The PLG Grand Slam sees a significant improvement in its prize pool for this year. The event’s previous edition saw a prize pool of $5000. However, this year there will be a massive increase in the prize pool as well as the stature of teams in attendance.
PLG Grand Slam 2018 will see a prize pool of $100,000. There are a total of sixteen teams attending the tournament which will take place at the du Forum in Abu Dhabi. The Power League Gaming is the organiser of the event and they have helped in the development of esports in the Middle East.
Out of the sixteen attendees, there are eight teams which qualified to the Main event. The remaining teams are attending via direct invites.
The absence of teams like Astralis, Na’Vi, Mousesports and Team Liquid does not make this tournament any less interesting. In fact, the similar level of competition amongst the existing teams ensures that the tournament takes an interesting turn with every match. There are multiple teams fully capable of winning this event. With some teams using stand-ins [ due to VISA issues ], we might also see a totally unknown team making an impact.
Let’s take a look at some of the top teams at the event and how they fare against others.
The Fnatic team has seen multiple changes over the past year to their CS: GO roster. From being one of the best teams, this team is now trying to reinvent their playstyle and positioning. They have made the right changes to the roster with the addition of Twist and Brollan from Red Reserve. The two players have ensured that Red reserve becomes a strong team in the Tier two scene. Their consistent performances and ability to come back from seemingly difficult situations caught the eye of the Fnatic players. This Fnatic roster holds a steady mix of talent and experience. With veterans such as Krimz, JW and Xizt at the helm of this team, they know the right approach to the game.
Xizt’s Map vetoes have always been a big question mark for many analysts and casters. As such, the map pool for Fnatic and their approach to the veto becomes extremely important. Fnatic is not known to be a team that can be extremely diverse and flexible with their map pool. In fact, the team struggles if it has to play on an unfamiliar map.
Twist is widely considered to be one of the best upcoming players in the Swedish region. His place on Fnatic now does call for some of his wonderful performances that we see on other teams. However, it is also important for the team to ensure a decent mental state going into this match. We have seen that Fnatic can become a much stronger team if they have the confidence to go along with it.
This is the first LAN tournament for the new-look G2 esports. The team has replaced Ex6tenz and Smithzz with Lucky and Jackzz from 3DMAX. The team will require more time to adjust to the new players and have them adjust to the team’s playstyle.
G2 Esports has had a very rough year despite having some of the biggest names in French Counter-strike. The team simply did not seem to have enough time together and Ex6tenz was unable to turn around the team’s results. With no signs of improvement, the decision came from the upper management to make changes.
For G2 esports, this tournament will be an indication of their current firepower as opposed to other Tier 2 teams. With little to no time together in the new roster, not many expect G2 to win this event. But they can definitely cause huge upsets, considering the sheer quality of players on this roster. Right now, G2 esports is the dark horse which can upset the chances of some of these teams who are looking forward to winning the tournament itself. That being said, G2 is not totally out of the race. The sheer firepower on this team can itself be the leading reason for their performance in the upcoming tournament.
G2 esports will need to show up an impressive performance in the Group stage. They are in Group C along with Avangar, Shotcallers and Forze.
The Semifinalists of the FaceIT London Major have to prove themselves yet again. The Hellraisers team is made up of multiple highly skilled individuals. But the team is not the most consistent when it comes to their performances on the big stage.
Hellraisers have many young players and they have shown their ability to compete with the best players in CS: GO. The team’s performance through the past year has made them a strong contender. However, they have not always been able to maintain their form throughout tournaments. The FaceIT London Major saw them having a great run through to the semifinals. Over the past few months, the team has not fared well and mostly has Group stage exits to its name. The Hellraisers team has a good mix of players and they have a bright future. However, their inconsistency in performance means they are always extremely volatile
GucciGanGxD is not the first name that will strike out to any viewer when looking at the team list. This team’s roster is somewhat interesting. The main roster for the team saw visa issues which will see two players standing in for the team.
Confirmed with @D0cC_csgo @bramzCSGO @fejtZcsgo and Truth
— Liquid ScreaM (@ScreaM_) December 10, 2018
Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom and Shuaib “D0cC” Ahmad will stand-in for Hamza “mason” M’hamdi and Daly “HaylamaN” Mami for the duration of the event. The addition of these two players adds a huge amount of firepower to the roster, which was otherwise, a no-name team. We all know of Scream’s one-tap ability and how he can change the outcome of the round and the match. He has been quite unlucky in his ventures and is unable to find the right team for himself.
At the same time, we also have DocC joining the team. The young player has attended a FaceIT boot camp to prove his worth to the CS: GO community. He was benched from FPL due to communication issues with other players. The controversy ended with the boot camp where the player displayed his skill. The two of them will join the existing roster of GUCCIGANGxD including bramz, truth and fejtZ. These players are all extremely talented, however, they come from different nationalities. As such it will be interesting to see how communication problems affect this team.
Tyloo has long been the best Asian Counter-Strike team. The organisation is one of the most well-known CS: GO organisations from Asia. The team itself has caused multiple upsets in past tournaments, but it has never seen its rankings go up. Tyloo recently reached the Grand Finals of the TOYOTA Master CS: GO Bangkok 2018. They lost 2-3 to Heroic Gaming in the finals.
However, this team has shown significant improvement over the past few years. They have an increased focus on their strategies and map pool. They do not rely solely on their firepower and their ability to surprise their opponents.
Power League Gaming’s foundation is based on solid partnerships with companies like EA Games, EA Sports, Activision Blizzard, Warner Bros Games, Kingston HyperX, Coca-Cola to name a few. After three first years, with notable tournament leagues such as the official Middle East Call of Duty Qualifiers for the World Championship, Injustice Middle East Finals and more, 2014 marks the reboot of PLG with major newly created leagues.
Introduced in 2014 as a standalone tournament, the PLG Legendary turned into one of the region most popular League of Legends online league, with a prize pool in every season, offline qualifiers during live events, and opening the door for more than 16 countries to join from the comfort of their home. 2015 was also the year that another major online league was introduced, this time with EA Sports FIFA, and the PLG Super League, an elite competition for players that qualified in the previous season numerous FIFA and Fanta Masters tournaments.
The PLG Grand Slam 2018 tournament will be a crucial testing phase for multiple teams. Many of the teams are either with new players or are using stand-ins for the tournament. How they coordinate with each other will be the big factor determining the outcome of this series. PLG Grand Slam starts on 12th December and will continue till the 15th. You can catch all the action live on Twitch.