The Good Game League Finals are about to kick off in Poznan, Poland. Will G2 continue their hot streak or will someone else claim the title?
G2 are coming off a deep run at the ESL Pro League Finals and will be looking to convert their good form into a win at the Good Game League Finals in Poland. Read on as we break down all you need to know about the tournament.
The finals for the Good Game League is about to get underway in Poznan, Poland. The qualifying process, which included open and closed qualifiers as well as four offline stages has now determined which eight teams will be participating at the finals in Poznan. Teams like G2, HellRaisers and GamerLegion have made it through and will battle it out for the €100,000 prize pool.
The Good Game League was founded in 2017 and has gradually grown in size since then. The first edition was a local tournament with a modest prize pool of 8,000 PLN (around $2000) which Pompa Team Yellow was able to take down. The tournament organizers stepped it up for the following season, upping the prize pool to 100,000 PLN (around $27,000). The larger prize pool attracted teams from outside of Poland such as Valiance, Windigo and Fragsters. However, it was the Polish side x-kom that was able to bring home the bacon after taking down HUNDEN’s ALTERNATE aTTaX in the final. Neither of these teams will be in attendance this time around, however, HUNDEN will be hoping to improve on last year’s second-place finish under the banner of Tricked.
The format for the competition will be a familiar one. There will be two double-elimination (GSL) groups of four and the top two teams in each group will advance to the finals. The opening matches will be best-of-one but the remainder of the matches will be best-of-three — including the final.
This will be a two-day event. The group stage will be kicking off July 13 and the entire playoffs including the final will be played the following day, July 14.
HellRaisers made some big changes to their roster after their star AWPer woxic was inevitably poached by mousesports back in April. The move saw oskar go the other way, as he returns to HellRaisers whom he represented back in 2015–2016. In addition, HellRaisers chose to let go of HObbit and DeadFox in favor of loWel and nukkye — two players who have improved a lot in the past year. The newly formed roster has struggled against top tier competition, but they will be going up against a far weaker field this time around. They have one of the strongest AWPers in the competition in oskar, and a young and hungry trio of riflers spearheaded by loWel who has really revitalized his career after being dropped by mousesports in 2017. As such, they will deservedly be among the favorites for the title.
GamerLegion recently announced the acquisition of dennis, who was dropped by NiP earlier this month. The move sees the departure of Ex6TenZ who was the in-game leader for the team. It is likely that hampus will be the one to take over the reins as the in-game leader as he has some experience doing so for teams like GODSENT and Red Reserve in the past.
GamerLegion might just have one of the most skillful rosters in the competition with aimers like ScreaM and dennis, not to mention nawwk who is one of the most exciting young AWPers coming out of Europe in recent times. Don’t expect a deep playbook coming out of GamerLegion, but they have enough skill to go up against just about anyone.
The Danish side Tricked led by HUNDEN will be returning to action after their semi-final exit to OpTic at DreamHack Open Summer. HUNDEN has done good things with this young roster, and players like b0RUP and Bubzkji are shining under his leadership. However, it was sjuush who stepped up to the plate and delivered big performances for the team at DreamHack Summer. Tricked might not have the star power of teams like G2, GamerLegion and HellRaisers. However, they are likely the most tactically proficient team in the competition and they will be a difficult opponent for just about anyone.
The Polish side Aristocracy will be the underdog of the group. They did have a good showing at DreamHack Summer, defeating Tricked and AVANGAR in groups to make it to playoffs off the back of a great performance from TaZ in particular. However, it needs to be said that all of those matches were BO1. With BO3s for the majority of the competition, their map pool will be tested this time around. The Poles have a solid record against Tricked, so they do have some upset potential yet again.
G2 are coming off a second place finish at ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals where they defeated the likes of FaZe and NRG en route to the final. kennyS, in particular, has been on fire lately and with the likes of shox, AmaNEk and JaCKz on the roster they have enough firepower to be a dangerous team even on the world stage. The competition will be far weaker at the Good Game League Finals so G2 are big favorites to take it down.
Virtus.pro have made several roster changes since the start of the year and with byali leaving the team, they have been forced to make yet another roster change. Former EURONICS player OKOLOCIOUZ was initially signed as his replacement, but Virtus.pro has opted to bench him after a month of poor results. Instead, the former AGO player phr will be standing in for the team in the upcoming matches. The Poles have a solid roster on paper, with players such as MICHU, snatchie and Snax. However, the results have been underwhelming, to say the least.
The international roster of Epsilon will be making their first LAN appearance after losing k1to to Sprout last month. This was the second time just this year that Epsilon was poached, with star player blameF signing for Heroic back in January. With k1to leaving the team, Epsilon have chosen to pick up the Swedish rifler kreaz in his place. The Swede has had stints on teams like Chaos and Tempo Storm, but he is probably more known for his play in Faceit Pro League. It’s hard to expect much from Epsilon, but they do have some upset potential in BO1s as we saw in Charleroi where they beat both G2 and GamerLegion to make it to playoffs.
The big underdog of the competition will be Winstrike. They have been in really poor form after picking up Edward from NaVi just over a month ago. Their only wins so far have come against pashaBicep’s Youngsters as well as Kazahk side SE7EN, with losses against the likes of Warthox and Syman in the CIS minor qualifiers. They do have some exciting players such as El1an and n0rb3r7, but the latter has struggled ever since Edward and bondik joined the roster. They are probably capable of a BO1 upset, but it is hard to expect more than that considering their recent form.
There is one name that stands above else, and that is G2. However, if you want to take them in the outright market your potential payout will be limited since their odds accurately reflect their position as the tournament favorite.
Last time we saw them in a tournament with a similar level of competition was at DreamHack Tours and Charleroi Esports, where they were forced to grind their way through the lower bracket to make playoffs after losing to Epsilon and FrenchFrogs respectively in the BO1 opening matches. G2 failed to win both those tournaments, after losing to Vitality and Valiance. However, it needs to be said that no teams at the GGL finals hold a candle to Vitality or Valiance, so their chances of winning are far better this time around.
Their biggest threat for the title resides in Group A in my opinion, as teams like HellRaisers, GamerLegion and Tricked all have enough skill or tactical knowhow to pose a threat to them. However, their record against these teams has been excellent since AmaNEk joined the roster, with lopsided wins against both HellRaisers and GamerLegion in BO3s. All things are pointing towards a G2 win here, but they are certainly not a team immune to getting upset as we have seen in the past.