With The New Challengers stage determining the nine teams to face seven of the best teams in the world, The New Legends stage got off to an explosive start Friday. While things mainly went according to plan, there was still plenty of surprises in Atlanta. While you can read recaps of each game here, keep reading for a look at how the teams turned out once it was all said and done.
Mousesports (1-0): While mouz has certainly been one of the better teams for awhile now, I don’t think anyone could have guess that they would come out and stomp Astralis in a 16-2 game. They’ll have a tough task on Saturday with SK Gaming up next on the slate.
Quantum Bellator Fire (1-0): One of the more surprising developments at this tournament thus far has been watching Quantum Bellator come out of nowhere with some strong play. While they went 3-2 in The New Challengers Stage and barely made it to The New Legends, they played teams close and came out with just a minus-1 match score. They continue to be a team to watch at this event.
Gambit Esports (1-0): The reigning Major champions seem to be unfazed by the lack of former in-game leader Daniil “Zeus” Teslenko. They came out and picked up a pretty lopsided win over a strong Natus Vincere squad. They’ll be matched against Quantum Bellator Fire in what is sure to be an interesting matchup.
Team Liquid (1-0): This team continues to do North America proud, as they somewhat easily dealt with BIG in a 16-11 win. In order to keep support NA on their shoulders, however, they’ll have to face a formidable G2 Esports squad on Saturday.
G2 Esports (1-0): While this French superteam has struggled for a large part of its existence, this team looked strong against Cloud9 on Friday. The North Americans had been playing well of late, making this an important win for a G2 team that needs a strong showing at this Major. They’ll look to continue dashing the hopes of North America with a matchup against Team Liquid on Saturday.
FaZe Clan (1-0): Despite losing a game to Vega Squadron last week during The New Challengers stage, FaZe looked poised to get back to their usual level of dominance. Facing a Fnatic team that is still adjusting to their new roster, FaZe got things done with a 16-8 win on Cache. Speaking of Vega, FaZe will hope to overcome their earlier defeat with another battle with the Russians on Saturday.
Vega Squadron (1-0): After making it past the The New Challengers with a surprising 3-1 record, the Russian squad hasn’t seemed to let up one bit. North put up a bit of a fight, but Vega easily handled things with a 16-10 win. The real test will come on Saturday when they face off against FaZe in a rematch of Vega’s upset win last week.
SK Gaming (1-0): Despite SK’s prowess in the world of CS:GO, Space Soldiers has seemed to have the Brazilians number going back to ESL Cologne last summer. While SK managed to pick up the win this time around, it wasn’t easy by any means. Things won’t get much easier, however, as SK has to face a red-hot mousesports on Saturday.
Space Soldiers (0-1): While Space Soldiers will be taking a 0-1 record into Saturday, they can do so knowing that they almost took SK Gaming to brink. This team continues to not be afraid of their competition, which should do them well against Cloud9 on Saturday.
North (0-1): This surely wasn’t the start that North was looking for, as they were easily dispatched by Vega Squadron in a 16-10 loss. Things won’t be getting any easier for them with a matchup against their fellow Danes of Astralis on the horizon for Day 2.
Cloud9 (0-1): While Cloud9 had been rising in the ranks over the last few weeks, they were unable to get much going in this game against G2 Esports. After going 3-0 in The New Challengers stage, this was certainly a disappointing start for the North Americans. They’ll hope to bounce back against Space Soldiers on Saturday.
Fnatic (0-1): There is still much for this Fnatic team to figure out, as their 16-8 loss to FaZe Clan plainly shows. While Maikil “Golden” Selim has done a commendable job in his first time as an in-game leader, they simply couldn’t contend with the powerhouse of FaZe. With a floundering Virtus.pro on the horizon, things could be looking up for Fnatic.
BIG (0-1): BIG? More like SMALL. This team looked dazed and confused in a 16-5 loss at the hands of Team Liquid on Friday. With a powerful Na’Vi next up on the docket, this team is unlikely to turn it around before it’s almost too late.
Natus Vincere (0-1): I know that this team was trounced by Gambit in their game Friday, but this roster is still one of the most powerful in the world. Despite the rough loss, Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev still managed a 99 ADR. Don’t count this team out for much longer.
Virtus.pro (0-1): Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. The former owners of the Polish Plow moniker have continued to fall from grace for the better part of a year. Sure, they had a couple second place finishes at EPICENTER 2017 and StarLadder i-League Invitational in late 2017, but clearly the problems aren’t fixed after dropping to Quantum Bellator 16-3.
Astralis (0-1): One would have thought that the return of Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz would have been a major boon for this Astralis team that’s looking to defend the ELEAGUE title. Instead, they came out incredibly flat against mousesports in a 16-2 loss. Next up will be their fellow Danes of North in what is a huge matchup for the former Major champions.