln 'fnx' Lau
Age:
27
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
412
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.17
Denmark Finn 'karrigan' Andersen
Finn 'karrigan' Andersen
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.96
Maps played:
1022
KPR:
0.66
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.14
Spain Óscar 'mixwell' Cañellas
Óscar 'mixwell' Cañellas
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.12
Maps played:
426
KPR:
0.77
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.14
Canada Peter 'stanislaw' Jarguz
Peter 'stanislaw' Jarguz
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.99
Maps played:
536
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.15
Poland Jarosław 'pashaBiceps' Jarząbkowski
Jarosław 'pashaBiceps' Jarząbkowski
Age:
29
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
1215
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.14
Denmark Emil 'Magisk' Reif
Emil 'Magisk' Reif
Age:
19
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.12
Maps played:
502
KPR:
0.76
DPR:
0.63
APR:
0.14
Canada Keith 'NAF' Markovic
Keith 'NAF' Markovic
Age:
19
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
575
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.16
Denmark Markus 'Kjaerbye' Kjærbye
Markus 'Kjaerbye' Kjærbye
Age:
19
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
813
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.15
United States Tarik 'tarik' Celik
Tarik 'tarik' Celik
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
657
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.15
Norway Ruben 'RUBINO' Villarroel
Ruben 'RUBINO' Villarroel
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
670
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.13
Denmark Andreas 'Xyp9x' Højsleth
Andreas 'Xyp9x' Højsleth
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
1109
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.62
APR:
0.17
Denmark Peter 'dupreeh' Rasmussen
Peter 'dupreeh' Rasmussen
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1052
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.15
Brazil Gabriel 'FalleN' Toledo
Gabriel 'FalleN' Toledo
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.10
Maps played:
646
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.60
APR:
0.11
Denmark Casper 'ruggah' Due
Casper 'ruggah' Due
Age:
-
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.92
Maps played:
67
KPR:
0.61
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.02
Denmark Mathias 'MSL' Lauridsen
Mathias 'MSL' Lauridsen
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.92
Maps played:
1121
KPR:
0.65
DPR:
0.72
APR:
0.16
Brazil Fernando 'fer' Alvarenga
Fernando 'fer' Alvarenga
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.13
Maps played:
642
KPR:
0.78
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.17
Denmark Lukas 'gla1ve' Rossander
Lukas 'gla1ve' Rossander
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
775
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.17
Portugal Ricardo 'fox' Pacheco
Ricardo 'fox' Pacheco
Age:
30
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
569
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.14
Denmark Kristian 'k0nfig' Wienecke
Kristian 'k0nfig' Wienecke
Age:
20
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.11
Maps played:
626
KPR:
0.76
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.13
Poland Janusz 'Snax' Pogorzelski
Janusz 'Snax' Pogorzelski
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
1085
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.14
United States Will 'RUSH' Wierzba
Will 'RUSH' Wierzba
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
580
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.16
gl astralis
2017-01-20 15:44
#14
 | 
United Kingdom trtr098 
EZ 4 ENCE.ASUSROG
2017-01-20 15:44
Nice article, goodluck to all and specially to Mixwell
2017-01-20 16:29
#85
KQLY | 
Russia band1 
cant find #4 nip oh wait
2017-01-20 16:30
#97
 | 
United Kingdom trtr098 
NiP have a legit chance to win this major with their new star player pyth
2017-01-20 16:38
LOL, nip isn`t here
2017-01-21 14:29
#122
 | 
Other anarh1st47 
Cant see vega squadron kappa
2017-01-20 17:05
n2
2017-01-20 15:44
#48
 | 
Estonia swag420weed 
Would be so fucking easy for NiP if they had only qualified. Feels bad man
2017-01-20 15:54
#58
 | 
Estonia R0ltZz 
kappa
2017-01-20 15:58
lol
2017-01-20 16:52
#151
 | 
United States Ablert 
hahahaha sure sure m9
2017-01-20 18:07
#161
 | 
United States kriksB 
If they couldn't even qualify how would it have been ez
2017-01-20 18:44
#170
HS | 
Iceland MorsAlbum 
Hes estonian
2017-01-20 19:20
#228
 | 
Estonia swag420weed 
Because they are better than these teams. Just underestimated a Russian pug team and got rekt
2017-01-22 01:56
#165
 | 
Ukraine magdalena95 
16-2, 0.09
2017-01-20 18:54
#192
BnTeT | 
Other TEEZY 
2-18
2017-01-20 22:32
#223
 | 
Ukraine magdalena95 
Never Forget <3
2017-01-21 15:04
#224
BnTeT | 
Other TEEZY 
i saw it live, and i never laughed so hard :D
2017-01-21 15:11
#229
 | 
Ukraine magdalena95 
Mutually xD
2017-01-22 10:44
#159
 | 
Latvia MRKLV15 
wheres FaZe?
