North America Overwatch Contenders preview

These are exciting, albeit uncertain, times in the Overwatch esports scene. Overwatch League has been announced, the World Cup is underway and Contenders Season 1 is kicking off in a week. This upcoming weekend will have the OWWC take place in Santa Monica and then on the 14th of August Overwatch Contenders will begin. The teams were decided through Contenders Season 0, and two teams were invited.

In a strange turn of events, Team Liquid dropped their roster due to three of their players moving onto (or going back) to other games. This is an interesting wrinkle in the upcoming tournament as the spot needs to be filled within a week. But how does Blizzard resolve this issue? Do they sell the slot to another team or do they give it to a runner-up?

There is no confirmed news regarding what Blizzard chooses to do with this free slot. However, it would be consistent with Blizzard if they were to sell it to the highest bidder. Realistically, there are only three teams that could afford that slot: Cloud9, NRG and CLG. NRG doesn’t even have a full roster so it is unlikely that they would be able to take the spot. Cloud9 is only missing one tank since Kaiser went back to RunAway due to “visa issues”. CLG has a six man roster that they could compete with. Technically, Cloud9 also has a six man roster but Mendo is not a tank player so they wouldn’t be able to play with tanks.

Speculation about that slot aside, this promises to be a highly competitive Contenders Season. Two months ago, there were a couple of teams that dominated the rest, but the gap between Tier 1 and Tier 2 teams has been closing rapidly.

Let’s have a look Contenders Season 1 North America and make some predictions.

The teams

EnVyUs (invite)
Faze Clan
FNRGFE
Immortals
Kungarna
Renegades
Rogue (invite)
Replacement for Team Liquid

Overwatch Contenders

EnVyUs

  • Taimou
  • Mickie
  • Chipshajen
  • HarryHook
  • Cocco
  • Effect

One of the teams that got invited to compete in Season 1. EnVyUs and Rogue were both in Korea for Apex Season 3 where EnVyUs lost to KongDoo Panthera. This isn’t a bash on nV. The fact that they made it so far is a testament to how strong this team is.

However, I do have one reservation. How good are they against Western teams? There is a difference in play style between the West and East. And while the best in the East are unequivocally better than the best in the West, the different play style could hurt nV.

However, they are still a top team and considered one of the favorites for winning the whole event. They have one of the best Ana’s in the world in Chips and one of the best DPS in the world in Taimou. On top of this, they have Effect who tore up in Apex, carrying the team at some points. It will be exciting watching Effect use his Tracer in the West. Here’s hoping for a Soon vs Effect matchup.

Sadly, we can’t do proper predictions because the groups haven’t been made and we don’t know who they will be playing against. But, I would be shocked if they didn’t get a top three finish.

FaZe Clan

  • ShaDowBurn
  • Lui
  • FCTFCTN
  • SPREE
  • Rawkus
  • Joemeister

FaZe Clan is one of the more interesting teams in this competition. They have the parts in place to have a stunning DPS but lack a core backline and tanks. You can have as many star DPS as you want, but if they don’t have space to work with then you will lose. Always.

This happened with Cloud9 a while ago. They had Mendo, Gods, and Surefour. Three players who play DPS but they weren’t able to perform. Gods wasn’t actually a bad tank, but he preferred playing DPS and so he had to learn Winston.

This is sort of the same situation faced by Faze. The Clan lacks a strong supporting unit. But if ShaDowBurn can pop off and deliver insane Genji play on low ping, like he did at the World Cup, then Faze could make it out of groups.

Overwatch Contenders

FNRGFE

The All American Rejects. Except for one Canadian, this is an All American team that was formed from the pieces of other teams. This is true of a lot of teams, but these guys decided to make it a part of their personality. Their name FNRGFE is an acronym of the teams that they came from including NRG and FaZe.

  • buds
  • clockwork
  • Muma
  • coolmatt69
  • Boink
  • Bani

If this team takes the tournament seriously then they may make it out of groups, but even that would be a surprise.

Overwatch Contenders

Immortals

  • GrimReality
  • Agilities
  • Fate
  • hyped
  • envy
  • KariV
  • Verbo

This is one of the strongest teams in the West right now. Anything less than top two will be a disappointment. Immortals has two of the best DPS combined with a solid support and tank line. Their kryptonite may turn out to be communication as they have three Koreans and four North Americans. If the Koreans have put in more effort to learn better English than this team could take first.

Agilities is one of the best Genji’s in the world, he went toe to toe with ShaDowBurn at World Cup. During the match against the Netherlands, he had one of the most insane Genji plays that I have ever seen. Back this up with KariV who is a great support and some solid tanking who can give Grim and Agilities the space that they need and you have a scary team. At the BEAT Invitational last month they took Rogue to within two fights. The score was 3:1 but it doesn’t reflect how close that match actually was.

They did better against Rogue than EnVyUs did.

Overwatch Contenders

Kungarna

  • mYkL
  • babybay
  • iReMix
  • Bischu
  • Dogman
  • Pookz

Kungarna barely qualified for Contenders, beating out Cloud9 with an Overtime BO3 on Oasis. I don’t think that they have the firepower to make it out groups. They don’t have any superstars and their basic gameplay isn’t that strong.

If they have taken their time off to practice and grind then they could surprise some teams, but I don’t think that they will be able to go deep into the tournament.

Overwatch Contenders

5-Hour Energy Detroit Renegades

  • Mangachu
  • J3sus
  • PrimoDulce
  • ZachaREEE
  • Sherlockey
  • Jer

Renegades managed to surprise a lot of teams during season 0 of Contenders. Tying Kungarna and beating Cloud9 3-1 was a huge surprise to many people, including me. They qualified first in their group and looked solid doing it. Then seeing Mangachu represent Canada at the OWWC gave me some hope that they may make it out of groups if they got lucky. He is a solid player and a great Pharah. But I don’t think that they have enough players with a good enough base level to qualify out of groups.

Look at them to get a win or a tie but not quite make it out of groups.

Overwatch Contenders

Rogue

  • soOn
  • uNKOE
  • aKm
  • KnoxXx
  • winz
  • NiCOgdh

The French all star team, their World Cup team and one of the best, if not the best, teams in the West. They have dominated during the dive meta and looked unstoppable. Until Korea. Then they didn’t make it out of groups as the Koreans managed to out think them.

However, it doesn’t look like there are any teams in the West except for maybe nV and Immortals that can beat them. Look to them to take first place.

SoOn is a Tracer god and aKm is top three Soldier in the world. Back both of these up with a Korea level Winston in KnoxXx and a top three Zenyatta in uNKOE and you get an unstoppable force.

But they aren’t unbeatable. As I said in another article, they have a weakness. A glaring weakness, in fact. They lack depth. If you can find a way to neutralise dive, you neutralise a lot of Rogues threat. Rogue will always compete for a top five finish, but if you can shut down dive, then you can shut down the biggest reason Rogue is dangerous.

Easier said than done.

Formerly Team Liquid

Team Liquid qualified for Contenders Season 1 but AZK has decided to go back to CS:GO and two of their other players are switching to Quake which means that they will not be able to compete in Season 1. I can’t make any predictions on where they will end up because we don’t know who is going to replace them.

