Group D of the Major consists of the following four teams :
Fnatic, LG, Gamers2 and Faze Clan
Fnatic were the undisputed top team for most of 2015 and late 2014. The team has been dominating the CSGO scene for a long time and their dominance comes with crushing wins over most of their opponents.
However with Olofmeister suffering due to an injury, the roster went out of form. Fnaticś performance slumped with major changes in the way they played things. Wenton , who subbed in for Olofmeister was not able to have the same impact as Olofmeister used to have for the team.
However once Olofmeister came back to playing for the team, they have looked as if they are the same team from 2015. The arrogant way with which they play their CS and win it everytime seems to be back in the game.
Fnatic has always had an advantage over their opponents map pools. Fnatic has a very vast map pool and their advantage with their aim lets them run deep into mot of these maps. If you look closely at the way they have been playing the maps;
Their most played map from the last three months ( which is when Dennis joined the team ) is Cobblestone and Cache. Their performance on these map has been splendid with a very high win percentage of over 67%. Maps such as Dust2 and Overpass are their least played maps. But in no means can we say that Dust2 is a bad map for them. They are a very good team on Dust2 and we have seen splendid perforamnces from them. Overpass on the other hand has been slowly weaning away as a map for the Swedish side. They have been avoiding the map and their extremely low win % of 25% is astonishing. At the same time, they have only played it for around 4-5 times so the percentage is definitely skewed.
Despite losing Olofmeister for a substantial part of the past three months, Fnaticś LAN placements were actually quite noteworthy.
They came in at 3rd position at ECS S1 and ESL Pro league Season 3 Finals. Despite an incomplete team, this team has managed to stay on top of their game for the most part. Fnatic face off against Faze in their first match-up. This match is not as easy as it might seem. Fnatic with Olofmeister has not played too many matches so far in this year. Faze on the other hand has definitely been looking up for a long time. Their performances after the acquisition of Kio is noticeable.
Finally Fnatic should be able to come out ahead of this group, definitely amongst the top two. The team looks really strong and with the additional time that they got to practise I expect the team to reach top four unless they meet a very strong contender in the playoffs stage ( Top Eight).
Luminosity Gaming / SK
The current Major Champions of MLG Columbus 2016, Luminosity Gaming are definitely one of the top contenders for this Major as well. The Brazilian side has been at the top of their game for quite a few months now.
Around 1st June, a controversy surrounding the team cropped up. Most of the information regarding the switch from LG to SK can be read here. LG players got greedy and sided with SK. Having already signed contracts which were binding, the move to SK happened quick and fast. The two organisations reached an agreement on the 24th of June 2016 wherein it was decided that the Brazilian squad will be moving to SK Gaming on the 1st of July; as was announced on the LG website.
This however has not affected the teamś performance in the competitive scene for the most part. They still exert their dominance against most of the other teams. Against Tier one European teams LG have been having close matches. But they are still the same level of firepower and aimpunch in the team as before.
The recent LAN events attended by the Brazilian squad showed them attaining top two positions in almost all the LAN events that they have participated in. The Brazilian side plays a very tactical approach to their game and they definitely have been very successful at that. LG have been able to attain a near Fnatic level map pool. LG are currently ranked #1 in the world rankings.
LG however have hardly played Nuke as a map. Nuke is one of the seven official maps for this Major and that is definitely going to affect the Vetoes as teams progress in the tournament.
However in the Group stage, we hardly expect to see Nuke being played in any of the groups. Apart from Nuke, LG are very comfortable on most of the remaining 6 maps. They do avoid Dust2, but it is a pretty good map for Coldzera if it still remains through the veto.
LG are one of the favorites of this group if not the favorite. Their recent performances have all suggested that they should be able to defeat most of their opponents.Their first match however is against Gamers2 who have a very good claim to proceed deep into this tournament.
Gamers2 have always been a very notorious team for exiting the Majors in the Group Stage. However that was under the tutelage of X6tenz who has since moved on from the team. The team has been definitely making progress since then. It is probably one of the few times in the past two years that Gamers2 have managed to out-aim and outrank their french counterparts in EnVyUs.
