ESL Pro League Match of the Day - 10/17
the first day of ESL Pro League has concluded and we are onto the second, this time taking a look at a game taking place on the NA side of the online league. As of right now, we have two underdogs leading the way in NA, Renegades and Ghost, as well as suspected favorites MIBR coming in close behind. The first day of NA matches ended with quite a few 2-0s, however today's games are looking to be much more competitive. Especially with some of the best teams in the league facing off.
Ghost vs Renegades
This is definitely going to be one of the best match-ups of the week. Both teams have been dominating the EPL season so far, and RNG are coming from a 5-8th place finish at StarSeries. The young Australian team went out 0-2 to OpTic in the quarter finals, but it was still an impressive run nonetheless. Especially given the little time Renegades actually had played with this roster together. At the time of writing this, they have yet to lose a single game in the online league, with three easy 2-0 wins against Rogue, compLexity, and eUnited. So far they are definitely beginning to make a name for themselves and for Ghost this creates the perfect opportunity to prove just how serious and prepared they are to compete for a spot at the EPL finals. Ghost will be looking to put a stop to the Australian team, and they are definitely the most likely candidate in the NA scene to do so. The team is currently 7-1 and will be looking to continue to plow through the competition with their second round of matches for the week. They have had by far the most impressive wins of any team in NA thus far, defeating both NRG, EnVyUs, and MIBR with ease before losing a map against eUnited. This is definitely going to be a close series and both teams will be looking to assert their dominance over the scene with these two games.
The first game of the series is on Train, a map that Ghost have proven to be very good at playing with their new roster. So far the team is 7-2 and have looked incredibly comfortable on the map. The one worry I have for the NA team is that they have yet to show us their subpar skill and knowledge of Train against a legitimately competitive team. They’ve been able to take out some of the better teams in NA, compLexity, Rogue, and eUnited, with relative ease and even came close to beating NiP a few months ago. However NiP is basically the only none NA team the Americans have faced. Their only concerning game on the map so far was against Swole Patrol, who they lost against 14-16 during the StarSeries Qualifier. Luckily for Ghost, assuming that history is anything to go by, Train is not a map that the Australian scene is known for. In fact looking at this lineup, the only player who comes from a team whose had consistent success on the map is Jay 'liazz' Tregillgas. Renegades have yet to play Train with their new lineup, so it is impossible to judge what they have in store for us tomorrow.Which is what makes this match so dangerous, Ghost have nothing to really go by to prepare for the Australians on the map. Especially since they’ve only been together a few weeks and if they aren't careful with how they play, Renegades could catch them by surprise. At the end of the day, solely based on their experience and success on the map, Ghost should be able to take the W on Train.
The second game of the day between these two will be Cache, a map that we have only seen Renegades play once since making changes to their roster. A win against Imperial at StarSeries just last week. Showing off a dominante CT side, as well as wins on both pistol rounds. The core three of the team, Justin 'jks' Savage, Aaron 'AZR' Ward, Joakim 'jkaem' Myrbostad, had a pretty decent start to the year on Cache. With numerous wins against teams like Liquid, compLexity, and HellRaisers they actually looked fairly confident and the team was 19-9 before making changes to their roster. Now that Sean 'Gratisfaction' Kaiwai and Jay 'liazz' Tregillgas have joined the roster, Renegades approach to the map will obviously be slightly different but I am fairly confident that the two youngsters will be able to pull their weight and have learned a few trick or two to keep the team a float. Especially since Ghost have only played the map three times over the course of roughly four months. All three of these ended as wins, but the only one that was really worth paying attention to was their win against MIBR last week. They blew the team out of the water with a 16-6 victory, a shocking result considering how well the #4 team in the world has done outside of their match up against Ghost. Despite this amazing win against MIBR, I still feel confident that the Australian team will be taking the second map of this series. It is obvious they've been putting in a lot of work and will be trying their hardest to prove they can take on anybody who comes their way in this season of EPL. Especially if Ghost win the first map, I find it highly unlikely that Renegades will let them get away with a 2-0.