2017-01-20 18:33
Mid tier Because HLTV goes in these Previews after Ranking That's the reason why Navi / FaZe are Midtier
2017-01-21 09:31
#2
CIS godn 
GODSENT EZ MAJOR =)
2017-01-20 15:44
#208
 | 
United States Plewgs 
+1
2017-01-21 00:58
ez
2017-01-23 00:20
#234
 | 
United States Plewgs 
IKR
2017-01-23 00:46
ez =)
2017-01-23 00:55
#4
rain | 
Belgium PanicJesus 
n1
2017-01-20 15:44
#5
 | 
Poland DominnX26 
ez vp
2017-01-20 15:44
ez for ninjas in pyjamas
2017-01-20 15:45
yeah very ez
2017-01-20 16:33
#93
 | 
United States CWalker 
Oh wait
2017-01-20 16:35
This final cloud9 vs nip will be awesome
2017-01-20 17:09
#230
 | 
Singapore derpydm 
ez 4 ruski final vega vs spirit
2017-01-22 10:49
ez
2017-01-20 15:44
#9
 | 
Sweden Mrjohn 
G2 LETS GO
2017-01-20 15:44
#10
 | 
Singapore Prawblems 
I hope OpTic could pull of a Liquid-style upset and make it to the finals or even win
2017-01-20 15:46
#38
 | 
India nicebaitm8 
do you want a final with 4-5 lakh viewers?
2017-01-20 15:49
#41
FalleN | 
Poland ProJumz 
OpTic are among the favourites, so it wouldn't be an upset anymore
2017-01-20 15:51
Says who? There is a reason OpTic Gaming is at 12 times you money back on bet365 for a win (with teams such as nV & Fnatic at 13 times). OpTic ended the year really strong, but honestly they capitalized on the tier 1 teams being down a bit (same did Astralis tbf), same as their players were overpreforming, or at least we need to see more of those preformances to see them as their default level. I think a success for OpTic would be to become a legend-team, and I doubt they would go any further than a quarter, maybe a semi with some luck in the drawing of their quarterfinal-opponent
2017-01-20 16:03
>they capitalized on the tier 1 teams being down a bit Please stop with this. Europeans have been saying this in regards to any success any non EU team has had for almost a year now. Other regions have just gotten better bro
2017-01-20 16:20
So you don't agree with the fact that teams like SK Gaming, NiP, Na'Vi and G2 played worse the last quater of the year than they did the rest? Please stop being so f**king butthurt. If anything why would I talk down the first +250k win from a Danish team? Sometimes you just have to be realistic and objective.
2017-01-20 16:23
UHH DIG won Epicenter before ECS S2 for Astralis so you are wrong lol.
2017-01-20 16:33
That lineup was an American org with one Norwegian. I just began counting them as Danes now with the FCK-org :P
2017-01-20 17:30
#167
 | 
Ukraine magdalena95 
Until they play at Parken, they are still muricans with Norge-addition? xD
2017-01-20 18:59
Well unlike Team Dignitas, FCK (And now North) are 100 % a Danish Organization :P And unless esports change, they will never play in PARKEN as a true home ground team, like you see in other sports. And with change I mean that online games switch to offline, where you play at each others stadiums, just like you see in other sports, but I don't think this will happen anytime soon, if it will even ever happen which I doubt.
