3 things we learned from the ELEAGUE Major group stage

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Thumbnail image courtesy of ELEAGUE

Though the ELEAGUE Major 2017 is only half done, with the end of the Swiss Group Stage, we've already seen significant results from the first Major of 2017.

The Danes made history as they are, for the first time ever, the primary representatives at the Major. While on the other side of the spectrum, the French teams continue to falter as they've now failed to acquire a Legend spot for three Majors in a row.

Here are a few of the things we learned from the Major so far.

The Viking Age

As the Top 8 for the ELEAGUE Major has been decided, history has very quietly been made in Atlanta as we've seen a changing of the guards in which region is the king of CS:GO.

As a whole, the Nordic teams have always been in the upper echelon of Counter-Strike, which has stemmed back a decade during 1.6 and continues in CS:GO. Currently we have the most Nordic players in the Top 8 of a CS:GO Major since the DreamHack Cluj-Napoca 2015 Major at 19 players.

An overwhelming majority of those players at the Katowice 2014 Major were Swedish (15), rightly so as the country is the big reason for the Nordic team's CS dominance. However, for the first time ever, at the ELEAGUE Major there are more Danish players than Swedish players in the Top 8 at a Major.

Major Top 8 Nordic players

TOP 8 EL CGN '16 COLS Cluj CGN '15 KTW '15 DHW '14 CGN '14 KTW '14 DHW '13
Denmark 11 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5
Sweden 5 5 10 11 11 9 10 10 15 15
Norway 2 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0
Finland 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0
Total 19 10 15 19 18 15 15 15 20 20

Looking at the Swedish representation at the Major, their reign goes back for years, and further still before the Major system was implemented. However, there's been a drop from the Swedes at the tail end of 2016 at the ESL One Cologne 2016 Major and a sharp rise from the Danes at the start of 2017 for the ELEAGUE Major.

The core of the Astralis squad, which were part of Team SoloMid before that, which were part of Team Dignitas before that and were part of Copenhagen Wolves even before that, were the sole Danish representatives in the Majors prior. That core was Peter "dupreeh" Rothmann, Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth and, of course, Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz.

They've now been joined by the rising Scandinavian squad North, formerly part of Dignitas, whose only non-Danish player is Ruben "RUBINO" Villarroel. The FaZe Clan lineup have nearly the opposite scenario of North's as they have two Danish players in Philip "aizy" Aistrup and Finn "karrigan" Andersen, the latter notably being the team's in-game leader and a big reason for the team's resurgence.

The ELEAGUE Major has already been a watershed moment for Danish CS:GO, but the event has yet to really begin as the bracket stage kicks off tomorrow on Friday. Fans have been pining for an Astralis versus North matchup, but with the way the bracket has been set, this will only be possible if they both make the Grand Finals. A scenario that's not outside the realm of possibility.

Fall of the Wall

After the conclusion of the group stage a number of teams have broken expectations. We've seen a number of teams returning to form, such as Natus Vincere and SK Gaming, as well as under performances, such as Astralis and North being forced in Round 5 of the Swiss format. However, the biggest shocker from the group was clearly OpTic Gaming's early exit. They ran into bad luck in the matchups during the Swiss group, but apparently their bad luck began well before the start of the Major itself.

Oscar "mixwell" Cañellas was apparently stuck in Spain due to visa issues, which hampered the team's preparations, as said by Will "RUSH" Wierzba in an HLTV interview.

"We did what we could, we practiced online, but obviously [mixwell] has really high ping online to NA servers," RUSH said in the interview. "We did what we could, but right now our preparation was pretty limited."

At the Major, OpTic's Round 1 match was against Virtus.pro, a heavy favorite for the event, and lost 16-13. OpTic's bad luck continued into their Round 2 Low Seed match as they were paired against Astralis, another favored team, and lost 16-12.

