The CS_Summit is the first tournament to be held after the roster locks for ESL Pro League are enforced. The tournament will see several teams with changes to their CS GO rosters participating in the $150,000 tournament. The CS_Summit will be held at the Summit House for a period of four days ending on the 11th.
Before we dive into the top teams with a chance at winning the tournament, let us list the various changes to the attending teams and their rosters.
- Mousesports is replaced by Heroic
- Mertz replaces on CajunB on North
- ita replaces Threat as Coach on NIP
- Kjaerbye joins North, K0nfig steps down from the North lineup
- Torqued replace Optic Gaming
Last day before the roster locks. 🧐🔥🤔😳😉
— Adam Friberg (@fribergCS) February 6, 2018
Teams are still scrambling to register their final roster for the ESL Pro League. Optic Gaming is one such example, they are definitely cutting it close to the deadline.
This will be the first tournament after the Eleague Boston Major that SK will be able to play with their full roster. While they had Felps on their roster for the longest time in 2017, the recent weeks have seen SK playing with Boltz. Most of their tournaments and practice sessions were with Boltz on their roster.
The Brazilian team won two International tournaments with Boltz on their lineup in late 2017. The ESL Pro League finals and Blast Pro series saw SK Gaming win over other teams such as Faze Clan and Astralis in the finals. The addition of Boltz has definitely put in a breath of life into SK Gaming.
Since this is their first tournament after the Major with Boltz, SK will be looking to make an impact. Their first match is against Torque, which should be a very easy win for SK Gaming. The format for the tournament ensures Best of Threes all over the bracket. The grand final is the only exception with a Best of Five format. This helps SK Gaming more than any other team in the tournament. The Brazilians are well known for their deep map pool. They get a big advantage going into the veto against any of the other teams in the tournament.
Currently, SK Gaming is the favorite coming into the tournament. They did lose out to Cloud9 in the semifinals of the Eleague Boston Major, but that seemed to be a miraculous run for Cloud9. SK Gaming should be able to win their first tournament of the year.
Cloud9 have a lot to prove in Los Angeles. The Major winners have been branded as lucky with their victories at Boston. In order to cement their place as one of the top teams, Cloud9 will need to have a big showing at CS_Summit.
The biggest factor that will be different from the Eleague Boston Major will be the crowd. The CS_Summit 2 will be played at the Summit House. It is a very casual environment with players, casters always moving around the house. The casting is done from the couch and the entire tournament has a very casual feel to it.
However, this does mean that there is no huge crowd backing Cloud9, the same way as during the Major. The Cloud9 team was recently signed until 2021. Cloud9 have had decent success playing against North American teams. However, they have never really been considered a strong contender against the top teams such as SK, Faze etc. This tournament will be a true test for the Major Champions.
Skadoodle and Tarik have stepped up their performance. We saw how the team relied upon and lived off the crowds’ energy and enthusiasm at the arena. If they can replicate the same level of performance and enthusiasm during this tournament, they have a legitimate chance at winning the trophy. Autimatic is an In-Game Leader who provides consistent performances while still enabling the tactical side for the NA team. His leadership is definitely evident in the confidence for the Cloud9 roster.
North recently added Kjaerbye to their roster. It was a very surprising move, one which shocked many in the community. The Astralis players themselves were unaware of the move and some expressed disappointment on social media.
North has never been a team that can be swept aside. They have the talent and a great leader in MSL. However, there have been problems in their consistency as a team. A lot of this came down to raw firepower and how the team failed to capitalize on opponent’s mistakes. The addition of Mertz, who replaces CajunB definitely adds a new element to the team.
But this addition ( as well as Kjaerbye ) mean that North will be a dark horse in this tournament. While definitely an upgrade in the roster, they have not had much time to practice together as a team. There is only so far that raw skill can help you. Ultimately you need to be able to have a tactical advantage as well. North Gaming will be the team to watch out for in this tournament since they can surprise everyone. The alternative is that they will meekly bow out since they have not had much practice as a team.
Ninjas in Pyjamas
The NIP squad recently lost the member who almost helped them achieve their glory days. Threat was an excellent addition to the team when he was announced back in 2016. He helped the team reach top ranks in CS GO, a feat that was proving quite difficult before him. However, when Valve changed the coaching rules, The NIP roster lost a lot of its sheen. NIP seem to have the firepower, but the lack of a combination of good skills and tactics have always let NIP down.
Pita was one of their first coaches and his coaching style is significantly different to that of Threat. He believed in letting the players have more freedom in their gameplay and rely more on their skills rather than tactics. It worked in the initial years, but NIP soon fell flat and went into a slump. Pita does bring with him, a familiar face, one which NIP can relate to. However, it has been too soon and he should not be able to effect any drastic changes in the team’s playstyle. Not yet, at least.
The CS_Summit is not really an international tournament. It does feature some European teams, but they are, by far, Tier 2 teams. This tournament will be a testing ground for many of these teams. Some of them are playing with new players, while some others are playing with new coaches on their roster. Cloud9, North, and SK are the top contenders for the CS Summit Title.
Do you agree that SK Gaming is the top contender to win this tournament? Let us know in comments.