Preview of FACEIT Major: London 2018
Twenty four teams, three stages and one million dollars on the line – the CS:GO major by FACEIT is starting today in London with its opening stage The New Challengers.
The opening stage will be held on September 5-9 and feature sixteen participating teams, half of which qualified from the regional minors – Ninjas in Pyjamas, compLexity Gaming, HellRaisers, Renegades, OpTic Gaming, Rogue, Team Spirit and TyLoo, while the other half of participants includes teams that placed 8-16 at the ELEAGUE Major – Gambit Esports, Vega Squadron, Space Soldiers, BIG, Astralis, Team Liquid, North and Virtus.pro. These teams will compete in a Swiss system format, with round 1 to 4 being best-of-one and round 5 being best-of-three. Top eight teams will advance to the next stage. The opening matches look as follows (UK Time):
- 11:30 AM – Space Soldiers vs Rogue
- 12:30 PM – Virtus.pro vs Ninjas in Pyjamas
- 1:00 PM – Gambit Esports vs TyLoo
- 2:30 PM – BIG vs Renegades
- 4:00 PM – Vega Squadron vs Team Spirit
- 5:30 PM – North vs HellRaisers
- 7:00 PM – Team Liquid vs OpTic Gaming
- 8:30 PM – Astralis vs compLexity Gaming
In the next stage that will take place on September 12-16 (The New Legends) eight best teams from the opening stage will face top eight finishers of the previous major, among which are Cloud9, FaZe Clan, Natus Vincere, MIBR, mousesports, Winstrike Team, G2 Esports, and Fnatic. It will feature the same format as the opening stage, with only eight teams advancing to the playoffs, while the other half of the teams will be eliminated.
The final stage is called New Champions and will take place on September 20-23. Eight teams will compete in a single-elimination playoffs bracket with all matches, including the Grand Final, being best-of-three.
Although Astralis placed 12th at the previous major, they are still the most probable winners of the event. After the Danish team replaced Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye with Emil "Magisk" Reif in February, it managed to find its form and win whooping four premier LAN-events, including DreamHack Masters Marseille 2018, ESL Pro League Season 7 Finals, ESC Season 5 Finals and ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2018, which made them the strongest team in the world. The other two favorites of the event are FaZe Clan and Natus Vincere. FaZe Clan is simply a team that you expect to win as it has all these fantastic star player, though olofmeister returned to the main roster only few months ago and since then the team has been showing mixed results: they placed 7-8th at ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2018 and 5-8th at DreamHack Masters Stockholm 2018. Natus Vincere on the other hand have a stable roster for almost a year, this summer they emerged victorious at three LAN-events, including StarSeries Season 5, CS:GO Asia Championship, and ESL One: Cologne, but their performance at the latest event was not great as they placed 3rd-4th at ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2018 and 5-8th at DreamHack Masters Stockholm 2018.