OpTic stayed afloat in Round 3 Low Seed as they eliminated FlipSid3 Tactics and were matched against GODSENT in Round 4 Low Seed. While much of OpTic's elimination could be blamed on bad luck, there were no excuses against the broken lineup of GODS, even though the Swedes did step up for the Major. On Cache, one of OpTic's best maps, it should have been in the bag.

Both mixwell and Tarik "tarik" Celik, the big guns on OpTic were apparently asleep at the wheel. Though the team overall have gone into the event unprepared, this shouldn't fully account for mixwell's 0.83 HLTV player rating, or tarik's 0.74 rating.

Another factor in OpTic's elimination could be their mental state. The American squad went into the home soil Major as one of the most favored teams of the entire event. They were our number four team in our power ranking and were HLTV's second ranked team, below Astralis and above reigning champions SK.

While this was likely a boost to their confidence, too much of it could have been a detriment. But regardless of whether overconfidence was actually an issue, after a hearty serving of humble pie in Atlanta, it surely won't be an issue for OpTic going forward.

The French Resolution

2016 was not the year for French Counter-Strike and with not a single French team achieving Legend status at the ELEAGUE Major, at this rate 2017 won't be a good year for French CS either.

After the conclusion of the group stage for the ELEAGUE Major, a French team has not achieved a Top 8 Major result for three Majors in a row. This is a far cry from how the French have performed in literally all Majors prior. In fact, since the Major system has been implemented at the end of 2013, until the end of 2015, there has always been a French team in the Top 8.

French squad Team LDLC.com won the DreamHack Winter 2014 and Team EnVyUs won the DreamHack Cluj-Napoca 2015 Major, which was the last time a French team was Top 8 at a Major.

Rumors of a French shuffle have been flying around well before the start of the ELEAGUE Major, but even rumors aside, the results of the French team speak volumes. Something drastic needs to happen.

While the French slump has been apparent for a majority of 2016, piecemeal changes were made to revitalize the French rosters. nV replaced Fabien "kioShiMa" Fiey, ironically the only Frenchman in the ELEAGUE Major Top 8, with Timothée "DEVIL" Démolon and later Christophe "SIXER" Xia. While G2 acquired Alexandre "bodyy" Pianaro, replacing Kevin "Ex6TenZ" Droolans who is currently leading the third best French squad, Team LDLC.

While the Top 3 French teams definitely have talent in their own ways, the teams in their current form has the stars players scattered. And while a shuffle, French or otherwise, is certainly juicy drama, something drastic has to happen to revitalize French CS.

No more half measures, or else the French teams will find themselves perpetual Challengers at the Major.

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 Discipline Priest Pharah. You can follow him on Twitter.

Post-ELEAGUE Major shuffle report card

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Thumbnail image courtesy of Patrick Strack / ESL

The CS:GO shuffle at the end of the ELEAGUE Major saw some of the biggest changes in the scene since Fnatic and GODSENT initially swapped players back in August 2016.

Between Richard "shox" Papillon and Kenny "kennyS" Schrub uniting under G2 Esports, and Nikola "NiKo" Kovač joining the other big guns on FaZe Clan fans and analysts alike are chomping at the bit to see just how good these newly formed dream teams will perform in the long-run.

Some lineups have already lived up to the hype while others have yet to find that initial success. Here's our assessment of what each team has shown so far and their potential moving forward.

FaZe Clan

Old FaZe Role New FaZe
rain Rifler rain
kioShiMa Rifler kioShiMa
aizy Rifler NiKo
allu AWPer allu
karrigan In-game leader karrigan
RobbaN Coach RobbaN

New Roster Results

  • 2nd - IEM Season 11 World Championship Katowice (Invited)

Of all the supposed super teams to form in recent time, none have met expectations quite like the new FaZe Clan. The team has been on an upswing since they brought in well-known in-game leader Finn "karrigan" Andersen from Astralis — as evidenced by their Legend spot from the ELEAGUE Major. But now that they've brought in Bosnian powerhouse rifler Nikola "NiKo" Kovač, this squad has the makeup of a Reddit dream team.

