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StarLadder StarSeries i-League Season 3 - Round one recap

CS:GO Aleksei “Aleksei.L” Louchnikov

The first day of the StarLadder StarSeries i-League Season 3 group stage is over, with eight teams on each side of 1-0 and 0-1 W/L ratios.

Day one of the StarLadder StarSeries i-League Season 3 group stage saw some great matches, coupled with some that could have had a bit more action to them. Most of the teams that were supposed to win on paper did just that, however not quite as easily as initially anticipated, especially in the case of SK Gaming vs. TyLoo, where the Chinese managed to secure double digits and even took the round lead upon the conclusion of the first half. FaZe Clan waved bye bye to the prospect of advancing immediately to the playoffs of the tournament, as HellRaisers demonstrated a strong performance on de_Cache, upsetting on of the tournament favourites. 

Below is a table outlining the win/loss ratios for each of the sixteen participants that played today:
 

Win: 1 Loss: 0 Win: 0 Loss: 1
Denmark North Brazil Immortals
Poland Virtus.pro Korea MVP Project
Brazil SK Gaming China TyLoo
Denmark Astralis United States Counter Logic Gaming
Europe HellRaisers Europe FaZe Clan
Sweden Fnatic Kazakhstan Gambit
France G2 Esports Sweden Ninjas in Pyjamas
CIS Natus Vincere China UYA


Denmark North vs. Brazil Immortals - de_Cobblestone 16:3 (12:3, 4:0)

The first match-up of the day kicked off with North securing a dominant victory over Immortals. Kicking off on the T side, the Danes were able to grab the pistol round, as well as the two rounds that followed. The streak was cut by Immortals during their first full buy round. This would prove to be just one of three rounds that the Brazilians would run away with not only during the initial half, but also the entirety of the map, as North close out at 12:3 by halftime. The second pistol round yet again goes in favour of the Danes, as they further their lead. Immortals were unable to breach the defence whatsoever, conceding four consecutive rounds to their opponents and as a result lost with a 3:16 score.

Poland Virtus.pro vs. Korea MVP Project - de_Mirage 16:4 (11:4, 5:0)

Next was a match-up between the "plow" and the Koreans of MVP Project. Off the bat MVP are able to secure the pistol round, coupled with the obligatory two additional rounds to gain a 3-0 lead on the Poles. All was looking well for the Koreans up until the plow woke up and started grinding out the rounds. After conceding the initial three, Virtus.pro allowed but a single additional one to slip into favour of the underdogs, right through to the end of half, where an 11:4 score line was seen. On the CT side Virtus.pro gave MVP no room to breathe, securing the pistol round, followed by four consecutive victories to close out the map at 16:4.



Brazil SK Gaming vs. China TyLoo - de_Mirage 16:12 (7:8, 9:4)

A rather unexpected outcome for the match between the Brazilian and Chinese sides, as TyLoo were able to break more than just a sweat on the foreheads of SK Gaming. The underdogs commence on the T side of the map, where a brisk B rush amounts to a pistol round win. Despite fielding an advantage going into the second round the Chinese were shut down by a force buy from the defence, cutting the potential development of momentum. In fact, the Brazilians were able to not only shut down the offense, they actually went on to secure a couple more rounds in their favour at 3-1. Once the Chinese were able to secure a full buy, things started getting hot, as a whopping five consecutive rounds are accrued by TyLoo, placing the Brazilians at a 3-6 deficit. By half time, however, SK climbed back up to lessen the deficit to a single round at 7:8. On the T side, a similar situation to the prior half was seen, where the Brazilians concede the pistol round, just to shut down the opponents whilst at an equipment disadvantage. All in all the team was able to surpass the Chinese on the aggressive, letting a total of four rounds slip into the opponents' favour. SK Gaming secured the map with a 16:12 score.



Denmark Astralis vs. United States Counter Logic Gaming - de_Train 16:11 (6:9, 10:2)

Counter Logic Gaming kick off the match on the CT side, where they give the reigning major champions a run for their money. On the defence the North American representatives were able to not only grab the initial pistol round, but also the following five consecutive rounds, extending the initial lead to a scary 6:0. At this score line the Danes woke up and started pulling through some rounds of their own, with six consecutive rounds of their own from round 7-12. Finalising the initial half were three rounds in favour of CLG, closing it off at 9-6. Despite a slow start, Astralis were able to get back into the rhythm of the match. The second pistol round was secured by the Danes, along with the following anti-eco, however the momentum was cut, as the third round of the second half was taken by a stunning performance from CLG. Whilst impressive, the predominantly American roster was unable to develop this further, conceding five consecutive rounds before gaining their second and last round victory of the half. Three rounds further fell in favour of the Danes, closing out the map at 16:11.



