3 Storylines to watch at the ELEAGUE Finals

Following the completion of the Major at ESL One Cologne 2016, ELEAGUE will largely serve as the floodgates to the impending CS:GO shuffle — but some leaks have already sprung. Mathieu “Maniac” Quiquerez recently formed Unity with ex-Dignitas and ex-Preparation players, Mikail “Maikelele” Bill expressing an interest to start his own team and even the Major champions SK Gaming themselves were not safe, as their coach Wilton “zews” Prado left the team to play for Immortals.

Chances are that at least one ELEAGUE semifinalist will undergo changes at the end of the week.

Though the teams in ELEAGUE’s semifinals are largely four of the strongest CS:GO teams, their mid-2016 performances have been inconsistent for a multitude of different reasons. However, the result of a slump is often the same: a roster shuffle. ELEAGUE may be seen as the proving ground for both players looking at other offers or for those who feel that they need to further prove their worth.

One of these teams will come out as the victors, but given how far and few between their championships have been, it may be one championship too late.

Long Since Champions

The most recent premier championship won by either Fnatic, mousesports, Natus Vincere and Virtus.pro was on May 22, when VP defeated Na`Vi 2-1 to win the SL i-League Invitational #1. That was over two months ago, but looking at the other teams the numbers look more grim.

Na`Vi’s last championship was Counter Pit League Season 2, which was four months ago, while Fnatic’s was IEM Season X Katowice, which was almost five months ago. Fnatic’s last championship was also notable because it was their last championship after winning six tournaments in a row.

These teams are hungry for a trophy, not just because it’s been months since they’ve won one, but because ELEAGUE also serves as a sort of consolation prize for the Major with a first place pot of $390,000, which is $110,000 short of the Majors’ first place prize.

Hungriest of all the semifinalists is undoubtedly mousesports, whose previous championship came at the Acer Predator Masters Season 2 over five months ago. But the last time the roster won a premier event was, quite frankly, never.

ELEAGUE appears to be ripe for mouz. They look to be the one semifinal team on an upturn, but their biggest obstacle going forward will likely be themselves.

Redwall

mousesports have only ever taken one championship this year, Acer Predator Masters Season 2. It’s not a prestigious event by most definitions, and considering the team’s disappointing Major, it doesn’t serve the team much solace.

The team has been eliminated from every premier tournament during the group stage, save for DreamHack Masters Malmö and even there they went out in the quarterfinals. This makes mouz’s current position in the ELEAGUE semifinals the team’s greatest achievement to date.

It doesn’t sound like much, but the team is far from done and look poised to go further. They took some close matches against G2 Esports and FaZe Clan during the Last Chance Qualifier, then proceeded to demolish Astralis in the quarterfinals. The word upset was used to describe those matchups, but if mouz win again there should be some hesitance in using that word.

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Dennis “Tarmanydyn” Gonzales is a news editor for theScore esports who enjoys whiskey, D&D and first-picking Abaddon Slardar Clinkz Medusa Oracle a P90 my Souvenir Negev. You can follow him on Twitter.

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