With the recent announcement that Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer will play in eLeague matches starting this week, this will be the storyline of the week, no matter what else happens. Despite that, it still pays to cover the rest of the teams participating in this week’s matches.
The teams playing in this week’s eLeague games will be Fnatic, FaZe Clan, Team Dignitas, and TSM. While the return of olofmeister is sure to dominate the headlines, FaZe Clan performed very well in their run at the ESL One Cologne 2016 Qualifier Tournament, being one of the first teams to qualify. While it would be fair to expect that they got matched against easy opponents, that isn’t the case exactly, because the teams they played, Dignitas, FlipSid3 Tactics, and Gambit, while not if top 10 caliber qualified nevertheless, proving that they weren’t total pushovers. My best guess is that FaZe should prove to be the biggest challenge to to Fnatic’s ambition of topping the group.
Having qualified for the Major, Team Dignitas makes a good case for being the third best team in the group; however, that does nothing for them, because only the winners gain something in eLeague. Unfortunately for Dignitas, they don’t have much of a chance to win the group, remembering that they lost to FaZe 8-16 in ESL Qualifiers and kept going through a hard-fought bloodbath after that, ultimately getting in. I would be very surprised if Dignitas managed to beat a team other than TSM.
Team Solo Mid is the clear outsider of this group. While nothing much would change if the squad had their full roster, the fact that TSM’s Rifler Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken was barred from competing due to being 16 years old and replaced by AWPer Casper “cadiaN” Møler only makes me look at the team’s chances in even harsher light. Let’s be honest now, Fnatic should blow them out of the water, FaZe should eat them for breakfast. The only close match they’re likely to have will be against Dignitas, probably losing in the end.
Leaving the best for last, Fnatic. By all reckoning, this team should come out firmly on top. Especially if olofmeister is anywhere close to his best. If he’s not, and let’s be honest, it’s quite likely that he isn’t, Fnatic should still be able to win the group in the end. If they had a team like Luminosity, NiP, Na’Vi or even G2 to contend with, I wouldn’t be so confident. The fact remains, however, that they don’t. No matter who well the team as a whole does, everyone will analyze every movement made by Olof Kajbjer. Me included. I just hope that the other teams get rekt by the meister because that would make a very good storyline.