I hope Cloud9, but we will see. They do seem to be the most logical choice, or ARC6, which would also be a lot of fun.

Conclusion

I think Rogue will take first place in a close match against Immortals with nV coming fourth and FaZe coming third. But FaZe and Renegades could easily switch.

The way Blizzard has done this has been really good. Most of the teams are very closely matched in skill and it is hard to pick the best. Except for the top three which are Immortals, nV, and Rogue. Without a doubt.

That doesn’t matter Overwatch Contenders will be a lot of fun to watch and I am glad that we now have Apex and Contenders at the same time.


You can “Like” The Game Haus on Facebook and “Follow” us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles written by other great TGH writers.

‘The Problem’: A reflection on the career of Kioshima

The career of Fabien ‘kioshima’ Fey has been quite the rollercoaster. He is a two-time major champion, so his career has been anything but disappointing; however, it has been anything but smooth sailing. While people will say he already peaked, his time with FaZe is showing that the French player is only getting started. Not only is his team performing well but so is he. So let’s take a trip down memory lane to see how this French star got to where he is today.

The up-and-coming

via http://www.epsilon-esports.com

Kioshima had his first huge showing at ESL One Cologne 2014. In this tournament he was key in fueling Richard ‘shox’ Papillion’s Epsilon team to a playoff spot, defeating eventual champions of the tournament, Ninjas in Pyjamas, to do so. He played very well in the tournament, so well in fact that LDLC leader Vincent ‘Happy’ Cervoni thought he deserved a spot on what would become the best team from France.

French domination

While LDLC was not the best team in the world, they had the pride of being the best team from France. A key detail is that Hovik ‘KQLY’ Tovmassian was VAC banned, leaving Titan very vulnerable in terms of firepower. LDLC did not seem to care in the slightest. In their time together as a team, they went between two different orgs and amassed a total of nine tournament wins, including a major. They broke the meta with their infamous force buy rounds. In these rounds, they leveraged their skill, along with dynamite teamwork, to win many rounds. After the famed ‘honeymoon’ period wore off, the poor economic decision making drove the team into the ground, an error Happy would make more than just this once.

Kenny the savior

via HLTV.org

Meanwhile, over in Titan, Kenny ‘kennyS’ Schaub, was fighting extremely hard in every game, dropping thirty-plus kills in order to give his team just the outside chance of winning. He eventually had enough with losing despite monster individual performances. He and Dan ‘apEX’ Madesclaire, swapped places with shox and Edouard ‘SmithZz’ Dubourdeaux. This EnVyUs team would bring kio his second major win, despite that his lack of a consistent role was causing him to suffer in terms of performance. Kenny and apEX carrying let the team ignore their problems, for a little while, until bad results started to pile up.

Outcast

When things started to really hit the fan, the team was left with no choice but to remove the worst performing player. That, unfortunately, was kioshima. Removing him at the time was definitely justified; however, in the coming year, it would become very clear that kio was not ‘the problem’ within EnVyUs. Kio was left without any options for a while, as he was still under contract from EnVyUs. Eventually, he ended up landing with a team known for being dreadful tactically that just leveraged skill. This team was FaZe.

FaZe up

via http://wiki.teamliquid.net

Coming into a FaZe Clan, a team that was trying desperately to build something special, kio was considered a role player. His form did not really improve with the new look; however, he seemed to make the team better, as not many players on the team were willing to play roles. Eventually, the team would add in renowned AWP player Aleksi ‘allu’ Jalli. Following the addition of allu, Finn ‘karrigan’ Andersen, renowned in-game leader, joined forces with FaZe after being removed from Astralis.

A team that was once only capable of group stage upsets was now a contender for playoff spots. FaZe even managed to reach the quarterfinals of the ELEAGUE Major; although, they weren’t happy just being a playoff team. There would be a blockbuster move in the coming months, that would make FaZe a contender for the coveted world-number-one spot. Nikola ‘NiKo’ Kovač had decided to join with none other then FaZe and kioshima after he escaped his mousesports prison.

via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3o7ETjya-Q

After the arrival of karrigan, kio’s individual form was on the up and up. It made an enormous spike after the arrival of Bosnia’s finest, NiKo. He was now more than just some role player, he was creating massive impact for his team, helping lead his team to four consecutive finals, and two tournament wins.

He is currently playing the best Counter-Strike of his career, and FaZe is a legitimate contender for the upcoming PGL major. ‘The Problem’ is anything but in this FaZe team, and things are only looking up for kio.


You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Josof!

Featured image via HTLV.org

Possible EU season four rosters

We’re back with more potential Rocket League rosters you may see showing up to compete in season four of the Rocket League Championship Series. This time we’ll be focusing on Europe.

There are certainly many potential teams we may see coming up in season four. That being said, this guide is focused on potential teams containing players who competed in season three.

If you missed it, you can check out the predictions for NA rosters here.

RLCS season three contenders

Season four will be the first time Rocket League fans will see auto-qualified teams competing in league play. Where North America has two auto-qualified teams, three teams from Europe earned auto-qualification. Although that means one fewer league play slot for EU, there are some stipulations. One team has already lost their auto-qualification, opening up that slot back up.

Along with the auto-qualified RLCS veterans, there will surely be other teams with season three veterans showing up as well.

Auto-qualification was granted to the top two teams in NA and EU during the regional championships of season three. A fifth auto-qualification spot was up for grabs by the team crowned world champions, assuming they weren’t already auto-qualified.

Since the season three world champions, Northern Gaming, didn’t place in the top two during the regional championships, three teams from EU auto-qualified for season four: Northern Gaming, Flipsid3 Tactics and Mock-It eSports EU.

Northern Gaming/Team EnVyUs

This is another team that has competed in all three seasons of the RLCS. Under the name We Dem Girlz, the initial roster consisted of Remco “Remkoe” den Boer, Nicolai “Maestro” Bang and Marius “gReazymeister” Ranheim. This squad was acquired by Northern Gaming during the first season. They came in third at the season one world championships.

Image courtesy of teamenvyus.com

 

Between season one and two, gReazymeister left Northern Gaming and David “Miztik” Lawrie joined the team. Again, Northern gaming placed third at the season two World Championships.

By season three, David “Deevo” Morrow replaced Miztik as Northern Gaming’s third roster member. Maestro was unable to attend the season three World Championships, and Pierre “Turbopolsa” Silfver subbed in. The team was finally able to break past third place, becoming the season three World Champions.

Since the end of season three, Remkoe, Maestro and Deevo left Northern Gaming and joined Team EnVyUs. This suggests that there are no plans to change rosters.

Flipsid3 Tactics

 

Flisid3 Tactics left to right: Kuxir97, gReazymeister, Markydooda. Photo courtesy of rocketleague.com

Another veteran team of the RLCS, Flipsid3 Tactics has had only one roster change since season one.