RELATED: FaZe's karrigan: 'NiKo is a player I always wanted to play with'

FaZe debuted at IEM Katowice by clinching the top seed from their group over the likes of Astralis and Immortals, then advanced to the Grand Finals after they defeated Immortals 2-0 in the semifinals. FaZe started the Grand Finals on the right foot after they won Cache 16-9, but Astralis won Overpass 16-12, Nuke 16-12 and Inferno 16-13 to take the series.

FaZe @ Vegas (pre-NiKo) Stat FaZe @ Katowice (post-NiKo)
0.92 Team HLTV Rating 1.04
0.89 Kill/Death Ratio 1.07
-53 Kill/Death Differential +72
5 Maps 13

FaZe didn't end up winning Katowice, but that's more than one should expect from a fresh roster. They went deep in a stacked tournament and their results match their hype. Grade: A+

G2 Esports

Old G2 Role New G2
bodyy Rifler bodyy
RpK Rifler NBK
ScreaM Rifler apEX
SmithZz AWPer kennyS
shox In-game leader shox
N/A Coach SmithZz

New Roster Results

  • 4th (DNQ) - IEM Season 11 World Championship Katowice Closed EU Qualifier
  • 0W-3L - ESL Pro League Season 5 EU

The new G2 Esports lineup is the French team that we've always dreamed of and sees an upgrade in just about every role on paper.. Although it's arguably missing Belgian one-tapper Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom, the pairing of Richard "shox" Papillon and Kenny "kennyS" Schrub more than makes up for his absence.

The reality, however, is a bit more grim as they were unable to qualify for IEM Katowice, losing to the likes of Heroic, who were playing with Danish mercenary Casper "cadiaN" Møller as a stand-in.

RELATED: G2's NBK: 'We obviously want to wipe out the past year, but also want to build something together on the long term'

With that said, this is still a fresh roster and their dynamic has changed dramatically after swapping out three players. Even though the team has the support of Edouard "SmithZz" Dubourdeaux as their coach, in-game leader Richard "shox" Papillon undoubtedly has his hands full.

Few teams have the same potential as the new G2 Esports in terms of their raw talent and tactics, but the fear that, like previous French lineups, their short-comings may be mental is still cause for concern. We'll see how they perform at their first LAN, if and when they qualify for one. Grade: B

Fnatic

Old Fnatic Role New Fnatic
KRiMZ Rifler KRiMZ
disco doplan Rifler dennis
olofmeister Rifler/AWPer olofmeister
twist AWPer JW
dennis In-game leader flusha
Jumpy Coach Jumpy

New Roster Results

  • 1st-2nd - IEM Season 11 World Championship Katowice Closed EU Qualifier
  • 9-12th - DreamHack Masters Las Vegas 2017
  • 7-8th - IEM Season 11 World Championship Katowice
  • 1W-2L - ESL Pro League Season 5 EU

Fnatic are attempting to turn back the clocks to when their late-2015/early-2016 roster dominated CS:GO by bringing back Jesper "JW" Wecksell and Robin "flusha" Rönnquist. But a lot of time has passed since then and while Fnatic have gone back in time, the rest of the CS:GO world has been moving forward.

RELATED: JW on returning to Fnatic: 'The small problems that occurred should've been solved as a group and hard work, rather than taking the easy way out'

Fnatic will effectively be making up for lost time as the players have accomplished little during their split, when two to three of them played with GODSENT. And even if they get back to the form they had when they were in their prime, their competition has also made marked improvements.

The potential is clearly there for the "new" Fnatic, but getting back to that form requires some serious out-of-game changes. It's too early to judge their progression, but its also worth noting that the team has considered the idea of a sports psychologist as well. Grade: B-

SK Gaming

Old SK Role New SK
fer Rifler fer
TACO Rifler TACO
fnx Rifler felps
coldzera Rifler/AWPer coldzera
FalleN AWPer/In-game leader FalleN
dead Coach dead

New Roster Results

  • 2nd - DreamHack Masters Las Vegas 2017 (Invited)
  • 11-12th - IEM Season 11 World Championship Katowice (Invited)
  • 6W-0L - ESL Pro League Season 5 NA

SK Gaming's lineup has never been lacking. Since their Major victory at ESL One Cologne 2016, they've made it to at least the semifinals of every event they've competed in. That's nine LAN events in a row over the span of eight months, a streak that came to an end at IEM Katowice with João "felps" Vasconcellos in the lineup.

