The past two seasons of Eleague have followed the same format of weekly group play leading up to a traditional single elimination bracket tournament, and season three (also known as "Premier") keeps the formula intact.
Week one kicks off the action with the winners of DreamHack Masters Malmo G2 Esports and top tier teams in FaZe Clan, Natus Vincere, and the Detroit Renegades. Teams are sorted in order of proposed placement.
Chance of making it out of groups: 90%
The Frenchman have had a rollercoaster of a year, from the highs of winning back to back attended events (DreamHack Tours and ESL Pro League Season 5) to the lows of ECS S3 and the PGL Major. Fortunately for G2, the French have all the hallmarks of a Fall run with a big win in Malmo to become DreamHack Masters and have become the favorites to top Eleague Group A.
The team led by Malmo MVP Kenny "kennyS" Schrub will not have the benefit of their coach Edouard "SmithZz" Dubourdeaux during freeze time, but the team has shown impressive resilience whether up or down by 12 rounds.
The initial match against Na'Vi will be a close one, but G2 seems to have fixed some of their previous tactical mistakes while Na'Vi is still unproven.
Chance of making it out of groups: 50%
Are Na'Vi a relatively unproven team? Yes. In Sweden Na'Vi destroyed Virtus.Pro 16-4 to advance to the group finals against Astralis where the team was outmatched on both Overpass and Mirage. The team would go on to defeat the Detroit Renegades 2-0 to make the quarterfinals where the team
to the Ninjas in Pyjamas. Despite the team's inability to contend with the world's elite teams, Na'Vi's has an extremely high ceiling largely in thanks to their most recent addition of Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko. With the incredibly powerful stars around the longtime in game leader (IGL), Na'Vi has the potential to become the best team in the world once more and their run has to start somewhere.
Losing the first game is okay because the team will face off against a Detroit Renegades team they recently defeated at Malmo. The decider against FaZe Clan will be tough but FaZe is a team that is trying to find its identity.
Chance of making it out of groups: 50%
While my stock in FaZe is low, the team's firepower gives it a fighting 50/50 to make it out of groups. In a world full of good and holy things FaZe Clan should roll against Renegades, but the Group A winners match against G2 Esports will prove much tougher. FaZe currently dominate the LAN rivalry against G2 4-1, but that was with a much different roster and when FaZe was contending for the best team of the world. FaZe is still a strong roster with all five players able to solo carry the team, but taking John Wick x5 is not always a winning solution.
If FaZe gets their tactics together they can win the whole event, but the team feels too new to seriously do work and make it out over Na'Vi.
Chance of making it out of groups: 10%
At DreamHack Masters Malmo the Renegades were able to take a win against a top 10 ranked team in Virtus.Pro and pushed Na'Vi in two maps to finish 3rd in their group. Hardly a terrible result considering they dropped David ‘JayzWalking’ Kempner right after the event and were in one of the harder groups to escape. Now featuring former OpTic Gaming member Keith "NAF-Fly" Markovic, the Renegades look to be a dangerous team to contend with. Unfortunately, the Renegades were placed in a group that contains three top 10 teams and with no real time to prepare after Malmo.
I've already made a commitment to buying a Renegades jersey should the team do the unthinkable, and that would start with an upset over FaZe. Should the Renegades do so in dominating fashion and make it past the group stage, watch for the team to make a run in the coming months.
if Renegades makes it out of groups at Eleague I'm buying a @NAFFLY jersey
— RS Zeke (@jamaican116)
Potential to win it all
G2 Esports 40%
Natus Vincere 30%
FaZe Clan 25%
Detroit Renegades 5%