cs_summit 4 preview

The fourth edition of cs_summit is around the corner, kicking off later today with the first matches of the round-robin group stage. We have put together a preview in which we take a look at each team and their chances of success in Los Angeles.

Unlike the previous editions, cs_summit 4 is set to begin with a round-robin group stage consisting of six teams, who play each other twice over the course of the first three days, with the top four sides advancing to the single-elimination playoff bracket at the end.

The $150,000 tournament comprises a wide variety of teams, including two of the very best in the world in Liquid and ENCE, both of whom took home titles in their latest campaigns, some middle-of-the-road dark horses in NRG, Vitality, and Renegades, as well as an underdog in Ghost. Let's take a look at each of the six teams in more detail and see how they could fare against the competition.

Liquid are coming to Los Angeles still quite fresh off their triumph at IEM Sydney, where they finally broke their Big-Event title duck with a 3-2 win over fnatic in the grand final of the Australian tournament. The series against the Swedes wasn't the prettiest, as there was a real possibility of Jesper "JW" Wecksell's side taking the upset win in the best-of-five match, but it was the win that counted, and it counted double for Liquid, who had developed a long-standing reputation for choking in big finals with ten runners-up finishes at Big Events prior to their first victory.

It doesn't seem realistic that the single title has magically made all of the mental issues Liquid had struggled with disappear, but it is a huge milestone for everyone in the squad apart from Major winner Jake "Stewie2K" Yip and ELEAGUE champion Keith "NAF" Markovic, nonetheless. It is undeniable proof that this team can deliver on the biggest stages, even if it took them a long time to get there.

Can Liquid double up at cs_summit?

When it comes to the Summit, that will be a considerably smaller mountain to climb. Not only is it a much more relaxed atmosphere compared to the likes of IEM Sydney and, in fact, the venue where Liquid first tasted victory back in the second edition of the tournament series last year, but there is only one other top eight team in attendance.

However, that other highflier is ENCE, whom Nick "nitr0" Cannella's team has yet to beat after a series loss at IEM Katowice and a tie at BLAST Pro Series São Paulo. All eyes should certainly be on that five-star match, which is set to be played in the middle of the round-robin (set a reminder for Friday, 20:00) and potentially once more in the playoffs, with the two teams looking like clear favorites for a grand final appearance.

Despite cs_summit 4 being a middle-sized event, it could prove important in taking Astralis off the top of the rankings, which now have the top two teams at a difference of 142 points. Although it is unlikely the Los Angeles event will be enough on its own for Liquid to catch up to the Danes even in case of a triumph, with DreamHack Masters Dallas set to follow and Astralis a notable absentee, we could see their streak at #1 dating back to late April 2018 end come June 3.

Ranked third in the world, another team currently at their peak are ENCE, who have undeniably become the most-improved team of 2019 so far – and there doesn't seem to be an end to the curve. The Finns just hoisted their first Big-Event trophy, at BLAST Pro Series Madrid, just like Liquid, although, unlike the North American side, they did so at the expense of Astralis.

Whatever the amount of stock you want to put into BLAST tournaments as a whole, ENCE have broken into the elite in a way that no one can criticize, with a convincing 2-0 victory that included a record-shattering win on Astralis' home turf of Nuke.

ENCE are riding on a high from their massive milestone in Spain, which is yet another analogy to Liquid that points to the two teams being in prime position to reach the final come Sunday. The similarities end there, however. While the North American team typically looks quite convincing on the way to the title decider and struggles at the final hurdle, it was a case of the opposite for the Finnish squad in Madrid, as they nearly missed out on a top-two placing after losing to NiP 5-16 on Nuke and being down 10-14 against Giants.

ENCE look to continue their meteoric rise

That could come into play in Los Angeles again. However impressive they've been when facing the best teams in the world, ENCE so far lack the stability of a truly elite side due to some of those losses and close calls in matches in which they should be more comfortable, as further proven by their stumble at StarSeries i-League Season 7 against Vitality, a team they will meet once more at cs_summit. On top of that, there is a solid-looking NRG in attendance, as well, with whom Aleksi "Aleksib" Virolainen & co. will have their first rendezvous ever.

