The groups have recently been announced for Gfinity's second Spring Masters for Counter Strike: Global Offensive! 10 exceptionally talented teams are congregating on London from all corners of the globe, to battle it out with one another in the hopes of attaining the title of Gfinity Champions as well as a slice of the $50,000 prize pool on offer. Tickets are available now to catch the event live this weekend in London, at Gfinity's own arena.
We recently discussed Group A in depth, consisting of FNATIC, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Team Liquid, Natus Vincere and Vox Eminor. Group B is very similar structurally, with both a North American and Australian squad joining three highly competitive upper echelon European lineups. Team EnVy, Virtus.pro and Titan will battle it out alongside Cloud9 and Team Immunity for one of the two available spots to advance to bracket play. Let's take a look at the teams.
Happy - shox - NBK - SmithZz - kioShiMa
The Boys in Blue are the current Gfinity reigning champions, having beaten back NiP in the Spring Masters I to secure their title back in March. Now they're back and hoping to become back-to-back Gfinity title holders. EnVy are an exceptionally talented roster, bringing the best French players together in one place to form what can only be considered a title contender for every CS:GO major they attend. FNATIC are a constant thorn in their side, having knocked this roster out of tournament contention a total of 4 times in the past 3 months.
TaZ - Neo - pasha - Snax - byali
The Polish superstars placed 3rd at the last Gfinity Spring Masters event without their full roster - that's the only piece of information needed to know that this lineup is dangerous. Virtus.pro are one of the most entertaining to watch in the world, with pure ability speckled with occasional inconsistency making them a risky gamble at any event. If they're playing well the Poles will be able to beat back any roster, with emerging victorious and banking $70,000 recently at ESEA having done wonders for their confidence. Virtus are a fearsome prospect to face this weekend.
kennyS - Maniac - RpK - apEX - Ex6TenZ
Titan joins Team EnVy as the second primarily French quintet to be placed in Group B, and they're definitely no less a threat than the Boys in Blue. Despite this, Titan haven't exactly enjoyed the results they would generally be hoping for recently, with wildly sporadic finishes from Top 16 to 1st in the past 3 months. Whether they can stabilise in time for this weekend will decide how their tournament campaign plays out.
n0thing - sgares - Skadoodle - Shroud - fREAKAZOiD
Skadoodle and fREAKAZOiD are recent additions to this Cloud9 outfit, having only joined during the tail-end of April. It's unknown how negatively this will affect them thus far, but regardless of recent changes they're one of the best forces that the United States can put together to battle the often dominant Europeans. Shaky recent performances will force this team down in the predictions of many.
SnypeR - Rickeh - emagine - James - USTILO
Team Immunity are the second Australian team in attendance this weekend alongside Vox Eminor, and they're also often considered the second best from that region as a whole. Unfortunately, a lack of practise against others in their group and an often disappointing finish when placed against international teams could cost this squad dearly if they're not careful.
Team Immunity and Cloud9 will likely have a very rough weekend in store for them, to be honest. These are good teams, sure, but they're not Team EnVy good. They're not Virtus.pro good. I highly doubt that even with the performance of their lifetimes either of these outfits can snatch victory away from the three European rosters they face in Group B. Advancement for either would be a miracle.
We once again see parallels with the way that I expect Group A to play out - with the real battle being between the three titans (pardon my French) from Europe. I expect Team EnVy to be the safest bet to book one of the two spots to progress further, with their incredibly meticulous play and brilliantly impressive track record providing them the prestige they need to instill confidence in all supporters. It'd be worrying to see the reigning Gfinity champions fail to escape from groups, as well.
That leaves one space, and two insanely competitive Counter Strike squads to vye for it.
Despite Titan being such a force when they want to be, able to do anything on the day if things go their way, my money is on Virtus to take it. They may be somewhat inconsistent as of late, but when this team does perform to the level they're able, exceptional feats are not only possible but probable. Virtus.pro has a good track record at Gfinity events as well, having placed in the top 3 at both CS:GO tournaments and won the first (Gfinity 3). This will be a comfortable tournament to ease into with a high level of confidence, meaning that we're likely to see the very best from this Polish powerhouse.
That said, it's a bad idea to completely discount Titan. They could very well push through more prominent opposition and make a run to the final stages of the competition.
Advancing to Bracket Play
Team EnVy | Happy - shox - NBK - SmithZz - kioShiMa
Virtus.pro | TaZ - Neo - pasha - Snax - byali
Seeing any of Team EnVy, Virtus.pro or Titan securing one of the two spots and advancing is easily within the realm of possibility, seeing as the teams have such parity in talent with one another. Progression by either Cloud9 or Team Immunity will however be an upset of epic proportions - one which will build a lot of hype around either of those rosters if they do somehow manage it.
Gfinity is bringing Counter Strike: Global Offensive back to London with the Spring Masters II, taking place May 15-17th. Watch 10 of the world's top Counter Strike talent, including NiP, FNATIC and EnVy battle it out for $50,000 at Gfinity's London arena! More information on the event and tickets for purchase are available now.
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