ELEAGUE returned to the G-FUEL ELEAGUE Arena in Atlanta for another exciting season of highly contested Counter-Strike: Global Offensive action as 16 teams from around the world battle weekly to top their groups in order to earn a shot at the playoffs. FaZe Clan and G2 were the first two teams to qualify, walking away from Group A competition with the top two seeds in tow.
Friday, FaZe Clan (2-0) topped Group A with a convincing win over both Renegades (0-2) and Natus Vincere (1-2). A slow start against Renegades on Mirage resulted in a 3-0 deficit early; however, Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovacs rallied his team with the AWP to enter the half up 8-7. FaZe in-game leader Finn "karrigan" Andersen rolled over Renegades in the second half to win eight out of 10 rounds for the 16-9 win. FaZe would then follow that victory up with a convincing win over Natus Vincere during the primetime matchup. A stellar first half by Havard "rain" Nygaard was matched by his entire team in the second half, as FaZe simply ran away with the 16-6 blowout, sending the CIS team to the lower bracket.
It wasn't entirely doom and gloom for Natus Vincere, as Na'Vi did pick up an impressive win over the reigning DreamHack Masters Malmo champions G2 Esports (2-1). It was all the more impressive given that Na'Vi actually trailed at the half, even with Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev popping off on the AWP. Down 9-6 entering the second frame, it simply seemed as if Na'Vi turned on a switch, as Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko and company rallied to win 10 of the next 11 rounds to send G2 into the lower bracket.
Saturday would see the aforementioned DreamHack Masters Malmo winners take its play to another level. G2 Esports started the afternoon against Renegades with two massive first-half performances, setting the tone early with 12-3 and 13-2 leads, respectively. While the blowout wins would see G2 move on to face Na'Vi in the final best-of-three series of Group A, the domination also seemed to provide G2 with a much-needed spark of confidence.
You wouldn't have seen that spark early on, however, as the CIS team started well on the favored defensive side, jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the opening round of the series, with Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev's ace enough to secure the pistol round. G2 finally got on the board in Round 6, though, and never looked back as the team surged on offense to close out the half up 9-6, winning five straight. The second half was a neck-and-neck battle, but Dan "apEX" Madesclaire and G2 would do just enough to close out the 16-12 win on Cobblestone to take the lead in the series. It certainly seemed as if the contest would be heading into a final round, with Zeus and the rest of Na'Vi jumping out to a demoralizing 12-3 lead at halftime of Map 2. However, G2 came striking back with a blistering offensive half of its own to put Na'Vi on its heels. Although it came within two rounds of forcing a third map, G2 would win eight straight to close the series 16-14 and advance to the Premier playoffs alongside FaZe Clan.
Group B will kick off next week with Fnatic, mousesports, North and Immortals, starting on Friday at 6 p.m. ET.