Memorial Day weekend is in the books and the ESL ESEA Pro League is in full swing again. The fourth week of competition is underway, meaning we’re now at the halfway point. As the favorites in each division continue to win and shine, some underdogs are making a name for themselves while others continue to struggle. Let’s bring you up to speed before another weekend of fast-paced CS:GO action!
A black week for German CS:GO
The big storyline for German CS:GO fans heading into this week of the ESL ESEA Pro League was the stacked schedule. Both PENTA eSports and the beloved mousesports had plenty of games in the coming week, being featured in eight of the 14 European battles. Sadly for the teams, however, the headlines turned sad fairly quickly.
There’s not a lot to celebrate in German CS:GO at the moment
In the eight matches German teams were involved in, only three ended with mousesports or PENTA eSports winning, with this number getting even smaller when you don’t count Monday’s duel. Overall, the German teams are struggling, especially the promising PENTA eSports. After losing to NiP twice and German rival mousesports once this week, only a win against Flipsid3 Tactics can be chalked up. The team, which reached the Legend status in back-to-back majors and signed full-time player contracts, is now looking completely out of sync. With a 2-11 record after the first four weeks, the team is in eleventh place at the moment, with only Flipsid3 Tactics below them. Their German brothers mousesports might not be shooting for the stars either, but they at least already have five wins to their name, including an upset against TSM this week.
It seems that German CS:GO is increasingly turning into a sideshow in the European division, with the focus primarily on the Scandinavian teams once more. NiP (8-6) rebounded after their grim start, turning things around and finding their NiP magic again to go on a six-game winning streak. Their Swedish brothers Fnatic (7-1) as well as Polish fan favorites Virtus.pro (7-1) are following suit in the brackets, followed closely by the Danish duo of TSM (7-4) and Dignitas (6-4). Almost all of this top five will be in action over the weekend, and almost exclusively clashing with Team EnvyUS. After the dust has settled, the European division might look completely different once more.
Cloud9 marches, Keyd rebounds
The recap of week two of the American division ran with the headline of Keyd Stars and Cloud9 marching through the American division undefeated. Half has changed since then, but the other half is still looking as dominant as before.
Keyd Stars are looking for the sweep this week
For Keyd Stars, this weekend staunched their bleeding. After not conceding a single game in the first two weeks, they were struck by lightning and defeat twice in week three. First Cloud9 came in on Dust2 and ended the undefeated record then Team Liquid made them suffer on their Mirage - Keyd Stars’ home map. It was time for redemption in week four, and Keyd Stars were not going to let that opportunity slip away. A commanding win over mouseSpaz on Overpass, a good win over Method on Inferno and a clash with eLevate still to come on Sunday night - the Brazilians are looking to be back on point, and have already got through the first few struggles.
Out of major struggles and back to good times seems to be the story for Cloud9. After struggling in majors, big tournaments and online cups, change has come to the team. The shuffle certainly seems to have paid off as Cloud9 appears to be having one of the best starts possible. Sitting on top of the North American division with a 9-1 scoreline, the team have only lost a single game - to the rising stars eLevate back in week three. Every other contest went in favor of sgares and his boys, even key matchups against top teams like Keyd Stars and Nihilum. The latter took place this week, marking the first time these former teammates collided in the ESL ESEA Pro League as sgares, n0thing and Shroud went up against former Cloud9 stars Hiko and Semphis. The first meeting was close, but not too close for comfort for Cloud9, who beat Nihilum on Inferno 16-12.
sgares leads Cloud9 to the top record in the league
With all those wins, Cloud9 is not only on top of the North American standings but also holds the best overall record in the entire league. No other team has managed to accumulate nine wins yet, with the closest being NiP and Keyd Stars with eight each.
A French weekend ahead
We started week four with plenty of German matchups and now we’re closing out the weekend with some French CS:GO. The popular Team EnvyUS (3-3) had most of their scheduled games delayed, but now it’s time for them to go out and shine. With three games on Saturday and two more on Sunday, they have a chance to run the table and make it into the top five of the European standings.
A big weekend for EnvyUS
However, it won’t be an easy task, with EnvyUS having to face all of the top teams starting with TSM, followed by Na’Vi and ending with the big clash against Fnatic on Saturday. If that wasn’t enough in terms of high-stakes and high-level CS:GO already, Sunday will be kicking off with EnvyUS versus Virtus.pro directly followed by Dignitas taking on the French. After these matches the standings will shift, and EnvyUS will be on top, in the middle or in trouble - much like NiP two weeks ago. Anything can happen as the stacked European division heads towards a weekend full of exciting games.
In addition to the French action, Sunday will also feature Fnatic against Virtus.pro at 19:00 CEST followed by TSM versus Titan at 20:00 CEST. Finishing off the European slugfest is the rematch of the Danish duel between Dignitas and TSM - can TSM repeat their performance?
tarik and CLG are chasing Cloud9 in the standings
In the North American division, the double-header action is set to return. Last week it was Cloud9 and eLevate entertaining thousands of CS:GO fans with their back-to-back games. This time the burden is on Tempo Storm and Luminosity Gaming followed by Team Liquid and CLG. Tempo Storm needs a win to stay out of the bottom, while Luminosity, Team Liquid and CLG are still aiming for the top of the entire division.
That spot is currently still in Cloud9’s hands, and they will look to further their lead on Sunday against direct rivals CLG. Keyd Stars will try to make it three straight against eLevate, who will also be ending the weekend of ESL ESEA Pro League action with their bout against affNity.
To stay up to date with all the standings, matchups and odds for the matches as well as ESL Fantasy, head over to the official tournament site.