2017-01-20 23:16
#222
 | 
Ukraine magdalena95 
I was just kidding :P Love to see Luiz Adriano destroying North, though xDDDD
2017-01-21 14:59
#193
BnTeT | 
Other TEEZY 
FCK = FC Kaiserslautern. Go google it
2017-01-20 22:33
Orrrrrrrrrrrr F. C. København > FC Copenhagen. I know in Germany that could also be FC Köln or Kaiserslautern, but lets be honest; No one should be confused which 'FCK' I were talking about.
2017-01-20 23:13
#198
BnTeT | 
Other TEEZY 
cry
2017-01-20 23:28
Cry? What the fuck are you talking about?
2017-01-20 23:30
#201
BnTeT | 
Other TEEZY 
mad?
2017-01-20 23:30
By better you mean improved or better than EU? Cuz yes they have improved but are years away from tying EU
2017-01-20 17:12
#117
 | 
United Kingdom Recks 
I agree that the tier 1 teams are all fucked up atm, Fnatic/Godsent went to shit, EnVy/G2 went to shit (both probably making new teams after major) SK dropped fnx, NiP are NiP, NaVi haven't played in forever. Astralis is good but i don't think they have improved, it seems like every other 'top team' is going through changes. I feel like after the major if team changes do happen then the top6 will be something like... SK (if they pick up someone like felps?) Frenchies (kennyS/Shox/NBK/apEX) NaVi (imo they will come alive this major) Fnatic (rumors of them getting back together?) Astralis (if device continues to be 'top3' player) OpTic/North (both got team work and up-coming talent, imo North can only be so consistent with MSL, alot of 'top teams' seem to be dropping their IGL's if they don't have the 'skill' to be tier1. I like OpTic & North and hope to see them do well at the major. FaZe is decent but their team doesn't seem to be a good 'team'. if they win its because of individual performances. cloud9 are NUTTS (against NA teams) Liquid have been shit since they picked up Pimp, although he plays well. (team doesn't mesh well?) On topic of OpTic, i would be happy if they get top8 (which they deserve) but if they beat VP i feel like they could have a good run and have a small chance of winning?!?!? (15% chance)
2017-01-20 16:53
OpTic are far below 15% of winning lol. Btw did u just imply that the reason Liquid is doing badly is cuz they don't mesh well? It's clearly that they just suck now without s1mple boosting them...
2017-01-20 17:19
#129
 | 
United Kingdom Recks 
In reality most of the teams in this event have no chance of winning, in my opinion the only teams that have a chance of winning is Astralis NaVi VP OpTic North? SK? If you truly think any other team have a chance please say so ? Liquid got lucky in the last 2 majors IMO, Sure s1mple carried sometimes but Liquid have some talent, they should be playing alot better than they currently are.
2017-01-20 17:27
#174
HS | 
Iceland MorsAlbum 
Sk if they can manage fox Astralis Vp if they play properly Navi Fnatic and faze have a weird chance for a liquid-esque run to finals
2017-01-20 19:23
Sorry to say but North and FaZe (you didn't talk about them) have a clearly bigger chance of winning it than NaVi.
2017-01-21 00:39
#209
 | 
United Kingdom Recks 
Sure NaVi haven't done much lately but they have barely played. they're probably saving stuff for the major, they have so much more talent than FaZe & North. North seem to have good team work but MSL is a low skilled player, if he can't frag then they'll be in problem vs top teams. FaZe are a decent team but i don't see them doing well head to head vs strong teams. I would bet everything i own that FaZe will not win this event. I don't even have them getting out of groups (although they possibly have a free win 1st game vs FlipSid3, if they get that easy 1-0 they could/should make it out of groups. Saying this i think FlipSid3 could upset FaZe.)
