The first week of the North American Group Stage featured battles between the newcomers and the top tier teams.
This is what we've seen in each of the games.
No surprises here
Gankstars vs UPR
UPR attempted a B fake with 2 players at the start of the game, but that didn't work as planned as GS's „SiuL_“ managed to kill one of the players.
UPR did get the bomb on the A site later on, but a 4v2 advantage to Gankstars allowed them to retake the bomb spot with ease.
The underdogs got yet another A bomb site plant in the eco round thanks to great entry frags by „InsaneX“ and „Corolla“, but it was not enough as Gankstars managed to retake the site again.
In the following round UPR's „InsaneX“ got a quad kill (with two entry frags), which secured the first round for his team.
Gankstars stepped up their defense in the next couple of rounds. Neither slow nor aggressive playstyle worked against it.
This forced UPR into an eco round with one AK47, while Gankstars decided to play aggressively.
The round went down to the wire with UPR's „Verty“ winning the 1v1 situation versus „c2beast“ on the B bomb spot.
In the 7th round, GS's „Joker“ pushed from B long late in the round and this allowed him to get a triple kill and extend the lead of his team.
UPR decided to stick with the early B bomb spot push in the next round and it was looking good at first.
But their 3v2 advantage turned into a 1v2 for GS's and „C2Beast“ got the last kill to grab the round.
Gankstars controlled the rest of the rounds and didn't left any openings UPR could exploit.
The half ended with 10:2 for GS.
Once the sides swapped, Gankstars rushed the B bomb spot. „C2beast“ got a double grenade kill, which made it impossible for UPR to retake the site.
UPR opted not to force-buy in the following round, making Gankstars's job way easier.
They secured the eco round without losing a single player.
The first gun round of the second half went to UPR’s favor, but they were not able to defend against Gankstars's B bomb spot push in the next and final round.
The game ended with 13:3 in favor of Gankstars.
„Alpha“ had a field day in this one as he ended the game with 23 frags in just 16 rounds.
Favorites for a reason
Hammers Esports vs Team Virus5
Team Virus5 started on the Counter-Terrorist side.
Thanks to „Scootede_Fishy“ triple frag and „Hxns“ entry kill, they stopped Hammers’ push and clinched the pistol round.
Team Virus5 also had no issues getting the following eco round. However, an A-bomb spot push in the next round caught them completely off guard.
Hammers planted the bomb and secured their first round.
Things were looking good for Virus5 in the 4th round as they were able to get a 4v3 advantage.
However, they were unable to hold on to it, as „Fish_Bits“ got a double kill which led to Hammers grabbing another round.
Virus5 had to force buy in the following round.
It worked out great for them as Hammers Esports pushed the site they decided to stack.
In the next three rounds, Hammers Esports decided to shift gears and rush both A and B bomb spots, not allowing Team Virus5 to hold the lead for long.
The 9th round featured great entry kill by HE's „God“ and „High-C“. These frags allowed Hammer Esports to get the control of the A site and win another point.
Virus5 was in a great spot to win the next round, but a superb performance by „oShadow“ and „Vitaly“ in a two-versus-four situation crushed their dreams.
Virus5 was unable to get any more points in the first half and entered the second part of the game with a 6 round deficit.
After the side swap, HE's „Vitaly“ got a quick double kill and made the Virus5's push onto the A-bomb spot way weaker.
His team had no issues getting the rest of the frags.
In the eco round, „Vitaly“ was once again the hero as he won the 1v2 to further extend his team's lead.
Team Virus5 won the first gun round of the half and the following eco round, but couldn’t do much more, as Hammers Esports won the next two rounds and with them the game.
Almost an upset
D2R vs Impreza
Impreza started the match by winning the pistol round on the Terrorist site and also grabbed the following two eco rounds.
A well-timed rotation onto the A site after initial frag exchange was the reason that Impreza won another round and extended their lead even further.
D2R's „Kam“ and „Toastt“ saved their U-ratio and AK-47 from the previous round, allowing their team to buy up once more.
In the fifth round, Impreza opted to split push to the B bomb spot. However, the push didn't work as „Toastt“ got a triple kill and won the first round for D2R.
A successful retake of the A-bomb spot by „D2R“ in the following round narrowed the scoring gap.
„Milio“ was the hero of this round as he won the 1v2.
The next round featured a fight in the middle of the map, where we've seen Impreza's „Rizin“ getting the double entry kill and winning another round for his team.
The 8th and 9th round were very back and forth and each team won one.
Right after that, D2R's „Milio“ managed to clutch a one-versus-one two times in a row against „Rizin“ and „YungRetroz“.
D2R also won the last round of the half, tying the score before the second part of the game.
After the side swap, D2R went for the A-site and they were able to plant the bomb.
In the end, „Milio“ and „Kam“ were unable to stop the three remaining Impreza players from retaking the bomb site and they clinched the pistol round.
Impreza was able to get the following eco round as well, but they lost the first gun round of the second half.
„Milio“ and „Kam“ got some great entry kills in this round.
D2R evened the score once again, but Impreza struck back and won the next round.
„Vulcan“ was the hero for Impreza in the 18th round as he got the 1v1 versus „Akjon“ on the B bomb spot.
D2R went for the B bomb spot split in the next round, and it worked great since they were able to hit the majority of the shots, crushing Impreza’s defense.
Impreza couldn't afford to make a full buy-in the 20th round of the match, making it easy for D2R to even the score again.
Both teams continued to trade rounds with Impreza being the first team to hit the match point round.
However, D2R showed how resilient they can be in the last two rounds of the match.
First, „Akjon“ played superbly smart against „YungRetroz“ on the B bomb spot, allowing his team to tie the score.
In the last round of the match, Impreza allowed D2R to get the B bomb spot as they decided they will try to win with a retake strategy.
This wasn't the best decision, as D2R had no issues holding the site and getting their first win in the Summer Season!
The final score was 13:12 in favor of D2R.
No real surprises in the first week of North America.
Still, the last match was really exciting and awesome to watch!
What do you think about the first round and how things played out?
Let us know in the comments.