While that sounds like a condemnation on paper, the reality is that felps was not only SK's top performer at Katowice, but he currently averages the single highest HLTV rating of the tournament with a 1.28 rating. FalleN had an uncharacteristically bad event and averaged an 0.84 rating, one of the lowest at Katowice.

RELATED: SK TACO on becoming an entry fragger: 'I learned a lot of things watching apEX, but now I've created my own style'

It's also worth noting that SK were hit hard during the group stage. They lost 16-14 to Virtus.pro on Inferno and 16-12 to Natus Vincere on Overpass, but the real nail in their metaphorical coffin was their loss to Cloud9. C9 pulled out a surprise Nuke pick, a map that was constantly banned during their map vetos, and shocked SK 16-9.

Given SK's second place finish at DreamHack Las Vegas and seeing how Katowice itself played out, it seems clear that the Polish event was an outlier. SK's potential with felps has already been shown. Grade: A-

Team Liquid

Old Liquid Role New Liquid
nitr0 Rifler nitr0
EliGE Rifler EliGE
Pimp Rifler Pimp
jdm AWPer jdm
Hiko In-game leader stanislaw
zews Coach zews

New Roster Results

  • 2nd (DNQ) - IEM Season 11 World Championship Katowice NA Closed Qualifier
  • 5W-1L - ESL Pro League Season 5 NA

One of the biggest unknowns in the scene is Team Liquid's latest roster, which is currently under the leadership of Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz. They've already some shown promise online as they currently hold a 5-1 record in ESL Pro League, and narrowly missed IEM Katowice. With that said, this team has yet to really be tested on LAN.

The main problem with Liquid's previous lineups was its lack of real leadership. Brazilian coach Wilton "zews" Prado was meant to bring stability to the organization, but even he could not bring marked improvements to a Spencer "Hiko" Martin-led lineup. But considering the IGL role was never really Hiko's choice, it couldn't be helped.

In comes stanislaw, an improvement from Hiko on paper considering his achievements as OpTic's IGL. They may have lost a bit of firepower, but they've more than made up for it in terms of leadership. Grade: B-

Team EnVyUs

Old nV Role New nV
SIXER Rifler RpK
apEX Rifler xms
NBK Rifler ScreaM
kennyS AWPer SIXER
Happy In-game leader Happy
enkay J Coach maLeK

New Roster Results

  • 5-6th (DNQ) - IEM Season 11 World Championship Katowice Closed EU Qualifier
  • 4W-2L - ESL Pro League Season 5 EU

Team EnVyUs are largely considered the losers of the 2017 French Shuffle, but considering neither nV or G2 Esports qualified for IEM Katowice, the two currently stand on even ground. With that said, nV currently have the upper hand in the EPL EU Season 5 rankings with a 4-2 record compared to G2's 0-3 record. Granted, online games hold less stock than LAN games, but if nV keep up their performance they will eventually qualify for the EPL finals. The same can't be said for G2.

The saving grace for the French squad is the last-minute inclusion of Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom, who was trying out for FaZe Clan but was passed over in favor of Nikola "NiKo" Kovač, according to FaZe captain Finn "karrigan" Andersen.