2017-01-21 01:12
The thing is: some team's chances of winning are higher than others. Add fnatic to that list and remove question mark from SK and North. IMO out of the ones there OpTic got the worst chance of the listed teams. Some teams in that list got much higher chance then others.
2017-01-21 17:40
#227
 | 
United Kingdom Recks 
In my opinion... NaVi have an insane amount of talent. s1mple, GuardiaN & flamie are all crazy skilled. Edward & seized normally play well at majors and both have alot of experience. If they play well i picture them winning this major with ease. Astralis are probably favorites to win but i honestly think they could lose to North, VP, OpTic, NaVi & maybe even SK if fox plays decent. Call me crazy but i think OpTic & VP have the same chance of winning. I honestly feel like both of these teams are similar, They both have good map pools and structured teams. If Cold & FalleN play well and fox can hold his own, i see SK doing well and upsetting some teams this major. That being said fox is a stand-in so i only see them going so far. North has been playing really well lately and i see them getting atleast top8 this major BUT head to head vs teams like NaVi i feel like MSL will struggle to frag and could cost them a map or two. I feel like North & SK have around the same chance of winning. Fnatic have alot of talent and personally i have them making it out of groups in my Pick'Em Challenge BUT it wouldn't surprise me if they don't make it out of groups. I don't see them making top4 unless they get a easy run. I will be surprised if Gambit, Fnatic, G2, HR, Mouz, Liquid, EnVy, Godsent, Flipsid3 or FaZe make it to top4 this major. Then again its CS:GO 2017, anything could happen. In before HellRaisers win ELEAGUE Major.
2017-01-21 18:50
Rumors of fnatic getting back together ? How legit is this bro ? o_O
2017-01-20 19:26
#179
 | 
United Kingdom Recks 
no idea, just heard it off other people. It would make sense being as they split up then both Fnatic/Godsent went to shit. Them knowing them need each other might motivate them. Again its just rumors though.
2017-01-20 19:35
I agree with you. Fnatic is still better than Godsent, but just slightly. Godsent is really bad and I guess they should think about playing together again too. Who're you backing to win the major btw ?
2017-01-20 19:38
#182
 | 
United Kingdom Recks 
All depends on groups, i have NaVi going 3-0 in group stage. They have too much talent to not do well. But again multiple teams could win, I want OpTic or NaVi to win. I think Astralis & VP have a chance but don't really want them to win.
2017-01-20 20:14
Idk, maybe this very article you are reading right now
2017-01-20 23:22
This article ranks them after their own ranking-system, which is in fact based around achievements where latest achievements count the most. Thereby it doesn't really make sense to bring up that argument against either me or Recks, as we're well-aware that OpTic had a solid finish to the year, where they were clearly the 2nd best performing team if you look at tournament achievements and results, but that doesn't say anything about them being a peaked team or others doing worse than they should.
2017-01-20 23:29
#13
draken | 
Sweden bossen1 
xD
2017-01-20 15:44
nice
2017-01-20 15:44
#18
 | 
Belarus ucannon 
astralis
2017-01-20 15:44
#20
 | 
Ethiopia Bloody_Ganker 
ez
2017-01-20 15:44
#23
 | 
Slovakia Denysis 
Optic LUL
2017-01-20 15:44
#25
 | 
Sweden LoaDinGGzZz 
ahaaahhahah RIP navi
2017-01-20 15:45
xaxax
2017-01-20 15:45
Wheere is number 4??? Kappa
2017-01-20 15:45
Theres no #4
2017-01-20 15:45
#29
 | 
Croatia mds818 
Just to make it a note,I disagree with mid tier,low tier and high tier on major are being considered by the current hltv rank,SK is FAR from favs.
2017-01-20 15:46
you are so butthurt my fucking gosh.
2017-01-20 16:33
#91
 | 
Croatia mds818 
Astralis2win a major...
2017-01-20 16:34
2017-01-20 17:59
thorin ziked astralis so hard lol
2017-01-20 18:08
#181
 | 
Croatia mds818 
ayyyyyy,we'll see who wins.
