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ESL Premiership: Week 1 Preview

by GumpsterFebruary 19, 2018

A brand new season of ESL Premiership kicks off once again tonight, and what a cracking unpredictable season we have in store here. As the UK scene comes out of a lengthy vacation period between last events of 2017 and the beginning of events this year, we now have the crown jewel back at the top of our agenda. ESL Premiership this season boasts £12,000 in Prize pool, and instead of the 8 teams we have become accustomed to, we have 10. This merited a bit more exposure on the league itself, and a chance for players to chip in and build some branding to help them elevate to new levels in the UK Counter-Strike scene.

As is a tradition, I have brought back the prediction articles of old, started way back in the old dying days of Counter-Strike Source, when Enemy Down was still a thing (God I sound old here) and EDCSSL was all that mattered for most folks within the middle – lower tiers of the UK CS scene. Then it was a panel of various people involved in the UK scene, all of which either played or observed the scene in greater detail. To this day, I try to keep the spirit of that alive through this. It is all just opinion, and something that is a bit of fun generally, so take what people say in this article on a weekly basis with a pinch of salt.

This is the first ESL Premiership season, where we see numerous changes in format, teams, and prize pool all at the same time. The format of the new season, is a little confusing at first, but generally it is easy to follow. Ten teams are split into two evenly matched groups, those teams play in a round robin group stage to determine positions. Top of the group will advance straight to the finals, whilst second place will head into the playoffs. Third and fourth teams then play the opposite group teams in a Best-Of-Three playoff, so if you finished 3rd in Group A, then you play 4th in Group B and vice versa. Whoever wins that match then squares up to the second placed teams in another Best-Of-Three, and then whoever wins those matches will head to the finals to join the two 1st placed teams at Leicester’s Haymarket Theatre which ESL have pretty much taken over. Have you followed that? Good, now let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

The Teams

  • Team Endpoint – MiGHTYMAX, Puls3, weber, AaroN, Luzuh, FASHR, stan1ey 
  • Radix Esports – kpiz, neph, b0denmaster, rdiis, angry, ec1s  (Subs added: HypeIzback)
  • Stifmeister – Astroo, Kray, DANCEYZ, Frei, L1NK, nEiLZiNHo
  • Fish123 – Sliggy, tsack, robiin, batham, smooya, keita, Jenko, Surreal, Cosmeen
  • Enclave Gaming – SHEEKEY, SDK, Trials, wh1sk, mrhui (Subs added: Dream & Lumji)
  • Vexed Gaming – ozzy, quix, VANITY, pickles, truth, downie, hallzerk, conoR
  • Nuclear Storm Gaming – Ducky, xacty, Murky, Leandoer, Jake^^, Peggyyyyyy, Immi, Jak3y, Samwell
  • Pats Money Crew – Crit, fzaN, LOLz, naet, HarryC, ziggy, NexFox, Pat, dox
  • Luminary Esports – archer, Tesquo, adam9130, mase, lambi
  • Epiphany Bolt UK – WolfY, Thomas, dOMM, elo, SHANEY

The Panel

Liam “logaN” Durrant – The Cardinal of UK CS

To put it bluntly, Liam is one of the oldest players in the UK Counter-Strike scene, he has been here longer than 95% of the scene, and still lives on his glory days of when he broke Top 10 at an iSeries that no one can remember. However, what you get from Liam is brutal honesty, in game he is one of the most honest personalities and with that does mean that some egos get bruised. He has a high profile girlfriend, in the form of Matilde “Mattye” Wiik, and they’ve been together for ages now.

Tayler “Taylerdoodle” O’Boyle – Impulse Gaming player

Tayler has played for numerous teams including exceL esports, IGI.eSports & Spitfire. He now plays with the Impulse Gaming roster. A fun fact about Tayler, is that he once went to an international £5k LAN, and flopped massively due to what he says “sickness” but some may say he was just scared. He has turned up to LANs and got placements as high as 5th – 6th. He once played with Ashley “ashhh” Battye, managed to beat a team that was undefeated all LAN and saw their result overturned due to a poor ruling around POVs. Oh the luck.

 

Lucas “Laika” Lewis – UKCSGO Writer

Lucas has been playing Counter-Strike for just over two years now, whilst mostly been on the sidelines, Lucas did get into Counter-Strike after watching a live game at an insomnia event where CeX took on CAZ eSports at insomnia56, and CeX went on to take the crown in unbelievable circumstances. He’s been hooked ever since, and traveled quite a bit to go and see Gfinity weekly last year as a result. He is a welcomed addition to the UKCSGO crew, as he is relatively new, and has got familiar with the UK scene relatively quickly. His knowledge should come in handy for these previews on a weekly basis.