With that being said, it's very hard to imagine a world in which ENCE lose more matches than they win against this set of teams, and that is what they would need to do to miss out on playoffs in this forgiving format that puts four out of six teams through to the bracket stage.

Lineup Age Rating
United StatesVincent "Brehze" Cayonte 21 1.20
United StatesEthan "Ethan" Arnold 19 1.19
BulgariaTsvetelin "CeRq" Dimitrov 19 1.12
United StatesTarik "tarik" Celik 23 1.07
CanadaDamian "daps" Steele 25 0.85
Coach
Offline placings in the last three months
Placement Event
1-4th
ESL Pro League Season 9 Americas
3-4th
IEM Sydney 2019
3-4th
StarSeries i-League Season 7

NRG have returned to their home country following a couple of promising events with their latest addition, Tarik "tarik" Celik, who helped his new team advance to the ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals from the first group stage and reach the semi-finals of StarSeries i-League Season 7 and IEM Sydney.

They have had a little over two weeks to recharge after IEM Sydney, and that is the most downtime they will get in a while, as cs_summit 4 begins quite the run for NRG, who will attend a grueling four LAN events and the Americas Minor NA closed qualifier over the course of the next 30 days, with just a few days to travel and prepare between each tournament. Whether they have bit more than they can chew will be seen by the end of it, but the important part is that they will be coming to Summit well rested and supposedly well prepared.

NRG have achieved decent stability with tarik, but can they push further?

Damian "daps" Steele's men come to LA as one of the middle-of-the-pack teams with a good likelihood of making the playoffs from a top-four placing in the groups and a decent chance of some upsets against the aforementioned favorites. As mentioned above, ENCE and NRG have never met, while historically their matches against Liquid have been a back-and-forth affair, even though they have yet to meet this year, with these lineups.

Meanwhile, Renegades pose a threat to Ethan "Ethan" Arnold & co. because of the baffling result of the two sides' latest encounter in ESL Pro League Season 9, where Renegades fielded the same lineup with Owen "smooya" Butterfield and still came out on top, and it took some big heroics from Vincent "Brehze" Cayonte and Ethan to bring down Vitality last time around, in Shanghai. That makes cs_summit a dangerous prospect, but all in all, NRG should go through without too many bruises.

Lineup Age Rating
United KingdomOwen "smooya" Butterfield 19 1.27
AustraliaJustin "jks" Savage 23 1.17
NorwayJoakim "jkaem" Myrbostad 25 1.16
AustraliaJay "Liazz" Tregillgas 21 0.95
AustraliaAaron "AZR" Ward 26 0.94
Coach
Offline placings in the last three months
Placement Event
7-8th
ESL Pro League Season 9 Americas
9-12th
IEM Sydney 2019
3-4th
StarSeries i-League Season 7

Renegades continue going through a rough patch dating back to IEM Katowice, when they first encountered some visa issues that have kept preventing the team from practicing properly and even attending tournaments with their full lineup. That issue saw the team finish outside of the playoffs in their home country at IEM Sydney and miss out on a spot at ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals after having to field smooya for both group stages of the regular season.

The Brit will continue to stand in for Sean "Gratisfaction" Kaiwai, who still hasn't been granted a P1 visa, until the beginning of June, attending not only Summit but also DreamHack Masters Dallas. That puts the team in an awkward situation and paints a bleak picture for them at the two events, although they are still not completely out of the picture given that they've been able to hold their own despite their struggles.

smooya has to offer some much-needed gratification in these rough times for Renegades

They have already surprised once with smooya when they took down NRG in Pro League and kept themselves within contention for a spot at the finals, even if unsuccessfully in the end. On top of that, they've had quite a bit of playtime now with the BIG AWPer, which makes this more promising than the usual stand-in situation, and the best-of-one format diminishes their disadvantage.