Regardless of their actual potential, ScreaM joined nV under some awkward circumstances and with the loss of Kenny "kennyS" Schrub, you'd be hard pressed to call this roster move a win. However, the team is playing admirably with the hand they've been dealt. Grade: C+

Cloud9

Old C9 Role New C9
n0thing Rifler n0thing
shroud Rifler shroud
autimatic Rifler autimatic
Skadoodle AWPer Skadoodle
Stewie2k In-game leader Stewie2k
N/A Coach valens

New Roster Results

  • 9-12th - DreamHack Masters Las Vegas 2017 (Invited)
  • 9-10th - IEM Season 11 World Championship Katowice (Invited)
  • 6W-0L - ESL Pro League Season 5 NA

The only change for Cloud9 was the addition of well-known North American coach Soham "valens" Choudhury. It's a change that's pretty low-key as far as roster shuffles go, but one that could have a significant impact if it hasn't already.

C9's gameplan at DreamHack Vegas was largely unchanged, and it was only until IEM Katowice that we saw a dramatic change in their play, as evidenced by their map veto. At Vegas, their permaban was Nuke and it was always C9's first ban in the veto, but at Katowice their vetoes varied a lot more and Nuke was the map that SK Gaming infamously lost 16-9 to C9 and eventually led to them finishing last in the group stage.

C9 did not advance past the group stage at either Vegas or Katowice, but a team shouldn't be expected revamp their map pool overnight. What we've seen was only a start for C9 and it's something that could pay off big as they develop in 2017, but potential only counts for so much. Grade: C+

North

Old North Role New North
k0nfig Rifler k0nfig
Magisk Rifler Magisk
RUBINO Rifler aizy
cajunb AWPer cajunb
MSL In-game leader MSL
ruggah Coach ruggah

New Roster Results

  • 3-4th - DreamHack Masters Las Vegas 2017 (Invited)
  • 5-6th - IEM Season 11 World Championship Katowice (Invited)
  • 2W-0L - ESL Pro League Season 5 EU

The previous iterations of North's squad, when they were still part of Team Dignitas, were solid teams that were plagued by inconsistencies. However, the new North has advanced past the group stage at both DreamHack Vegas and IEM Katowice, but it's hard to give credit to their new player Philip "aizy" Aistrup given his performance in both events.

aizy was North's lowest HLTV rated player in both the Vegas and Katowice events, 0.87 and 0.89 ratings respectively, which are low numbers considering his reputation and his role. Still, it's hard to argue with results and perhaps aizy's numbers belie his actual impact, but it will be interesting to see where the team finishes when aizy comes online. Grade: B

Immortals

Old IMT Role New IMT
lucas1 Rifler lucas1
boltz Rifler boltz
felps Rifler fnx
HEN1 AWPer HEN1
steel In-game leader steel
zakk Coach zakk

New Roster Results

  • 1st - IEM Season 11 World Championship Katowice Closed NA Qualifier
  • 3-4th - IEM Season 11 World Championship Katowice
  • 3W-3L - ESL Pro League Season 5 NA

João "felps" Vasconcellos was Immortals' star player before he left to join SK Gaming, which meant that his replacement, Lincoln "fnx" Lau, had some big shoes to fill. fnx is best known for his intelligent play in clutch situations and his experience as a support player, but his performance at Katowice showed that he can be a real powerhouse when he wants to.

fnx looks renewed on his new team, but time will tell as to how long that will last as his parting from SK was not due to his poor performance according to former teammate Epitácio "TACO" de Melo, and rumors of him losing motivation for practice surrounded his departure. For now, Immortals look good with their new lineup. Grade: B

OpTic Gaming

Old OpTic Role New OpTic
tarik Rifler tarik
RUSH Rifler RUSH
NAF Rifler Hiko
mixwell AWPer mixwell
stanislaw In-game leader NAF
N/A Coach peacemaker

New Roster Results

  • 9-12th - DreamHack Masters Las Vegas 2017 (Invited)
  • 11-12th - IEM Season 11 World Championship Katowice (Invited)
  • 5W-1L - ESL Pro League Season 5 NA

OpTic Gaming saw a rapid rise after they won ELEAGUE Season 2 over Astralis and finished second at ECS Season 2. However, the team bombed out during the ELEAGUE Major and their downward trajectory has continued with the departure of in-game leader Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz.