Ryan “Flakes” Oliver – UK CS Caster

Ryan has been a bit of a stalwart of the UK CS scene for a little while now. He is naturally a caster, but has been around the block as an admin, player, coach, producer, and now currently works at Battlefy. Ryan has an in-depth knowledge around UK Counter-Strike teams and has been determined to help the scene get better a day at a time. What Ryan brings to the table is a lot of personality and a mature head beyond his age.

 

 

(Editors Note – Ryan’s previews have been this week covered by Gumpster due to circumstances out of Ryan’s control, whilst logaN’s has been covered by Duck, this will be rectified for future weeks as we go forward)

Monday 19th February Fixtures

Team Endpoint Vs Epiphany Bolt – 7pm

Michael “DuckMoriarty” Moriarty

Endpoint are a strong side in the UK, and are backed up by some of the oldest names hanging around the UK Scene. They’re surely the favourites for the match as they go up against what is, essentially, a mix side. With shaney and Thomas on Ep. Bolt, however, it’ll be a close one if they perform to levels they know.

Predicted Result: 16:10 to Endpoint

Tayler “Taylerdoodle” O’Boyle

The team Endpoint core, should be too formidable for the Epiphany Bolt lads. MightyMax and FASHR are both incredibly solid players for Team Endpoint, so with that in mind it is very difficult to say anything other than an Endpoint win. Two players worth mentioning from Epiphany is both Shaney and dOMMM who may well be able to pick up some rounds if the team works well together.

Predicted Result: 16:9 to Endpoint

Lucas “Laika” Lewis

Endpoint have been out of the limelight so far this year, making three changes to core members of the squad. In ESEA main, the duo of Wolfy and Elo are sitting on a 7-0 scoreline, placing third in the league. Joined by veterans Shaney and Thomas, and previous EB starter dOMM, I’m placing high hopes in the EB lineup and believe if any matches will be upset this week. This is the one.

Predicted Result: 16:13 to EB

Tom “Gumpster” Gumbleton

One of the better matchups on day one of the new season. Endpoint being big hitters in the league, know that they need to start off well to try and grab one of the better positions in the group (1st or 2nd). Despite being a fairly new roster, some of these players have played in other lineups together under different organisation names in the past so familiarity shouldn’t be too much of an issue. However, they do have a fight here against another newly formed roster, the roster as a whole does have a unique blend of experience and new blood. It should be interesting to see how it plays out but I do feel that Endpoint should be able to close it out.

Predicted Result: 16:13 to Endpoint

fish123 Vs Luminary – 8pm

Michael “DuckMoriarty” Moriarty

fish123 are basically Epsilon + another Brit for the ESL Prem, so they’re one of the standout favourites for their group. Although Luminary have some strong players on their team, I find it hard to see them overcome one of the oldest names in the UK.

Predicted Result: 16:8 to fish123

Tayler “Taylerdoodle” O’Boyle

The scenario being set that certain players on this roster do feature in this match tonight, then we could see an explosive start from the fish123 boys. I really think that Luminary will have a massive struggle to figure out how to beat these experienced mix players. Which means I could see a stomping coming in.

Predicted Result: 16:4 to fish123

Lucas “Laika” Lewis

The UK mix team brand (a longer standing name in the scene than any other organisation in the series) has the full roster of epsilon esports signed up, fortunately for the teams they face, ESL rules state fish123 must feild 3 UK players. We can expect Smooya and Surreal to start, joined with jenko or keita, and the rest is anybodies guess. Luminary’s roster is easier to predict, breaking the norm and only fielding five players. While I expect both Lambi and Tesq0 to post good numbers in the match, fish123 should walk away with this match and season without too much resistance.

Predicted Result: 16:9 to fish123

Tom “Gumpster” Gumbleton

Yes, the minefield of who would be playing for fish123, is an uphill battle for anyone wanting to cover these games in any good detail. However, on the basis of lineups being matched up correctly, then the talent is stacked up right now in fish123’s favour, especially if the big guns like Smooya end up playing in matches like this. Luminary do have something on their side with maybe some lady luck, but also the fact that depending on map vetos, certain maps are better for structured teams than mixes. However, my gut is telling me that anything other than a fish win would be a pipe dream.

Predicted Result: 16:10 to fish123

Radix Esports Vs Nuclear Storm Gaming – 9pm

Michael “DuckMoriarty” Moriarty

NSG are suffering a lot of roster instability, whereas Radix have been quite steadfast with their players so far. A simple win from them should be in order, even if Radix are struggling slightly in other competitions.

