Image: Ubisoft/Kirill B.
Day four of the European League will take place tonight, as five more games will shine a light on where teams stand for this stage.
- 6PM CEST -- TT9 Esports vs Natus Vincere
- 7:15PM CEST -- Team Secret vs Outsiders
- 8:30PM CEST -- G2 Esports vs Rogue
- 9:45PM CEST -- Team BDS vs Heroic
- 11PM CEST -- Wolves Esports vs MNM Gaming
After facing a stern test against league leaders Heroic last week, TT9 Esports this week take on more manageable opposition in NAVI in hopes of securing their first points for their new organization.
NAVI will need to be wary of TT9, who pushed Heroic to round 12, and can ill-afford a performance like their 7-8 loss to Team Secret last week.
Team Secret, for their part, will also be hoping to improve upon their performance last week as they will face a similarly-inconsistent but quickly-improving Outsiders. Missteps from Secret will likely be punished by the experienced Russian team.
Outsiders, who now have the former Team Empire trio of Dmitry "Always" Mitrahovich, Danila "dan" Dontsov, and Danil "JoyStiCK" Gabov, were impressive despite a loss last week, forcing Team BDS to overtime.
G2 Esports will then take on Rogue in a repeat of the Six Berlin Major quarter-final matchup and could smell blood in the water. While Rogue won with two overtime maps in Berlin, they look considerably weaker now after losing twice in overtime, and G2 last week took a huge regulation-time win over Stage 2's best EUL team, Wolves Esports.
Wolves, for their part, will take on MNM Gaming and will have to be wary of poor performances that MNM will be eager to exploit. MNM took a hard-fought win over Rogue last week, while Wolves fell to G2 despite impressive efforts from team captain Bastien "BiBooAF" Dulac.
But the match of the day, however, is certainly the clash between Heroic and Team BDS.
Both Heroic and Team BDS have only met each other five times in total, stretching back to the Heroic roster's time under cowana Gaming:
- Stage 1 2021 -- 8-7 to cowana on Oregon
- Stage 2 2021 -- 7-5 to BDS on Consulate
- Stage 3 2021 -- 8-6 to BDS on Coastline
- Stage 1 2022 -- 7-5 to Heroic on Chalet
- Stage 2 2022 -- 7-5 to Heroic on Kafe
Perhaps surprisingly, Heroic have the upper hand in the clashes between both teams, though each of their matches have been extremely close. Two have gone to overtime, while the other three have all taken the full distance in regulation time.
However, things have changed within the rosters -- Heroic now feature two rookies, while BDS feature one. Viewers may find it hard to predict who will win given their close calls in the past, but 75% of voters have backed BDS in the SiegeGG Predictions so far.
Heroic feature two rookies on their side, former Challenger League player Maxime "Meloo" Cahagnet and national league hot prospect Marc "jume" Steinmann.
Both have been doing well for themselves and find themselves with SiegeGG Ratings of 1.10 and 1.13, respectively -- eighth and 11th-highest in the EUL in Stage 3 so far. Both have remarkably similar statistics, with K-Ds of +8 and +6, Entry splits of +2 and +3, and KOST values of 65% and 70%.
The problem for them is who they are up against -- Team BDS's Théo "LikEfac" Mariano.
SiegeGG has written about LikeFac every week so far, but with good reason. The young Frenchman is the best player on his team with a SiegeGG Rating of 1.32 (fourth-best in the entire league), has the joint-second best K-D in the league, and the best Entry split.
But while LikEfac and Stéphane "Shaiiko" Lebleu have looked like an unstoppable duo at times, last week they found themselves with a combined K-D of 0-8 against Outsiders. That is the kind of punishment that Meloo and jume can bring and the kind of punishment Benjamin "Benjamaster" Dereli can ensure sustains until Heroic wins.
Benjamaster has been even better than LikEfac, though he is no rookie. The Dane has SiegeGG Rating of 1.36 (third-best in the league to LikEfac's fourth-best), has the same K-D as LikEfac, the third-highest KOST percentage, and gets kills at the same frequency as LikEfac -- 1.05 kills per round.
With Shaiiko and Loic "BriD" Chongthep lining up alongside LikEfac against Benjamaster, Meloo, and jume, this is a match not to be missed.
Team BDS do not have a flawless record in Stage 3, having been forced to overtime last week against Outsiders and against Wolves Esports the week prior. Nevertheless, they are yet to lose in Stage 3 after having started with a regulation-time victory against Team Secret.
As a result, they find themselves in second place with seven points with a 1-2-0-0 unbeaten record. However, Heroic are currently the best in the league and are in first place with a similarly unbeaten 2-1-0-0 record.
While Heroic beat G2 Esports 7-4 in one of their regulation time wins, their second was a narrow 7-5 one over TT9 Esports last week and could be signs of some concern and weakness. That is similar to BDS's 8-6 win over Outsiders last week, as is Heroic being pushed to overtime by NAVI in the second week.
The competition is clearly intense in the EUL and everything indicates that we will have a tight and barn-burning match between Heroic and BDS tonight.
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