A couple of upsets and some great plays open the first CS:GO Major of 2017.
Gambit Gaming vs. North
Showing his experience in shot-calling on de_cobblestone, Gambitâ€™s In-Game Leader Danylo â€œZeusâ€ Teslenko led his team to what some consider an upset over North. It started with a good opening pistol round for Gambit, but North answered with a couple of rounds of their own. Once the score evened-out to 2-2, Gambit started a seven round streak, with North taking a round again only after a much-needed AWP kill from Rene â€œcajunbâ€ Borg, followed by a triple-kill from Kristian â€œk0nfigâ€ Wienecke on the 3th round. Once Gambit switched over to the Terrorist side they didnâ€™t let go of their lead and won the match 16:8.
G2 vs. Fnatic
The second match of the Major was a strong showing from G2 on de_cache, starting off on the Counter-Terrorist side with a 4-man kill by Richard â€œshoxâ€ Papillon. It was a back-and-forth between the two teams for the first eight rounds of the match, up until fnatic started accruing a lead for themselves â€“ ending the first half with a 9:6 round score. G2 managed to catch up in the second half thanks to a strong pistol round and anti-eco wins. Cedric â€œRpKâ€ Guipoy earns a 114.2 rating and secures the win for his team with a 16:10 score.
SK Gaming vs. HellRaisers
There was no holding back from the Major title defenders SK Gaming in their opening match vs. HellRaisers on de_mirage. Despite HR gaining the first pistol round, they fail to truly take advantage of it, and SK go on a 7-round streak after the following eco-round, forcing HR to call a timeout. The next round goes HRâ€™s way but SK never really let go of their lead and with Marcelo â€œcoldzeraâ€ David racking up a good 24-10 K-D, things are looking good for SKâ€™s title defense.
Virtus.Pro vs. OpTic Gaming
In what was a comeback for Virtus.Pro after OpTic got themselves a 6-1 lead by the 7th round, VP show their composure and team play on de_cobblestone. VP takes the 8th and 9th round for themselves, but OpTicâ€™s Will â€œRUSHâ€ Wierzba pulls off a quad-kill and stops VP from gaining momentum, taking the first half with a 9:6 score. VPâ€™s Terrorist side saw them take the game back and eventually tie with OpTic on the 26th round. With the momentum going their way and their economy firmly in the green, they eventually took the match 16:13.
Natus Vincere vs. mousesports
In the most dominant victory of the first round of the ELEAGUE Major groupstage, Natus Vincere take a 16:3 win over mouseports on de_cobblestone â€“ a result made more impressive as Naâ€™Vi have struggled on the map in their last few LANs before the Major. The first half opened with a clutch diffuse by Denis â€œseizedâ€ Kostin in the pistol round, followed by strong performance by Ioann â€œEdwardâ€ Sukhariev racking up the kills for his team. The first half ended with a 13:2 lead for Naâ€™Vi, which they wouldnâ€™t let go of, eventually ending the game.
EnVyUs vs. Team Liquid
The matchup between the French squad fresh off their WESG win and the Team Liquid thatâ€™s been struggling since their last roster change went into triple overtime, with NV clutching out the win in the end. A map both teams are comfortable with, de_cache set the stage for the longest match of the first round. It began with a 4-round lead for NV, which Liquid was eventually able to even out by the 8th round, NV kept up the pace however, taking the first half 9:6 and some great killstreaks from Kenny â€œKennySâ€ Schrub helped secure their lead. An ace clutch by Josh â€œjdm64â€ Marzano kept Liquid in the game and started things going their way â€“ leading up to NV having to catch up to get into overtime. Liquid almost clutched the game, trying to continue their momentum going in, but a triple-kill from Nathan â€œNBK-â€ Schmitt came in to extend the game once again at 18:18. This time NV took match point first, but Liquid fought them off, taking over bombsites and pushing into the third overtime before Vincent â€œHappyâ€ Schopenhauer took up the secondary AWP and helped KennyS make quick work of the next three rounds and take the game, finally ending it 25:21 for EnVyUs.
Astralis vs. GODSENT
In what is perhaps the biggest upset so far, the favorites-to-win-it-all, Astralis, are handily taken down by GODSENT on de_train with a 16:6 round score. GODSENT started off very strong, taking off with a 9-round lead before Astralis could even chalk one up on the board and ultimately gave up the first half with a score of 12:3 for GODSENT, and Astralisâ€™ woes continued from there â€“ with Jonas â€œLekr0â€ Olofsson racking up kills and the rest of the team shaping up and never giving away their lead, they end the game 16:6.
FaZe Clan vs. FlipSid3 Tactics
The last game of the first day and the only matchup yet to be played on de_nuke, FaZe shows up with a strong performance, beating out FlipSid3. FaZe got through off the back of some clean executes and making sure F3 never claimed momentum and closed out the first half 9:6 for FaZe. F3 put up a good fight and claimed three more rounds for themselves, but FaZe kept their lead and took F3 out by the end, taking the game 16:9.
The first Major of the year for CS:GO is coming out strong, already showing some tight match-ups and exciting clutch plays â€“ and the second day is looking even more promising. As a reminder, the ELEAGUE Major group stage is being played in a Swiss format, meaning three wins guarantees a slot to the playoffs (with teams being seeded according to their score) and three losses means instant elimination, while each team plays another team with the same standing as their own. Here are the match-ups for the second round:
High Matches (Teams with a 1:0 score)
Natus Vincere vs. EnVyUs
FaZe Clan vs. SK Gaming
GODSENT vs. Gambit Esports
Virtus.Pro vs. G2 Esports
Low Matches (Teams with a 0:1 score)
mousesports vs. HellRaisers
FlipSid3 Tactics vs. Team Liquid
North vs. Fnatic
OpTic Gaming vs. Astralis