K23 FIVE VG. Cyberzen JYP Signature ENZO Selfless
subtLe QuetzaL TeamOne rEAK Colombia TyLoo .Russia
Virtus.pro Kinguin EnVyUs Ukraine GODSENT iGame.com Space Soldiers
Bravado Dark Passage Epsilon
Who should we watch out for?
As always, Virtus.pro on LAN are no joke, and are hands down our favorites. I expect them to easily come out of the group stages and make their way to a Finals appearance. Who they will meet there is more of a mystery.
GODSENT will be entering this event with a great finish to 2016, and I suspect that this is a great place for them to re-assert the Swedish grip on the CS:GO scene early in the year. I’m sure that they’ve probably been scrimming Epsilon to get ready as well, who will also be attending.
EnVyUs definitely disappointed in their past performances in 2016, but they showed signs of real life and some amazing display. If Kenny can keep it together for longer than a group stage, look for the French group to go far. Additionally, the French shuffle between Envy and G2 looks to be a real thing that is going to happen. Players will be playing for spots and stepping up.
Who are our dark horses?
Watch out for Kinguin; they have proven that they can play with the best and keep up. Although they are the weaker Polish squad, their roster is very stacked and is capable of pulling upsets. The European fast-gunning playstyle showed itself at the last Dreamhack, and Kinguin can easily dominate the lower teams.
Space Soldiers have played together for a very long time, and are more than experienced with the duration of weekend-long LANs. The squad has been known to do very well side by side. Watch for XANTARES to display himself as the young Turkish phenom he has been known to be.
.Russia are a combination of some very well-known Russian prospects, including the surprisingly good DavCost. Look for Cost & Crew to do work at this tournament, especially when playing the lesser-known teams.
Why should this event be watched?
The obvious answer for why this tournament has some viewership interest is because European powerhouses will be entering and playing for an unexpectedly large prize pool. It will be interesting to see a Group stage format that includes a Round of 12 mini-tournament for teams to advance to the quarterfinals.
A more interesting perspective for this event is the fact that WESG managed to get teams involved from every region, creating a large diversity in the teams we will get to see. More than a few upsets are capable of happening, especially with so many different Counter Strike styles clashing. It will certainly be interesting to see how top known European teams strategize around lesser-known squads from regions like Mexico, Estonia, and even South Africa.
Regardless of why you may be watching CS:GO’s first large event of the year, get ready for a very exciting and tension-packed tournament that includes a massive $800,000 first place prize.
Who do you have as tournament favorites? Let us know why in the comments!