Still, you shouldn't expect big things from Renegades. Although they are bound to get a surprise win here or there given that they will be playing ten maps over the course of the next three days, at best that will put them somewhere on the edge of making playoffs and it wouldn't look good for them in a potential semi-final encounter with ENCE or Liquid.

Lineup Age Rating
FranceMathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut 18 1.24
FranceNathan "NBK-" Schmitt 24 1.07
FranceDan "apEX" Madesclaire 26 1.06
United KingdomAlex "ALEX" McMeekin 23 0.94
FranceCédric "RpK" Guipouy 29 0.93
Coach
Offline placings in the last three months
Placement Event
1st
Charleroi Esports
5-8th
StarSeries i-League Season 7

Even though their situation is hardly comparable to the two favorites at the tournament, Vitality are coming to cs_summit 4 off solid success back at home in Europe, with a win at Charleroi Esports and two successful qualifying runs that earned them spots at the ECS Season 7 Finals and ESL One Cologne.

Combined with an 8-1 run so far in MDL Season 31, that puts the Frenchmen at a 26-4 record since their showing at StarSeries i-League Season 7, where Alex "ALEX" McMeekin took over the reins as the main in-game leader. On the flipside, it also means that Vitality are in for a challenge they haven't faced before, as they will be attending three LANs with nearly no breaks in between, starting with the Summit.

cs_summit will be the start of a new experience for Vitality

In other words, if they aren't prepared well enough for Los Angeles, they will not be able to catch up until the ECS Season 7 Finals are over, and that is something Vitality haven't experienced yet given that they have attended fairly few international tournaments as a still relatively new team. At the same time, it also represents an opportunity to make up some more ground in the rankings, in which they have stagnated around the tenth place ever since the Major, so a strong start in L.A. could empower them to a solid run over the next two weeks.

As usual, we can expect a strong showing from Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut, but barring some s1mple-like performances from the young gun, other players will need to step up, like Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt did against ENCE at StarSeries or Dan "apEX" Madesclaire throughout IEM Katowice. If that happens, Vitality could be looking at a high enough group stage finish for them to avoid Liquid in the semi-finals, the only matchup in which they are looking poor.

Lineup Age Rating
CanadaMatthew "WARDELL" Yu 20 1.11
CanadaJoshua "steel" Nissan 29 1.05
United StatesKenneth "koosta" Suen 22 1.04
United StatesJason "neptune" Tran 16 1.01
United StatesRyan "freakazoid" Abadir 26 0.96
Coach
Offline placings in the last three months
Placement Event
7-8th
ESL Pro League Season 9 Americas
7-8th
DreamHack Open Tours 2019

Ghost arrive in Los Angeles with hopes of rebounding from an unpleasant situation at DreamHack Open Tours, where the team had to play with coach James "JamezIRL" Macaulay as Ryan "freakazoid" Abadir was ruled out due to unspecified travel issues, looking surprisingly competitive despite finishing last with a double-digit loss to AVANGAR and a 1-2 series defeat to G2.

Joshua "steel" Nissan's squad are back in full force, but, this time, they will be hindered by having to focus on two tournaments at once. That is because Ghost are about to complete the second group stage of ESL Pro League Season 9 Americas, where they will go up against Cloud9 for a spot at the Finals on the first day of the Summit. That 'distraction' has certainly impacted Ghost's ability to prepare for $150,000 tournament, where they are already looking like the biggest underdog despite another team fielding a stand-in.

It would be unlike Matthew "WARDELL" Yu & co. to give us no surprises, however. History says they have something up their sleeve every time they attend a significant international tournament, judging by their two wins against FaZe at iBUYPOWER Masters in January or the near-upset versus Na`Vi late last year at ESL Pro League Season 8 Finals. The Canadian AWPer is often at the helm of those surprises, so look to him to give his opponents a scare as Ghost attempt to make it out of groups against the odds.

