The first day of Counter-Strike's PGL Major Krakow 2017 tournament has come to a close. It was one for the books, with most matches being decided within just four rounds. There was even an overtime in one of the biggest matches of the day, kicking up the heat to get the show started.
Although there were a lot of big things that happened during the day, below we'll go over the best highlights.
The Top Players
The top performing player of the day was none other than SK Gaming's coldzera. Winner of HLTV's Best Player of 2016 Award, he's continuing to make an argument for winning such an accolade a second time. We saw him hit incredible AWP and rifle shots, and have high impact 2K and 3K rounds frequently that played a big part in his team's victory.
Below were the top players of each match:
Astralis vs Immortals
Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen: 32 - 23, 95.7 ADR
BIG vs FaZe
Johannes "tabseN" Wodarz: 23-13, 100.1 ADR
Cloud 9 vs North
Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert: 26-16, 103.4 ADR
fnatic vs FlipSid3
Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer: 22-20, 98.8 ADR
G2 vs Na'vi
Aleksander "s1mple" Kostyliev: 30-20, 100.5 ADR
Gambit vs mousesports
Abay "HObbit" Khasenov: 18-16, 89.5 ADR
SK Gaming vs PENTA
Marcelo "coldzera" David: 35-15, 121.4 ADR
Virtus.pro vs Vega Squadron
Jaroslaw "pashaBiceps" Jarzabkowski: 18-12, 115 ADR
Cloud 9 Makes North America Proud
After a rough pistol round, Cloud 9 fought with a vengeance against North on de_mirage. Finishing with a 16-12 scoreline, the game was in Cloud 9's control most of the time.
North's greatest tragedy was its T-side mid executes. They were frequent, and in many cases not timed well enough to storm A-site. A few rounds were decided once a player or two got locked down in connector, and it was a bit of a mess.
Interestingly enough, North had most of the big highlights of the game, including Magisk's 4K pistol at B site. However, Cloud 9 walked away with the most popular highlight of the match when skadoodle nearly 1v5'd the entire team with an AWP. Seen above, it came close to being one of the greatest clutch aces in the history of Counter-Strike, causing Twitch chat to erupt with energy. If only he didn't step through the smoke. He'll probably have nightmares about that decision, but even then his reputation as being a top AWPer in the world was justified during the moment.
Although Cloud 9 is not quite out of the Group Stage yet, it appears a North American team might actually be able to make a run for the quarterfinals. Wouldn't that be nice.
Virtus.pro Shows No Mercy for Vega Squadron
Listen, we take our hats off to Vega Squadron for making it to this tournament, but it's a young team that has a long way to go before it can compete consistently against the big boys.
Virtus.pro was savage in this match up, showing no mercy on de_nuke where it's known to be strong. Vega Squadron never quite got into a groove, and struggled to execute on T-side in a way that was upsetting to watch. It almost seemed like everything it tried didn't work, no matter how unpredictable or well-timed.
Admittedly, Virtus.pro had a massive advantage on the map, but Vega Squadron had ample opportunity to veto de_nuke. Lesson learned.
Both Snax and pasha looked great in particular. Virtus.pro that has some great success this year, and it might just be able to make a big run at PGL.
Immortals Almost Upsets the Reigning Champs
Given that Astralis won the last CS: GO major, it's safe to say that it's the team to beat at PGL 2017. Immortals seems to have prepared adequately for an encounter with such a foe, making a comeback from a 9-14 deficit to head to overtime. It was a great thing to see, especially when key rounds were won and the team was hyped for the cameras.
Unfortunately for Immortals, Astralis played tight in overtime. While it was uncharacteristically aggressive during the second half, it was disciplined throughout the six rounds of overtime, demonstrating why it's a force to be reckoned with.
The big thing to note from this match is gla1ve showed up big time. As the newest member of the team, there's a lot of pressure on him to carry his own weight. With an 86.9 ADR, he was a big reason for Astralis' success. Good on him.
FlipSid3 Refuses to Give fnatic an Easy W
For anyone who enjoys rooting for underdogs, FlipSid3 was a team to support during day one. With a team of lesser known talent and far less historical success than its monstrous competitor, fnatic, some were expecting a blowout.
However, that just wasn't the case. FlipSid3 managed to make it a relatively close game, ending up at 12-16 when all was said and done.
electronic and B1ad3 in particular were the two players who ensured fnatic didn't run away with an easy win. As a result, the team earned some newfound respect from members of the community who expected the game to be a bloodbath.
We can't wait to see what FlipSid3 does tomorrow.
s1mple Almost Carries Na'vi to Victory
The Na'vi vs G2 game was probably the most eventful of the day. Played on de_overpass, the game was close throughout, in many cases with results dictated by which team was better with its utility.
We always enjoy watching s1mple for his aggressive style of play and virtuoso talent, and this was yet another one to remember. He ended up well outperforming everyone else in the match. Yet, it wasn't enough, as Na'vi lost by a single round.
This match has justified concern for GuardiaN's current level of play, but Na'vi still looked strong. G2 just looked better.
After seeing how disciplined these two teams are, we have a feeling both of these teams will make it out of the Group Stage. How far they'll go from there is anyone's guess.
That's it for today's highlights. Tomorrow's schedule is already locked-in, and can be seen below.
- 02:00 - PENTA vs. North
- 03:30 - mousesports vs. FaZe
- 05:00 - FlipSid3 vs. Natus Vincere
- 06:30 - Immortals vs.Vega Squadron
- 08:00 - BIG vs. Cloud9
- 09:30 - Gambit vs. G2
- 11:00 - SK vs. Astralis
- 12:30 - Virtus.pro vs. fnatic