With Wild Card voting controversies surrounding it, ESL Pro League Season 4 started in Europe and North America on the 17th of August with 10 best of twos played over the week in each region.
The first couple of series this week had FaZe Clan winning 16-13 against Team X on Train and 16-5 on Mirage. Then, the controversially included Virtus.pro played and lost against Ninjas in Pyjamas on Nuke, 16-8, despite NiP not even having their full roster with Jacob "pyth" Mourujärvi out due to hand injury, replaced by Joakim “disco doplan” Gidetun. The second match on Overpass didn’t go so well for NiP. In Overtime, Virtus.pro won the map 19-17. Ninjas in Pyjamas did win their two matches against Team X, however. 16-14 on Cobblestone and 16-8 on Overpass.
Continuing on, FaZe Clan played and won against Virtus.pro, 16-8 on Train and 16-5 on Mirage. I might be wrong, of course, but it seems to me that the great shape Virtus.pro was in for the ELEAGUE Season 1 Playoffs is a thing of the past. Next up, the first time we got to see the best Ukrainian player in the world, Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev play for the best Ukrainian CS:GO team in the world, Natus Vincere. Their opponent, G2 Esports, was no joke to boot. Na’Vi did 2-0 them, 16-12 on Dust 2 and 16-11 on Train.
Team X continued to try and get their feet of the ground against Astralis. Strangely enough, they were actually successful, winning 16-13 on Overpass and repeating with the same score on Train. Following that, EnVyUs tried to return to glory after the last several months where they massively underperformed by winning the series against FaZe Clan. Unfortunately, Kenny “kennyS” Schrub’s team wasn’t entirely successful. While they did crush FaZe on Cache 16-6, the Clan got their revenge on Mirage, 16-10. Up next, Team X fought and tied with HellRaisers, losing 14-16 on Nuke, and then tieing up the score on Cobble, 16-14.
The final two matches played this week were Natus Vincere vs. Astralis and G2 Esports vs. FaZe Clan. Na’Vi, with s1mple to drum up hype for their matches, won the first map, Train, convincingly, 16-7, and kept on rolling on Mirage, winning that map 16-6. G2 Esports continued their downwards spiral by losing to FaZe Clan. On Cace, they lost by four points, 12-16, keeping that score on Overpass as well.
Over the first week, some things became apparent. First, Virtus.pro isn’t bringing that muhc to the table so far, underperforming a little bit. Second, Natus Vincere with s1mple is strong. Very strong. Third, it seems as if NiP isn’t too hurt to compete without pyth. Fourth, there’s something massively wrong with G2 Esports. Where’s the team which actually won against SK Gaming? Finally, what’s up with Astralis? They aren’t supposed to lose to Team X.