Canada Matthew 'WARDELL' Yu
Matthew 'WARDELL' Yu
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
489
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.10
United States Ryan 'freakazoid' Abadir
Ryan 'freakazoid' Abadir
Age:
26
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
757
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.15
France Nathan 'NBK-' Schmitt
Nathan 'NBK-' Schmitt
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
1635
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.15
United Kingdom Owen 'smooya' Butterfield
Owen 'smooya' Butterfield
Age:
20
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.17
Maps played:
391
KPR:
0.80
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.11
United States Nick 'nitr0' Cannella
Nick 'nitr0' Cannella
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
1162
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.14
Canada Keith 'NAF' Markovic
Keith 'NAF' Markovic
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1096
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.16
Canada Damian 'daps' Steele
Damian 'daps' Steele
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.87
Maps played:
870
KPR:
0.58
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.15
Sweden Jesper 'JW' Wecksell
Jesper 'JW' Wecksell
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
1542
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.14
United States Tarik 'tarik' Celik
Tarik 'tarik' Celik
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
1119
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.15
Canada Joshua 'steel' Nissan
Joshua 'steel' Nissan
Age:
29
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
406
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.70
APR:
0.15
New Zealand Sean 'Gratisfaction' Kaiwai
Sean 'Gratisfaction' Kaiwai
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
609
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.61
APR:
0.12
Finland Aleksi 'Aleksib' Virolainen
Aleksi 'Aleksib' Virolainen
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
582
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.18
France Dan 'apEX' Madesclaire
Dan 'apEX' Madesclaire
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.05
Maps played:
1469
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.70
APR:
0.16
United States James 'JamezIRL' Macaulay
James 'JamezIRL' Macaulay
Age:
30
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.87
Maps played:
71
KPR:
0.60
DPR:
0.72
APR:
0.13
United States Jake 'Stewie2K' Yip
Jake 'Stewie2K' Yip
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.05
Maps played:
1060
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.14
United States Ethan 'Ethan' Arnold
Ethan 'Ethan' Arnold
Age:
19
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
700
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.15
United States Vincent 'Brehze' Cayonte
Vincent 'Brehze' Cayonte
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.12
Maps played:
754
KPR:
0.77
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.12
France Mathieu 'ZywOo' Herbaut
Mathieu 'ZywOo' Herbaut
Age:
18
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.31
Maps played:
482
KPR:
0.88
DPR:
0.63
APR:
0.13
United Kingdom Alex 'ALEX' McMeekin
Alex 'ALEX' McMeekin
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
866
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.71
APR:
0.13
#1
 | 
Sweden Trkmag 
NIce
2019-05-23 13:05
F5
2019-05-23 13:08
#16
 | 
Austria shaakeh 
Expected
2019-05-23 13:14
F5
2019-05-23 13:37
#2
 | 
France Hakuryuu 
Noice
2019-05-23 13:06
It was "First" like 1 minute ago :D
2019-05-23 13:07
#21
Twistzz | 
Singapore 3st 
exposed
2019-05-23 13:25
Cool
2019-05-23 13:06
gl to them all
2019-05-23 13:06
#5
 | 
Finland EdiEz 
EZ4ENCE
