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Charlotte Major Group Stage Key Takeaways: Day one

Day one held a ton of action and drama.

Photo via Ubisoft/@Kirill_Vision

Winners and Losers of the day

Winner: Astralis

Astralis has started their debut major tournament as the only team to win both of their opening games. While they came close to losing to Wolves with an eventual 8-7 scoreline, a following 7-2 victory over BDS put them back on track. 

They’re now excellently placed to win three more points from the Chiefs tomorrow as the Australian side lost to the two French sides today. This would put them up to eight points halfway through the tournament, with 10 points in the previous Six Majors being more or less enough to make it into the playoffs.

Winner: Europe

Following recent NA and LATAM tournament wins, Europe’s bar for success is notably lower than a few years ago. Nevertheless, three out of four teams sit in a top-two position, the most of any region, both G2 and Heroic lead the “group of death”, and Wolves were one round away from topping their group.

While no one team has run away with their groups like Astralis, Europe on the whole has been the best performers on day one. The lone exception from this was BDS suffering the region’s sole lousy result, a 2-7 loss to Astralis.

Loser: VPNs

While Brazil has managed to secure several excellent results, the most significant talking point of day one by far has been the surrounding the excessive ping w7m, FURIA, and oNe has been forced to play with, seemingly giving their opponents a significant advantage.

W7m has been the most vocal surrounding this issue as they sit with just two points in two games. Team Liquid, the top-seeded LATAM side, is the only BR6 roster playing on low ping and currently leads Group B.

Read more: Ping issue in the spotlight after first Brazilian performances from Mexico

Loser: Chiefs Esports Club

While CYCLOPS went one for one in their opening two games, both Dire Wolves and the Chiefs failed to earn a single point, while Elevate couldn’t attend the Six Major. While this sounds bad for APAC, it is still definitely recoverable for DW as they have only played one game and have three remaining. 

The Chiefs, meanwhile, lost in 4-7 and 5-7 scorelines to the Wolves and BDS, respectively and have yet even to play Group D’s leaders, Astralis. Tomorrow they’ll likely need to gain all six points from BDS and Astralis to just catch up to their main rivals.

Stat of the day

During day one only one of the top-10 players by kills-per-round played primarily Finka. 

While Finka has seemingly become a must-pick operator for all teams over the last few months owing to her grenades and very strong weapon, Jack "Doki" Robertson is the lone top fragger from day one’s competitions to primarily bring her on the attack. Ace, Twitch, Sledge, Iana, and Flores are the alternative attackers brought.

This is in stark contrast to the regional leagues where the NAL, EUL, and BR6 tournaments all saw multiple top-five fraggers play on Finka. 

Day two games to watch

10:30 EDT -- Team BDS vs Wolves Esports

After Astralis won both of their games and the Chiefs lost their two, the French derbies between BDS and Wolves may decide who finishes in second place in Group D.

10:30 EDT -- Heroic vs DarkZero Esports

Group C’s “group of death” has lived up to its billing as with one-third of games played, just two points split the four teams. Tomorrow will see two repeated games from today -- DZ vs w7m and Heroic vs G2 -- and two new meetings -- Heroic vs DZ and w7m vs G2. With DZ and Heroic both on two points and the first game of the day, this is the one to watch.