ELEAGUE Premier 2018 Fantasy Preview

Another great CS:GO event is about to take place in Atlanta, Georgia. We should be in for a treat with 7 out of 8 teams present from HLTV’s Top 10. Last year we saw FaZe take out Astralis 2–0 in the finals. Will we see the same finalists this time around? The bookies think we will, with Astralis and FaZe the favorites in this one at 1/1 and 4/1 respectively, with FaZe’s number dropping by the minute due to the return of olofmeister to the roster.

The format for this year’s event is completely different however. This time around, the field consists of only 8 teams as opposed to 16 and the entire group stage will be all bo3’s. There will be no excuses this time and with all of the best teams in attendance there will be no easy games (perhaps with the exception of Cloud9 in Group A, but we will get to that later.)

In this article I’ll be previewing all of the 8 teams in the tournament from a fantasy perspective. Skrilla.com will be holding fantasy competitions all through the tournament and I will be using their scoring as the base for my selections in this article.


The Favorite: Astralis.

Coming in as the clear favorite is the Danish powerhouse Astralis. They had to settle for a 3rd place finish at Cologne after losing to the eventual winners of the tournament, NaVi in the semi-finals. Before that they were on an incredible run of form with four straight finals. The addition of Magisk has propelled Astralis into the top spot and he is one of many good fantasy options for this tournament if you favor Astralis in their matchups. He is leading the way for the team in fantasy points the last 3 months. Both device and dupreeh are great options as well as gla1ve who is a good pick at lower price points. The truth is that Astralis is a team that does not rely on any particular individual to make up most of the fragging for the team like FaZe or NaVi in particular. As such, there is no need to pay up for any players on Astralis in my opinion. I would rather pick gla1ve or even Xyp9x if they are amongst the cheapest players on the slate so that I can afford players on teams that are more reliant on their stars.

High End Value:

Magisk, dupreeh, dev1ce

Low End Value:

gla1ve


The Defending Champion: FaZe.

olofmeister has finally returned to the FaZe roster after a long leave of absence due to personal reasons. FaZe has been forced to use stand-ins for months now and have managed to win titles with both Xizt and cromen in the team which really says something about the strength of this roster and karrigan’s leadership.

FaZe will not have had much time to prepare for this event and it remains to be seen if olofmeister will be rusty after four whole months away from competitive counter-strike. Positive news for FaZe is that rain has really returned to form and he had a great tournament for FaZe in Cologne.

NiKo continues to play great for FaZe and his performances are simply just being overshadowed by s1mple who is playing out of his mind for NaVi.

NiKo would be the guy I would look for right away when making my selections and then it depends on salary constraints who else I would pick on FaZe. I would lean towards picking rain due to his recent form but both GuardiaN and olofmeister are good picks as well.

High End Value:

NiKo

Mid/Low Range Value:

rain, olofmeister, GuardiaN


The Challenger: NaVi

NaVi is coming off three straight wins with the latest one being the star studded ESL One Cologne. s1mple continues to make is claim as the number one player in the world and NaVi are benefiting tremendously from his incredible fragging output. During this stretch, s1mple has a K/D ratio of 1.49 a number that only the likes of NiKo and coldzera can normally rival. s1mple’s brother in arms; electronic is no slouch either at 1.25 and remains a great option for fantasy.

From a fantasy perspective, it is always worth paying up for the likes of s1mple and electronic. If they are priced insanely high and you can only choose one, you can always look towards the likes of flamie and Edward with the former being the best option most of the time.

It feels like NaVi are gonna run into a brick wall sooner or later, but for now they are in incredible form and you’re gonna want to ride the hot hand as long as possible. In fact, the likes of s1mple and electronic are playing so good right now and they make up such a large portion of the team’s fragging that they’re actually a good pick even in matchups that you think NaVi are going to lose.

Top End Value:

s1mple, electronic

Low End Value:

flamie, Edward


The American Hope: Team Liquid

2018 has been a crazy year full of roster changes. Despite picking up TACO only four months ago, Team Liquid is actually coming into this tournament with one of the most stable rosters alongside Astralis and NaVi. They will look to take advantage of this against the likes of MIBR and Cloud9 that have made drastic changes to their roster recently. Team Liquid is a bit of a favorite of mine due to the fact that they are ideal for fantasy. They have a very strong core of three explosive riflers in twistzz, EliGE and NAF. They play without a main awper with nitr0 only picking it up on occasion which means that their economy is often strong. As a result, this ensures that their best players always have what they need to succeed in terms of weaponry and utility.

twistzz is a fantasy player’s wet dream. He boasts a high headshot accuracy that often reaches the mid 60’s and his play-style, similar to the likes of coldzera ensures that he gets a lot of kills and stays alive. EliGE is the most explosive player of the three and is the most volatile in terms of fantasy performance. When EliGE goes off, he really goes off and when he does you’re gonna want him on your team. If you want more stability, you might want to look towards NAF who is more consistent. TACO and nitr0 are both options at lower price points. nitr0 is capable of occasionally going off and TACO has proven since joining Liquid that he is capable of putting up better numbers than he once did on SK (now MIBR.) Keep in mind that nitr0 will pick up the AWP on occasion, which limits his fantasy value somewhat. With TACO actually outperforming nitr0 in the fragging department since joining while getting more headshots I personally tend to favor him over nitr0 at lower price-points.