 

The initial Flipsid3 Tactics roster consisted of Mark “Markydooda” Exton, Francesco “Kuxir97” Cinquemani and Michael “M1k3Rules” Costello. After season one, M1k3Rules left Flipsid3 Tactics to take a break from competitive Rocket League and gReazymeister joined the roster, making up the current roster.

This roster was crowned season two world champions and placed in the fifth-sixth during the season three world champions.

Since season three of the RLCS, Flipsid3 Tactics took first place at DreamHack Summer 2017 in Sweden and doesn’t appear to be planning any roster changes.

Mock-It EU

While the Mock-It organization has been a part of all three seasons of the RLCS, they have had drastically different rosters each season. Season three’s roster consisted of all new players from the previous seasons, including Miztik, Courant “Kaydop” Aledandre and Victor “Fairy Peak” Locquet.

Despite placing first in the season three regional championships and second at the season three World Championships, it appears that Mock-It will be the only team to lose their auto-qualification for season four. Kaydop left Mock-It to join Gale Force eSports, alongside Turbopolsa and Jos “ViolentPanda” van Meurs.

While it is uncertain what team Miztik will be playing for, if any, he is no longer a part of the Mock-It roster. The new roster consists of Fairy Peak, Philip “paschy90” Paschmeyer and Sandro “FreaKii” Holzwarth.

Xedec Nation/Cow Nose

Originally qualifying under the organization Xedec Nation, this team quickly left to reform their Cow Nose. In a Twitlonger, the Xedec Nation manager of the team explained the reason for their departure.

The roster consisted of Niels “Nielskoek” Kok, Hampus “Zensuz” Öberg and Danny “DanzhizzLe” Smol. As of now, it appears that Nielskoek and Zensuz will remain on team Cow Nose. DanzhizzLe, on the other hand, announced his departure from Cow Nose with a Twitlonger shortly after the run at season three of the RLCS came to an end.

The Cow Nose Twitter account lists the team members as “@NielskoekRL, @ZensuzRL and …” suggesting they haven’t locked down a third roster member. As for DanzhizzLe, it seems he has not made any announcements about a future team.

Pocket Aces/Gale Force eSports

Pocket Aces showed up to season three of the RLCS with a strong roster. The team consisted of paschy90, ViolentPanda and Thibault “Chausette45” Grzesiak. During the season they were acquired by Gale Force.

As mentioned above, Mock-It and Gale Force have done a bit of player shuffling since the end of season three. Kaydop left Mock-It, despite having auto-qualification to team up with ViolentPanda on Gale Force. Gale Force later announced the addition of Turbopolsa as their third. On the other hand, paschy90 moved from Gale Force to Mock-It to team up with Fairy Peak and FreaKii. Chausette45’s Twitter name is currently “Chausette45 LFT,” or looking for team.

The Leftovers

The Leftovers left to right: Sikii, Ferra, Snaski. Photo courtesy of twitch.tv

As their name implies, The Leftovers teamed up at the last minute because they weren’t on teams already. Despite that fact, they went on to take third in regionals and fourth at the world championships.

The Leftovers main roster consists of Nicolai “Snaski” Vistesen Andersen, Alexander “Sikii” Karelin and Victor “Ferra” Francal. So far, it does not appear that The Leftovers will be making roster changes.

PENTA Sports

Although PENTA placed 10 in qualifiers, falling short of league play by two slots, they made it to league play on a technicality. The team consisted of FreaKii, Kasper “Pwndx” Nielsen and Danilo “Killerno7”  Silletta.

Initially, ZentoX secured eighth league play slot, however they were disqualified due to Amine “Itachi” Benayachi’s ineligibility. PENTA went on to win a round-robin tournament in order to secure that spot.

After FreaKii made the move to Mock-It, Killerno7 and Pwndx decided to disband. Both Pwndx and Killerno7‘s Twitter accounts list them as looking for a team.

Secrecy/Resonant Esports

Beginning as Secrecy, they were picked up by Resonant during season three. The roster consists of Otto “Metsanauris” Kaipiainen, Joonas “Mognus” Salo and Linus “al0t” Möllegren.

While the roster hasn’t changed, the team name has. After season three they left Resonant and created Element. Shortly after, Element was acquired by Method.

Moving forward

There seems to be some more certainty with potential EU rosters compared to NA ones. There are some players who are LFT, such as Killerno7, Pwndx and Chausette45. That being said, there quite a few rosters which seem to be locked down already.

What other teams do you expect to see in season four of the RLCS? Drop a comment below and let us know.

Tentative/Potential season four teams (with season three contenders)

  • EnVyUs: Remkoe, Maestro, Deevo
  • Flipsid3 Tactics: Kuxir97, Markydooda, gReazymeister
  • Gale Force: ViolentPanda, Kaydop, Turbopolsa
  • The Leftovers: Snaski, Sikii, Ferra
  • Method: Metsanauris, Mognus, al0t
  • Mock-It: Fairy Peak, paschy90, FreaKii

You can “Like” The Game Haus on Facebook and “Follow” us on Twitter!

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s Greatest Dynasties

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive first released August 21st, 2012, and since then the competitive scene has went from strength to strength. The game followed on from the already popular Counter-Strike series and the newest release sparked even more interest than its predecessors.

Despite a few controversies along the way, the esports scene for CS:GO has boomed, with ELEAGUE’s season 1 and 2 having a combined prize pool of over $2.5m.

With such prizes out there, it is no surprise to see many teams competing and training hard to slug it out over these massive cash rewards, not to mention the sponsorships and contracts that come into play in modern day Counter-Strike.

Some teams, however, have went above and beyond the competition experiencing an extended period of time at the top. Many of these teams went months in domination, others went a lot longer with long unbeaten streaks still lauded over rival teams to this day.

The following list will break down just some of the teams who dominated Counter-Strike for a period of time following the game’s release:

[This list is in no particular order]

5. Fnatic – November 2013-June 2014

photo by AftonBladet.se


Fnatic were the first team to ever win a major in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, something that places them in the history books. This lineup consisted of JW, Flusha, Schneider, Pronax and Devilwalk, and they put their stamp on the scene by beating the odds and coming from nowhere to placing second at MSI Beat IT.

This was just the beginning as the team continued to place high in tournaments consistently before the lineup burned out in the summer of 2014 after failing to progress from the DreamHack Summer groups.

4. Virtus Pro – October 2013-February 2017

Virtus Pro are a team that traditionally blow hot and cold, the terms Virtus Plow and Virtus Throw go hand in hand depending on how the team performs. It is, however, undeniable that they have been one of the most consistent long term teams the game has seen.

The team has featured the charismatic lineup of TaZ, NEO, Pasha, Byali and Snax, and have been a thorn in the side for nearly every team attempting to establish a tier one dominance since October 2013. With one Major win and seven international titles, they are without a doubt one of Counter-Strike’s most successful dynasties.

photo by GINX eSports TV

Virtus Pro are one of the teams that have been able to forge a legacy that will out last this iteration of the game as their longevity at the top remains admirable to even the biggest rivals of the Poles.

 

3. Ninjas in Pyjamas – August 2012-November 2014

Ninjas in Pyjamas are another team that will forever hold a legacy within Counter-Strike. Their run to the fabled 87:0 winning streak is still talked about to this day, a feat that will likely never be replicated.

