With a $660,000 prize pool, the heavyweights Astralis, Liquid, Faze and G2 will be keen on getting a lion’s share of the purse along with the ECS Season 5 trophy. But, there is another storyline brewing – that of NRG and the potential emergence of another contender from the North American region.
NRG’s online results were backed up on LAN finally, at Starseries Season 5 Finals. The North American stack beat the likes of Liquid and North en route to the finals of the event, where they succumbed to Natus Vincere.
Both individual and collective performance would be a great boost coming into the ECS Season 5 finals. And while another deep run leading to the final might be a tad too much for NRG, there is every reason to believe they can at least get past the Groups.
For one, they have been handed a Group B. This group consists of world-class teams Faze and G2. Meaning its open to upsets or shock results compared to Group A.
Faze were thought to be one of the favourites, with Olofmeister announcing his return to the team. But, the Swede has pulled back from his return and will need more time before being ready to make a comeback.
The European stack scrambled to find a replacement. They finally announced Cromen as the man to replace Olofmeister, at least for the ECS Season 5 Finals in London. Thus, with a new member, there is likely to be less synergy within the team, something NRG can exploit.
Questions around G2
Coming to the project at G2, shox has returned to competitive play. He has assembled the team he wanted to, with Smithzzz and Ex6tenz joining the likes of KennyS, shox and bodyy. There are several questions though, that might not be answered before the start of the event in London.
- Has shox fully recovered from his surgery?
- Can Smithzzz be relevant in the support role?
- Can Ex6tenz lead the stack to success?
While these questions are answered, NRG can be sure of one thing. The chemistry within the G2 setup is unlikely to be at an appropriate level at this stage. And, this could play into the hands of NRG.
Luminosity challenge for NRG?
Luminosity could also have been a challenge for NRG. But, they themselves underwent a roster change, filling the void with former Liquid player Steel. If recent results are anything to go by, Luminosity still have a long way to go before being comfortable with Steel.
Overall NRG have a fair chance of achieving results. Come into the event on the back of a good result and the players seem to be on point right now. With certain issues plaguing the other sides in Group B, NRG are one of the favourites to make it to the semi-finals at least.
Ideally, we could see a rematch of the Starseries Quarter-finals at ECS Season 5 Finals. NRG going toe-to-toe with Liquid for a place in the finals. NRG have already beaten them once and also ran Astralis close in IEM Sydney.
Thus, even though NRG are priced at 15.00 by Betway to win the entire event, imAPet has already started working wonders and we can expect the North American stack to to continue their rise within the CSGO scene.