CS:GO Giants ready to clash ESL ONE, New York

September 15, 2017 8:56 PM

One of the last Premier CS:GO tournaments and the third Intel Grand Slam of 2017 is almost at hand, with ESL One: New York starting on 15th of September. The tournament takes place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the 18,000 seat venue which normally hosts NBA and NHL fixtures for Brooklyn Nets and New York Islanders.

The previous event in the Inter Grand Slam –series, DreamHack Malmö Masters, ended with some upsets as the favourites and the team many consider as the #1 team in the world, SK Gaming, bowed out in the first knockout round at the hands of the eventual champions, G2 Esports. For them this win undoubtedly soothed any disappointment from ESL One: Cologne or PGL Major Krakow.

The Spanish team beat Team North 2-0 in the final with Gambit and Ninjas in Pyjamas manning 3rd and 4th spots. Many big names such as Cloud9, the still struggling Virtus.pro, FaZe and fNatic were all left in the group stage. Virtus.pro got some consolation recently at the ESG Mykonos with 4th place, with Mousesports rising to the occasion and taking the title before Team Liquid and the third place SK Gaming.

Heading in to the Big Apple, Astralis sits on the #1 spot before the tournament, where they are as of today (12 September) as 14/5 favourites to win. They didn’t compete in Mykonos but reached the knockout stages at DreamHack Masters Malmö, only to lose to Gambit in the first round. The Danish team captured their first major title in January after adding a sport psychologist to their preparation and has been steady throughout 2017. However, they haven’t reached a final since Inter Extreme Masters in March, so expect them to come out of the gates hungry in New York and looking to improve the 7th place from 2016.

Despite the shock loss to G2 in quarterfinals of DreamHack Masters Malmö and the third place finish at ESG Mykonos, the might SK Gaming is the second favourite for the title as of today (12 September) with 3/1 odds. The Brazilian squadron was simply dominant through the middle of 2017 but have stumbled in their last two tournaments. Between April and July SK reached top four in nine tournaments, winning three Premier and two Major tournaments. Underachieving isn’t a word in their dictionary and they will surely arrive to Barclays Center with a chip on their shoulder and a point to prove.

Another team which has been on a slump recently is the FaZe clan. After a strong showing in the middle of 2017, they’ve only won one map (!) in their last two tournaments, bombing out early in both Malmö and Krakow. It’s been a rollercoaster year for them, which indicates that they are due for another good performance. They are followed by the Ukranian team Natus Vincere, who have been steady in 2017, but not winning a single major or premier tournament since…you guessed it, ESL One: New York 2016.

Despite being on their home turf, all three North American teams can be found at the bottom half of the odds. Cloud9 won the North American qualifier to the tournament and comes in with 8/1 odds, despite being runner ups at the ESL One Cologne earlier this year. Both EnVyUs and Virtus.pro have 10/1 odds despite Virtus.pro doing well at ESG Mykonos and EnVyUs underachieving heavily in the recent tournaments.

EnVyUs did however do well prior to these disappointments, so for them it’s time to prove that winning qualifiers translates to success in the final tournaments. The third North American team, Team Liquid can be found as the last seed of the eight team tournament with 14/1 odds on Betway as of today (14 September).But they have been in Top 2 in their last three outings, even if two of them were qualifiers. They gave others a subtle storm warning at ESG Mykonos with the second place finish in a tight five map final with Mousesports which ended 3-2, so don’t count these guys out.

As the ESL One: New York is a relatively small tournament, surprises can and will happen. With all teams equipped with what it takes to finish on top, there is no doubt that this Intel Grand Slam event is yet again going to be an absolute war.