The line up is still largely the core of modern day NiP, featuring GeT_RighT, F0rest, Friberg, Xizt and Fifflaren. That team has amassed one Major win amongst 18 international tournament wins. This coupled with the fact that they reached the last eight in 31 of their 32 tournaments in this time frame cements them as one of Counter-Strike’s best teams ever.

photo by Liquipedia

Their success can be attributed to the clear nature of each of their roles, every player knew what they had to do and executed it with lethal precision for over two years. It seemed as though no team could touch them before Fifflaren’s retirement, which NiP could not recover from, replacing their fifth member consistently over the years until Friberg left in June 2017. Only time will tell if this will help NiP get back to where they once were.

2. LDLC/EnVyUs – September 2014-July 2015

photo by Liquipedia

Shox, KioShiMa, NBK, Happy and SmithZz came together in September 2014 to create a team that worked wonders. They emerged in the shadow of a deflating Fnatic team whose era was coming to a close. They won one Major and six international titles in a run enviable to many teams today.

One of the main reasons for this team’s success was the expressive nature players were allowed. Rather than focusing on a highly tactical game, they focused on allowing players’ decision making and individual skill to find the openings in games.

One of the cruxes of many teams throughout competitive Counters-Strike has been the sacrifice of skill in lieu of an IGL’s tactical ability. This was a notion that this team grabbed by the scruff of the neck and disobeyed, Happy was arguably the team’s best player despite being their IGL, which allowed for the team’s firepower to exceed that of other teams. This run is typified by the run of 17 top four finishes from 19 tournaments, which is to this day unchallenged.

1. SK Gaming – August 2016-Present

This is a team that needs no introduction even to the most casual Counter-Strike fan. SK are the hot topic within professional CS:GO at the moment; there doesn’t seem to be a tournament that goes by that SK don’t make the finals. Since August 2016 they have made seven finals, winning four of them. A recent poor showing in the ESL Pro-League is the only blip on the scorecard for the Brazilians, which has seen them pick up almost $1m in prize money in 10 months.

Coldzera in particular has gained a lot of attention, gaining a majority of tournament MVP’s for 2017 so far. This has lead to claims that he could be one of Counter-Strike’s greatest players ever. With this level of success it’s hard to debate the legitimacy of these claims.

Fallen, Coldzera, Fer, Taco and Felps have all been writing history over the past year and will likely place themselves high in the history books of Counter-Strike. Only time will tell how long this period of success will go on for, but they will have at least secured a dynasty to be fondly remembered.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Dillon ‘seVenT’!

Feature image courtesy of Game Skinny

Three takeaways from the HCS Summer League thus far

The third week of the HCS Summer League has ended, and the top three picture is starting to become clearer. These are three observations of the Summer Season before we enter the final week of competition.

 

Semantics Really Matter, Apparently

Fans who had tuned into the second day of Pro League week three play were met with an extended delay early-on. The match countdown timer had ended and instead replaced by a “We’ll be back” graphic. The series was set to feature teams Luminosity Gaming and OpTic Gaming, and likely would have drawn in a larger crowd. Tyler “Ninja” Blevins of Luminosity is a popular streamer on Twitch, and OpTic is the undisputed best team in Halo 5. Fans were eager to see how the new addition to Luminosity, Ryan “RyaNoob” Gettes, would perform in his second Pro League outing.

When the casters finally returned, some-30 minutes later, they explained to the audience that Luminosity would be forfeiting the match. The reason for the forfeit being that Luminosity had only requested a substitute player for one match, not two. The team is using the term “substitute” for RyaNoob, as he has yet to officially sign with Luminosity.

Ninja clarified his intentions on Twitter, which seem perfectly logical.

It’s disappointing, but surprising to see a match with the potential to bring in viewers be dealt with in such a way. OpTic probably would have won the series anyways, but that is beside the point. ESL have seen their fair share of criticism from the Halo community. Situations like this certainly do not help.

 

EnVyUs Should Avoid Game 5 Like the Plague

Team EnVyUs could be having a drastically different season right now. Currently at 2-3, EnVy is in a tough spot. They find themselves among two other capable teams in the throes of uncertain Pro League placement. It’s no question that EnVy is a better team than Evil Geniuses or Luminosity. But to an outsider, they may just seem like another average team taking up a middling spot in the top eight.

So just what happened, exactly?

In week one of Pro League play, EnVy squared off against OpTic gaming. EnVy had just embarrassed OG at HCS Atlanta, and was riding high. After jumping out to a 2-0 series lead, the series looked all but over for OpTic. Except it wasn’t.

OpTic caught fire, and stunned EnVy with three back-to-back wins, taking the series. EnVy had every opportunity to close the series, but couldn’t. The loss put EnVy in a hole early, and set the tone for OpTic to win four more consecutive Pro League series.

EnVy’s face-off against Splyce in week three painted a similar picture, just without the demoralizing reverse-sweep. The series went back-and-forth, with neither team claiming too much momentum. The two squads eventually arrived at game five, where Splyce would narrowly emerge victorious.

If EnVy were able to take each series, they’d be at a comfortable 4-1, and likely tied for the top spot. A placement that provides a much clearer demonstration of their true ability. Although this isn’t the case, there’s no reason why it can’t be. EnVy plays both Ronin Esports and Str8 Rippin next week, who are the 7th and 8th seeded teams. Two wins against these vulnerable squads may elevate EnVy into the top three.

 

The OpTic vs. Splyce Showdown is Going to Be Epic

OpTic Gaming is a team that needs no introduction. They’re the back-to-back World Champs and the most dominant force in Halo 5. The roster monopolizes the “Top 5 Players” discussion, and they belong to one of the biggest orgs in esports.

Bubu dubu of Splyce. Image by FantasyHCS.

 

Splyce, on the other hand, is a different story. After having their Pro League spot essentially stolen, Jesse “bubu dubu” Moeller and crew made a grueling trek through the amateur Halo scene, wiping the floor with nearly every AM team as they went. Splyce went on to place top six at the Halo World Championship and secured their place in the big leagues.

Splyce only got better with the acquisition of power slayer Jonathan “Renegade” Willette, who helped them secure a top four finish at HCS Daytona. Since qualifying for the Summer Pro League, they have all but demolished the competition. Both a hyper-aggressive playstyle and slaying prowess have carried Splyce to five straight victories in the Pro League.

When these two teams meet up next week, it will surely be the most exciting Pro League series thus far. While it’s nearly impossible to predict an outcome for the series, Halo fans can be assured that it will be far from boring.

 

Featured Image by TeamBeyond.net

You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Garrett! Get in touch with Garrett personally to talk more HCS and see more articles by following him on Twitter @gbSTATUS!

Week 3: Day 1 HCS Pro League Predictions

Next Wednesday, Week 3 of the HCS Pro League Summer Season kicks off. After a short Week 2, and additional break period, the best Halo teams in the world will continue to battle for first place. This week features several new matchups, and Visal “eL TowN” Mohanan’s debut on Ronin Esports.

