With one week of the ELEAGUE Premier 2017 in the book, it’s time for Group B to get underway and boy is this going to be an interesting one.
Two of the four teams in this group were involved in one of the oddest endings to a grand finals we’ve ever seen. When three of Immortals’ players failed to show up on time for the Grand Final of DreamHack Montreal, the team was forced to forfeit the first game to North. In the second map, they were handily defeated 16-9 by North. The controversy didn’t stop there as tweets were fired and accusations were thrown from all sides. It will no doubt impact what goes down in Atlanta this weekend. Let’s dive right in.
Group B: North, mousesports, Fnatic, Immortals
Advancing: North and mousesports
Let’s just get to the elephant in the room right off the bat. In the aftermath of last weekend’s events, Immortals’ Vito “kNg” Giuseppe will not be attending the event. He has gone back to Brazil to apply for a visa to remain in the United States, but the timing of this certainly is a bit questionable and leaves the team in a bit of a bind. kNg has been one of Immortals most impactful members since he joined the team a few months prior. His absence coupled with the surrounding drama of this incident will no doubt haunt the Brazilians in Atlanta.
On the flip side of this whole snafu, North has been playing some dominant Counter-Strike of late. While they’ve been sort of treading water for most of the year, they seem to have finally hit their stride. They came in second at DreamHack Malmo a couple weeks back and then won DreamHack Montreal this past weekend. With their placement in one of the least stacked groups in the tournament, they should have an easy run to the playoffs.
Mousesports, much like North, have been playing some of their best Counter-Strike these days. They were no strangers to the “Great Roster Shuffle of 2017”, as they brought in Miikka “suNny” Kemppi and Martin “STYKO” Styk in place of Denis “denis” Howell and Christian “IoWel” Antoran. It certainly seems to have worked out pretty well for them. While they’ve been a bit shaky online in the ESL Pro League Season 6, they just took home the top prize at ESG Tour Mykonos this past weekend. In Mykonos, they defeated the likes of Heroic, Gambit Esports, Virtus.pro, and Team Liquid to bring home the gold. Look for them to continue this streak in Atlanta this week.
Fnatic, meanwhile, have been gutted over the last couple weeks. They lost not only Dennis “dennis” Edman, but the legendary Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer. In their place, they’ve brought on Jonas “Lekr0” Olofsson and Fnatic Academy member Maikil “Golden” Selim. While they’re doing pretty well in the ESL Pro League, online and LAN performance are very different. They’ll have a tough time making it ahead in this group. Although, I’d put more stake in Fnatic making it over mouz than I would Immortals.