High End Value:

twistzz, NAF, EliGE

Low End Value:

TACO


The Sinking Ship: Cloud9

Former Major champions Cloud9 have been forced to make drastic changes to their roster after Stewie2k and tarik left the team for the Brazilians in MIBR. In comes STYKO and Golden as stand-ins. In Counter-Strike, anything can happen but out of all of the teams in this tournament this might have to be the one to fade. Their preparation can’t be anything but sub-optimal at best with Golden and STYKO being such late additions to the roster. In addition, they just don’t have the same type of firepower on the team as others in the competition. If Cloud9 are to have any chance of making a run in this tournament they’re gonna need their core three of autimatic, RUSH and Skadoodle playing at their best. STYKO and Golden are great team-players and they will not hesitate to fill in the gaps where needed but their lack of fragging will be a problem. STYKO and Golden are both players that get a lot of flack from the community for their performance, but the truth is that STYKO can sometimes be a good pick in fantasy. He has excellent first-bullet accuracy and gets a lot of headshots. He used to be a nice pick during his time with HellRaisers but since joining mousesports he has taken on the role of a supportive player and his fragging output has taken a big hit since then.

High End Value:

autimatic, RUSH

Low End Value:

Skadoodle, STYKO.


fnatic: The Unpredictable Swedes

fnatic is one of many teams that have undergone roster changes recently, dropping Golden and Lekr0 in favor of Xizt and draken, both formerly of NiP. The team was on a good run of form with Golden, winning two events, one of which was a miraculous win against FaZe at IEM Katowice. Some people were surprised to see fnatic make these changes, but the likes of flusha and JW have been adamant of the fact that they’ve had Xizt on their radar for a while.

fnatic, like Astralis, went out to eventual champions NaVi at ESL Cologne. They won against North and BIG in groups and took a map against FaZe, a decent result considering the lack of preparation and they will hope to improve on this result in Atlanta. Like predicted in my last article, JW has looked fantastic since draken joined the team and is now a very solid option for fantasy alongside KRIMZ who has been incredible for fnatic the last year. fnatic play a loose style and many players can shine in a system like this. Don’t be surprised to see players like flusha have a brilliant game here and there like he did in their winning effort at IEM Katowice where he picked up two aces in the final map against FaZe.

Top End Value:

KRIMZ, JW

Mid Range Value:

flusha

Low End Value:

draken


Mousesports: Not just a poor mans FaZe.

Mousesports is coming off their first event with Snax on the roster. Snax looked incredibly strong in the first match of the tournament alongside suNny on Dust 2, but when the tournament was finalized he finished at the bottom of the team in terms of fragging. With that said, everyone contributed fairly equally. suNny was the one to lead the way in terms of frags and headshots for the team. It was interesting to see ropz struggling in some matches and we will see if this continues or not since he used to be the safest pick on the roster. chrisJ played great throughout the tournament and seem to have benefited from the recent changes to the M4A1-S and MP7. Who’s the best pick on mousesports? My bet is on suNny at this moment in time, but all others are interesting options. I would pick mainly based on salary.

High End Value:

suNny

Mid/Low range value:

ropz, chrisJ, Snax, oskar.


MIBR: Made in Brazil, with a couple of Americans.

MIBR (Formerly SK) has really struggled since picking up Stewie2k from Cloud9 in April. Stewie2k has looked very awkward on the team and boltz looked like he didn’t really want to be there anymore after the team had been rumored to want to replace him. In comes tarik (perhaps on recommendation by Stewie?). I didn’t have much faith in this roster with Stewie, but I do think that this will be an upgrade. I would not be surprised to see tarik pick up the in-game leading role for the team eventually. Hopefully this will free up the likes of FalleN, coldzera and fer. With Stewie2k and tarik most likely responsible for the entry role on the team, fer will be able to focus on his infamous lurking. I expect Cloud9 to play a looser style than previously and I think it could possibly work. Their team composition looks better on paper now than before at least. fer looked really good for MIBR in Cologne, almost matching coldzera’s numbers in some matches. It will be interesting to see if he will be able to maintain his good form in Atlanta.

High End Value:

coldzera, fer

Mid Range Value:

tarik, Stewie2k

Low End Value:

FalleN


Good luck with your selections this week!

Written by: @VLNGG //