ELEAGUE Premier Group A preview

As the kick-off date for ELEAGUE Premier 2017 draws near, we take a look at Group A, which is made up of FaZe, G2, Natus Vincere, and Renegades.

After organizing two events in 2016 and the first Major of 2017, ELEAGUE is back with a $1,000,000 tournament. The event is called ELEAGUE Premier and will feature 16 teams divided into four groups.

The group stage taking place in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, is kicking off this weekend with Group A. The GSL format will be used with best-of-one opening and winners' games, and best-of-three elimination and decider matches. The top two teams in the group will advance to the playoffs.

ELEAGUE Premier is set to kick off

Group A is headlined by G2, who recently won DreamHack Masters Malmö and will be looking to carry that level of performances over to the United States. They will be in contention with three teams who have seen their rosters changed in the last month—Natus Vincere, FaZe, and Renegades.

Ratings used are from the past three months on LAN

G2 (#2) Age Rating 2.0
France Kenny "kennyS" Schrub  22 1.15
France Dan "apEX" Madesclaire  24 1.08
France Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt  23 1.03
France Richard "shox" Papillon 25 0.99
France Alexandre "bodyy" Pianaro  20 0.96
Offline placings in the last three months
1st Sweden DreamHack Masters Malmö
9th-11th Poland PGL Major Krakow
5-8th Germany ESL One Cologne
1-2nd Romania PGL Major Krakow Main Qualifier
5-6th United Kingdom ECS Season 3 Finals

The favorites in Group A are the Frenchmen, who recently climbed to second place in the Ranking, inching ever closer to SK. G2's ascension was made possible by their victory in Malmö, Sweden, where they won all their matches (although, admittedly, they lost a couple of maps).

Coming out of the player break without making any roster moves and having a consistent lineup helped G2 in Sweden, and it can benefit them in Atlanta as well because all of their group opponents have renewed squads.

One of the biggest advantages for the Frenchmen will be their solid and steady map pool. They've been phenomenal on Inferno, which could be crucial for them as most teams don't shy away from playing it.

G2 will be looking to repeat their success from Malmö

G2's first opponent in the group will be Natus Vincere. Both teams like to play on Nuke, and G2 can finally get to play it again as it's usually banned by their opponents in the veto process. With their current confidence level, it's likely that G2 will win their opening game, but it's certainly not a given considering the talent that Natus Vincere possess. If shox & company win their opening game, they will get even more confident and will be the favorites to finish the group in first place over FaZe or Renegades.

If they lose against Natus Vincere, because the elimination and decider games are best-of-threes, they will still be in a favorable position to get through to the playoffs. After all, they beat Immortals, SK, NiP, and North in best-of-three matches in Sweden.

FaZe (#8) Age Rating 2.0
Bosnia and Herzegovina Nikola "NiKo" Kovač  20 1.21
Slovakia Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács  26 1.11
Norway Håvard "rain" Nygaard  23 1.11
Sweden Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer 25 1.01
Denmark Finn "karrigan" Andersen  27 0.88
Offline placings in the last three months
9-12th Sweden DreamHack Masters Malmö
15-16th Poland PGL Major Krakow (3/5)
3-4th Germany ESL One Cologne (3/5)
2nd United Kingdom ECS Season 3 Finals (3/5)

The European squad were one of the most active teams during the player break as they made a couple of changes, bringing in olofmeister from fnatic and Guardian from Natus Vincere to replace Aleksi "allu" Jalli and Fabien "kioShiMa" Fiey, making the team more intimidating than ever. karrigan already had a talented squad to lead, but these roster moves have given him more firepower than he could have conceived.

However, FaZe have had a rocky start to their expedition as they exited DreamHack Masters Malmö in the group stage in 9-12th place. They lost to NiP in their opening match on Nuke despite starting on the more favored CT-side, with NiKo being the only player with a positive rating (1.05).

After avoiding elimination against mousesports, FaZe found themselves facing Gambit in a best-of-three decider game. FaZe won the first map but lost on Train and Nuke, which spelled the end of the road for them.

GuardiaN's FaZe might face his old team Natus Vincere

Nevertheless, a single disappointing result doesn't mean that FaZe are in crisis. After Malmö, the new players have had more time to acclimatize to karrigan's system, and their individual performances might improve in Atlanta. It certainly helps that their opening match won't be against the heavy-hitters of the group, Natus Vincere and G2. Instead, they will play against Renegades, who brought Keith "NAF" Markovic in after DreamHack Masters Malmö.

The skill gap between the teams is clear, but FaZe can't go into the game thinking it'll be an easy task. Renegades eliminated Virtus.pro in Malmö, proving that they can take advantage if their opponents are slacking. FaZe will need to concentrate and successfully implement karrigan's game plan in order to win the game and secure a place in the winners' match.

