ESL is coming to New York, New York, as Alicia Keys would never say. Still, a $250k tournament will take place in New York soon. It will feature a Swiss bracket and most of the first round matchups have been announced, as well as the distribution of what everyone cares about, the prize money.
For those who don’t know, Swiss brackets work by pitting winners with winners and losers with losers. Teams always face a team which has the same score as them, whenever possible. In this tournament, you will have to win four matches to qualify for the Top 8, while losing three times will see you out of the tournament.
The first matchup to be announced is the legendary battle between Virtus.pro and Fnatic. In the past, it would have been anyone’s guess about who’s going to win, however, things changed recently. JW, KRiMZ, and flusha all left the team, only leaving Olofmeister and dennis to keep up the rivalry. I suspect that it’s not going to be the same electric matchup we know, love, and remember fondly. Also, I don’t think that Fnatic has much of a chance unless they’re MUCH better than I expect them to be.
Second to be introduced is G2 Esports vs. Astralis. Now, that’s a much closer matchup, which should come down to which shox and ScreaM will show up that day. If they are as good as ever, dev1ce’s Astralis will have problems, very, very serious problems, when they try to defeat the French team. On the other hand, if the two stars of G2 are human on that day, Astralis definitely has a chance to win the match. Even if they do, they will have to win three more matches to make it into single elimination playoffs. The losers will have a safety blanket too, you only get eliminated after losing three times.
Third, SK Gaming is supposed to play against the Winner of the NA Qualifier, which isn’t clear at this time. It doesn’t really matter who SK’s opponent is going to be. Let’s be brutally honest here, SK Gaming is the best team in the world. The only NA team, which could properly stand a chance against an SK Gaming, which is coming after their throat, would be the old s1mple Liquid lineup, which took second place at ESL One Cologne, losing against… SK. To be honest, there aren’t many teams that can stand on even footing against SK, no matter the region. Period. The End. That’s all folks. Au revoir.
The final match of the first round is between the s1mple-boasting Natus Vincere and Team Liquid, trying to find their groove with Pimp. To be honest, both teams are trying to find their style following roster changes. Na’Vi has to adjust to playing with s1mple instead of Zeus, Liquid must find their groove with Pimp. Pound for pound, I believe Na’Vi to be a much stronger team, even though my opinion could be colored by a slight prejudice in favor of European teams. If Na’Vi traded Zeus for anyone else but s1mple, I would consider the possibility that Liquid might be able to beat them. Now? I would be stupefied if they did. I sure hope they can do it, though. It would make for a great story.
Speaking of the prize money distribution, it’s not very complicated. Half of the $250k, $125,000, goes to the winner, 20%, $50,000, to second place, 10% ($25,000) to the third/4th place teams, while 5th will get the team $10,000, 6th $7,000, 7th $5,000, and 8th $3,000. It’s also noted in the anouncement that when two teams with the same win/loss ration don’t qualify for the Playoffs, their prize money is added up and split evenly between the teams. That is a much simpler solution than looking at tiebreakers, which is done sometimes when dealing with Swiss systems.
New York is one of the greatest cities in the world. It’s only fitting that some of the best teams in the world should go there to compete. Even if you aren’t the biggest CS:GO fan, it’s still New York, make a vacaycay out of it, watch some CS:GO, see the sights. With the original cast gone, it might even be possible to get tickets to Hamilton!