The four first matches of ESL’s flagship Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event have been played, and so far only one result sticks out.
Three of the matches first matches that were played in the tournament’s Group A saw the overwhelming favorites triumph, with Astralis, Cloud9, and mousesports making short work of their opponents. In fact, neither of the winning teams’ opponents were able to score more than eight rounds in total against the eventual winners, who are now only two matches away from qualifying for the tournament’s playoffs on July 5 in the Lanxess Arena.
Initially the team that had the community’s eyes on it was mousesports. The European roster played its debut match with former Virtus Pro mastermind snax against Gambit Gaming. In sharp contrast to the past year snax experienced with his Polish countrymen in Virtus Pro, the 24-year-old looked on top form during his debut.
The most shocking result of the opening matches of Group A was G2 Esports victory against Na`Vi. Just one month prior, the Ukrainian team was able to win the fifth season of StarSeries i-League on June 3 and the CS:GO Asia Championship on June 18 in two impressive grand final performances. But despite these results, it was the newly assembled G2 roster that won the match, after narrowly avoiding an overtime situation.
The result is quite notable: Prior to ESL One Cologne, the G2 roster had only attended a single LAN together at the ECS Season 5 championship. Unsurprisingly, the roster seemed to have issues in regards to executions and communication, and were eliminated in second-to-last place after losing to NRG and FaZe Clan. In Cologne, however, the firepower came through for G2, with veterans Edouard “SmithZz” Dubourdeaux and Richard “shox” Papillon topping the scoreboard, despite the best efforts of Na`Vi’s Egor “flamie” Vasilyev and Denis “electronic” Sharipov.
With this loss, Na`Vi are now one map away from facing elimination from one of the biggest CS:GO events of the year.