Predicted Result: 16:9 to Radix

Tayler “Taylerdoodle” O’Boyle

Both teams have strong players with a good set of in game leaders to lead them so I expect a decent game. The best matchup in the rosters will be to look at Pommey Vs Boden but all of them have talent and it should end up being a rather brutal but entertaining match for the opening week. I will have to favour Radix this time, as they should in theory have the better lineup but it will be very tight and some rounds will come down to individual players pulling out the big plays rather than more structured team play.

Predicted Result: 16:14 to Radix

Lucas “Laika” Lewis

Radix haven’t had the best of seasons so far in main, with a solitary match win against NineLives (placed 154th in main, currently). Nuclear Storm don’t look particularly electrifying either: generally mixing it up with 8 players registered and new faces on the server every week. Hard to put a score on it, but it should be a safe Radix win even considering form and scores.

Predicted Result: 16:7 to Radix

Tom “Gumpster” Gumbleton

I’m not sure how to personally feel about this match, Radix are on a poor run of form, meanwhile Nuclear Storm have chopped and changed players since they initially qualified for ESL Premiership. What happened in the aftermath of qualifying is yet to be determined, but I’d like to think the NSG guys could give Radix a run for their money. There are just unfortunately too many variables to all of this and something I will struggle to call on but I have a feeling that Radix should be able to take home the win here.

Predicted Result: 16:11 to Radix

Stifmeister Vs Enclave Gaming – 10pm

Michael “DuckMoriarty” Moriarty

Stifmeister are surprising a number of players and pundits competing in MDL. With Enclave having to draft in a possible semi-retired player due to mrhui suffering an ESEA ban for the next month, their chances haven’t been helped. Danceyz and co. will be looking for a strong display tonight in their opener.

Predicted Result: 16:7 to Stifmeister

Tayler “Taylerdoodle” O’Boyle

Decent game since there is talent on both teams and gonna be fun to see Hui vs his old team (it would have been fun but he has since been banned for once month – Editors Note). Sheekey is a good in game leader and can get his players disciplined so I think they’ll be able to keep Danceyz and L1NK busy for a while.

Predicted Result: 16:11 to Stifmeister

Lucas “Laika” Lewis

Stifmeister are stood as the most decorated team in the UK right now, winning their last thee games in the MDL against Fragsters, major champions Gambit, and ESEA-Main champions Nemiga. Enclave are a further step down than they intended, fielding a stand-in replacement for mrhuii, who found his way into a month long ESEA ban (we have an article around that coming up soon on why it happened).

Predicted Result: 16:5 to Stifmeister

Tom “Gumpster” Gumbleton

On the grapevine, we’ve heard that Enclave have been able to add a couple of substitutes to their roster which may end up changing the dynamics of this upcoming match if Sheekey’s tweet is to be read into as that they will be used for the match tonight. Which means that some former team mates of Sheekey’s are coming in to help shore up the roster. Whilst I think it is unlikely that Enclave will be a match for the Stifmeister lads, it could well be a very competitive match as a result of the changes (albeit forced changes).

Predicted Result: 16:11 to Stifmeister

Wednesday 21st February Fixtures

Radix Esports Vs Enclave Gaming – 7pm

Michael “DuckMoriarty” Moriarty

This will possibly be a close one. The two sides have different reasons for having issues coming into the match, be it form or substitutes. Plumping on the brave end, I think SHEEKEY’s team could go strong and take an upset over Radix.

Predicted Result: 16:14 to Enclave

Tayler “Taylerdoodle” O’Boyle

Radix have been a team longer with slightly more experience but decent game again with Hui/wh1sk (Bare in mind Hui remains banned for a month) might be able to upset the ardis/b0den duo and cause a shockwave here. However, I’d like to say that Radix should potentially take this home.

Predicted Result: 16:14 to Radix

Lucas “Laika” Lewis

I’m not going to discount Enclave out of this match, even considering their situation. I’d have had more confidence in them with a full roster, but Enclave’s trials is exceedingly capable of showing up and shutting down Radix in this tie. Will however have to give this prediction to Radix to save face.

Predicted Result: 16:11 to Radix

Tom “Gumpster” Gumbleton

This should be an interesting match as we see an out of form side once again square up to a side that has changed it’s lineup in the last week or so based on a few issues. Whilst I’d like to say that with certainty that Enclave could throw the spanner into the works, there is a part of me that currently is feeling that Radix could come out on top and squash the Enclave lads. However, with that said, never count out a former ESL Premiership winner and his ability to turn potential losses into wins. So we could be in for a real treat here.

Predicted Result: 16:13 to Radix

Stifmeister Vs Vexed Gaming – 8pm

Michael “DuckMoriarty” Moriarty

Stifmeister and Vexed are too fairly similar teams on paper. With the Vexed side currently peforming fairly strong in ESEA Main, they could potentially take chunks out of the high flying MDL team. But I’ll still give it to Stifmeister on this occasion, their raw talent could keep them ahead.

