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Wolves vs BDS Preview: BDS bring upgrade for French derby in EUL Day 2 match to watch

BDS + LikEfac looks like a winning combination.

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Day two 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 -- Outsiders vs MNM Gaming
  • 7:15PM CEST -- Rogue vs TT9 Esports
  • 8:30PM CEST -- Wolves Esports vs Team BDS
  • 9:45PM CEST -- Team Secret vs G2 Esports
  • 11PM CEST -- Heroic vs Natus Vincere

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MNM beat TT9 last week in a match that was far closer than expected. This week, they’ll hope to go two-for-two against Russian opponents with a win versus Outsiders, but will also hope for a better performance from themselves.

Rogue only won one point last week following a shock loss to NAVI. Can TT9 also upset the reigning Major champions, especially after a strong showing against MNM?

Secret and G2 both failed to get on the board last week, despite both having brought in new players and new coaches. Now, facing each other one, of them must get a win -- who will it be?

Heroic and NAVI is truly a battle of the rookies, as jume and Meloo play their second professional game against Leadr and T3b. All four of these played well last week, but who will be the vital piece this week?

Finally, the match of the week in Europe will be the French derby between Team BDS and Wolves Esports, as the EUL 2021 champions will play the EUL Stage 2 champions tonight.

Here’s a rundown on what to expect in this matchup:

The Rivalry

BDS spent 2020 and 2021 being one of Europe’s top-two teams. While Wolves regularly beat them in national tournaments, it was a very one-sided rivalry in the professional leagues.

Last year, Team Vitality (now Wolves) returned to having a French majority roster and slowly started climbing their way up from the mid-table to become the best team in European regional tournaments. Nevertheless, the BDS were a nut that couldn’t be cracked.

  • Stage 1 2021 -- 7-5 to BDS on Clubhouse
  • Stage 2 2021 -- 8-7 to Vitality on Consulate
  • Stage 3 2021 -- 7-2 to BDS on Bank
  • Stage 1 2022 -- 7-4 to BDS on Border
  • Charlotte Major -- 7-5 to BDS on Kafe Dostoyevsky
  • Charlotte Major -- 8-7 to BDS on Clubhouse
  • Stage 2 2022 -- 7-4 to BDS on Clubhouse

Even under the Wolves Esports organization and with the lineup that attended three Six Majors and topped Stage 2’s EUL table, BDS were still one of just two teams to beat Wolves, even during BDS’s worst stage in their team’s history.

BDS’s reinforcements

With this in mind, Wolves Esports have a major uphill battle on their hands.

They could hardly touch BDS before, and now they’ve brought in Théo "LikEfac" Mariano to toughen up their fragging ability. LikEfac was BDS’s best player in his debut and has in fact already beaten Wolves 7-2 in Jul. 2022, in the 6 French League, while on 321 Sked.

Wolves’ main solace will be that his debut came against Team Secret, and Wolves will be a much tougher beast. Can he perform to this degree in what will likely be his biggest online match of the year?

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Wolves Improvements

BiBooAF’s roster has now attended three global events as one of Europe’s top prospects. They’ve exited in 9-12th, 9-12th, and in the quarter-finals. While there is consistency there, it’s still a disappointment, especially when they see Rogue, who finished below them in Europe, rock the global scene and lift the trophy in front of the German crowd.

Risze: We were really disappointed about our performance, but XSET played really well against us… It was the first quarter-finals with an audience for more than half of my team, so basically, it’s big stuff for them. I’m still proud of what we’ve achieved in so little time and how we grow every single stage even more. …Siege is a learning experience every single day you play it. In the Major, you have the 16 best teams in the world, so it means a lot. It means you have a lot to learn if you’re not winning, which we did not, so we learned a lot. Obviously, we’re trying to bring this in this EUL stage. Whether it is on the strategy aspect or in the mental one maybe, everything is good to learn.

Wolves’ ability to grow every single stage is a truly remarkable one that no other team in Europe has been able to do for years. There’s no reason to believe it will end after five stages.

Yanis "Mowwwgli" Dahmani only joined the roster at the beginning of this year. It took three stages for P4 and Shiinka to reach a Major after joining at the beginning of 2021, and with this being Mowwwgli’s third EUL stage, there’s still room to rise. A win over BDS today could really prove that.

BDS are definitely the favourites in this game due to both their prior record and the impact LikEfac made last week. But Wolves are a true force in Europe that can’t be sidelined because they “only” made it to the quarter-finals last month.

Both teams could win the EUL during this stage, and it’s time for the French derby to see who’s on top.

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