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ELEAGUE: The Highlights of Group D

The fourth group of ELEAGUE didn't show the audience any sensational results, but it also can't be called the boring one. During the last week we were watching as fnatic, FaZe Clan, dignitas and TSM came together in a clash for the ticket to the Play-off stage, where, following the results of the previous matches, they are already awaited by Luminosity, NiP and Astralis.

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The legendary mixture is confidently kicking into gear 

It is worth noting, that in the list of the Group D's participants in group D we have finally witnessed the advantage of the European region: only 1 of 4 groups was the North American one. Each confrontation was truly spectacular, but only the strongest team has managed to approve the final victory.

The kings' return or the very end of the Luminosity's epoch

Olof «olofmeister» Kajbjer is back in the ranks, and with him — the real power of fnatic. This Swedish team had easily overcome the first test on ELEAGUE, having obtained a slot in the next stage of the championship. Recall that before the Kajbjer's injury, the Swedes had triumphed in seven LAN-tournaments in a row, showing an extremely good result.

The pause in Olof's career didn't affect his skills

It hasn't taken too much effort for fnatic to surpass each of their contenders. In the initial stage, the Swedes had proved to be stronger on 5 maps out of 6 games played [2:0] against TSM and dignitas; and the draw in the match with FaZe. It is worth mentioning, that before the loss out to the European squad on de_mirage [8:16], the Swedish team had smashed them on de_cobblestone [16:0] and it was the second game within the confines of ELEAGUE, where the team-winner has finished the match with a «whitewash» (the first one — Luminosity vs Renegades on de_train).

Following these results, fnatic had taken the first line of the standings and advanced to the Playoffs, where they had been already awaited by Team SoloMid in the semi-final confrontation. The North American team had managed to provide a real competition for their opponent, winning one map, but they still weren't strong enough to achieve any greater results. However, after all, de_mirage is the fnatic's «Achilles heel», so this defeat shouldn’t be such a great surprise.

In the final countering, the grand prize of which was a slot in the Playoffs, the Sweden had met with the FaZe Clan again. There, considering the previous mistakes, it had taken only two maps for fnatic to paragraph a decisive «bo3-series». Moreover, the Swedes on de_cobblestone were very close to the second [16: 0] in their favor, but FaZe had still managed to take a few rounds.

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fnatic will play in the prime stage of the tournament

Thus, fnatic have finished first in their group, not having faced any insurmountable obstacles. The results of some matches were quite close, but at the right moments the team from Sweden didn't lose confidence, bringing the meeting to a victorious end. Looking at the current game and the force of the fnatic's whole-team and individual performance, the Swedes can be considered the main contenders for the title of champion of the ELEAGUE’s first season.

FaZe Clan weren't strong enough

The second line of the Group D’s standings belongs to the European team — FaZe. The team, led by Robert «RobbaN» Dahlström, who has recently qualified for the next Major in Cologne, had proved to be able to show fairly strong performance in the opening match, but they hadn't enough stamina, needed for the final breakthrough in the game against the Swedes.

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KDR-rate of aizy after 11 maps — 1.17  

The results of FaZe Clan in the group stage were the same as the Swedish ones: confident [2: 0] in the countering against dignitas and TSM, as well as [1:1] in the confrontation with fnatic. However, due to the ratio of won and lost rounds, statistically, the Europeans happened to be worse, taking the second place.

In the next stage of the tournament they were expected by Team Dignitas, who previously had been unable to oppose the FaZe's decent opposition. As it turned out later, the Danes had been diligently preparing for the re-fight, so they happened to be perfectly able to take the revenge. However, a large number of errors and the lack of fortune had made the Danes stop on the verge of victory over FaZe Clan. [2:1] on the maps and, more importantly, [16:14] on the decisive card, had promoted the Europeans up through the tournament bracket.

In the final match FaZe had failed to avenge fnatic, giving in to the enemy on the both picks. And when the European squad had lost de_cache, it became quite clear that de_cobblestone didn't bode well. FaZe Clan had been defeated again, thus taking second place in Group D.