2019-05-23 13:06
#6
 | 
Brazil PAME19 
Nice
2019-05-23 13:07
#9
 | 
Finland CucumberFIN 
So EZ4ENCE
2019-05-23 13:08
#11
 | 
United States Trump2020KAG 
Damn look at them liquid stats.
2019-05-23 13:10
#12
 | 
Australia Boostral 
RNG win guarantee
2019-05-23 13:10
Go liquid
2019-05-23 13:10
#14
ZywOo | 
France gamarin 
"that puts the Frenchmen at a 26-4 record since their showing at StarSeries i-League Season 7, where Alex "ALEX" McMeekin took over the reins as the main in-game leader." Fake news?
2019-05-23 13:12
#30
 | 
France Th0p456 
NBK mentioned in previous interviews that ALEX has taken the lead for their T-side. But I believe it is still NBK acting as IGL when they are playing CT (unless I missed some recent news).
2019-05-23 14:07
#52
JaCkz | 
France Nairelav 
That's what I heard too
2019-05-24 16:18
#49
ZywOo | 
Europe PowwneD 
What?
2019-05-23 17:28
EZ FOR RENE
2019-05-23 13:12
#17
 | 
United States Trump2020KAG 
Btw Naf/optic won ecs.....that’s a bigger title then Sydney was.
2019-05-23 13:15
It's ELEAGUE S2 that he won with OpTic, but fair enough
2019-05-23 13:45
#31
 | 
United States Trump2020KAG 
Copy ty for correction. I knew it was one of the bigger events. Haha damn u are quick nice edit. A man who takes pride in his work. I can respect that.
2019-05-23 14:16
ENCE - TL FINAL
2019-05-23 13:19
#19
KRIMZ | 
Romania moetxxx 
Better then blast
2019-05-23 13:24
EZ4WARDELLNFRIENDS
2019-05-23 13:24
Mommy I'm in the article!!! I made it onto the internet!!!
2019-05-23 13:33
#34
 | 
Finland JHdash77 
Name change incoming for you monkaS
2019-05-23 14:36
Liquite choking in Big finals with ten runners-ups Finishes at Big events - Is that not a record itself Like an era
2019-05-23 13:46
#26
CIS FBLS 
F25
2019-05-23 13:48
#27
 | 
Australia TeBo 
1st Liquid 2nd ENCE 3rd NRG 4th Renegades 5th Vitality 6th Ghost
2019-05-23 13:53
#50
ZywOo | 
Europe PowwneD 
1st Liquid 2nd Vitality 3rd ENCE 4th Renegades 5th NRG 6th Ghost
2019-05-23 17:30
Wait , isn't Ghost participating at ESL?
2019-05-23 13:55
Well apparently 1.08>1.09 , 0.93>0.94 , 1.05>1.11 and 0.96>1.01
2019-05-23 13:55
Always a great tournament
2019-05-23 14:30
should be ez for ghost gaming
2019-05-23 14:32
Go Vitality !!
2019-05-23 14:49
#36
 | 
Finland Faust_fSt 
Low key stacked cs_summit. I've always enjoyed it (or, as much of it as I've been up watching), and this time the team roster is really damn good. A shame, though, that RNG are with a stand-in. I expect them and Ghost to be the two teams outside playoffs... NRG could win the whole thing tbh, if they've had a good prac coming in.
2019-05-23 15:03
#37
 | 
Norway C1trl 
My opinion, feel free to discuss: Tier 1: Liquid - Strong favorite Tier 2: Ence - Have good chances, should make finals Tier 3: NRG and Renegades - Not impossible, should make semis Tier 4: Vitality and Ghost - Underdogs but can surprise
2019-05-23 15:09
+1 This is most likely the pattern if nothing unexpected happens.
2019-05-23 17:07
#38
 | 
Croatia gmchanger97 
how does this work? map picks wise
2019-05-23 15:23
#38
 | 
Croatia gmchanger97 
how does this work? map picks wise
2019-05-23 15:23
#38
 | 
Croatia gmchanger97 
how does this work? map picks wise
2019-05-23 15:23
#38
 | 
Croatia gmchanger97 
how does this work? map picks wise
2019-05-23 15:23
#44
 | 
Australia CuppaJoe 
Why 4 lol?
2019-05-23 16:02
-freakazoid +tenz
2019-05-23 15:32
Feel like Vitality can do some damage here.
2019-05-23 16:01
#51
ZywOo | 
Europe PowwneD 
Vitality are underrated since they didn't attend yet enough Big Event
2019-05-23 17:32
#45
 | 
Australia CuppaJoe 
This is what Astralis deserve, a chance of being knocked off that #1 spot because they ain't attending anything
2019-05-23 16:03
#47
s1mple | 
Europe Sam2k 
ez for Vitality
2019-05-23 16:58
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