The outcomes of Week 3 may have larger ramifications than just a number added to a Win/Loss record. With the roster transfer period now open, teams in the lower half of the top 8 may use this week to determine necessary roster changes. This article will provide insight into each Day 1 matchup of Pro League Week 3, and predict the outcomes of each match.

 

Ronin Esports vs. Luminosity Gaming

RE: Tyler “Spartan” Ganza, Cory “Str8 Sick” Sloss, Ayden “Suspector” Hill, Visal “eL TowN” Mohanan

LG: Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, Cameron “Victory X” Thorlakson, Joe “TriPPeY” Taylor, Tommy “Saiyan” Wilson

After a slow start to the season, Luminosity Gaming showed some muscle in their week 2 matchup against Team Liquid. Luminosity were convincingly defeated in game 1, but rallied back with three straight wins, handing Liquid their second loss of the season. Leading the pack was Saiyan, who posted an impressive 1.39 K/D with 61% accuracy. LG were able to rally behind Saiyan’s slaying power to secure a much-needed victory.

eL TowN of Ronin Esports. Image by Halo Esports wikis.

Week 3 is make-or-break for Luminosity. A win against an adjusting Ronin Esports roster will boost them to 2-2 and put them in a contending spot for top 4. With a matchup against OpTic Gaming looming, the last thing LG wants is to go completely winless in week 3.

Ronin Esports have also experienced their fair share of troubles this season. A 1-2 start prompted the release of Carlos “Cratos” Ayala, who has now been replaced by eL TowN. Although the team has struggled with slaying, the reunification of HWC 2016 runners-up Suspector and eL TowN may bring more cohesion to the team. In week 3, Ronin Esports will look to rebound from their week 2 steamrolling by OpTic and Splyce, while working out some kinks.

Key Matchup: Despite the league-high 6.50 Stronghold Captures Per Game by Victory X, Luminosity Gaming is 1-3 in Strongholds games. Ronin, however, is still winless in Strongholds matchups. Look for Luminosity Gaming to capitalize on Victory’s objective prowess to secure a win on the gametype.

Prediction: Luminosity Gaming 3 – 1 Ronin Esports

 

Splyce vs. Str8 Rippin

SPY: Jesse “bubu dubu” Moeller, Jonathan “Renegade” Willette, Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castro, Ryan “Shooter” Sondhi

Str8: Richie “Heinz” Heinz, Aaron “Ace” Elam, Bradley “aPG” Laws, Dan “Danoxide” Terlizzi

Splyce has been firing on all cylinders this season. They currently sit 3-0, and are tied for first place with OpTic Gaming. They are decimating the competition, and it is especially evident in their stats. Shotzzy, Renegade, and bubu dubu are all in the top 5 for Pro League K/D, and Shooter has the fourth-highest KDA in the league. The team also has players in the top 5 for Flag Captures, Flag Defends, and Stronghold Captures.

The slaying powerhouse is currently undefeated in both Slayer and Capture the Flag gametypes, but has a 2-2 record for Strongholds matches. This week, Splyce will look to tighten up their objective strategy, and come out unscathed against a winless Str8 Rippin squad.

On the opposite end of the spectrum sits Str8 Rippin. The team is desperately seeking their first Pro League victory, and will have to claim that victory from one of the hardest-slaying rosters in the league. This bodes poorly for Str8 and veteran aPG, who has the second-highest Deaths Per Game at 16. It is unlikely that Str8 will win this matchup, which may leave some scratching their heads at what Str8’s next move will be. If a roster change is on the horizon, Str8 will have to catch fire to have any hope of a top 4 finish.

Key Matchup: Splyce has yet to lose a Slayer game, and Str8 hasn’t won a single Slayer game. Str8 must go all-out in an attempt to catch Splyce off-guard in slayers, or this series is as good as over.

Prediction: Splyce 3 – 0 Str8 Rippin

 

EnVyUs vs. Team Liquid

nV: Eric “Snip3down” Wrona, Justin “Pistola” Deese, Austin “Mikwen” McCleary, Cuyler “Huke” Garland

TL: Kevin “Eco” Smith, Timothy “Rayne” Tinkler, Braedon “StelluR” Boettcher, Zane “SubZero” Hearon

Pistola of Team EnVyUs. Image by FantasyHCS

Despite a close series loss to OpTic Gaming in week 1, EnVy has performed well in the Pro League. The HCS Daytona Champions currently hold a 2-1 record, and will look to fight their way toward the top 2 this week. In their way stands Team Liquid, looking to rebound from a loss to Luminosity in week 2. These teams are no strangers, as they’ve met several times in tournament play. This familiarity, however, plays to the advantage of Team EnVyUs.

In their most recent matchup, Liquid were handed a 4-0 sweep in the Losers Bracket finals at HCS Daytona. To have a chance at defeating EnVy, Liquid must learn to stay alive when it counts. Both Rayne and SubZero are near the top of Deaths Per Game, which may explain Liquid’s winless Capture the Flag streak.

To win this series, Liquid must out-manage EnVy for power weapon control. Any player on EnVy has the potential to go off when handed a power weapon. If left unchecked, EnVy will meticulously pick off opposing players, and snowball their way to a victory.

Key Matchup: Pistola currently leads the league in Flag Captures Per Game at 1.25. He will be facing-off against Rayne, who leads the league in both Flag Returns Per Game, and Flag Defense Per Game. If Liquid can shut down Pistola’s flag attempts, they greatly increase their chance of victory.

Prediction: EnVyUs 3 – 1 Team Liquid

 

OpTic Gaming vs. Evil Geniuses

OG: T.j. “Lethul” Campbell, Matt “Royal2” Fiorante, Paul “SnakeBite” Duarte, Bradley “Frosty” Bergstrom

EG: Justin “Roy” Brown, Jason “Lunchbox” Brown, Josbe “Tapping Buttons” Valadez, Michael “Falcated” Garcia

Closing out Day 1 of Pro League Week 3 is a matchup between OpTic Gaming and Evil Geniuses. While OpTic hopes to remain undefeated going into their match with Splyce, EG will try to offset two straight Pro League losses. To achieve this feat the Roybox twins have their work cut out for them. Like Splyce, OpTic leads the league in key statistics. The top three spots for Kills Per Game, and Assists Per Game belong to OpTic, as do top stats for Damage Per Game, K/D, Stronghold Defense, and Flag Captures.

These stats paint a grim picture for the objective-oriented Evil Geniuses squad. Although they are 5-0 in Strongholds gametypes, EG has yet to win a slayer game. Tapping Buttons is the only EG player with a positive K/D, as the rest of the roster falls just short. EG must be able to exchange blows with OpTic in slayer matchups to have any chance at ending the night with a victory.

OpTic, meanwhile, just need to play their game to emerge on top of this series. Slayers SnakeBite and Royal2 are unmatched when it comes to controlling the pace of play. If OG can rely on the duo to relentlessly lead the attack and disorient EG, they will have no difficulty reaching 4-0.