2017-01-20 20:11
Yes, they won
2017-01-20 20:15
#GoGoC9 oh wait
2017-01-20 15:46
nice
2017-01-20 15:46
North LUL
2017-01-20 15:46
#34
 | 
Poland tarchmaike 
lmao north and optic?? and navi is mid tier??
2017-01-20 15:47
The division by tiers is based only on HLTV ranking
2017-01-20 16:26
#35
 | 
Brazil BuddyINSANE 
Let's go MY COUNTRY, MY PROUD, MY TEAM! We can do it AGAIN!!! We smart, we loyal, we friendly, we are from BRAZIL! Kreygasm
2017-01-20 15:47
Kappa
2017-01-20 16:35
omg xd
2017-01-20 16:42
lol
2017-01-20 16:47
<3 <3 <3
2017-01-20 18:04
North overrated N1 won One big Event Epicenter and after that absolute nothing.
2017-01-20 15:48
#40
 | 
Denmark Nix0z 
said who?.. Just shut it Johnny_R
2017-01-20 15:50
#37
 | 
Denmark Nix0z 
I have said and i will say it again. Either Astralis or North will win this major. VP/flipside/liquid/hellraisers are among the teams not making it to the quarters
2017-01-20 15:51
#43
 | 
Poland TheDarkusPL 
North winning major, Dreaming is good in our lifes, but this XDDD
2017-01-20 15:51
Astralis or North will win this major. lol
2017-01-20 19:23
They'll, or you think your powerful VirtusThrow will save polaks day, as they did with Adolf?
2017-01-20 20:22
#39
 | 
Netherlands Imrivendill 
Optic being favourites? Ok then
2017-01-20 15:50
#44
 | 
Germany ludiio 
optic fucking overrated
2017-01-20 15:52
+ chokestralis + ex dig tier2
2017-01-20 16:18
Expected NiP to be in this list tbh..Weird :/
2017-01-20 15:52
Astralis ftw
2017-01-20 15:52
#47
 | 
Poland Hell2k 
2Ez4Byali
2017-01-20 15:52
#49
United Kingdom Alth 
SK a favourite? You realise you don't have to religiously stick to your own flawed ranking just to be arrogant? They have a stand in, who is Fox. They have been slumping hard for SK's standards before they replaced Fnx, and now they have a FAR less talented player. But yeah, favourites because the "algorithm" says so.
2017-01-20 15:55
mad?
2017-01-20 16:13
#72
United Kingdom Alth 
Nope, disappointed.
2017-01-20 16:18
you got sked brow
2017-01-20 16:48
They mad coz they don't want Brazil to succeed! #RUNSKG!!!
2017-01-21 02:03
No NiP! BibleThump
2017-01-20 15:55
i was tired of friberg going for majors, my eyes couldn't stop bleeding... sad for GTR and f0rest tho now i hope NiP start making some big changes, finally
2017-01-20 18:01
#51
 | 
Brazil GaameMasterBR 
dropped from #3 (SK) to #5(Internets.pro)
2017-01-20 15:55
Ez for.....
2017-01-20 15:56
#53
 | 
Poland Marcines 
ez for VP
2017-01-20 15:56
optic??? hahahaahaahahahah
2017-01-20 15:56
#55
BnTeT | 
Other TEEZY 
where is top4????? 4Head
2017-01-20 15:57
who is 4#?
2017-01-20 15:57
#57
 | 
Faroe Islands shubaNNN 
Optic favourite xdd
2017-01-20 15:58
#59
Philippines Yeas 
not sure why north is considered over faze tho. striker whats in your mind?
