We’re only days away from the IOS Pantamera CS:GO Tournament set at Inferno Online in Stockholm and with the cream of the crop in professional Counter-Strike attending, this will be the first real showdown to determine the favorite team going into the next Valve Major, ESL One Katowice.
With an impressive prize pool of $27,000, it’s not hard to see why all the top tier organizations gladly accepted their invitations to the event. Starting early Saturday morning, the invitees will battle it out in a Round Robin format with a victor crowned at the end of the day. Let’s take a look at the top 3 contenders to take the win.
This French team is packed full of star players and with people like Richard “Shox” Papillon, who on his peaks can be considered the best in the world and Vincent “Happy” Cervoni who has shown he’s equally good at fragging as he is at in-game leading, EnVyUs is arguably the best CS:GO team in the world right now. With a 1st place at both Dreamhack Winter and MLG X-Games in Aspen, the former LDLC line-up is a strong contender to win the upcoming Pantamera event.
Ninjas in Pyjamas
With consistent top placements in nearly every tournament they’ve ever participated in, we’ve all learned that the Ninjas are always, and I really mean always a team to be reckoned with. Having suffered a dip in performance in autumn of 2014 which called for a change, we saw Mikail “Maikelele” Bill stepping in as the main awper for the team. Considering the short amount of practice time prior to the last Valve event of the year, Dreamhack Winter, the Ninjas landed an impressive 2nd place while once again establishing themselves as a strong contender in every tournament going forward. And while 2014 ended on a strong note, 2015 began on an even stronger one with a runner-up placement at MLG Aspen and a 1st place title at the finnish ASUS ROG event. Yes, LDLC (now EnVyUs) has beaten them twice now, but the Ninjas have a way of finding their opponents weaknesses and exploiting them to the fullest. Don’t be surprised to see NiP in the grand final come Saturday.
The swedish powerhouse Fnatic has been a strong actor in professional Counter-Strike for many years now and with the pickup of former Epsilon squad (JW, flusha etc.), the organization had a real shot at reaching the top in CS:GO as well. With a win at Valve’s first major in 2013, Fnatic ended the year with bang only to fall off quite heavily in the first months of the coming one. A change had to be made and so Olof “Olofm” Kajbjer and Freddy “Krimz” Johansson joined in to redeem the situation. Said and done, Fnatic dominated in late 2014 and were considered favorites in pretty much every tournament they attended. Though unable to maintain their momentum going into Dreamhack Winter 2014 as well as MLG Aspen, Fnatic is still to be considered dangerous and on a good day, the young Swedes can destroy pretty much anything thrown at them.
Other teams invited are Titan, Virtus.Pro and LGB eSports. Don’t miss out on the action this Saturday as every match is likely to display a level of Counter-Strike rarely seen outside of World Championships.
Written by Petter Nilsson