Key Matchup: Falcated has been putting up impressive objective stats in the Pro League thus far. He is in the top 5 for Flag Returns, Flag Captures, Stronghold Captures, and Stronghold Defense. If EG can build their strategy around supporting Falcated, they have a chance at defeating OpTic.

Prediction: OpTic Gaming 3 – 1 Evil Geniuses

What is your most anticipated matchup of week 3? Do you agree with the predictions? Let us know in the comments!

Featured image by ESL 

You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Garrett! Get in touch with Garrett personally to talk more HCS and see more articles by following him on Twitter @gbSTATUS!

What Splyce is doing for European Call of Duty

It was fitting that at the first ever LAN league for Call of Duty history was made. For the first time ever, a European team won a premier international tournament.

The champions, Splyce, consist of long-time veterans Dylan “MadCat” Daly and Jordan “Jurd” Crowley alongside two young stars in Ben “Bance” Bance and Trei “Zer0” Morris. The core of the team has been knocking on the door for a while. They finished second at the Call of Duty World Championship last year and have had notable matches against the likes of OpTic and Rise Nation. Splyce’s slow but sure rise has done wonders for European Call of Duty, and several factors have contributed to their success.

LIKEABILITY

As aforementioned, the squad contains MadCat and Jurd, who have been at the top of EU CoD for some time. These players have generated many followers over the years – something that has been crucial to Splyce’s popularity.

Their fellow teammates in Bance and Zer0 have added firepower and the ability to make game-changing plays. Players with such ability always draw in fans and with the stable support of such consistent veterans can only help. Bance really took off at the 2016 World Championship and was the catalyst for their losers’ bracket run. His impressive performance led to an influx in popularity.

The combination of both older and newer players makes the team enjoyable for all fans.

Bance was a Tour de Force at last year’s World Championship. [Source: MLG]

Even outside of Call of Duty, Splyce as an organization has a growing following. They field a League of Legends team that made it to the finals of the EU LCS in 2016 as well as pro teams in Halo and Gears of War.

Part of the organization’s popularity comes from the fact that they love a project. For example, picking up a European CoD team as opposed to an American one. They also did this in GoW and LoL, fielding a Mexican line-up and an all Danish LCS roster for some time, respectively.

Having such a popular European team not only makes more casual EU CoD fans want to tune in but also the Americans to see if they can take down the NA giants.

WORLD LEAGUE

Another reason for the growth of European CoD was the introduction of the World League. Back in Black Ops 3, the circuit brought in by Activision allowed fans to watch their favorite game being played on a regular schedule every week.

The various 2K series are a nightmare for fans to watch, even the ones for Europeans. But seeing strong teams such as Millennium, Splyce and Team Infused play in a competitive environment every week steadily increased European viewership. However, Splyce was one of few teams who were able to translate those performances to the international stage. They achieved top placings numerous times, at tournaments like ESWC 2016 and of course the World Championship, further increasing fans’ desire to see them play.

BRINGING IT HOME

If Splyce can continue their run of good results and exciting games it may bring international tournaments back to Europe. One of my most memorable events was Gfinity 3. Being from the UK, it was a pleasure to see the Copperbox Arena being filled with Call of Duty fans, even though I couldn’t attend.

The Copperbox Arena, London back in Call of Duty: Ghosts. [Source: Eurogamer]

It’s nice to see Activision pumping money into the circuit here, however, it would attract many more fans if we could have the international teams flying out to compete. If Splyce and other European teams such as Epsilon and Elevate keep contesting NA teams, there might be more events available over here in Europe.

Perhaps if a European were to win the World Championship, the tournament could be brought over to Europe the following year. It would be refreshing to see a change of location and there are many smaller venues in the UK that could be filled with Call of Duty fans. Only time will tell. Maybe if Splyce makes another run to the finals we could see it happen. At this point, it’s not unlikely.

The next big LAN is MLG Anaheim on June 16th-18th, where it will be interesting to see if Splyce can reach newer heights. With eUnited and OpTic dropping out early in Stage One playoffs, many critics will say that Splyce had it easy. It will be on the Brits to prove them wrong and continue to fly the European flag.


You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles. Feature image courtesy of CoD World League’s Twitter.

2017 NALCS Summer Power Rankings

The North American LCS Summer Split is just days away. There were a few roster changes in the offseason but not too many. It seemed like most teams wanted to try to keep a core of the roster to build off of – similar to what we saw from Splyce last split in the EULCS. Most teams don’t want to have to do a full roster overhaul in between spring and summer.

It’ll be interesting to see how the standings begin to unfold as we begin the Summer Split. Will CLG stumble out of the gates like we’ve grown accustomed to? Will TSM bounce back from their MSI performance? Can Cloud9 reclaim the throne? Without further ado here are our 2017 NALCS Summer power rankings:

10. Echo Fox

Photo via Riot Esports

Echo Fox is deciding to shake up their strategy heading into summer with C9’s owner Jack announcing on Twitter that they decided to only scrim their sister team to start out the split, saying this is a “bold strategy” for the young team. While something like this could work on a more talented team like Cloud9 or TSM, Echo Fox hasn’t proven to have the talent to not need to scrim LCS teams. Their quality of practice could potentially dip from this, but it could also allow for more strategy development as well. Echo Fox can develop their own meta and have a some surprise factor facing off teams on stage.

Echo Fox will need to rely heavily on their mid/jungle duo of Henrik “Froggen” Hansen and Matt “Akaadian” Higginbotham once again. Akaadian stormed onto the scene with some great carry performances in his rookie split, but fell off towards the later half once teams began to figure him out. At ADC Yuri “Keith” Jew still garners the starting position for now, but they did add challenger series veteran Brandon “Mash” Phan in the offseason to compete with him. Keith struggled last split and took much of the criticism for Echo Fox doing poorly last split.

9.Team Liquid

To many people’s surprise, Team Liquid stuck it out and brought back the same exact roster from last split, pre-Doublelift. Team Liquid fans can only hope that mid laner Greyson “Goldenglue” Gilmer’s bootcamp to Korea has given him Faker-like ability to finally perform well on the LCS stage. This will most likely be his last chance to prove he belongs in the LCS, so it will be do-or-die for his career.

Jungler Kim “Reignover” Ui-jin struggled in his first split without Huni. The carry jungle meta really wasn’t his style and consequently struggled. With the meta shifting back to tank junglers, we could see an emergence of his former all-star self.

Team Liquid is looking to rely heavily on Cain being added as a strategic coach. They seemed to really like how he did near the end of the split so it will be his chance to prove himself as a coach. Talent wise, Team Liquid isn’t in a bad spot.

8. EnVyus

Photo via Riot Esports

EnVyUs returns with basically the same roster besides subbing out mid laner Noh “Ninja” Geon-woo for upcoming EU mid laner Yasin “Nisqy” Dincer. Nisqy can hopefully be an upgrade over Ninja as he was one of the weaker members of the roster last split. Nisqy comes from EU after helping Fnatic Academy qualify through the Challenger series.

Star jungler Nam “lira” Tae-yoo developed into one of the best junglers in North America and had some phenomenal performances last split.

