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ELEAGUE Group A Primer: Group "America"

by Dennis Gonzales May 21 2016
Thumbnail image courtesy of theScore esports / ELEAGUE

The debut week for Turner's first season of ELEAGUE will see group "America" face off, featuring Team Liquid, Cloud9, Luminosity Gaming and Renegades.

Cloud9 and Luminosity Gaming are North and South American through and through, but Liquid's new Brazilian coach peacemaker makes the team a hybrid of the two regions. Renegades on the other hand are an Australian team that resided in America and competed in the region during the duration of ESL Pro League, so all these teams have competitive history with each other.

theScore esports has a quick breakdown of each of the teams and what to expect from the group.

Luminosity Gaming

Player HLTV Rating (May 20)
Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo* 1.15
Fernando "fer" Alvarenga 1.15
Marcelo "coldzera" David 1.25
Lincoln "fnx" Lau 1.09
Epitacio "TACO" Pessoa 0.99
Wilton "zews" Prado*

Notable performances:

  • 1st ESL Pro League
  • 1st DreamHack Austin
  • 1st MLG Major
  • 2nd IEM Katowice
  • 2nd DreamHack Leipzig
  • 3-4 SL i-League

The Major champions had some major hiccups after their win at the MLG Major Championship: Columbus. They were forced to drop out of the running for CEVO Season 9 due to being in Sweden for DreamHack Masters Malmo, where they were knocked out of the tournament during the group stage, by Chinese team TyLoo no less. It was likely the biggest upset in recent CS:GO history.

But after their embarrassing loss, the Brazilians have recovered gracefully — winning DreamHack Austin and the ESL Pro League Season 3 Finals. As such, they go into ELEAGUE as the strongest team of their group and easily one of the strongest teams in the 24-team league.

Team Liquid

Player HLTV Rating (May 20)
Kenneth "koosta" Suen 1.08
Spencer "Hiko" Martin* 1.07
Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski 1.05
Nick "nitr0" Cannella 1.04
Eric "adreN" Hoag 0.89
Luis "peacemaker" Tadeu*

Notable Performances

  • 3-4 DreamHack Austin
  • 3-4 MLG Major
  • 2nd iBUYPOWER Invitational

If you were to describe Team Liquid’s 2016 run in a single word, it would probably be “storied.” Their risk in importing one of EU/CIS’s top prospects, s1mple, was an experiment that could be deemed successful by some, albeit short-lived. s1mple was with Liquid for roughly four months and helped the team, and in a sense North America, achieve a Top 4 finish at a Major.

After s1mple’s departure, and that of the team’s coach GBJame^s, the team has been a shadow of it’s former self, but the team has imported another high-profile foreign talent in Luis "peacemaker" Tadeu. He was notably Tempo Storm’s IGL and strategist and was arguably the biggest factor to the team’s success.

Tempo and Liquid are very similar in the sense that their players are highly skilled and emotional players. peacemaker brought calm to Tempo’s storm; the same is the hope for Liquid’s white waters.

Cloud9

Player HLTV Rating (May 20)
Mike "shroud" Grzesiek 1.13
Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham 1.06
Jake "Stewie2k" Yip 1.04
Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert 0.98
Alec "Slemmy" White* 0.82
Andrew "Irukandji" Timmerman*

Notable Performances

  • 3-4 DreamHack Austin
  • 1st iBUYPOWER Invitational

Since the departure of Cloud9's former captain Sean "sgares" Gares, there’s been a distinct lack of strategic power on the team. They’ve largely supplemented with added firepower with Jake "Stewie2k" Yip, but he hasn’t nearly had the impact that they would have liked or expected. The team has since added Andrew "Irukandji" Timmerman as a trial coach to pad their strategic muscle, but they also picked up Slemmy as their new IGL.

Pulling a largely unproven IGL into the team is a big risk, that goes without saying. It’s hard to say what effect he’s had on team strategically, but the intention of the role change may be the more immediate effect of taking pressure off of n0thing and shifting him into more of a fragging role. It’s too early to tell, but their ELEAGUE group will likely be a big test for the team.

Renegades

Player Rating (May 20)
Yaman "yam" Ergenekon 1.05
Justin "jks" Savage 1.13
Aaron "AZR" Ward 1.08
Karlo "USTILO" Pivac 1.02
Chad "SPUNJ" Burchill* 0.85
Nicholas “peekay” Wise*

Notable performances

  • 2nd Asia Minor Championship - Cologne
  • 2nd IEM Season X Taipei Asia Minor

When the team relocated from the Oceania region to North America to compete in ESL Pro League 3, the team’s impact into the scene was minimal. The team hasn’t been able to qualify for a tournament through any of the NA qualifiers and they finished in seventh place in ESL Pro League, missing the LAN Final berth by a fairly wide margin.

Considering their opponents in the group consists purely of Americas talent, both from north and south of the border, there's history between the teams and Renegades since their stay in America, though it doesn’t look favorable for the Australians. It’s worth mentioning that the team have picked up a coach last month, Nicholas “peekay” Wise, but anything short of a THREAT-level impact won’t keep this team from elimination.

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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