With the 2018 ELEAGUE Major: Boston behind us, eight of the best teams in CS:GO will descend on Los Angeles where the players will relax for another edition of the popular cs_summit tournament series. The tournament will feature four days of action in a best-of-three, double elimination bracket with $150,000 up for grabs.
All eyes will be watching the reigning ELEAGUE Major Boston champions of Cloud9 as they return to the spotlight once again. Seven other teams consisting of Team Liquid, North, Vega Squadron, SK Gaming, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Heroic, and Torqued will try and take down the red-hot North Americans. OpTic Gaming was also invited, but the team pulled out of the event due to the ongoing roster shuffle, which allowed Torqued to slide in for their first significant event. Additionally, Heroic made it in through the qualifier due to mousesports also pulling out.
With the roster shuffle coming out in full force immediately following the conclusion of the Major, this tournament will field plenty of new lineups. Liquid, SK, North and NiP all underwent changes in the last couple weeks, which gives fans a chance to catch the new-look rosters on full display.
Let’s get right down to business with the nitty-gritty of the quarterfinal matchups.
SK Gaming vs. Torqued
Winner: SK Gaming
The first best-of-three match up with kick off with the Brazilians of SK Gaming going toe-to-toe against Braxton “swag” Pierce squad, Torqued. This is the first time that Joshua “steel” Nissan, Keven “AZK” Lariviere, and swag will be competing against international teams since their iBUYPOWER days.
SK Gaming will be coming into relaxed Summit house after a long trip through Atlanta and Boston during the Major, where the team was eliminated in the semifinals to Cloud9. At that event, however, the team was forced to play with stand-in Joao “felps” Vasconcellos rather than new member Ricardo “boltz” Prass. With boltz in the lineup this weekend, SK will rebound with a strong and consistent to the lineup. That means good news for SK but not so good news for Torqued as the the team will be seen as the undergods going into the tournament. With the brackets set to best-of-three, Torqued would need a miracle to best the Brazilians.
North vs. Vega Squadron
Winner: Vega Squadron
Vega Squadron turned heads at the ELEAGUE Arena in Atlanta taking down notable teams such as FaZe Clan to advance into the New Legends stage where Cloud9 would send them packing. On the other side, North took a disappointing route and bombed out of the New Legends stage with an 0-3 record, which led to several roster changes.
The Danes of North started their moves with the release of Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke and the benching of Rene “cajunb” Borg. With two spots open, North decided to call upon young talent from their academy squad in the form of Daniel “mertz” Mertz, who will also become their primary AWPer. The other spot came from a more unlikely player, as Markus “Kjarebye” Kjaerbye moved on from Astralis to join North and reunite with in-game leader Mathias “MSL” Lauridsen. While the moves were much needed, it will take some time for this team to gel together, leading to a Vega win in this series.
Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. Liquid
This is probably one of the most interesting matchups to come out of the draw for cs_summit as both teams will have a rematch from the inaugural cs_summit last year. Liquid bested NiP on the third map of Cobblestone with an impressive 16-3 win to take the 2-1 series win. From there, Liquid went on to play Gambit, who took down the North Americans in a 2-0 series.
Now, both teams have undergone changes to their roster as the Swedes of NiP have returned with Faruk “pita” Pita as their head coach to replace Bjorn “THREAT” Pers, who stepped down last week to “pursue other things in life.” On the other side of things, Liquid have recently made a change regarding Keith “NAF” Markovic’s return to active duty over Josh “jdm64” Marzano. In addition, the team revealed that Nick “nitr0” Cannella will be taking over as in-game leader. However, the changes to Liquid are fairly new and the team chemistry hasn’t quite formed, giving the Swedes with their prolonged time from action their best chance to even the score.
Cloud9 vs. Heroic
All eyes will be upon the MVP and Major champion Tarik “tarik” Celik as his team will have a target on their backs going into the frey. Undoubtedly, Cloud9 will be the fan favorites going into the best-of-three brackets with Heroic first in line.
The head-to-head matchup with feature these two teams playing only for the third time ever. Two of the prior matches went in favor of Cloud9, who took down the Danes at IEM Oakland 2016 and again at IEM Katowice 2017. Both wins came to Cloud9 prior to the recent roster change that just won North America its first ever Major, however. Still, the team has a firm map pool, which will be too much for Heroic to handle in what should be a quick 2-0 sweep.
The action will kick off with SK Gaming taking on Torqued at 12 p.m. ET.