If Nisqy can gel with the team well, EnVyUs could definitely surprise a lot of people. They also brought on Kim “Violet” Dong Hwan, a former pro starcraft player to coach. While he doesn’t necessarily have a LoL background, it will be interesting to see how he handles the language barrier among the players. Lira and Seraph will need to step up their English if nV will have any chance to compete this split.

 7. Immortals

Immortals swapped junglers in the offseason with CLG in an interesting move due to Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett’s toxic attitude. Jake “Xmithie” Puchero brings a much supportive style to the jungle. It will be a complete 180 in terms of jungle styles. Dardoch was often hard carrying Immortals in their victories, while also being tasked with doing much of the shot calling. Having a decisive voice on a team is vital in pro play and Immortals will definitely miss it.

Most people will consider this move a downgrade, but it could also work better chemistry wise. It’s no doubt Dardoch is one of the best up and coming players of the NALCS, but team chemistry wise he needs the right players around him. Maybe having a more supportive jungler in Xmithie will allow Immortals laners to shine more.

6.Dignitas

Dignitas was expected to be strong contenders after adding the star top/jungle duo of Lee “Chaser” Sang-hyun and Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho for Spring Split. That was not the case as Dignitas struggled heavily at the start of spring. Their early game wasn’t bad, but they struggled to make plays in the mid to late game. This was most likely due to the language barrier between the imports.

Once new head coach David “Cop” Roberson was introduced to the team during the middle of the split the team begun to find success. During the off season they also added LCS veteran Brandon “Saintvicious” DiMarco to their coaching staff. Some other additions include the addition of support Terry “Big” Chuong and jungler Lee “Shrimp” Byeong-hoon. Big is starting the first week of LCS so we’ll need to see if their mid-late game shot calling has improved. They definitely have the talent to compete, but their macro shot calling has been lacking.

5. Flyquest

Photo via Riot Esports

Flyquest returns a former player of the team in Jason “Wildturtle” Tran at ADC. Stylistically, Wildturtle fits this team perfectly. He’s known to be extremely aggressive often at the sacrifice of his life at times. Mid laner Hai “Hai” Lam often will call for very aggressive calls where every member must commit and Wildturtle can do that just fine.

Flyquest stormed onto the scene last split contending for top 2-3 for the first half of the split before teams began to figure them out. They were fan favorites for playing off meta picks such as Mordekaiser bot, Shaco jungle, and Maokai support. Jungler Galen “Moon” Holgate had a breakout split for Flyquest after being underwhelming on any other team he was on before. The effect of having a strong shot caller in Hai really allowed him to show his true potential in the jungle.

Flyquest looks to build off a decent first split finishing fourth place in the spring.

4. Counter Logic Gaming

CLG upgraded individually in terms of talent with the jungle swap of Dardoch and Xmithie. Dardoch brings a high ceiling with the potential to be one of the best junglers in the world. The knock on him is his poor attitude and team chemistry that he’s shown from his time on Immortals and Team Liquid. It’s a high risk, high reward move for this organization but can pay off huge.

This is the best roster Dardoch will have ever been equipped with. Veteran Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black is a strong voice and leader on the team that should be able to keep Dardoch in check if things get heated. CLG has experience dealing with high ego players so having a player like Dardoch shouldn’t be anything new. Although if things don’t start off well, one could see things snowballing out of control very quickly. If things mesh well though, CLG could be strong contenders for the NALCS crown in summer.

3. Phoenix1

Phoenix1 returns the same lineup from last split. Led by their Korean carries of Ryu “Ryu” Sang-wook and MVP ADC  No “Arrow” Dong-hyeon they were able to place third last split. The disparity between them and the top two was pretty big it seemed as they got swept 3-0 by Cloud9 in the semifinals.

If they want to contend for the title they’ll need to see some consistency in the jungle from Rami “Inori” Charagh. Inori took a few weeks off after having issues with some players on the roster. When Inori returned he did look much improved. Most of his issues seem to stem from him tilting on stage. If he can manage his tilt well, this team can definitely look to contend with the top teams. New support, Shady, also gets his chance at playing an entire split. He was an unknown addition towards the end of last spring and had a decent showing in their third place match against Flyquest.

2. Cloud9

Photo via Riot Esports

Cloud9 was one move away from dethroning TSM last summer in one of the best finals series we’ve seen in awhile. They were huge favorites to win spring in the preseason with TSM’s Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng sitting out. Cloud9 went undefeated for the first half of the split, but once teams began to improve, Cloud9 struggled to adapt. The team was a bit slow to make early game plays and relied heavily on team fighting in the mid game to snowball leads.

Jungler Juan “Contractz” Garcia will look to build off a solid ‘Rookie of the Split’ and become even better this split. He started off really well looking like one of the best junglers. He slowly began to stagnate making some of the rookie mistakes we expected. With a split under his belt, he should know what to expect heading into summer. Cloud9 will also bring back the duo top laners of Impact and Ray. It will be interesting to see if they utilize the same way they did last split, Ray on carries and Impact on tanks. More teams should catch onto this and adjust their pick/bans accordingly.

Under coach of the split, Reaper, Cloud9 will look to contend for the title once again and earn another trip back to Worlds.

1. Team SoloMid

TSM will come in as Summer Split favorites with the return of star ADC Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng. Doublelift won’t be coming in completely cold, as he had the chance to play with Team Liquid near the end of spring. If TSM can begin where they left off when Doublelift was on the roster, they can dominate the LCS once again. They have stated that they want to utilize the six man roster with another ADC. It will be interesting to see who they bring on as a sub.

Domestically, TSM is a dominant team that has shown the ability to not show fear to play at a high level. They struggle to translate this same high level of play to the international stage where they have shown to be scared to pull the trigger on fights. Hopefully with Doublelift returning, he brings another decisive voice in the shot calling that will allow them to make more aggressive plays.

Jungler Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen had a poor showing at MSI. He was simply out classed by every other jungler there aside from maybe Trick. He’ll need to turn things around if TSM wants to continue their reign on North America.


Catch the start of LCS June 2nd!

You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Christian!

Cover Photo by Riot Games

The Evolution of CS:GO’s Metagame

As the years have gone on, the way we play CS:GO has changed drastically. Different changes to guns, along with an ever-changing map pool, has caused teams to adapt. Here are the major turning points within the fluid metagame.

The Hard Lurk

via http://wiki.teamliquid.net

The style first brought to fame by the Ninjas in Pyjamas includes having a lurker on one side of the map as the rest of the team pushes the opposite bombsite. Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund, with his famous backstabs, won the Ninjas many a Terrorist round. Another key detail is that in the early part of his CS:GO career, GeT_RiGhT had a 50% win rate in 1v2 scenarios, an absolutely bonkers figure that helped the Ninjas soar to 87-0 on LAN.

The success of the Ninjas early on led other teams to adapt this style. Vincent “Happy” Cervoni Schopenhauer’s EnVyUs was one such team. However, Happy was not able to achieve the level of perfection GeT_RiGhT had at playing the lurker role. This caused a lot of scenarios in which his timing was off, leading to lost rounds. No top level teams in the current era of Counter-Strike play with this style, but for the first few years, it was highly effective.

