Group A was a doozy with North easily making it out first and CLG with back to back 2-0 victories.
North (#4 HLTV Ranking)
After 2 dangerously close best-of-one wins in the group stage, North were able to 2 – 0 their way into the semifinals of DreamHack Montreal, where they’ll meet Cloud9 tomorrow. It must be said that the highlight player for North thus far has been Valdemar “valde” Bjorn, the latest addition to the team, who has been the catalyst for this team ever since joining the roster. Not only has he been undoubtedly the best player of the lineup since joining, but he’s gone above and beyond his expected level of skill since removal from Heroic. North’s chances of overcoming Cloud9 seem to be very strong with the names that this team has on, but it should be a great bout indeed, and possibly the best best-of-three this event could have asked for.
Counter Logic Gaming (#22 HLTV Ranking)
On a slippery slope is Counter Logic Gaming, as they have been for a majority of 2017 since adding Ricardo “Rickeh” Mulholland back in March. They were able to secure a spot in the semifinals here in Canada, as their players have begun to fire on all cylinders expected, with Pujan “FNS” Mehta leading the team on a dangerous level tactically, Kenneth “koosta” Suen, and Rickeh to a lesser extent seeing as he is the secondary AWP for the team, making AWP impact plays, and young gun Ethan “nahtE” Arnold proving to be a powerful force when it comes to creating openings for his team on T side and holding down sites on CT, and their most recent addition to their family Steve “Ryu” Rattacasa making his stamp as a more than worthwhile coach for the team since the departure of ImAPet to OpTic Gaming’s latest European lineup.
While CLG was unable to put up much of a fight against Team Kinguin in their first best-of-one meet, they were certainly able to put down the expectations handed to them the second time around where they won in a 2 to 0 fashion after climbing over the players of Gale Force Esports with their stand-in, who CLG also 2 – 0’d rather convincingly. Their stability in the group stage was questionable at the start, but the full 180 degree flip that they pulled on their way out proves that they still have the pieces put together to apply in a match against the Immortals, their matchup in the semifinals.
Group B went a little more contest for Immortals, but Cloud9 eventually evened out.
Immortals (#6 HLTV Ranking)
A convincing 16 – 5 score line against Luminosity Gaming, as well as a close match with their strongest contenders for the top of the group stage and ultimately winning out gives Immortals some momentum moving through to the semifinals where they’ll meet Counter Logic Gaming for a spot in the finals. Henrique “HEN1” Teles’ impact on the AWP throughout the group stage has been what’s really plowed through the Immortals’ opponents, whereas it’s Vito “kNgV-“ Giuseppe pulling his weight on the rifles to support the team. Their space in the grand finals seems to be a little bit clouded, as the form of Counter Logic Gaming has been fairly strong throughout the year, but the thing about this is that they’ve been fairly up and down with their incredible upsets and close matches while simultaneously struggling against lower tier teams.
Cloud9 (#11 HLTV Ranking)
Come the formation of the “North American Superteam”, half the fans of the professional CS:GO community were spectacle of how far this team would go without a proper in-game leader and support, but this is where they make their big break into a first place title, where their biggest opponent will be North who they face tomorrow in the semifinals. The team’s ability to trade and work off each other has improved dramatically from their recent online play, and for it to continue to transfer into a higher level of play would be this team’s blessing, as the biggest flaw of this lineup seemed to be that it was, and is, full of superstar level players that could possibly clash with one another. Their only loss was given to them by their South American rivals in the Immortals, who they will likely face in the finals of the event if they manage to overcome North.
With Tarik "tarik" Celik taking over as in-game leader for the team as opposed to their previous one Jake "Stewie2K" Yip, the team has had a similar tactical stance to how they play from how late OpTic Gaming was playing, using setups heavily reliant on opening picks. While this is not a necessarily bad thing, it may become tedious when they face themselves up against either more tactically diverse rosters or more talented teams in terms of raw aim, but as of right now it has been working out fairly well for them overall.
Tomorrow’s Match-up Times:
Semifinal #1 (North vs. Cloud9): 10:00 AM EST
Semifinal #2 (Immortals vs. Counter Logic Gaming): 1:00 PM EST
Grand Final: 5:00 PM EST