CPH Games: 5 players to watch out for
With Copenhagen Games about to start, we take a look at five players who will be at the BYOC qualifier that you should keep an eye out for.
The Danish event will begin with a 76-team BYOC qualifier to determine the final eight sides reaching the main tournament, which will have over $54,000 on offer.
It will be one hectic day, so we have selected five players that you should look out for during the BYOC qualifier:
2017 Rating: 1.18
The Turkish player is one of the most exciting rising stars in Europe, and his impressive talent saw him secure a move to his country's strongest team, Space Soldiers, in February, after establishing himself as a key member for ex-DarkPassage.
With the new player on the roster, Space Soldiers played out a thrilling series against Virtus.pro in the ECS promotion stage and won the first season of Binary Dragons csgopolygon. It is too soon to say just how far the Turkish team can go, but the future looks bright for them, now that Ismailcan "XANTARES" Dörtkardeş has a fragging partner that can be just as impactful as him.
Calyx has travelled to Copenhagen to play for Space Soldiers' academy team, who also feature Emre "e1" Biçer, a former member of the organisation's main squad. And while Space Academy's prospects do not look particularly bright, it will certainly be interesting to see how Calyx will perform when given more freedom to manoeuvre across the map.
2017 Rating: 1.36
kNgV- is anything but a newcomer in the Counter-Strike scene. After all, he has been competing at a top level since 2009, plying his trade for prestigious teams like semXorah, GamerHouse, g3x and Keyd Stars. But the last few months have shown that the 22-year-old may finally be reaching his peak.
Unlike the majority of the Brazilian top teams, who have chosen North America as the place to be, Red Reserve have uprooted to Europe, more specifically the Swedish city of Gothenburg, where Orbit (the name under which the team played before the organisation merged with Red Reserve) had a gaming house.
One could argue that Red Reserve are still trying to find their way in the European scene, but their results have been less than encouraging, with the team bowing out of Hellcase Cup #2 and Binary Dragons csgopolygon Season 1 in the group stage. A first-placed finish at Legend Series #1 was of little solace to the Brazilians, who could not get an invite to Copenhagen Games' main tournament.
After finishing the 2016 WCA finals with a 1.18 Rating despite his team winning just one out of four best-of-two matches, kNgV- has maintained a high level of performance in 2017, destroying every opponent his team have come across. There is a lot of expectation surrounding kNgV- going into Copenhagen Games. Let's just hope that the rest of team show up and they can get through to the main tournament to face some of the bigger sides in attendance.
2017 Rating: 1.19
It is safe to say that talent runs in huNter-'s family, the 21-year-old being the cousin of FaZe star Nikola "NiKo" Kovač. huNter- is a late bloomer in the scene, with his first competitive match on record dating back to May 2015, but he is already turning a few heads in Europe.
His team, Binary Dragons, is one of the strongest in the Balkans, winning regional events such as the VitalBet Balkan Pro League Finals and Let's Play Spring. Earlier this month, the team placed first in the European Master Series, which also featured teams like WASD and Manatee.
A group stage exit in Binary Dragon's own league, following heavy defeats at the hands of Space Soldiers and Red Reserve, gave the team a reality check. Qualifying for Copenhagen Games' main tournament would be a considerable boost for Binary Dragons and for huNter-, who is out to prove that there is not just one star in the Kovač family.
2017 Rating: 1.17
frozen is widely considered one of the most promising young talents in central Europe, reaching the prestigious FACEIT Pro League when he was still 13. Unfortunately for him, age can also be a hindrance, as the team's disqualification from the IEM Katowice qualifiers for fielding an underage player recently showed.
With no such worries on their minds now, eXtatus will be looking to make amends after cutting a frustrating figure at last year's Copenhagen Games event, where they were eliminated in the BYOC qualifier's Round of 32 by a Danish WinOut team featuring Nicolaj "Nico" Jensen.
eXtatus enter Copenhagen Games boosted by the news that are now a fully professional team - the first one in Czech Republic with such status. With better conditions come bigger expectations, and the spotlight will definitely be on frozen, the team's top performing player by a sizable margin.
2017 Rating: 1.13
mertz burst onto the scene in late 2015 with Eastern Vikings, but it was only in 2016 that people really started noticing him as he represented far more storied teams, such as Alpha Gaming and Copenhagen Wolves. At the start of the year, he got his first real taste of international Counter-Strike as his then team, eFuture, were invited to play at China Cup.
In Shijiazhuang, eFuture were sent packing in the groups following defeats against Fnatic Academy and 5Power, now known as UYA. For mertz, there were positives to take from his Chinese experience as he put in an above average event Rating of 1.0.
Now playing for North Academy, a new project led by Frederik "LOMME" Nielsen and by former mTw ingame leader Alexander "ave" Holdt, mertz has a team where his talent can be properly nurtured. After finishing his last five tournaments with above average ratings, the 18-year-old is brimming with confidence, and he will be crucial to his new team's hopes of reaching the main tournament.