Week One, Group A recap
FaZe Clan’s path into the playoffs was generally straightforward. In the opening match of Group A, they sauntered to a 16-9 victory over Renegades. In the third game between the winners of the opening two matches, they defeated Natus Vincere in equally convincing fashion, 16-6. Those two wins confirmed them as Group A’s top seed.
G2 Esports advanced with more drama. They lost their opening match 10-16 to Natus Vincere, which meant they faced two best-of-three matches to determine their future in the tournament.
The first of those came against Renegades. G2 Esports found their top form, winning the first two maps, Mirage and Nuke, 16-9 and 16-2 in a sweep. This set up a revenge game against Natus Vincere in the final group game.
This final match was much more evenly contested, and G2 Esports found a way to win, taking the Cobblestone map by a 16-12 scoreline. They then fought out a 16-14 win in an exciting clash on Inferno.
Week Two, Group B preview
The second week of action in Atlanta gets underway on Sept. 15 and sees the four teams in Group B taking centerstage.
This is a hugely interesting group, as it pits the two big winners of last week’s top-level CS:GO tournaments against each other. North, who won the DreamHack Montreal event, will take on Fnatic, Immortals, and ESG Mykonos winners mousesports.
The first two games pit North against Fnatic and mousesports against Immortals. The next games in the group will, of course, be determined by the results in these opening fixtures.
The results from last week’s tournaments certainly seem to have affected the odds for Group B. North are now the even-money favorites to win the group. Immortals are 3/1 shots, and mousesports have now come in at 15/4 following their Mykonos victory. Fnatic are a 5/1 shot to win the group.
In the outright market, North are 9/2 to win the tournament, with Immortals a 10/1 shot, mousesports 16/1, and Fnatic a 33/1 chance. FaZe Clan are the new 4/1 favorites to win the event following their impressive qualification from Group A.
ESL One New York promises exciting third leg of Intel Grand Slam Season 1
Also on Sept. 15, the third portion of the Intel Grand Slam Season 1 begins as eight teams contest ESL One New York.
The teams have been drawn into two groups of four:
- Group A – SK Gaming, Cloud9, Natus Vincere, Team EnVyUs
- Group B – FaZe Clan, Astralis, Team Liquid, Virtus.pro
This series offers a cash prize of $ million to the first team to win four Premier events designated by ESL and/or DreamHack out of 10 total.
The first two events of the year were ESL One Cologne (SK Gaming won) and the DreamHack Masters Malmo (G2 Esports won). These teams now only require three more victories to claim the top prize.
The other two events this year on the Grand Slam schedule are the Intel Extreme Masters XII in Oakland from Nov. 16 to Nov. 19 and the ESL Pro League Season 6 Finals in Odense, Denmark from Dec. 5 to Dec. 10.
Alongside the top prize of $1 million, there is also a secondary “spoiling bonus” prize of $100,000. This prize is on offer to any team that can defeat a team that has three out of four Premier victories.
Of course, such is the nature of esports gaming that there may be no team that wins four events in the Grand Slam. In this case, the million is off the table, but other bonuses are still available.
With that in mind, SK Gaming will be hoping to capitalize on G2 Esports’ absence from this event to claim their second win. The Brazilian squad have not been in great form of late, and they face tough competition here.
Astralis and FaZe Clan are the new 3/1 favorites with Bet365 to win ESL One New York. SK Gaming has drifted just slightly out to 10/3. The bookies reckon those three teams, plus Natus Vincere, who are a 5/1 shot, are the most likely winners.
The outsiders for victory include Team Liquid and Virtus Pro, who are both 12/1 shots. Cloud9 and Team EnVyUs are rated as 16/1 chances to win the lion’s share of the $250,000 prize pool.