The ideal scenario for FaZe would be to win two straight best-of-one matches because their map pool might not be broad enough to take on Natus Vincere or G2 in best-of-three encounters. If FaZe fail to do so, they might set themselves up for another inconvenient group stage exit.

Natus Vincere (#9) Age Rating 2.0
Ukraine Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev  19 1.23
Russia Egor "flamie" Vasilyev  20 1.07
Ukraine Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko  29 1.03
Ukraine Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev 29 1.01
Russia Denis "seized" Kostin  22 0.92
Offline placings in the last three months
5-8th Sweden DreamHack Masters Malmö
12-14th Poland PGL Major Krakow (4/5)
3-4th Germany ESL One Cologne (4/5)
2nd Russia Adrenaline Cyber League (4/5)

Zeus is back in Natus Vincere after winning the PGL Major Krakow with Gambit. Still, Natus Vincere couldn't go as deep as they would have liked to at DreamHack Masters Malmö, coming in 5-8th. Their victories came against Virtus.pro and Renegades , while they lost to NiP and Astralis.

Unfortunately for Natus Vincere, they will face an in-form G2 in their opening game in Atlanta. The CIS-team's map picks/bans will be crucial as they haven't had too much time to work on their map pool, just like FaZe. The fact that the game will be a best-of-one will certainly increase their chances, but G2 will still be the favorites.

Zeus will be looking for a better result in Atlanta

Zeus & company beat Renegades 2-0 in Malmö, so it is unlikely that the CIS squad will struggle against the Aussies if they face each other in the elimination game, meaning that Natus Vincere will most likely find themselves in the decider match even if they aren't firing on all cylinders.

The CIS squad will need flamie & s1mple to step up; if the duo find their groove and Zeus drills his team well, Natus Vincere can definitely get through to the playoffs.

Renegades (#19) Age Rating 2.0
Canada Keith "NAF" Markovic  19 1.04
Australia Justin "jks" Savage  21 1.02
Australia Aaron "AZR" Ward  24 1.01
Australia Karlo "USTILO" Pivac 24 1.00
United States Noah "Nifty" Francis  19 0.95
Offline placings in the last three months
9-12th Sweden DreamHack Masters Malmö (4/5)
3-4th United States DreamHack Open Atlanta  (4/5)
12-14th Romania PGL Major Krakow Main Qualifier  (4/5)

It would be a bold claim to state that Renegades have even an outside chance of making it to the playoffs. They were drawn into a challenging group, making the possibility of them getting in the top two very slim.

Following DreamHack Masters Malmö, where they finished 9-12th, Renegades made a roster change, adding NAF from OpTic to replace David "Jayzwalkingz" Kempner, who wasn't given the chance to use the AWP - one of his most important attributes.

NAF will make his debut for Renegades

The addition of NAF brings in more firepower, but it doesn't take Renegades any step closer to out-aiming the teams they are about to face. However, they can pounce on these teams if they smell blood, just like they did against Virtus.pro in Malmö.

All in all, if their opponents play carefully and don't make unnecessary mistakes against Renegades, the Australians will have an extremely hard time to make it out of the group in Atlanta.

