StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3 Report. FaZe Clan — ChampionsLord Matus
A long-awaited CS:GO tournament from StarLadder organization is going to start on April 4. 16 best teams will share the prize pool of $300,000.
StarLadder is responsible for organizing the tournament. This event is the third one in StarSeries. The championship will take place in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, and National Palace of Arts «Ukraina» will host the event.
In this season, as well as in the previous one, the prize pool is $300,000. A main prize is $130,000, and in the previous season, Swedish players from Ninjas in Pyjamas took the main reward. In a new season, StarLadder changed the distribution of a prize pool, making the reward for the first place $5,000 smaller.
The distribution of the prize pool for this season is as following:
• 1 place - $125,000
• 2 place - $50,000
• 3 place - $25,000
• 4 place - $25,000
• 5-8 places - $10,000
• 9-11 places - $6,000
• 12-14 places - $4,000
• 15-16 places - $2,500
As it was mentioned before, 16 teams will participate in the event. 8 of them received direct invitations from the organizers. The remaining 8 teams had to participate in the regional qualifiers in Europe, China and North America.
[Format of the event]
In the previous StarSeries season, the group stage was played in the standard format: the participants were seeded into 4 groups with 4 participants in each. The teams competed with each other for the right to pass to the play-off stage. In StarSeries Season 3, the group stage will be played according to Swiss system. The matches of the group stage will be played in best-of-one (bo1) format. Each team can have only 2 defeats. With the third defeat, the team will leave the tournament on the group stage. When 8 best teams are determined, they will move to the play-off stage with Single Elimination bracket. All play-off matches, including the Grand Final, will be played in best-of-three (bo3) format.
[Teams and schedule]
Currently, the schedule of the first day and the pairs of competitors are known. The following teams will participate in the tournament:
Virtus.pro: pashaBiceps, TaZ, NEO, byali, Snax. Coach: kuben (direct invitation)
Astralis: gla1ve, dupreeh, Xyp9x, Kjaerbye, dev1ce. Coach: zonic (direct invitation)
FaZe Clan: rain, kioShiMa, allu, karrigan, NiKo. Coach: RobbaN (direct invitation)
Gambit eSports: Zeus, Dosia, AdreN, mou, HObbit. Roach: kane (direct invitation)
Natus Vincere: Edward, seized, flamie, s1mple, GuardiaN. Coach: Andi (direct invitation)
Ninjas in Pyjamas: GeT_RiGhT, f0rest, friberg, Xizt, draken. Coach: THREAT (direct invitation)
North: MSL, k0nfig, cajunb, Magisk, aizy. Coach: ruggah (direct invitation)
SK Gaming: FalleN, coldzera, fer, TACO, felps. Coach: dead (direct invitation)
Fnatic: olofmeister, dennis, KRiMZ, JW, flusha. Coach: jumpy (Europe #1)
G2 Esports: shox, bodyy, NBK, kennyS, apEX. Coach: SmithZz (Europe #2)
HellRaisers: bondik, ANGE1, STYKO, Zero, DeadFox. Coach: Johnta (Europe #3)
Immortals: HEN1, LUCAS1, boltz, steel, fnx. Coach: zakk (America #1)
Counter Logic Gaming: reltuC, koosta, nahtE, FNS, Rickeh. Coach: ImAPet (America #2)
MVP.Project: XigN, HSK, rindA, Argency, kAyle. Coach: Rambo (China #1)
UYA: Stevie, QKA, shuadapai, forget, Not7. Coach: JimmyL (China #2)
TyLoo: Mo, DD, somebody, HZ, zhokiNg (China #3)
[Natus Vincere and a new coach]
After Natus Vincere said farewell to their coach, Sergey "starix" Ischuk, the analyst of CS:GO roster, Andrey "Andy" Prophorov replaced him. For Natus Vincere, this will be a debut match for Andrey on the coach position. Everyone waits with anticipation for the first match with Na’Vi as everyone would like to see the results of Natus Vincere with a new coach in their roster.
TyLoo has always been one of the best CS:GO teams in their region. However, at the beginning of this year, a couple of incidents happened. Several players started to negotiate with other organizations without notifying the management of the team. Later, they were excluded from the roster or left the organization by their decision. This had a huge negative effect on TyLoo. However, on March 19, the team managed to win China Cup and took $58,000 reward after defeating Fnatic in the final match.
The team with a new roster must put all efforts to pass to play-off and prove that TyLoo still can show a good game and to be called one of the best Chinese teams.
It should be mentioned that TyLoo is the only team that does not have a coach in a roster. Soon, we will know how that affects the results of the team.
MVP.Project is also one of the best CS:GO rosters of the Chinese region. However, their results are no so significant as the results of TyLoo.
There is almost no information about UYA. The team of amateurs successfully passes the qualifiers. Now it goes to Kiev to play for the title of StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3 champion.
Asian CS:GO arena may surprise community with their results, but only TyLoo has a real chance to move to the play-off stage and continue their participation in the tournament.
[Brief analysis of the teams]
This is not the first tournament where these teams are rival opponents. Virtus.pro and Astralis are obvious candidates for winning StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3. It goes without saying that both teams will move to play-off stage and will definitely pass to the semifinal.
After Niko has come to the team, the roster got a second wing. FaZe Clan should also move to the play-off stage and fight for the champion title in this tournament.
Lately, the Brazilian team lost their shape and their results are not so good as they could have been. However, they took the second place on DreamHack Las Vegas 2017, and the 3-4 place on The ELEAGUE Major 2017, and it means that they might have moved to the play-off stage and continue their game in the championship.