Replacing stanislaw was former Team Liquid "dad" Spencer "Hiko" Martin, while Keith "NAF" Markovic took over as the in-game leader. It's a role taken out of necessity, similar to Hiko's role on Liquid, but it's a transition that should have been made smoother with the inclusion of Luis "peacemaker" Tadeu. On paper it's a team that should have functioned well, but didn't.

Freed of the IGL chains, Hiko should be a powerhouse for the team, but in both DreamHack Vegas and IEM Katowice he had the second lowest HLTV ratings and posted abysmal average damage per round numbers. Only Spanish star Oscar "mixwell" Cañellas put up decent numbers for the team.

Hiko will need to step up in his next event with OpTic, assuming his temporary stay has even been extended. Grade: C-

mousesports

Old mouz Role New mouz
denis Rifler denis
loWel Rifler loWel
Spiidi Rifler oskar
chrisJ AWPer chrisJ
NiKo In-game leader Spiidi
lmbt Coach lmbt

New Roster Results

  • 2W-0L - ESL Pro League Season 5 EU

mousesports were arguably hit hardest from the roster shuffle.

The loss of a star player would hurt any team, but when a team loses a player like Nikola "NiKo" Kovač, they are not only losing a ton of firepower, but it also changes the entire dynamic of the team. mouz formed their entire team around the actions of NiKo, but with him gone they're forced back to the drawing board.

We've only seen a glimpse of the new mouz roster as they defeated Team Kinguin 2-0 in EPL, an upcoming team for sure but by no means a solid test for mouz. Still, mouz performed well in the series with Christian "loWel" Antoran continuing to be mouz's rock and Tomáš "oskar" Šťastný stepping up as the star player.

NiKo's departure may very well work out to being the change mouz needed in order to move forward as a team, but losing arguably the strongest player in the world doesn't do much for your stock. Grade: D

GODSENT

Old GODS Role New GODS
znajder Rifler znajder
Lekr0 Rifler Lekr0
flusha Rifler disco doplan
JW AWP twist
pronax In-game leader pronax
rdl Coach rdl

New Roster Results

  • 6W-2L - MDL Season 24

GODSENT is a team that should work on paper. You have a world-class in-game leader, two veterans and two young gun, but it's a lineup that has yet to show off its potential and is arguably weaker than the previous iteration with Jesper "JW" Wecksell and Robin "flusha" Rönnquist.

The team has been going off in their MDL Season 24 games, but as well they should be, since they're facing objectively lesser teams. It's also worth noting that GODS also dropped a couple maps in the league, which is inexcusable for a team of it's caliber. Grade: D+

Heroic

Old Heroic Role New Heroic
MODDII Rifler MODDII
valde Rifler valde
niko Rifler niko
Friis AWPer JUGi
Snappi In-game leader Snappi
N/A Coach N/A

New Roster Results

  • 3-4th (DNQ) - ECS Season 3 EU Development League Qualifier #2
  • 3-4th - IEM Season 11 World Championship Katowice
  • 3W-3L - ESL Pro League Season 5 EU

Though Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander was not the in-game leader when he was on Heroic, it's clear that he had an impact on the team's leadership dynamic. Heroic were on a downturn after gla1ve's departure to Astralis and his influence was made more clear after Astralis won the ELEAGUE Major.

RELATED: Heroic Snappi: 'I will always miss having gla1ve by my side'

However, Heroic made a change to their lineup by swapping out their passive AWPer, Michael "Friis" Jørgensen, in exchange for a much more aggressive AWPer in Jakob "JUGi" Hansen and it's a setup that's worked wonders at IEM Katowice.

The team caused some major upsets by defeating North, Natus Vincere and Virtus.pro to top their group in Katowice. They lost 2-0 to Astralis, though those games were close as well. It's too early to tell if they can keep up this form, but if a fresh roster, with a rookie no less, can make the semis in their debut LAN, they're a team worth watching. Grade: B

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 Discipline Priest Pharah. You can follow him on Twitter.

