ESL One Katowice’s first day of group stage games concluded yesterday, with some of the teams expected to make the playoffs suddenly in danger of being eliminated.
Newbee, Evil Geniuses, Mineski, and even Team Liquid find themselves in the lower bracket, thanks in part to the best-of-one format of these early rounds. Should these teams fail to get past their matchups in the lower bracket, they will lose their shot at the title after just two days of competition.
EG in particular could not break away from their struggles in the Pro Circuit as of late, dropping their game against LGD Gaming after just 26 and a half minutes. LGD’s star player Lu “Somnus丶M” Yao stopped EG dead in their tracks, thanks to an 11-0 performance on Dragon Knight.
On the flipside, Vici Gaming, LGD, and even Team Kinguin should be commended for keeping their cool under the pressure that best-of-one matches typically put on the underdogs. While VG and LGD advancing in the upper bracket wasn’t much of a surprise, Kinguin’s victory over Newbee was mighty impressive to say the least.
The offlane matchup between Natan “Exotic_Deer” Michaelewicz and Damien “kpii” Chok was the highlight of the day. Exotic_Deer asserted absolute dominance over kpii as Kinguin’s safelane Nature’s Prophet, using his summons to win the deny battle and ultimately gain a two-level advantage over his opponent.
These results set VG up for a match against Virtus Pro, Team Secret against LGD, and Fnatic against Kinguin in the upper bracket. Down below, Mineski will face OG, Liquid will go up against OpTic Gaming who eliminated their North American rivals compLexity Gaming yesterday. Infamous will go against EG, and Newbee will fight for survival against Natus Vincere.
The action at ESL One Katowice continues today at 7am ET.