2017-01-20 15:59
#60
 | 
Poland sajlent 
MSL 0.81 xD
2017-01-20 15:59
FOX 1.11 not sure in which universe he ever had 1.11 ... thats probably from his T27 portugese team before he played with SK xD
2017-01-20 16:24
#99
 | 
Poland sajlent 
exactly he played with k1ck at ESWC and some portuguese t5 lan (1.46 and 1.10) with SK at ECS - 0.83 xD
2017-01-20 16:38
wtf HLTV NA'VI is favourite L - logic
2017-01-20 16:06
#64
 | 
World navlefnuller 
Mark my words: Astralis has never had more pressure put on their shoulders than for this event. Everyone has them hyped to the fucking heavens and the expectations are grand. They must themselves really feel like they need to perform and this the the major to win. Definitely, this time they will succeed. Now as yourself this: which teams has the biggest record on choking on their own dig, bombing out, failing and dealing with pressure in a negative way? Which team has tried to hire psychologists to overcome mental performance issues? Yes yes. Astralis will fail so hard it is not enven funny
2017-01-20 16:06
I get the feeling they're not going to be able to handle the pressure. They may get out of the groups but not beyond the quarters or the semis.
2017-01-20 19:29
#65
TACO | 
Brazil torm3ntin 
Poor fox. Doomed to fail. IF SK win, ppl will say they overcame FOX inability to play IF SK lose, ppl will say its FOX's fault. Still rooting for them and mainly for FOX to do well. I trust Fallen on his choice. He picked him for a reason!
2017-01-20 16:08
#70
 | 
Lithuania alon9 
or that there wasn't much of a choice because Immunity/LG players couldn't play for SK at Major and lucky enough fox speaks the same language.
2017-01-20 16:17
#80
 | 
Estonia iceicemaybe 
poor fox for being an average tier2 player, dunno why SK brought him to the team
2017-01-20 16:29
#84
TACO | 
Brazil torm3ntin 
when they brought TACO he was TIER5? I trust them to make him a better player :D
2017-01-20 16:29
#103
 | 
Estonia iceicemaybe 
TACO > fox, fnx > fox
2017-01-20 16:43
I agree with you. :D I just hope they help him get better and this 2month preparation of him was enough.
2017-01-20 16:44
#108
 | 
Estonia iceicemaybe 
I hope too, will root for SK and FaZe, and a little bit for HR
2017-01-20 16:45
#86
 | 
Portugal dracø 
Sadly the reason was that there was no other player available with the kind of experience needed. I love fox but he's far from SK's level (especially without the AWP). I'll still hope for the best. #RUNSKG!
2017-01-20 16:31
#98
 | 
Brazil vinnyzeraNTC 
They only chose fox because he speaks Portuguese
2017-01-20 16:38
Rank #4 did not qualify for major 4head top kek
2017-01-20 16:10
OPTIC LUL SK LUL ASTRALIS LUL
2017-01-20 16:10
israel scene LUL
2017-01-20 16:36
#104
 | 
Estonia iceicemaybe 
Cloud9 will rekt them all at this major
2017-01-20 16:44
Israel? LUL EXPECTED FROM NA EDUCATION
2017-01-21 04:15
lul
2017-01-21 04:24
#68
 | 
France t3r4byt3 
RIP NiP
2017-01-20 16:11
#77
 | 
CIS Merlas_mtk 
gl VP
2017-01-20 16:27
#78
 | 
Estonia iceicemaybe 
Should be an easy road for NiP
2017-01-20 16:27
OpTic LuL
2017-01-20 16:28
#83
 | 
Portugal dracø 
Wtf hltv.. Favorites by ranking :D :D ez 4 #4 team in the world :) Such 4th favorites. I'm hoping that: SK does well. VP wins the major. Liquid goes out in groups to make them have to work hard to get legendary status again. Optic to go far in the tournament. Astralis crumbles with the pressure that they have never had before. Na'vi to fail miserably cuz no true leader in the team.
