The ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier Playoffs are set to kick off on the 10th of October.

The remaining eight teams will fight for an increased share of the prize pool, as well as the title of champion.

The teams that get knocked out in the quarterfinals of the tournament will receive $35,000 each. Teams that place third and fourth will receive $70,000 whilst the runner-up of the tournament will receive $150,000. The winner of the ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier will receive the majority of the prize money, with the first place prize being $500,000.

The first quarterfinals match is Cloud9 vs. G2 Esports.

Cloud9 are looking to make a mark in Atlanta against the French super team. The North Americans have shown some potential with this new line up, which was formed in the middle of August, when shroud announced his retirement and n0thing was removed from the active line up, with tarik and RUSH replacing them. With their new line up, the North Americans have achieved back to back top four placements at their last two tournaments, which were Dreamhack Montreal and at ESL One: New York. On top of these achievements, Cloud9 was able to come out on top of their ELEAGUE Group with a 2-0 record, crushing the likes of NIP and Team EnVyUs.

Since the roster change, the team has had little time to get effective practice in, with travel to various tournaments getting in the way of that. However, since ESL One: New York, the team has had a bit of downtime in terms of traveling to and from tournaments, which means they have had additional time to set roles and gel with their new additions. Cloud9 should be headed into the ELEAGUE Playoffs as a much tighter, more organized and disciplined unit now that they have had time to properly practice without any travel interfering with their schedule.

G2 Esports are also headed to Atlanta off of recent successes. In the last month, the French super team came second in their ELEAGUE Group, beating the likes of Renegades and Na’Vi to end their group stage campaign 2-1 after losing to Na’Vi early on. Prior to that, G2 found major international success, capturing the Dreamhack Malmo title after a convincing display in the finals, ousting North 2-0 in a best of three series. Since the early stages of September, G2 has not made an offline appearance.

Historically, the matches between these two sides are very interesting matches as both sides boast an incredible amount of individual talent. This match, in particular, should be an interesting watch considering the history between these sides, and it will be interesting to see how the new Cloud9 has shaped up now that they have had a bit of time to get some practice under their belts.

The second quarterfinals matchup pits the Danish side Astralis against the Swedish side Fnatic.

Coming into this match, Astralis are the clear favorites. The Danish side’s last two tournaments, Dreamhack Masters Malmo and ESL One: New York, saw them have back to back early exits. At Dreamhack Masters Malmo, the Danes were knocked out in the quarterfinals by Gambit, who did so in a convincing manner. Following that, the Danes traveled to New York. Unfortunately for them, their stay in the Big Apple was cut short as they were beaten by Liquid 2-1 in the best of three elimination match in the group stage.

Since then, Astralis have been putting in work to improve and get back to the standard that we saw from them throughout the later stages of 2016 and throughout the majority of 2017 and will be looking towards Atlanta as a place to make a statement.

The Danes come up against Fnatic, who have had a difficult time obtaining desirable results offline. In terms of online play, Fnatic is at the top of the Pro League standings, but have failed to perform in online qualifiers for EPICENTER and IEM Oakland. The Swedes may struggle to find their form against Astralis, and this matchup will be a stern test for the Swedish side.

The third quarterfinals match has the European mix FaZe Clan go up against the predominantly French side Team EnVyUs.

On August 3, FaZe Clan made the decision to drop allu and pick up GuardiaN. Seventeen days later, the Europeans elected to make another roster change, dropping kioshima to pick up Olofmeister. With this new side, FaZe headed to Malmo, Sweden to participate in the Dreamhack Masters Malmo tournament. Unfortunately, the Europeans were eliminated in the group stage of the tournament after losing to NIP in a best of one and Gambit in a best of three elimination match up.

Sixteen days later, FaZe headed to New York, to compete at ESL One: New York. The Europeans conquered their group in an assertive fashion, ousting 16-5 and beating Astralis 16-5 to qualify with a perfect 2-0 record. Their run of dominance continued, as FaZe obliterated Cloud9 over the course of two maps to reach the finals against Liquid. The Europeans prevailed, winning all three maps in the best of five series to claim their first top-tier accolade with this new roster.

FaZe Clan is the clear favorites headed into this matchup versus Team EnVyUs, who have been relatively lackluster in the tournaments they have played in. They did manage to qualify from their ELEAGUE group against some formidable opponents in the form of NIP and VP, however, the French side might not be able to do much damage against a FaZe Clan that have had a top-tier tournament victory and extra practice under their belt. At the tournaments they have played at, EnVyUs have been rather underwhelming, and headed into this matchup, not much is expected from the French side.

The fourth and final match of the first knockout round of the ELEAGUE Premier puts Danish side North against their fellow Danish side Heroic, in what would be a Danish derby, to some extent.

Heroic made what could be seen as a miracle run in the group stages of ELEAGUE. The Danes went 1-0 up after thrashing SK 16-5 on Train, a result that was considered to be a massive upset. After being thumped 16-2 by Astralis, Heroic needed to pull out some heroics if they were to advance into the knockout stages of the tournament. They met SK in a best of three elimination match. The Brazilians looked determined to make up for their best of one loss against Heroic, and kicked off the best of three in an assertive style, beating the Danes 16-8 on Overpass. Heroic then showed SK and the competition around them that they were the real deal as they beat the Brazilian side 16-5 on Inferno and 16-8 on Mirage to advance into the knockout stages.

North stand in the way of Heroic continuing their miracle run at ELEAGUE. North has looked formidable in their last two offline tournaments, which was Dreamhack Montreal and Dreamhack Malmo. At Dreamhack Malmo, North fought their way to the finals, where they lost to G2 2-0 in a best of three series. North was able to capture some Dreamhack glory, as the Danes were able to triumph over Immortals to secure the title. North has looked like a new beast with the addition of Valde, and he seems to have fit in quite well with North. The team have found recent success and could be poised for a deep run in the knockout stages in Atlanta.

Overall, the playoffs for the ELEAGUE Premier is set to be an interesting affair, as we get to watch an underdog, such as Heroic, solidify and reinforce that their run in the group stages was not a miracle, and they are the real deal. Simultaneously, it provides teams like G2, FaZe and North a platform to reinforce their recent international successes. At the same time, it also provides Astralis with a battleground to regain their old tournament form that we were so used to seeing, and, provides teams such as Team EnVyUs and Fnatic grounds to upset and prove that they are not to be written off so quickly.

Regardless, the ELEAGUE Playoffs are certainly going to be an interesting affair throughout all the matches.


About The Author

Esports Manager

My first video game was Tonka Construction for the PC. I played that in 2000, at 3 years of age, and have been hooked by video games ever since. I like to dabble in as many games as I possibly can, but nothing can come close to a captivating story, an intense multiplayer experience or a well made RTS game. In 2015, I found what can only be described as passion and love for esports. Now I convey that passion, love and knowledge through articles about esports titles, most notably Counter Strike.