SL i-League CS:GO StarSeries S3 invite participants announced

starladder.com
Thumbnail image courtesy of starladder.com

The qualifying round for the SL i-League CS:GO StarSeries S3 championship is approaching the stage of Playoffs, so it’s high time to announce the names of all invited teams, who will enter a fight for a slot to the LAN-finals.

The first round for each invited team will be kicked off with a 1/8-finals’ match against those, who passed through the group stage. In the single-elimination bracket, each match will be held in a format up to two victories (Bo3), while two of the best from America and three of the strongest teams from Europe, following the qualifier, will be granted tickets to the LAN, held from April 4-9 in Kiev, Ukraine.

Click here for the full article via starladder.com

EnVyUs coach maLeK on new roster: 'None of us could have expected such a great mood within the team'

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Thumbnail image courtesy of Team EnVyUs

Days after Team EnVyUs confirmed the signing of Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom, the team's coach Damien "maLeK" Marcel spoke to theScore esports about the results of their week-long bootcamp and his first impressions of the latest lineup.

ScreaM is considered one of the deadliest fraggers in the CS:GO scene and was ranked ninth on HLTV Top 20 players of 2016. As such, maLek says that he was a welcome addition to the lineup.

"I’m really happy about it, he is what we needed for a complete and well balanced chemistry," maLeK said. "He has a great impact in the team, in and out of the game. I already feel that he’s taking his responsibilities."

But ScreaM's road to nV was far from smooth. Prior to signing on with the team, it was reported that the star rifler received an offer from FaZe Clan. While FaZe elected to instead acquire former mousesports star Nikola "NiKo" Kovač, it was later revealed in an interview with Finn "karrigan" Andersen that the decision to acquire NiKo over ScreaM was a conscious one.

ScreaM's signing comes after the tumultuous formation of nV's latest roster following the French Shuffle. maLeK said nV has had a positive attitude throughout the bootcamp despite expectations otherwise.

"We actually enjoyed the bootcamp a lot, and to be honest, none of us could have expected such a great mood within the team, but now we got a lot of work to do," maLeK said. "We will take it step by step, and we can already feel that things are going to be nice."

While positive attitudes can go a long way for a team, maLeK is realistic about the short-comings of a fresh roster that formed less than a week ago.

"I think our strengths are also our weaknesses," he said. "In the French scene it is quite new to have a top team with players which haven't played much together before.

"Everyone has a good mindset, craves the grind and pushes themselves as far as possible. In the meantime, we can obviously say that it might take time to get deep map pool and all those kind of details experienced teams have."

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 Discipline Priest Pharah. You can follow him on Twitter.

Gambit Esports acquires an academy team in CS:GO

gambit.gg
Thumbnail image courtesy of theScore esports / Gambit Gaming

Gambit Esports expands by acquiring a team of up-and-coming players in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. We see big potential in forming an academy team in CS:GO and from our side we will provide all the needed resources for the young players to develop.

Click here for the full article via gambit.gg

Peacemaker to stay with OpTic through IEM Katowice

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Thumbnail image courtesy of Dennis Gonzales / theScore esports / OpTic Gaming

Luis "Peacemaker" Tadeu will continue to coach OpTic Gaming through IEM Katowice, according to a tweet he made Monday.

Peacemaker joined OpTic gaming as a temporary coach for DreamHack Masters Las Vegas, though it is unclear if the organization plans to bring him on in a permanent capacity. He was brought on alongside former Team Liquid player Spencer "Hiko" Martin, who has yet to make a statement regarding whether or not he will play for OpTic in Katowice.

OpTic placed 9th-12th at DreamHack Masters Las Vegas with a 1-2 record in the group stage. OpTic finished the tournament with one win over North, and losses to Astralis and North.

Peacemaker left Team Liquid in October, then joined NRG Esports in November as their CS:GO general manager but stepped down after less than a month, citing differences in vision.

IEM Katowice will run from March 3-5 in Katowice, Poland.

Daniel Rosen is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

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