2017-01-20 16:29
#4 available only on TBS
2017-01-20 16:31
#95
 | 
Brazil vinnyzeraNTC 
EZ FOR FOX
2017-01-20 16:37
#100
 | 
Poland sajlent 
I swear if Astralis somehow fuck it up :D the best chance for them to finally win a major (or finally be in a major final xD)
2017-01-20 16:39
don't say it, astralis fans are gonna get butthurt the same way i get when ppl say that SK won the majors bc other teams were "slumping" LUL FeelsBadMan
2017-01-20 18:04
#187
 | 
Poland sajlent 
thorin said astralis will win the eleague major xD gg astralis lul
2017-01-20 20:52
I kno but let them believe :^]
2017-01-21 06:46
no navi? gigakek
2017-01-20 16:44
#110
 | 
Estonia iceicemaybe 
check previous articles, they are in the middle of top30
2017-01-20 16:46
ez 4 favela
2017-01-20 16:46
#112
 | 
United States darkun 
I like how they try to pamper SK doing bad... "They have a stand-in"... its hardly a fucking stand-in when they had over 2 months to practice with him and they specifically chose to replace fnx... its not like fnx couldnt make the tourny so they have fox... its not a stand-in if SK do shit it's their own damn fault.
2017-01-20 16:48
#114
 | 
United States darkun 
I hope astralis loses 0-3, I never understood how they manage to still have people who believe in them. Im a mouz fan, but do i believe, no.
2017-01-20 16:50
-1 never stop believing #Tothestars
2017-01-20 17:30
#169
 | 
United States darkun 
#myfoot #urnuts
2017-01-20 19:17
#115
 | 
United Arab Emirates DuncanAK 
I Call them the overrated .. Optic = Na shit Astralis = Choke gods Sk = their era is over Vp = Old faggots = dead response time North = they might have a chance Favorites Navi Fnatic Godsent
2017-01-20 16:50
#121
 | 
Spain akproxx 
fnatic godsent favorites for what? for come home in groups? LOL
2017-01-20 17:03
#162
 | 
United Arab Emirates DuncanAK 
fnatic for not losing with their new roaster .. Godsent for having experienced player under the lead of lekr0 Navi for being most hyped team that is eager for winning their 1st major
2017-01-20 18:46
chcecked flag , stoped reading at flag
2017-01-20 19:22
#140
NEO | 
Poland dediw3e4 
That post gave me cancer
2017-01-20 17:54
[*]
2017-01-20 18:05
You're the only one to have NaVi, Fnatic and GODSENT as favorites LMAO. Did you even watch games during the second half of 2016 ?
2017-01-21 00:41
#213
 | 
United Arab Emirates DuncanAK 
I watch every Tier 1-2-3 game ... U never see anything of godsent yet Fnatic played very good ans swept g2 2-0 Navi is more hyped to win a major
2017-01-21 05:41
Fnatic beating G2 doesn't mean much. DarkPassage was close to 2-0 vs G2 (they had to forfeit because they were traveling to China). Agree, on the GODSENT, i have been a bit rough with them, they are definitely on the right path (3-0 at the Major's qualifier) after being dogshit for 4-5 months. Maybe the qualifier was a "fluke" but after a 3-0 i guess we can be confident they definitely improved, but that doesn't make them contenders for the victory of the Major. NaVi has looked shit for a few months (at least for the few tourneys they could even qualify to xD), they have potential but there is no big reason to think they will do good after the past few months. On the 3 teams you talked about i would say GODSENT is the best looking right now.
2017-01-21 13:57
Where is #4?
2017-01-20 16:57
Didn't qualify
2017-01-20 17:28
Nice counting. 1. 2. 3. ??? 5. xD
2017-01-20 17:00
ez 4 vega lul
2017-01-20 17:23
#4 nip didn't qualify
2017-01-20 17:28
#120
 | 
Spain akproxx 
SK and optic The Favourites can understand optic a bit but sk playing with a stand-in the real favourites are Astralis North NaVi VP (cuz plow mode) also faze can surprise if they have a week
2017-01-20 17:04
keep saying that, i need new skins :D
2017-01-20 18:06
#166
 | 
Spain akproxx 
foxj>world
2017-01-20 18:54
+7-1
2017-01-20 19:06
#123
 | 
Brazil gabriezz1 
GL SK
2017-01-20 17:07
Optic?
