Upsets galore on Day One of ESL One New York - Upcomer
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We are just about done cleaning up the confetti off the floors of London, after the FACEIT Major. For some teams, they are back home and planning out their next moves. However, for some teams, they need to prepare for another week of Counter-Strike. Eight of the top teams in the world are back for more at ESL One New York. There are a few interesting storylines to follow, but let’s jump into the games for today between Team Liquid, Na’Vi, Gambit, FaZe CLan, G2 Esports, Fnatic, Mousesports and NRG Esports.

Gambit vs. Na’Vi

Gambit is starting ESL One New York on the right foot with an unlikely victory over Na’Vi.  The former Russian powerhouse is coming off of an abysmal Major performance. Also, they would announce the opening of transfer negotiations for their star, Abay “Hobbit” Khassenov. They were looking quite weak heading into New York. Meanwhile, Na’Vi is coming from the London Major Grand Finals. Granted, they would get swept by Astralis, but they were still one of the best teams at ESL One. The only worry for Na’Vi would be how quiet Aleksandrs1mple‘ Kostyliev was in the Finals.

Gambit shocks Na’Vi

Hobbit and co. would kick off the series with a brilliant half on Nuke, Gambit’s map pick. Hobbit would play this first half amazingly, landing himself eleven kills. Na’Vi wouldn’t be able to find a foothold on the map and would be overrun. They would gain some hope after winning the pistol round on their T side. However, Gambit would begin their stifling defense and shut down any attack from their opponents.

Again, Gambit would start well on their second map, Inferno, with a 7-0 round winning streak. Fortunately for Na’Vi fans, the CIS superteam would wake up via a s1mple and Ioann Edward” Sukhariev 2v3 win. This would push the momentum into Na’Vi’s favor, and they would reduce the deficit to 6-9 by halftime. Gambit’s T side would be incredibly weak, and they would end up losing the match 16-11.

Finally, Overpass would bring about the closest game of the three. Once more, Gambit would take an early lead with a 6-0 opening streak. Na’Vi would, fortunately, take some rounds to lower the deficit to 5-10 at the half. Even though Na’Vi would find some rounds in the second half, Gambit would close out the map and series, 16-10. Nikolaymir‘ Bityukov was playing great, with 52 kills and a good 1.09 HLTV Rating. It looks like Na’Vi’s loss against Astralis may still be affecting their psyche.

Mousesports vs. Fnatic

Meanwhile, both Mousesports and Fnatic are coming from the London Major looking for redemption. They both had pretty lackluster showings, Mousesports even more so as they lost their invite to the next Major. However, Fnatic are also coming into ESL One New York with a new teammate. They would drop longtime member Robin “flusha” Rönnquist and replace him with Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom. Therefore, they will need to find some synergy once again.

Mouz take over

We would start off on Fnatic’s map choice, Inferno, where the first half would be very back and forth. Mousesports would end up taking over the last few rounds of the half, going into the second half with a narrow 8-7 lead. Fnatic would go back and forth with Mousesports on their CT side, until the last few rounds. They would end up locking down Inferno, winning it 16-12. ScreaM would have a great return to competitive play, leading the charge with 29 kills.

Mousesports would wrestle back control with a win on Train. However, through the first half, it was looking like Fnatic would take a 2-0. With a 10-5 lead going into the half, Fnatic were poised to take over with a quadra kill from Jesper “JW” Wecksell. However, after a brilliant triple kill from Janusz “Snax” Pogorzelski, Mouz would overwhelm Fnatic and force overtime. There, the two teams would battle it out, until a beautiful Molotov play from Tomáš “oskar” Šťastný would seal the deal and win the map.

Mirage would be a cakewalk for Mousesports, as they would crush their CT side with a smothering defense. The only three rounds Fnatic would win would be in the first half, as Mouz would end up steamrolling them, 16-3. Oskar would run rampant and net himself 75 kills through the three maps. The only positive Fnatic can take from this game is how well ScreaM would perform, leading the team in kills.