Predicted Result: 16:11 to Stifmeister

Tayler “Taylerdoodle” O’Boyle

Not completely sure what Vexed can do, but Stifmeister have been getting MDL experience and playing against much better teams than average, If Ozzy/Conor/Vanity/Pickles are playing together it might be much closer but if not I doubt it’ll be much of a spectacle

Predicted Result: 16:8 to Stifmeister

Lucas “Laika” Lewis

This should easily be the match of the week, and the only harder game to predict too. Vexed went through the second division of the UK Premiership last season only dropping 2 maps out of the 27 they played, more recently taking a map from eXtatus in ECS qualifiers. Vexed are a team capable of holding their own, but I feel like this will be a close win for the MDL side.

Predicted Result: 16:13 to Stifmeister

Tom “Gumpster” Gumbleton

Two very solid teams here, Vexed Gaming have proven over the last few months that anything can happen, they came incredibly close in the ECS qualifiers to making the Closed qualifiers and what a momentous occasion that would have been had they simply shut up shop and stopped those other teams they had faced in the qualifiers. Whatever happened in the three map series that they lost, they can keep their heads held high that they managed to show up and they did look pretty good for the most part. Meanwhile Stifmeister’s run in MDL right now, has been phenomenal, the fact that they beat some of the world’s finest players in Gambit in a 16:13 match, should send their confidence sky high. This match will be a very tough match to predict however, I will go with Stifmeister but it will be close.

Predicted Result: 16:14 to Stifmeister

Team Endpoint Vs Luminary – 9pm

Michael “DuckMoriarty” Moriarty

Endpoint should take a simple win here against lesser opposition. Not too much to say apart from I can’t see too many fireworks going on here. Sorry lads.

Predicted Result: 16:6 to Endpoint

Tayler “Taylerdoodle” O’Boyle

Not much to see here unless Luminary can pull off a very surprising upset.

Predicted Result: 16:4 to Endpoint

Lucas “Laika” Lewis

I’m expecting this game to be fairly competitive, and personally have a lot of faith in the Luminary roster. As much as I’d love to predict another upset against endpoint, I feel like I have to keep some credibility and favour the more reasonable side.

Predicted Result: 16:10 to Endpoint

Tom “Gumpster” Gumbleton

I’m not going to sit there and say that Luminary are in for a fight of their lives to even make it out of this group, but they really are. They face a team that boasts some incredibly talented UK players. It’s going to be incredibly difficult to even break the double figure mark for Luminary.

Predicted Result: 16:10 to Endpoint

fish123 Vs Pat’s Money Crew – 10pm

Michael “DuckMoriarty” Moriarty

Epsifish123 vs Pat’s Money Crew. The battle of “who can draft the superior firepower from our roster” would, quite simply, be won by the fish boys. On paper and on server are two different matters, however, but fish are definitely going to be the side taking this.

Predicted Result: 16:5 to fish123

Tayler “Taylerdoodle” O’Boyle

Again a complete mis-match, Fish should take the win with ease however UK CS has been very random recently so who knows

Predicted Result: 16:2 to fish123

Lucas “Laika” Lewis

Predicting which 10 of the 17 available players for the two mixes should be the real challenge here. Comparing players from one roster two another fish123 are the obvious favorites, however predicting the scoreline could be done by rolling a ten sided dice for PMC. My DnD set says four rounds.

Predicted Result: 16:4 to fish123

Tom “Gumpster” Gumbleton

Another huge roster cluster bomb to navigate here, but in terms of actual firepower, fish123 have it in spades whereas Pat’s Money Crew will ultimately struggle to get a whiff into this match. I don’t know about how either of these mixes are in terms of form, so it could be utter carnage with any of our predictions this week. However I will stay on the safe side and stick with a fish123 win here.

Predicted Result: 16:6 to fish123

This concludes our predictions for Week One in the ESL Premiership, to follow the progress of all of these matches, then make sure you tune into the ESL UK Twitch Stream on this evening and Wednesday evening from 6:50pm, as each week will have all four matches going until 11pm.

We will have more coverage of the ESL Premiership over the coming weeks, including statistical breakdowns of all the major players in the league, interviews, and more prediction articles on a weekly basis. Make sure you keep yourselves posted to UKCSGO as we continue to cover the top-tier of UK Counter-Strike. You can follow us on Twitter and like our page on Facebook for further updates so you never miss a beat in the UK Scene.

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Last reply was 4 months ago
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  1. @ukcsgo @ESLUK ye remove age limit

  2. @ukcsgo @DuckMoriarty @ESLUK Hey, I would greatly appreaciate it if you added me to @RadixEsports roster since I’m their sub. Thanks.