The Group stages of ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2017 haven’t had many surprises. Most teams who were suspected to win, won and really other than Group B there we no tough matchups. Cloud9 has been on an upswing and Fnatic are currently top in the ESL Pro League. If you were like me, then you also jumped on Fnatic as an underdog in their Group.
The last and probably the toughest Group we’ll see is Group D. Before I get to my picks and reasons let’s catch up on what's been going on.
ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2017 Groups Recap
Natus Vincere hasn’t been in fighting shape since their roster changes and don’t get me wrong, they are still a strong upper-middle team. They’ve been consistently in the money in tournaments but they haven’t looked well in the ESL Pro League this season, sitting in last place with a 2-4 record. It is still early but when they were the toughest competition, it’s no surprise that FaZe and G2 made it through. (I still don’t believe that first Na’Vi G2 match (maybe it was so they wouldn’t face FaZe early?))
Group B was the toughest Group yet! North and Immortals are two of the top 10 teams, while Fnatic might not be there yet they are doing seriously well in the ESL Pro League Season 6. You can’t say Fnatic didn’t deserve their spot! North also fought hard to make it out of Group B and maybe if Immortals beat Fnatic we’d have seen a different outcome.
Now, Cloud9 has been a very up and down team this year. Finishing first against SK Gaming at Subaru Invitational 2017 and the coming last in the ESL Pro League Season 5 finals the next week. They’ve racked in a good chunk of change and have been on an upswing. As for second place, EnVy or NiP could have taken that spot and it even came down to a 2:1 win for EnVy to seal that deal. No offense to VP as I’m trying to bring them into my heart again but that was a brutal performance.
ELEAGUE Group D Picks
Let’s work our way up from the bottom, shall we? SK Gaming, Astralis, Team Liquid and poor old Heroic.
Heroic have had some luck this year and while they haven’t won any tournaments this year, they’re looking better this season in the ESL. Now that being said, 5-5 is looking better… So that is why I’m counting out Heroic in Group D.
Team Liquid are ranked 6th in the world but like Heroic, they are also sitting middle of the pack in the ESL. TL however, has a record of 4-2. They have though, had way better luck in their tournament place as of the past 3 months. They have yet to win a tournament in the past two years, so I’m sorry TL but unless you’re against Heroic I’m not picking you.
Astralis although in the middle of the pack in the ESL, is a massive name in CS:GO. They have made hundreds of thousands (USD) this year alone. Only once this year finishing lower than 5th, they are easily one of the best in the business. I have no problem picking them to come out of Group D, well unless they get multi matched against SK Gaming.
SK Gaming is currently the best team in the world and if you’re new to professional CS:GO, they’ve been there for a while. They most recent loss was to TL at the ESL One: New York 2017 but don’t let that sway you from picking them this week. They have a deep map pool and more skill than most. Considering they’re an “NA” team, it’s amazing how strong their presence is in CS:GO.