2016 was a huge year for so many teams, those who deserved success indeed achieved it and those who set out to surprise us, well, did. There were numerous trophies last year and for once they aren’t all in a cupboard somewhere in Olofmeisters house.
With trophies being distributed left, right and centre last year it opens up 2017’s first quarter for territorial conquering. Whoever wins the Major will put a stamp on the year, set a precedence and put themselves on the top of the pile.
With the imminent E-League debut Major there will be many vying for that top spot but who are the teams that could chuck a proverbial spanner in the works? Who are the upsetters, the underdog teams that could push the likes of SK, OpTic and others off their perch?
Here are my offerings of teams that could shake the cage:
HellRaisers: Hailing from Eastern Europe they are not the most known team but are no strangers to big events. They beat NIP, Fnatic, Na’Vi and Mouseports on last years run which improved towards the end of the year, qualifying for the major was a great boon for them, after toppling C9 to take one of the last spots they will be keen to establish themselves as a force this year.
Lineup: ANGE1, STYKO, DeadFox, bondik, zeRo-
Player to watch: DeadFox with the Awp
Team Liquid:Team Liquid, fair to say didn’t have the best year but they did play some very exciting CS:GO with the HiKo and S1mple combination. Now with S1mple is gone they haven’t quite found their mojo. But, on home soil with an energised fanbase they do play at their best. Last year at MGL Columbus they had a great run due to their 6th man (the crowd) and being one of only two US teams at the Major they are sure to get plenty of support.
Lineup: nitr0, EliGE, Hiko, jdm64, Pimp
Player to watch: Hiko for his clutch situation play.
Flipside Tactics: Although classed as legends already, Flipsid3 have never really had huge success until now. Fresh from their Dreamhack victory having bested Big in two maps in the final they are ready to fire. Often a competitor, often the first to dip out but this year with the energetic plays of Electronic and veteran leadership of B1ad3 they look more like a team than they have for some time. If that can run off the fumes of the Dreamhack win they could shock some big teams.
Lineup: B1ad3, WorldEdit, markeloff, wayLander, electronic
Player to watch: electronic, the new guy can lock a round down when performing.
FaZe Clan: Since the introduction of Karrigan as their in game leader and K1o’s return to the frame they have been on good form. Watching FaZe play anyone these days feels like they could win. The problem wasn’t K1o after all..even if the sticker says it! They are probably the stronger of my selection and are more settled than they have been for a while, could this be the year they establish themselves up in the rafters of CS:GO greats?
Lineup: rain, aizy, KioShiMa, allu, karrigan
Player to watch: rain when he fires, he is a 30 bomb machine.
Well, those are my top upsetters. Mind you, if last year was anything to go by at the end of this year we could be saying that HellRaisers are the ones to beat and SK Gaming are underdogs..Too far? Yea ok not SK, how about Fnatic?