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kioShiMa wasn't the problem for FaZe

However, the European team still has enough points, so that we'll be able to see them in the LCQ. Still, it won't be an easy task for them to gain the upper hand there, but if FaZe Clan brace up, they will have all the chances to succeed there.

dignitas leave ELEAGUE

The Danish team, which, like FaZe, hadn't managed to gain a participant's slot in the ESL One Cologne 2016, showed not the best game during the last match-week on ELEAGUE. Recall that recently, Team Dignitas have concluded a bilateral agreement with Astralis, which resulted in the switch of Markus «Kjaerbye» Kjærbye and Rene «cajunb» Borg in the line-ups of the above teams.

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cajunb is able to lead dignitas to the new attainments

The group stage of the championship hadn't shaped well for the Danes. Firstly, Team Dignitas were defeated [0:2] in the matches with FaZe Clan and fnatic, after which they had to face TSM. In this confrontation, which had decided the fate of the third place, the Danish team had showed a strong CS, defeating the Americans with a score of [2:0].

Because of this, dignitas had advanced to the Playoffs on more favorable terms. Avoiding the meeting with fnatic, the Danish team had fought against FaZe in the second semifinal match. On the first and second maps the Danes had lost the first half twice, then taking the path of a comeback. However, only de_overpass had eventually expanded the assets of Team Dignitas. Contrary to the equal fight on de_mirage, the Danish squad had failed to finish the started and gave in to the enemy with a minimal advantage [14:16].

And now, because of the small number of points, dignitas had become the first European team who leaves ELEAGUE. Many factors had an impact on the bad performance of the Danes. However, probably, the most important of them is an individually weak performance of Mathias «MSL» Lauridsen. Captain of Team Dignitas hadn't been capable to improve his personal effectiveness a long period of time that has a bad influence on the competitiveness of his team.

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MSL is slowing down the Team Dignitas' development 

The fate of the dignitas’ roster, most likely, will be decided by the results of their performance on ESL One Cologne 2016. Will the line-up be left the same, or will it face any drastic changes? The answers to these questions will be known in the nearest future. Now, Team Dignitas are taking 15-18th place on ELEAGUE, gaining the size of $30,000.

Quite an expected fiasco of Team SoloMid

The North American team had failed to make a splash, finishing the last in Group D. However, should be noted the persistence of the TSM's countering. In each of the games the Americans had shown the maximum of their abilities, but still not successful. Even the experience of Casper «cadiaN» Møller, who was playing for Team SoloMid as a temporary replacement of Russel «Twistzz» Van Dulken, wasn't enough for the victorious results.

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cadiaN has played in the TSM's roster for a second time

The way of the North American mixture to the last line of the standings has started from the group stage. There, in the frameworks of three «bo2-confrontations», Team SoloMid didn't win a single victory, losing each of the played maps (FaZe, fnatic, dignitas). Thereafter, in the Playoffs, the Americans had met the Swedish team. TSM were fighting quite worthy, but their efforts were not sufficient to best over the Swedes.

Despite the victory on the enemy’s pick — de_mirage — Team SoloMid had failed to succeed on the «decider-map» and, as a result, had finished their performance on ELEAGUE. However, the North American team has shown that they have enough potential and over time they will manage to take the honorary place in the ranking of the «top teams» of their region.

TSM still have an opportunity to achieve good results in the upcoming tournaments, including LAN-finals of the first ECS season. There, together with Russel «Twistzz» Van Dulken in their roster, Team SoloMid have to bring «A» game, showing the CS-community that they definitely have a future. Whatever it was, the North American team is leaving the first season of ELEAGUE, occupying 19-24th place.

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The fight for the main prize is still «on air»!

Those were the results of the past match-week. In a few days, from the 21st of June, will start the matches among the Group E: Natus Vincere, mouseposrts, FlipSid3.ESP and EchoFox. Stay tuned on starladder.com and you'll be the first to know the names of the teams, who will gain the victory in the upcoming fights on ELEAGUE.

photo and video: hltv.org Ilya «EllanarkJesus» Chabeletz specially for starladder.com
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