The first play date for Counter-Strike in the second edition of the Gfinity elite series takes place tomorrow, with CS taking centre stage from 5:30pm to round up the first week of games. As hopefully the first of many previews, this week will likely be one of the hardest to predict. With none of the teams with consistent rosters facing off against each other, correctly calling the outcome of the games could be a tough ask.
Team Infused vs Endpoint
The only British match-up this week sees Team Infused take on Endpoint. And even to say that they are British rosters, Endpoint’s roster make-up consists of two Europeans who have joined them for the second season. This will be the first real test for the Infused side, having made two roster changes of their own.
Endpoint come in to the game with the advantage of already having played together as a group at an event in the recent weeks. Their success at the ESL UK Premiership should give them a bit of an edge in this game. Team Infused have made bold statements about conquering Europe, but in order to do that, it has to start here by defeating just two of them.
At the risk of being proven wrong, I am confident that Endpoint should take this game.
Prediction: 16-10 – Endpoint
Method vs Team Prophecy
The debut of the new Bulgarian Prophecy side comes against one of the teams that I have pegged as being the best British competitors. Their recent additions include the now seasoned Kia “Surreal” Man, formerly of compLexity, and Joey “CRUC1AL” Steusel, a Dutchman who has been the difference maker for a number of UK sides. It is fair to say that at past events, Joey has been one of the key reasons that some teams have managed to best their fellow countrymen.
It would be pleasing to see the season start with a victory for the UK, and it is entirely possible. What is not so clear is how much time and effort the Bulgarians have been investing in to their new roster. Having very little prior information to go on for the Prophecy team makes this a difficult game to call, however based on Method’s performance last season with a now best of one scenario, it is entirely possible that Method could take a win in week one.
Prediction: 16-14 – Method
Reason Gaming vs Team EnVyUs
The first of the Euro on Euro clashes comes in the form of Denmark versus France. The team EnVyUs side obviously had a brilliant group stage last season, only faltering in the play-offs against the now disbanded Team Prophecy. The other teams from the continent didn’t appear to phase them last season and there would be no reason why that would change now.
I think this game will be the first real coin-toss we have this season. The Reason side are a little of an unknown quantity, with their recent performances coming only against fellow Nordic sides in the weekly King of Nordic event. I am not sure if the roster have ever been truly tested. Despite the experience coming with Oliver “MINET” Ari Minet in this game, it will be the other more junior members of the team that will have to stand up to the pressure.
EnVyUs come in to this game in a stronger position having already completed a season and remaining together as a team. I think this will play in their favour and see them take their first match.
Prediction: 16-10 – Team EnVyUs
Epsilon vs exceL
The newly adopted Swedish Epsilon side find themselves up against them best British performers of the previous season. exceL have more of a team history behind them coming into the game, but it is hard to see past the talent that Sweden usually provides in the form of up and coming young players. The recent results against FlipSid3 Tactics have already demonstrated what they are capable of against even on of the continent’s best teams, so being the best British team of season one might not cut it.
Though, with that being said, the exceL side probably shouldn’t be counted out. They too were one of the sides who took a number of draws away in the group stage of last season, so again having to win one map might be the difference maker. Based only on the outcomes that these games normally show us, Epsilon are the obvious favourites, but it’s certainly not a given.
Prediction: 16-12 – Epsilon