G2 Esports vs. FaZe Clan

G2 Esports would face off against FaZe Clan for the first day of ESL One New York. Again, both teams are looking a bit out of shape for this tournament as well. G2 Esports hasn’t been looking great in the second half of 2018, capping it off with an early exit from the London Major. Also, FaZe Clan has been looking for that elusive fourth premier tournament win for the Intel Grand Slam title. However, they have been finding it hard to get to any event Grand Finals. Still, FaZe would be the favorite heading into this matchup and for ESL One New York in general.

G2 stuns FaZe Clan in opener

FaZe would kick off Inferno with a bang, taking an early 6-2 lead on their CT side. After putting together a great string of rounds, G2 would reach the half barely losing with an 8-7 scoreline. However, the second half would prove to be much more competitive. First, G2 would take an early lead, pushing ahead 13-9. Afterward, FaZe would strike right back and tie the map up again. Fortunately for the French squad, they would be able to lock down their defenses, even with pistols. They would take Inferno by a close scoreline of 16-13.

FaZe would answer with an easy win on Mirage, off the back of Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer. He would help push FaZe to an early lead via a Glock triple kill, as well as a grenade double kill. With this lead, FaZe would not look back. They would take the map easily, 16-5, and would set up for a great third map on Cache. The final map would prove to be a hotly contested event, as momentum would sway every direction. First G2 would take the lead early in the match, only for it to switch over to FaZe. The topsy-turvy match would have them reach a 14-14 showdown, where G2 would finally close the door on FaZe and complete the upset.

Team Liquid vs. NRG Esports

This regional rivalry would shape up to be quite the heavyweight bout… for the first map at least. Team Liquid was coming from an impressive showing at the London Major, after placing fourth. However, that wasn’t good enough for the best team in North America. Liquid now aims to win ESL One New York as a consolation prize. Meanwhile, NRG is looking to continue their decent second half of 2018. They’ve already won IEM Shanghai and now they’re looking for a good showing in New York.

Team Liquid takes down NRG in three

The first match would actually be quite intense on Overpass, with both teams going back and forth. Vincent Brehze” Cayonte would lead the way, jumping NRG to a 7-3 lead. However, Team Liquid’s young, fiery star Russel Twistzz” Van Dulken would light a comeback. They would hit the half down 8-7, but in the second half, it would again be a seesaw. In the end, NRG would come out victorious with a 19-17 win. Brehze would power his team to victory, even through overtime, with an impressive 42 kills.

However, the next two maps, Dust2 and Mirage, would be all Team Liquid. It looks like the first map was all about shaking the cobwebs off for Team Liquid. Playing a full Major would take a toll on any team. Also, traveling would put a lot of strain on a player as well. In the second half of Dust2, Team Liquid would turn up the heat. In Mirage, it would not even be a close game. With Team Liquid playing at full strength again, NRG wouldn’t have a chance to come back. The firepower of Twistzz, JonathanEliGE” Jablonowski and in-game leader Nicknitr0” Cannella would be too much for NRG to handle. Team Liquid moves on to ESL One’s Winner’s Match against G2 Esports.

Elimination Match: Fnatic vs. Na’Vi

Finally, the last match of the day would be a battle between Fnatic and Major-finalists Na’Vi. Unfortunately, Fnatic were reeling from their earlier loss to Mousesports. Combine that with having a brand-new teammate, and it would not be a good time for the Swedish boys. Meanwhile, Na’Vi were making a show of it, first on Inferno, then on Train. Na’Vi’s firepower would come from a surprising source; DanyloZeus” Teslenko would be leading the team in kills when the final round ended.

It is an unfortunate but expected result for Fnatic, who is fielding ScreaM as an almost last-second stand-in. It will be hard for any player to adapt to a team’s playstyle in such short notice. Additionally, they were going up against a Na’Vi that is hungry for success after losing to Astralis at the London Major Finals. Fnatic will be back, but they will definitely need some time. On the other hand, Na’Vi is looking stronger than ever and will be a favorite to win ESL One New York, once again.

What do you think of day one of ESL One New York? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. If you want more coverage of ESL One New York, check us out here!