Molotovs

via https://www.HLTV.org

It took a long time before people adapted to the new grenade after CS:GO’s release, but as teams started to realize all the different uses on both sides, the Molotov quickly caught fire. The Molotov is now widely considered to be an extremely important grenade.

In terms of its early adopters, surprisingly the NA scene saw some of the first; Kory “SEMPHIS” Friesen was one specific praiser of the Molotov very early on. North American Counter-Strike is most famous for loading up with aimers and ignoring tactics, but made a big breakthrough with the Molotov. However, the top European teams were the first to get the most out of it. The Molotov has forever changed the metagame on the offensive side, and will most likely be used throughout all of CS:GO unless Valve should decide to weaken its effect.

Force-Buy

via http://www.counterstrikeblog.com

The second round force-buy happens in almost every single professional match you watch in the current state of the game. The Frenchmen, more specifically Titan and LDLC, were the early adopters of this idea. With such little risk, and a high potential reward, the CZ-75 buys effectively broke the CS:GO metagame. Team LDLC and Fnatic, who were most known for these CZ and armor buys in 2014, dominated all other teams. No round was safe when facing against these two star-studded teams. The rise of guns such as the Tec-9, Five Seven, and P250 have filled the void left by the nerfed CZ; in the current era with all of these insanely talented teams, it has become almost uncommon to see a second round won by the team who won the pistol.

Submachine Guns

via https://wesg.starladder.com

On the 31st of March 2015, CS:GO received an update that changed the anti-eco metagame forever. The submachine guns became relevant, and teams such as EnVyUs started abusing the guns right away.

Submachine guns are perfect for anti-eco scenarios, with good damage output, fire rate, movement speed, and accuracy. The SMGs used early on were mostly the Mac-10 and MP9, although, the recent discovery of the UMP-45’s power has led to the metagame breaking yet again. The gun was shown to be so good, teams like SK, would use the UMP on gun rounds. Teams such as Ninjas in Pyjamas pushed for an MP7 revolution in 2015, but this never came to life, due to the high cost of the weapon.

Tactics trump Skill

via http://luminosity.gg

In SK Gaming’s era, we finally saw a team with a tactical system dominate for an extended period of time. SK won two majors, in a weakened era albeit, but back to back majors is no joke. Following the SK Gaming era, and flying past the uncertainty era to what is now referred to as the parity era, the Danish powerhouse who have found a way to dominate, Astralis, also has a proper tactical system. Skill based teams like Fnatic dominated for two years, the tactical teams now have their chance to dominate.


 

You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers.

Ones to Watch – CWL Stage 1 Playoffs

The playoffs of Call of Duty’s first ever LAN league are upon us. With only eight teams remaining every matchup has the potential to be a thriller. While some games may be more clear-cut than others, in this article, I’m going to be looking at my players to watch for each match if the underdogs are going to emerge victoriously.

James “Clayster” Eubanks

Call of Duty’s longest standing rivalry goes head to head again in the first match between OpTic and FaZe. It’s a shame this game isn’t deeper in the bracket, making the action that much more intense. While it’s no secret that OpTic Gaming is the world number one right now, Clayster could be the catalyst for a FaZe win.

This FaZe roster has been competing together since Advanced Warfare. [Source: Gfinity]

Although the chances of beating such an incredibly dominant team are slim, if anyone is going to reignite the FaZe of old it has to be their captain. Clayster has won all types of championships ranging from Gold Medals to World Championships. A player like that only stays down for so long. We’ve seen him dust himself off after being dropped from Complexity in favor of now OpTic player Damon “Karma” Barlow, and later being kicked from OpTic themselves. There’s no reason why he can’t do it now.

There is no doubt that FaZe is a talented squad which they have demonstrated in the past; they are just missing that level of coordinated teamwork that OpTic and eUnited have. If Clayster can open up the series well, it could give the rest of the team the confidence they need to win. In OpTic’s YouTube series Vision, Karma stated that FaZe was the easiest matchup they could have gotten. It’s up to Clayster and the rest of FaZe to prove them wrong.

Josiah “Slacked” Berry

The match between Team EnVyUs and Luminosity is somewhat murky. Probably the least predictable of the lot, EnVy looked seemingly stronger in the group stage. However, they played worse opposition in Cloud9 and Mindfreaks. I believe that LG will take this series, but if they are to beat consistent players like Apathy and JKap, then it will be through youngster Slacked.

Slacked showed his potential playing for UNiTE Gaming back in Black Ops 2. Since then he has had a number of top finishes under Most Wanted, Elevate, and Rise Nation.
Since joining the organization Luminosity Gaming, the team has been unable to replicate the results from the previous year. They have flown just under the radar finishing 5th – 6th, 4th and 7th – 8th at the premiere events in Infinite Warfare.

Slacked won two tournaments under Rise Nation [Source: CWL]

However, LG made waves in group stages of the Global Pro League after claiming the second seed and taking a series off of eUnited. Their much-improved Search and Destroy was a reason for their boost in success.

Slacked had the highest KD ratio across all members of his team topping the board in that very game type, whilst competing for the top spot with the likes of Octane and Saints in Hardpoint and Uplink. If that slaying continues into the playoffs, it’s likely they will best rocky reigning World Champions Team EnVyUs.

Jordon “General” General

Since bursting onto the scene in Advanced Warfare, General has been hailed for his deadly Assault Rifle play. If his team Enigma 6 is to overcome giant-killers eUnited, then he will have to be at his best to beat his counterpart Alec “Arcitys” Sanderson.

General created the organization Enigma6. [Source: Dexerto]

Enigma6’s best game type in the group stage was Uplink in which they only lost once to OpTic Gaming. It’s no surprise that General led the fragging in that game type, controlling large portions of the map with his assault rifle.

At CWL Las Vegas, E6 took down OpTic Gaming in the group stage showing that when the pressure is off they can perform. In this quarter-final, they will have to defeat a team of similar caliber with much more on the line if they are to earn that place in the semi-finals.

Anthony “NAMELESS” Wheeler

NAMELESS proved to be a big threat in the group stages. [Source: CWL]

By now everyone is aware of the shocking feat Evil Geniuses achieved in the group stage. NAMELESS’ KBAR wreaked havoc in the latter half of group blue. However, their opponents, Europe’s final hope, Splyce has seen much more consistent results than their group stage opposition. If Evil Geniuses are to continue the Cinderella story NAMELESS will have to carry his form from the groups over into the playoffs.

Similarly to the other leaders in Clayster and General if NAMELESS can lead the team from the top of the scoreboard it will likely spur the rest of his team on to reach their heights.

An interesting note about EG is that they are a team capable of performing under pressure. This can be seen from how they qualified for the GPL in the first place and from how they bounced back in the group stages.

Splyce will be a formidable opponent with most people pegging them to take the victory. An intriguing stat on the Europeans is that they won 83% of their games despite being out slain in the majority of them. This shows that NAMELESS will need more than just raw skill to take them down, but I’m sure such a storied veteran is up to the task.

 

You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles. Feature image courtesy of callofduty.com

Page 1 of 41234