Europe HellRaisers vs. Europe FaZe Clan - de_Cache 16:10 (9:6, 7:4)

The first real upset of the round #1, HellRaisers managed to straight up outperform one of the favourites of the tournament. The initial pistol round went in favour of HellRaisers, as the team managed to fend off the aggressors one by one. FaZe Clan retaliated in round two with a force buy, where the team managed to shut down their opponents, as well as secure their equipment for future rounds. Quite the round streak was amassed following the successful force buy, as FaZe run away with a further four rounds to produce a 5-1 lead. The teams exchanged a round each in rounds 7 and 8, shortly after which the European mix started raising hell. The remainder of the first half rounds were secured by HellRaisers, producing a 9:6 lead. The momentum continued on through to the second half, with the European mix grabbing the second pistol round. On this occasion FaZe were not able to surprise HellRaisers with a force buy, instead the team kept pummelling the defence to great effect. The consecutive win streak stopped at 15:6, as FaZe Clan re-focused and started slowly producing rounds of their own. Despite a vailiant effort the favourites were unable to come back into the game, as HellRaisers managed to secure round #26, in great deal thanks to a spectacular 1v3 clutch from Vladyslav "bondik" Nechyporchuk.

Sweden Fnatic vs. Kazakhstan Gambit Esports - de_Inferno 16:8 (10:5, 6:3)

It was Fnatic facing Gambit up next in the first day of StarLadder i-League Season 3. Daniil "Zeus" Teslenko and his team started the match by grabbing the first pistol round as the CT side. However, an Inferno classic, second-round force-buy victory swayed the advantage back into the Swedes' favour. Fnatic went on to win three additional rounds before Rustem "mou" Telepov's triple-kill in the B bombsite defence made it 4-2. Gambit's joy didn't last long, as fnatic responded once again and reset the CT economy. After 5-2, fnatic won four more rounds to make it 9-2. Once more mou was able to save Gambit, this time around by sniping down three members of fnatic while defending bombsite A. Gambit managed to win two out of three remaining rounds of the first half and the half-time score was determined - 10-5 in favor of Fnatic.

Gambit started the second half by winning their second pistol round and building onto that, melted the gap down to just two rounds. Unfortunately for the CIS mix, Jesper "JW" Wecksell's triple-kill in the 19th round made the score 11-8 and fnatic's star Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer stepped up in the remainder of the match, picking up multiple frags round after round. Gambit couldn't find a solution to the stoic defence, hence the Swedes secured the victory with a 16-8 score line.



France G2 Esports vs. Sweden Ninjas in Pyjamas - de_Inferno 16:6 (13:2,3:4)

The seventh match of the day saw the LAN debut of G2's brand-new roster. Winning the pistol round on the CT side of Inferno gave G2 an early advantage. The French team didn't make a single mistake in the following rounds and jumped into the lead with a 3-0 score line. Richard "shox" Papillon's quad-kill while defending bombsite B broke the T's economy and further developed the team's lead at 4-0. Standing solidly against NiP attacks, G2 dominated the entire first half and entered the half-time with an impressive eleven round lead. Richard "Xizt" Landström's triple-kill secured the second pistol round for the Ninjas. The Swedes worked off of the pistol round victory and tightened the deficit to 7 rounds at 13-6. Unfortunately for Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund and co. G2 forced up in the 20th round and their fast A execute turned out to be too strong to overcome. NiP were unable to find a way to stop the G2 attacks starting from the force-buy defeat and the Frenchmen managed to win their LAN debut 16-6.


CIS Natus Vincere vs. China UYA - de_Inferno 16:9 (12:3, 4:6)

The last match of the day featured the CIS giants Na'Vi and newly-established Chinese side UYA. Starting Inferno as the T side, Na'Vi won the pistol round. The following two anti-eco rounds also went Na'Vi's way but in the first gunround, Wei "shuadapai" Wang crushed the bombsite A offense by killing four. Na'Vi had the money to bring together a full-buy but HongGuang "Stevie" Li picked up three frags to make it 3-2. Na'Vi's economy was broken, despite this the CIS giants decided to force, buying four pistols and an AWP for Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács which turned out to be crucial as the veteran AWPer not only clutched a 1v2 situation but also sniped down four to win the force buy for his team. Gaining the momentum after the remarkable round victory, Na'Vi's T side became stronger round by round, eventually securing a 12-3 score line at the half-time. As the second half started, the Chinese underdogs looked more capable on the T side, winning six of the seven rounds played until the score line displayed a 13-9 Na'Vi lead. Starting from the 23rd round, Na'Vi recovered and crushed UYA's hopes for a comeback by winning three rounds in a row to close out the match 16-9.

Below you will find all match-ups for the entirety of round two, taking place tomorrow (all times CEST): 

10:00 - Kazakhstan Gambit Esports vs. China TyLoo
11:30 - China UYA vs. United States Counter Logic Gaming
13:00 - Europe FaZe Clan vs. Brazil Immortals
14:30 - Denmark Astralis vs. Denmark North
16:00 - France G2 Esports vs. Europe HellRaisers
17:30 - Sweden Fnatic vs. CIS Natus Vincere
19:00 - Sweden Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. Korea MVP Project
20:30 - Poland Virtus.pro vs. Brazil SK Gaming

Headline image courtesy of Natus Vincere

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Aleksei “Aleksei.L” Louchnikov
<p>Former CS:GO Section Editorial Lead at GosuGamers.net. Contact - @Aleksei_Lushni/[email protected]</p>

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