Photo via ELEAGUE (CC-BY)
Virtus Pro find themselves in Group B, drawn alongside DreamHack Bucharest victors Ninjas in Pyjamas and French powerhouse G2 Esports. North American side Echo Fox round out the group and will certainly be outsiders. The four teams will meet in Atlanta on Nov 4. and 5.
Kickstarting the group stage on Oct. 21 is one that features no outsiders, and really no heavy favourites. Group A features Mousesports, Cloud9, FaZe Clan, and Immortals. On paper it’s tough to see which of the teams will be likely to head through. Mousesports found some success last season with a top four placement, but have been lacking recently since the departure of their former head coach Aleksandar “Kassad” Trifunović.
Clear your calendars for Nov. 11 because Group C is bringing the titans together. Na’Vi, Astralis, and SK Gaming join surprise qualifiers Alternate Attax in a group that ensures one of the favorites will drop out. Na’Vi will be hoping for better results and are struggling to adapt to new signing Oleksandr “S1mple” Kostylev, while SK gaming will be at full strength after Fernando “Fer” Alvarenga returned from injury.
The final group features what would have been two heavy favorites if the tournament took place a year ago, but now it’s up for grabs. Fnatic and EnvyUs head in as favourites on paper, but OpTic and Team Dignitas pose a serious threat. Danish side Team Dignitas reached the semifinal of Dreamhack Bucharest last weekend.
The group draw may have caused some surprises with heavy favorites being drawn together at such an early stage, but the fans will be happy at the thought of the matchups we’ll be seeing come game time.