The ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2018 takes place later this month, and it holds one of the largest prize pools remaining for tournaments this year – $1 million. The group stage of the competition will run from July 21-25, while the playoff portion is held from July 28-29. The tournament is hosted at the ELEAGUE Arena in Atlanta.
The tournament features the top eight teams from the HLTV.org world rankings as of May 21, 2018. The teams in order of their rank are Astralis, FaZe Clan, Natus Vincere, mousesports, FNATIC, Liquid, Cloud9, and MIBR.
This tournament is perfect for anyone who is looking to get into Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or CSGO betting because this features all the top teams in the world. It should be a highly competitive tournament with either side having a chance to lift the trophy. Natus Vincere might be a favorite because of their recent win at the ESL One: Cologne 2018, while Cloud9 might have the upper hand in the tournament because they won ELEAGUE Major: Boston 2018 in January. Listed below are whom I think are the favorites, sleepers, and the underdogs.
Astralis would’ve been the favorite for this event just a week ago, but after a surprise loss to Natus Vincere at ESL Cologne, the team may be anymore. Although, you can’t deny their dominance over the past three months. They came away with victories at DH Marseille, ESL Pro League, and ECS. Astralis has an advantage over other top teams as they aren’t undergoing a roster change or at least a rumor of one. They should be an easy top four pick for the event.
Natus Vincere has been on fire of late having won three of their last three events they’ve competed in. Navi heads into this event has the designated favorite alongside Astralis. They are the favorites because of their wins from the Asian Championships, Star series Season 5, and most recently ESL Cologne. This team has looked immensely flashy. If S1mple and Electronic can continue the fragging power they managed at Cologne, I can’t see this team not in the top 4, if not winning the title.
FaZe is one of the teams without a finalized roster but is one of the teams that others need to look for because of their recent tournament finishes. FaZe was the world’s best throughout late 2017 and early 2018. Even with multiple stand-ins, the team has secured victories at both IEM Sydney with Xizt and ESL Belo Horizante with Cromen. The team still managed a top 4 finish at ESL Cologne with Cromen once again in the lineup, and this was after a stunning upset which kept FaZe out of another top two finishes. Expect these guys to continue performing, should be an easy top 4 finish if not an appearance in the grand final.
Cloud9 is one of many teams right now who are still searching for a fifth and permanent member to round out their side. On top of this, there have been rumors of Tarik leaving, which may signal a bit of turmoil within the squad. The team has not had an official in-game leader since N0thing’s departure last year and have struggled through the trialing of both FNS and Tarik to try and fit the role. Cloud9 is indeed not a favorite going into the event, with the way their roster currently stands, but making the playoffs would be a great feat for this team.
Team Liquid is the only North American team at the event that I can give a chance to make the playoffs. Even though they had a rough performance at ESL Cologne, where they were sent out in the group stage after losses to BIG and North. Liquid tends to struggle against European competition. Their struggle should be noted, but with teams like MIBR, C9, and a new mousesports team in the field, Liquid has a chance to place top four.
MIBR was once a team feared as the world’s number one but has now seemingly “fallen” off the map. I mean that unironically, as their leader Fallen has been rumored to want changes among the team. Coldzera, the team’s arguably best player, has been rumored to be the target for change. He may pursue options elsewhere after this year’s major. This internal struggle should be noted, and along with poor performances at most of their appearances since last December, I can’t guarantee them through to the playoffs.
The sleeper of the tournament has to be FNATIC. They have been relatively quiet ever since their $800,000 victory at WESG this year. While FNATIC is a consistent playoff team, but also a team that consistently makes it no further than the quarterfinals. With competition being so stiff here at Premier League, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Fnatic go out in the group stages or dropping in the semifinals.
Mousesports, or also known as Mouz, was a rising team back in February but hasn’t been much of a threat these past few months. They had a poor performance at ESL Cologne, with losses to Ence and G2 in a best-of-three. Although they have a new member in Snax, previously with Virtus Pro, it seems the team is still trying to work out the kinks. They’re a team I can’t expect to make it past the group stage.
The group stage will consist of two groups of four in a double-elimination format. All the matches in the group stage are best-of-three and the top two teams from each group advance to the playoffs.
The playoffs are a single-elimination bracket. The Semifinals are in a best-of-three match format, while the grand final is best-of-five. The winning team will end up being crowned ELEAGUE Champion and receives the most significant share of the $1 million prize pool.
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