Natus Vincere, Ninjas in Pyjamas, North, Fnatic, Immortals, Counter Logic Gaming, G2 Esports, TyLoo
All these teams are rather unstable. In some tournaments they show incredible game while in other tournaments, they are outsiders. Only four of abovementioned teams are included to the top-10 best CS:GO teams according to HLTV.org: North (5 place), Natus Vincere (6 place), Immortals (7 place) и Fnatic (9 place). It should be mentioned that Immortals together with a new participant fnx who is full of motivation to prove his ex-team (SK Gaming) that they’ve made a mistake when excluded him from a roster, should show absolutely different game and achieve better results.
This European mix has not shown some prominent results for the last year, but now the players started to play better due to their persistent and hard work. The players from HellRaisers have all chances to move to play-off despite the community thinks differently.
These are two Chinese teams that must be the first ones to leave the tournament. MVP.Project and UYA are the weakest teams in StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3.
StarLadder has been preparing for the tournament actively and now they present the list of talents to feature the event:
The English speaking list of talents is as following:
• Anders Blume – caster
• Auguste «Semmler» Massonnat – caster
• Matthew «Sadokist» Trivett – caster
• Henry «HenryG» Greer – caster
• Tom «TomBizz» Bissmire – caster
• Alex «Machine» Richardson – desk host
• Jason «moses» O'Toole – analyst
• Janko «YNk» Paunović – analyst
• Duncan «Thorin» Shields – analyst
The Russian speaking list of talents is as following:
• Antonina «Tonya» Predko – desk host
• Alexandr «Petr1k» Petrik – analyst
• Alexey «XAOC» Kucherov – analyst
• Mykhail «OKroha» Shmygel – analyst
• Taufik «Tafa» Khidri – caster
• Igor «SL4M» Sopov – caster
• Fedor «KVAN» Zakharov – caster
• Constantine «LENINIW» Sivko – caster
• Yuriy «Strike» Tereschenko – caster
• Alexandr «Homer» Lysenko – caster
|April 4 — Group Stage, Round 1|
|09:00||North vs Immortals||1:0||16:3|
|10:30||Virtus.pro vs MVP.Project||1:0||16:4|
|12:00||SK Gaming vs TyLoo||1:0||16:12|
|13:30||Astralis vs Counter Logic Gaming||1:0||16:11|
|15:00||FaZe Clan vs HellRaisers||0:1||10:16|
|16:30||Gambit eSports vs Fnatic||0:1||8:16|
|18:00||Ninjas in Pyjamas vs G2 Esports||0:1||6:16|
|19:30||Natus Vincere vs UYA||1:0||16:9|
|April 5 — Group Stage, Round 2|
|12:30||North vs Astralis||1:0||19:16|
|14:00||G2 Esports vs HellRaisers||1:0||16:2|
|15:30||Fnatic vs Natus Vincere||0:1||9:16|
|18:30||Virtus.pro vs SK Gaming||0:1||2:16|
|08:00||Gambit eSports vs TyLoo||1:0||16:13|
|09:30||UYA vs Counter Logic Gaming||0:1||3:16|
|11:00||FaZe Clan vs Immortals||1:0||16:10|
|17:00||Ninjas in Pyjamas vs MVP||1:0||16:9|
|April 6 — Group Stage, Round 3|
|14:00||North vs Natus Vincere||0:1||11:16|
|17:00||SK Gaming vs G2 Esport||0:1||8:16|
|11:00||Gambit eSports vs FaZe Clan||0:1||13:16|
|12:30||Counter Logic Gaming vs HellRaisers||0:1||11:16|
|15:30||Ninjas in Pyjamas vs Virtus.pro||1:0||16:5|
|18:30||Fnatic vs Astralis||0:1||13:16|
|08:00||TyLoo vs MVP.Project||0:1||17:19|
|09:30||Immortals vs UYA||1:0||16:11|
|April 7 — Group Stage, Round 4, Round 5|
|High Matches (Round 4)|
|09:45||FaZe Clan vs North||0:1||13:16|
|11:00||HellRaisers vs Ninjas in Pyjamas||1:0||16:13|
|12:15||Astralis vs SK Gaming||1:0||16:12|
|Low Matches (Round 4)|
|06:00||MVP.Project vs Immortals||0:1||9:16|
|07:15||Gambit eSports vs Counter Logic Gaming||0:1||14:16|
|08:30||Virtus.pro vs Fnatic||0:1||2:16|
|Round 5 Matches|
|15:45||FaZe Clan vs SK Gaming||1:0||16:7|
|17:30||Immortals vs Counter Logic Gaming||0:1||8:16|
|19:00||Fnatic vs Ninjas in Pyjamas||1:0||16:7|
|April 8 — Play-offs, quaterfinals|
|07:00||G2 Esports vs FaZe Clan||1:2||7:16
|10:00||North vs HellRaisers||1:2||16:9
|13:00||Natus Vincere vs Fnatic||2:1||16:6
|18:00||Astralis vs Counter Logic Gaming||2:0||16:11
|April 9 — Play-offs, semifinals, Grand Final|
|09:00||FaZe Clan vs HellRaisers||2:0||16:13
|12:30||Natus Vincere vs Astralis||0:2||8:16
|18:00||FaZe Clan vs Astralis||2:1||14:16
[Wins/Loses of teams of group stage]
|Counter Logic Gaming||3||2|
|Ninjas in Pyjamas||2||3|
|8||$10,000||Counter Logic Gaming|
|11||$6,000||Ninjas in Pyjamas|