With the heavily anticipated Northern Arena LAN Finals only days away, it’s high time we take a look at what the group stages will have to offer. The teams have been divided into Groups A-D, with two teams emerging from each group via a double-elimination bracket. It’s set to be a bloody showdown, but who will come out on top?
Group A – Immortals, CLG, NRG, Synthetik
This group is comprised of teams that all have something to prove. Immortals are out to show the world that anything is possible – even to the point where it’s possible to be swiftly defeated by a team with a manager on the roster! Breaking through the lower levels of competition quite smoothly, Immortals are looking to remind us that SK are not the only dominant Brazilian squad out there.
CLG and NRG are both teams dragging themselves through a slew of roster changes and will be competing to see which team has adapted better to their respective changes. CLG taking a chance on Subroza and Nahte shows commitment to starting a new trend in NA-CS; however, the short time period that these two newcomers have been with CLG may prove to be their downfall. Synthetik have dominated the ESEA-Open and local competition in the past months, qualifying for a chance to compete against these eSports giants. As the clear underdog, it will be interesting to see if the team can collectively take their game to the next level and make their matchups interesting.
Group B – TSM, OpTic, Echo Fox, Luminosity
Northern Arena’s group of death, any combination of these rosters could emerge from the group stage victorious. Echo Fox have been extremely hot as of late, playing some of the most successful Counter-Strike the organisation has ever been able to lay claim to. TSM and OpTic have both made very recent roster changes and again, a swift transition and adaptation period from either lineup will be key for their success.
OpTic’s added firepower seems to give them favourite status in this group, but matches will certainly go right down to the wire if all competitors bring their A-game. Of course, Luminosity’s newly acquired lineup will look to follow its Brazilian brethren and surprise their competition.
Group C – Cloud 9, Team Rogue, Complexity, Ace Gaming
This group may be the only one with a clear favourite in that of Cloud 9. Though the team has been struggling for some time to reclaim the NA-CS throne they once held, their raw talents are undeniably going to place stress on any opponent this tournament can offer up. Team Rogue is aptly named in this group and tournament alike; the team is packed full of great experience on some of the biggest stages the game has ever seen. They seem to be getting off to a great start in their leagues and their work ethic is fantastic.
Expect Team Rogue to stand a good chance in any match they play at Northern Arena. Complexity is highly talented, but the lack of leadership that has plagued them for some time will continue to be an obstacle the team must avoid. Ace Gaming won their place in this event by shredding their opponents in the Call of the North Qualifiers, but with Subroza leaving for CLG the team will need to dig deep if they want to make an impact in this group.
Group D – Team X, Winterfox, Selfless, Splyce
This group shares a number of resemblances with Group B, primarily in the sense that any combination of these teams could be the ones coming out on top; however, this time for different reasons. Team X have been off to a surprisingly hot start in their league matches, Winterfox have just signed their new and unproven lineup, Selfless have been getting better and better but just barely falling short of the consistency they need.
Meanwhile, Splyce have been grabbing up talents from all four corners of the globe will surely make this group a spectacle to watch. This group is a spectators dream and an analyst’s nightmare. Look for Splyce to surprise early and Winterfox to make viewers see the organisation in a new light.
Northern Arena is going to get hyped!