Tuesday was the start of week 3 of group play in TBS’ ELeague. This group featured 2 teams from Denmark, Astralis and SK gaming, going head to head with 2 American based teams, Counter Logic Gaming and NRG.
Day one featured 6 games, 4 of which featured group 3 favorites Astralis. Astralis and NRG were first up on stage, and their two game set went just like most people had guessed. Astralis won both games, even with a sub playing due to some minor visa issues with their in game leader Karrigan. NRG did put up a fight though. They took 12 rounds on Cache and 14 rounds on Train, but they were just unable to overcome the excellent performance of Astalis’ Dev1ce.
The next 2 games saw SK Gaming and CLG go at each other on Nuke and Overpass. SK Gaming absolutely destroyed CLG on Nuke in the first game. The 16-3 score line can mainly be attributed to CLG having to use their coach, Pita, as a last minute replacement for this tournament. Overpass was a different story though. Pita finally settled in and CLG were able to take the game by a score of 16-14.
In the final two games of the day, Astralis faced off against CLG, and Astralis wasted no time in showing who was the more dominant team. They posted a 16-2 score line on Train, CLG’s map choice. The second game of the series didn’t go much better for CLG as they went down 16-6 on Dust 2.
Day two started off with an all American showdown, CLG vs NRG. NRG started off very strong by winning the first 5 rounds on Trains, but they completely fell apart after losing an anti-eco round and then losing 12 more rounds in a row. They were completely shut down by CLG’s JDM who posted 25 kills on the map. CLG wins 16-7. Game two took place on Dust 2, and early on it looked like NRGs terrible play was going to continue. But, after falling behind by 6 rounds, NRG finally rallied and made a stellar comeback to win the map 16-14.
The second matchup of the day pitted the two Danish team against each other. Astralis was heavily favored in this matchup, but SK were out to show they could hang with the big boys. SK Gaming’s Magiskboy posted 25 kills and led his team to a 16-6 win on Train. Map two saw Astralis comeback strong and take down SK 16-7 on overpass. Having Karrigan back in the lineup definitely helped the team pull it together after a tough loss.
The final series of the day saw SK Gaming easily defeat NRG on both maps, 16-8 on Nuke and 16-5 on Cobblestone. Magiskboy was an unstoppable force in this matchup, and NRG could never find a way to combat his incredible shot making.
Day three was the start of the semifinals. Astralis faced off against NRG in the #1 vs #4 matchup, and this went exactly as planned. NRG put up a valiant fight, but Astralis took the series 16-13 on Overpass and 19-16 on Cache. NRG performed much better than expected, but Astralis were still able to secure their place in the ELeague weekly finals on TBS. The SK Gaming vs CLG matchup was much more entertaining. SK took the first game on Train, but CLG fought back and took the last two maps, Cobblestone and Overpass, to move on to the weekly finals. CLG’s JDM really stepped up in this matchup and took control of the final two maps to help his team secure the win.
The ELeague week 3 finals took place live on TBS on Friday. Many of the fans and everyone on the analyst desk expected Astralis to easily make it through to the playoff stage against Counter Logic Gaming, but CLG had other things in mind. The first map of the day was Mirage, one of Astralis’ best maps, and they showed exactly why it is one of the favorites. They walked through the CLG by a score of 16-7. After that thumping, everyone felt like their initial decision was right and expected Astralis to roll over CLG on Dust 2, but the American team weren’t ready to give in just yet. They fought their way back into the series by winning Dust 2 in overtime 19-16. The final map of the weekly finals was Overpass, which is considered one of Astralis’ weaker maps. CLG jumped out to an early lead, but was unable to keep it. They dropped the final map 16-11. With the win, Astralis moved on to the ELeague playoffs. CLG still has a chance to make it into the playoffs through the last chance qualifier. You can keep up with all of the ELeague action at Twitch.TV/ELeagueTV
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This post was originally written by Nick Caminita.