ELEAGUE Major: Boston Playoffs Preview
ELEAGUE Major: Boston Playoffs Preview

The time has finally come for eight of the best teams in Counter-Strike to duke it out in Boston for The New Champions stage of the ELEAGUE Major: Boston. Over a course of two weeks, 24 teams have battled it out at the ELEAGUE Arena in Atlanta to earn their spot in the playoffs of the Major. Left standing were FaZe Clan, Cloud9, G2 Esports, Quantum Bellator Fire, SK Gaming, mousesports, Natus Vincere, and Fnatic. Before we get into who might ultimately hoist the trophy, we’ve got to take a look at the initial quarterfinal matchups.

The matchups:

  • FaZe Clan vs. mousesports
  • Natus Vincere vs. Quantum Bellator Fire
  • G2 Esports vs. Cloud9
  • SK Gaming vs. Fnatic

Advancing:

FaZe Clan, Natus Vincere, G2 Esports, SK Gaming

Arguably the best Counter-Strike roster on paper have proven to be the biggest threat to any team that stands in their way. An interesting tale is unfolding for FaZe as Nikola “NiKo” Kovac will appear in his first ever Major playoff appearance. The German-based team of mouz have been riding momentum since late 2017 when young-gun Robin “ropz” Kool joined the mix, creating consistency within the team. Head-to-head these teams are even (9-9) with mouz taking the most recent meeting at the PGL Major Krakow. The map pools for boths teams are rather similar, which could mean this matchup could see all three maps, but ultimately FaZe simply has more firepower and should walk away with the win.

Natus Vincere has had a rocky time through the New Challengers and the New Legends stage, barely scaving through both by the skin of their teeth. On the other side, Quantum Bellator Fire has been riding on a train of emotions and momentum to reach these playoffs, taking teams out the likes of mouz, Virtus.pro, and Gambit along the way. However, both of these teams recent met in Atlanta, where Na’Vi came out on top on Inferno. Although Quantum Bellator Fire has managed to push through this far, the team has only made their accomplishments through best-of-ones, which leaves them with an overall weaker map pool than Na’Vi. The shallow map pool along with inexperienced players should allow Danylo “Zeus” Teslenko to lead Na’Vi to victory.

The French of G2 completed The New Legends stage being the first to claim their spot in Boston. However, G2 will once again go head-to-head with Cloud9, who scrapped their way to the playoffs by winning their last three matches to advance. The matchup is quite even in terms of overall record, as they sit at an even 7-7 in head-to-head matchups. With maps like Inferno, Cobblestone, and Cache being the most played, the map veto will be key to a victory on other side. That being said, G2 Esports have a stronger map pool than C9, which should give them enough to nudge past Cloud9 and move on to the semifinals.

One might think that SK Gaming would be having a rough time during this major since Joao “felps” Vasconcellos is having to play for the team with the knowledge that he will be replaced by Ricardo “boltz” Prass shortly after the Major concludes. Despite this less than ideal situation, felps has remained steadfast and helped SK get into the playoffs with a 3-1 record. In spite of the roster issues, SK has won notable tournaments through 2017 with felps in tow and are favorites coming into the match. While Fnatic has always been a threat to SK, Fnatic’s new lineup simply shouldn’t be able to matchup with SK.

The quarterfinal action is set to kick off Friday at 10:00 AM ET on Twitch as FaZe Clan and mousesports will kick off the action.

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