2017-01-20 17:19
#136
 | 
Japan Balikali 
i want SK to win, they deserve
2017-01-20 17:34
NAVI midtier OPTIC favourite OK
2017-01-20 17:58
OpTic second best team in the world at the end of 2016. NaVi tier 3 results recently.
2017-01-21 00:42
#153
 | 
United States Ablert 
NIP OVERRATED
2017-01-20 18:11
>Virtus Pro >favorites Choose one... They have no chance to do shit at the major. Their lineup is too shitty...
2017-01-20 18:26
#156
 | 
Denmark jacobfh2000 
ez astralis
2017-01-20 18:29
Ez win: Gambit Fnatic SK VP Navi Envyus Astralis Faze
2017-01-20 18:31
#160
 | 
United States KpleeZy 
ez OpTic win, leggo boiz!
2017-01-20 18:37
i was like: why did they skip #4 ranked team in this article? Then I checked the rankings, lull
2017-01-20 18:48
#164
 | 
Bulgaria vectralsoul 
gl OpTic <3
2017-01-20 18:53
ggogogoogogogogogogoogogog
2017-01-20 19:20
#178
 | 
Norway TDK Em1L 
hehexd the favorites im pretty sure 4 of them will go out in groups LUL
2017-01-20 19:34
#190
 | 
Poland mamba99999 
It would still be better than NiP.
2017-01-20 21:43
#207
 | 
Norway TDK Em1L 
yea, I guess vega is alot worse than the teams here so that is correct my polacki friend
2017-01-21 00:47
optic and vp LUL
2017-01-20 20:17
Sk with BotFOX LUL Ez qarter loss vs VP Ofc;] btw remembet Esl NY? remember Epicenter?? Incoming Atlanta.
2017-01-20 22:42
#186
 | 
United States KarbiaN 
I think, North and OpTic will be eliminated 0-3
2017-01-20 20:40
Congrats, you already earn the prize of worst prediction for 2017. :D
2017-01-21 00:45
#236
 | 
United States KarbiaN 
I got it, but, now, u can watch My prediction on play-off. Faze won, VP won, Astrails won, fnatic won.
2017-01-26 20:46
Don't worry you still had OpTic eliminated (which i didn't so i was also wrong) and i did worse imagining NaVi would fail at the Major when they are currently destroying everyone xD I would go NaVi, VP, fnatic will win their quarters. Really don't know for the last one : SK won 3-1 but wasn't amazing, FaZe was a bit weaker (and a bit disappointing and as of now) but since i'm quite a FaZe fan i'm quite biaised, my brain would tell me SK will go through (but it should be really tight) but my heart hopes FaZe will win.
2017-01-26 20:50
#238
 | 
United States KarbiaN 
Today we will view, who will be right.
2017-01-27 14:34
Kappa, even Faze and Fnatic has more chances to win than North 1 tournament stars, by this logic Cloud9 would be too favourites, ah ye they're not danish hltv, forgot it
2017-01-20 21:26
#189
 | 
Poland mamba99999 
VP take this major, you heard it first here.
2017-01-20 21:42
was wondering why they didn't add the team that's fourth on the ranking, and then i remembered...rip nip LOL
2017-01-20 22:06
navi ?
2017-01-20 23:58
They are featured in the mid-tier installemnt, hltv.org/news/19650-el-major-preview-the..
2017-01-21 07:58
Optic and vp is not favourites to me they are going out in the groups or in the first round of playoffs
2017-01-21 09:59
#218
 | 
Ukraine mindstab 
Fnatic easiest major win 2k17
2017-01-21 12:22
#220
 | 
Serbia ZAG0R 
Optic>NaVi HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA
2017-01-21 14:01
#225
 | 
Ukraine nikitich228 
Optic) kappa pride , will lose in 1/4 , thx me later
2017-01-21 17:21
this will be good major :))
2017-01-22 15:06
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