France Nathan 'NBK-' Schmitt
Nathan 'NBK-' Schmitt
Age:
25
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
1652
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.15
Australia Karlo 'USTILO' Pivac
Karlo 'USTILO' Pivac
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
714
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.70
APR:
0.15
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
Australia Justin 'jks' Savage
Justin 'jks' Savage
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
848
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.63
APR:
0.13
Canada Keith 'NAF' Markovic
Keith 'NAF' Markovic
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1143
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.16
France Richard 'shox' Papillon
Richard 'shox' Papillon
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.10
Maps played:
1573
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.12
Australia Aaron 'AZR' Ward
Aaron 'AZR' Ward
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
851
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.14
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
France Dan 'apEX' Madesclaire
Dan 'apEX' Madesclaire
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
1528
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.70
APR:
0.16
Bosnia and Herzegovina Nikola 'NiKo' Kovač
Nikola 'NiKo' Kovač
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.17
Maps played:
1134
KPR:
0.81
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.13
France Fabien 'kioShiMa' Fiey
Fabien 'kioShiMa' Fiey
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
1247
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.15
Sweden David 'Jayzwalkingz' Kempner
David 'Jayzwalkingz' Kempner
Age:
22
Rating 1.0:
0.96
Maps played:
330
KPR:
0.65
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.11
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
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
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
United States Noah 'Nifty' Francis
Noah 'Nifty' Francis
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
781
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.09
Denmark Finn 'karrigan' Andersen
Finn 'karrigan' Andersen
Age:
29
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.93
Maps played:
1538
KPR:
0.64
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.13
Sweden Olof 'olofmeister' Kajbjer
Olof 'olofmeister' Kajbjer
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
1329
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.13
France Alexandre 'bodyy' Pianaro
Alexandre 'bodyy' Pianaro
Age:
22
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.96
Maps played:
762
KPR:
0.65
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.14
Finland Aleksi 'allu' Jalli
Aleksi 'allu' Jalli
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.10
Maps played:
1391
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.11
Norway Håvard 'rain' Nygaard
Håvard 'rain' Nygaard
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.05
Maps played:
1165
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.15
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
France Kenny 'kennyS' Schrub
Kenny 'kennyS' Schrub
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.14
Maps played:
1577
KPR:
0.77
DPR:
0.63
APR:
0.11
#2
fnx | 
Brazil Beicom 
NOT AGAIN
2017-09-08 02:40
+1 wtf is that start time
2017-09-08 11:55
#3
 | 
Sweden WhisperingEye 
Ez4Renegades
2017-09-08 02:40
#14
 | 
Australia WaxNWayne 
+1
2017-09-08 03:17
#22
 | 
Australia JonoMate 
Renegades to top group A confirmed
2017-09-08 05:36
confirmed by HLTVconfirmator
2017-09-08 06:51
one of the worst baits
2017-09-09 22:12
omg
2017-09-08 02:40
#5
 | 
Brazil Peluzin 
mec
2017-09-08 02:40
ez4faze
2017-09-08 02:40
Ez shox
2017-09-08 02:40
#9
 | 
France StickyRice 
One top team (G2), 2 washed up teams (NaVi and FaZe) and a lower tier team ( Renegades).
2017-09-08 02:41
To be fair, Renegades are set to improve their form with the addition of NAF.
2017-09-08 02:43
#19
 | 
Spain JasonRacism 
This guy isn't very educated don't listen to him !!!
2017-09-08 04:38
#44
 | 
United States Artifactz 
lol +1
2017-09-14 03:42
#28
 | 
Greece hekzy 
Nah, I'm a G2 fan. I can tell you its going to be very close, especially with FaZe.
2017-09-08 07:18
';;'
2017-09-08 02:42
#13
 | 
Denmark potatomato 
R3N3G4D3$
2017-09-08 03:10
#15
 | 
Australia kTw0 
2ez for jks
2017-09-08 03:57
#16
 | 
Argentina M4estre 
dudududududdudududu
2017-09-08 04:29
#18
 | 
Chile nachooww 
#FaZeUp
2017-09-08 04:34
#20
 | 
Sweden godname 
shoxieJESUS will destroy
2017-09-08 05:13
#21
 | 
North America Godested 
Ez for G2
2017-09-08 05:26
group of death
2017-09-08 06:15
#26
 | 
Malaysia phyzell 
Apparently NAF is 19 and Zeus is 29. What makes someone a master of his own game?
2017-09-08 06:57
very good group for 100000 "s1mple destroyed navi" topics XD thank mr eleague
2017-09-08 08:03
#32
kennyS | 
France Scottty 
How will the event be played with Irma that will hit Georgia?
2017-09-08 12:04
By the time it reached Atlanta it won't be so strong any more.
2017-09-08 14:51
God pls, if you read this, make navi play vs faze, I want this so hard BlessRNG
2017-09-08 12:22
Gg ez noob
2017-09-09 12:24
:) whatever, faze sucks anyway
2017-09-09 15:38
Navi sucks more
2017-09-09 15:38
cause of 1 bo1 ?
2017-09-09 15:39
#34
 | 
Oceania nobrac 
I think with the time given navi and faze can cause huge upsets.. with recent changes in there roster.. Navi with zeus back to mold the team Faze with guardian and olof fitting into the puzzle.. Exceptionally amazing teams on paper.. but can they perform together..? Faze dont want to get to big headed.. they have a super team, cmon they are a dream team, thoes players in there prime dominate.. but it comes down to team work and smart plays.. karrigan has the igl and smarts.. whether he can make them work.. maybe his tactics wil only get his teams so far then need more structure.. look at astralis.. I want faze/navi to go thru.. two fav teams..
2017-09-08 13:03
Pls faze don't fuck up
2017-09-08 15:22
I dont understand why are they playing bo1 winners match they have the whole weekend to play 1 group, just make the winners, elimination and decider matches bo3 and have the opening games bo1, thats 3 bo3s and 2 bo1s over 1 weekend, not exactly difficult to schedule. If youre going to spread the whole event over multiple weeks you might as well have the best format possible.
2017-09-08 15:40
Since when nuke is one of the favorite Navi's map?
2017-09-09 03:54
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