Gamers2, however do not seem too dominant especially when it comes to the pressure situations of grand finales of LAN and major tournaments. We have only a couple of tournaments to judge them from, but their online play has been flawless. They were, at one stage having a reccord of 26 wins versus 4 losses against some of the best teams in Europe. The core of the team consists of Shox, Scream and RPK. With these three players playing their roles to perfection the team definitely has been improving their results of late. Shox in particular has been stupenduous in his gameplay in the past couple of months.
Gamers2 LAN Performance in the past three months.
Their Map Statistics can be read in the Graph below:
We can see that their favorite maps include Dust2, Train, Cache and Cobblestone. The have not played Nuke at all, and Inferno is not a part of the Map Pool . This graph does not show Mirage, but Mirage is also another map that G2 avoid. Considering they are quite good or above average than most of the other teams on 5 maps it is a fairly good map pool.
Their win ratio on Cache in particular is above 80%. Cache is a map that most of the other teams such as fnatic, EnVyUs, NIP prefer to play on and seeing Gamers2 high win ratio on this map puts them in a very advantageous position.
Gamers2 are the most important team in this group as they are right up there along with Fnatic and LG in terms of aim, results and gameplay. Their performance has not waned at all in the past few weeks and the performance level of the team is at an all time high. The mental block of not being able to get out of groups, especially in this so called Group Death might be a stumbling block as the Team as good as it is has famously never made it out of groups at the Majors.
This is a team to watch out for, especially in their opening match against LG.
Faze has had a very bad 2015. The team has been changing rosters consistently and despite having a team of really good aimers, the team has not been able to deliver results. Recently they have had lots of success in many online tournaments and matches. On LAN however, the story is quite different. A big reason for this was their absence from most of the recently concluded LANś. They played one LAN after Kioshima joining them ( ESL One Cologne Main Qualifier ) so the sample pool is quite small.
Faze Recent LAN events
The Main qualifier was actually quite a good tournaments in itself with the presence of teams such as Immortals, Mouz, Flipside, Gamers2 and EnVyUs. The teams are all worthy of a shot at the Majors and Faze won quite easily without any slip-ups.
Yet we have not seen many matches off the team right now. They have not played against bigwigs such as Gamers2, Fnatic, LG frequently. Their world ranking still remains at #16 which is way below that of the rest of the teams in this Group.
Getting out of this group will be a huge challenge for Faze despite their amazing performance recently. The odds are stacked up against them in the likes of Fnatic, LG and Gamers2 all of whom are playing exceptionally well
Faze should be the team that would not be able to qualify into the playoffs on this group. \
There are two pre determined matches in Group D
- Fnatic vs Faze
Fnatic seem to have gone back to their old form. That being said, we have only seen a few matches including Olofmeister. The team still has to prove that they are consistent. Coming into this match, Fnatic are definitely favored as the better team. Faze however have been recently showing up good results and it would not be unimaginable to see Faze defeat Fnatic especially if they get good maps such as Mirage and Cobblestone. Ofcourse Cobblestone against Fnatic is a tall order, but Mirage is a map that Faze had a legit chance of winning on.
Train is another map that Faze is very good on. The correct odds for this match should be 70-73% to 30-27%.
The Bet: Medium on Fnatic
- Gamers2 vs SK
This match is a very interesting match. Both the teams are at their peak right now. Gamers2 have shown up tremendously recently with some amazing performances over teams such as NIP, Fnatic and other top level EU teams.
SK on the other hand have shown some professionalism in the way they handled the SK-LG controversy. Ofcourse it was they themselves that started it but they did not let it affect their performance.
This match is quite literally 50-50. SK will have the advantage of being a major champion and being the favorites. But looking at the way Gamers2 have been shaping up recently, it would not be a risky bet on them. They have a deep map pool and a team that is somewhat decent on most of the SK maps
My bet : Low on Gamers2.