A look at the teams for ESL One Cologne: Part 3 – mousesports
mousesports is a team who much like Cloud9 have made a lot of roster changes from the signing of gob b in January to acquiring the PENTA trio of nex, Spiidi and denis in May.
Due to PENTA at ESL One Katowice 2015 finished 5-8 the signing of the former PENTA players secured a Legend spot at ESL One Cologne.
While there is a lot of information to look at the focus will be from the signing of nex, Spiidi and denis, since it makes the most sense in order to get a picture of the team.
While the result at ESL ESEA Pro League looks fairly disappointing it isn’t, as the first match was on the day that the trio changed PENTA to mousesports, and their first match was against PENTA. Looking at the results stretching that matchup till the end 8 weeks later you can spot an improvement, so while their rank was heavily affected by the initial change and changeup in positions, communication and approach it is not a result that should be put any weight onto.
The first real test of the new mousesports lineup was at GFINITY Masters Summer 1 where they ended in a group with EnVyUs, Virtus.pro and Cloud9, and with the format being Bo3 nobody expected them to get out of the group. Their first match was against Virtus.pro who mousesports won 22:20 (Cobblestone), 16:5 (Cache). Second match was against EnVyUs, who won 16:6 (Dust2), 12:16 (Cache), 16:9 (Cobblestone). This meant that yet again they would face Virtus.pro, but once again mousesports was able to edge out a win 15:19 (Dust2), 16:13 (Mirage), 22:20 (Train) while it was a lot closer than their previous game it was also a chance to see mousesports being strong on several maps. In the semi-final they met Ninjas in Pyjamas, and after beating Virtus.pro twice it could be an interesting match, however, the Ninjas won quite convincingly 16:13 (Train), 16:2 (Dust2). As the first lan performance the mousesports lineup had shown that they had the aim and tactical approach to be team you had to take seriously. Interview from GFINITY.
CEVO Season 7: Professional was the next big lan event, however, with FNATIC, EnVyUs and Ninjas in Pyjamas pulling out the only major competition would be Cloud9, Natus Vincere and Virtus.pro.
mousesports won 16:10 (Dust2), 16:8 (Overpass) against Liquid, and also won quite convincingly over Cloud9 16:5 (Cache), 16:12 (Dust2). In the semi-final they met Natus Vincere, who they lost 16:9 (Overpass), 16:14 (Dust2), however, while their Overpass game was somewhat lackluster the Dust2 game was a really close game that could have gone either way, also watch nex’s aces, also take a look at this interview with gob b at CEVO if you want to get a better understanding of how mousesports works.
It would be fair to say that mousesports was on a rise, and at Acer Predator Masters, where the opponents would be Team SoloMid, Dignitas, HellRaisers, E-frag.net, KILLERFISH, PENTA and SK Gaming. It was expected that Team SoloMid would win the event, however, after losing to E-frag.net and to HellRaisers then mousesports looked like a clear favorite.
mousesports first game was against PENTA, which they won 16:7 (Overpass), 19:15 (Cache), and then smashing SK Gaming 16:5 (Train), 16:5 (Dust2). In the upper final they faced E-frag.net who they beat narrowly 16:7 (Overpass), 11:16 (Cache), 16:14 (Dust2) and they were in the final. It was a Bo7 final against HellRaisers where mouesports had a map advantage and could ban out their weakest map Inferno, as well as HellRaisers had just played a close Bo3 against E-frag.net. It was a really entertaining final who went the distance to all maps, but HellRaisers edged out a win 12:16 (Cache), 16:9 (Dust2), 14:16 (Overpass), 16:13 (Train), 16:10 (Cobblestone), 16:10 (Mirage) result, while it was quite disappointing from mousesports point of view, it must be said that it was an utterly ridicules display from HellRaisers, and they played above and beyond what they normally would, as well as nex being absent on most of the maps.
The last event that mousesports played was IEM Extreme Masters Season X – gamescom, and the event had a quite different format with lives, and as a spectator it was very enjoyable to watch the teams make alliances and fun of those alliances. However, due to the way the maps was picked by the community, and that the matchups would be decided by the team who won the previous matchup it was hard for any of the teams to prepare for each other. In that sense it was a good display of how strong teams was on the different maps, and how well they adjusted to each other.
mousesports first opponent was Renegades, who they mauled 16:2 (Dust2), their next opponent was EnVyUs with the new lineup, which EnVyUs took 16:13 (Inferno), however, it must be said that mousesports never plays Inferno, so a it was a very respectable 16:13 score.
Team SoloMid was their next challenge, and with nex not being a factor in the game Team SoloMid won it 16:8 (Dust2).
Their next match against EnVyUs was a lot like their game against Team SoloMid with a 16:8 score again on Dust2, however, this time it was Spiidi who was underperforming heavily. moueseports was down to one live and was again playing EnVyUs and fighting for their survival in the tournament, and while it was a close 19:17 (Cache) it was EnVyUs who was victorious. It was perhaps not the strongest performance that mousesports displayed at IEM – gamescom, but it was not an utter disappointment either, and while the goal is to win losing does hold some value simply due to you know where your weaknesses lies.
mousesports have been steadily improving since the roster change, and when both chrisJ and nex are hitting their shots they are a really strong team coupled with the calling from gob b. What gob b may lack in the aim heavy department he makes up for in terms of tactics and calling, and with both Spiidi and denis also being capable fraggers, who can step up they are without a doubt a top10 team. Their main problem is that compared to e.g. FNATIC, EnVyUs, Team SoloMid they lack the sheer firepower to compete, and if just one from their lineup is not playing at their fullest they have little chance to be competitive in such a game.
While I do think that they will be even stronger at ESL One Cologne, so will most other teams, and they are a team which can ill afford one of their players to have a slight of day.
A positive for them will most likely be their map pool, aside from Inferno which they always ban, they are good on Train, Cache and Dust2, decent on Overpass, Cobblestone and Mirage.
I would be quite surprised if not mousesports finish at least 5-8th, and maybe even higher if everything clicks for them as a bit of luck with one of the top contenders Team SoloMid, FNATIC, EnVyUs and Virtus.pro gets upset and send home.
Links taken from HLTV.org and Liquipedia.