The first week of the North American Group Stage offered us some matches with clear favorites and others where anything could happen.
But did they really end the way we predicted?
Let’s see what went down in North America!
Invited for a very good reason (Team Pharaohs vs Infinity Forge)
The match was played on Grounded.
Infinity Forge got off to a good start, as „Voltzeh“ denied TF's „P1“ from winning the pistol round in the 1v2 situation.
Team Pharaohs turned it around in the next round, winning the force-buy round while only losing a single player.
In the third round, „TF's „xGodHack“ made quick work of the Infinity forge side as he got a speedy triple kill at the B bomb spot.
For the next 4 rounds, all attempts from Infinity Forge to break TF's defensive side were unsuccessful.
In the 8th round, Infinity Forge had a good chance to win the round, however it got shut down yet again by „xGodHack“ as he won the 1v2 against „Voltzeh“ and „_Domo“.
After that IF managed to scrape together some rounds before the end the half, finishing it with a four-round deficit.
After the side swap, Team Pharaohs won the pistol round in a fairly convincing fashion, setting themselves up for the remainder of the half.
Then history repeated itself, but this time, it was Infinity Forge that managed to take the round after losing the pistol one.
From there on Infinity Forge’s defense just wasn’t on point as Team Pharaohs was getting entry frags almost all the time.
Ultimately, this resulted in a loss for Infinity Forge, as TF claimed the victory with a 13:6 scoreline.
„Tetillo“ stood out for on TF's side as he got himself 23 frags in this one.
Definitely a great performance by Team Pharaohs, proving that they are a team to look out for and that they were invited for a reason.
Not as easy as it seemed (Impreza vs Gankstars)
On paper this should have been a one-sided match with Gankstars winning by a large margin.
Especially when you take into account that this was the first time we saw Impreza play in the Premier League.
The match was played on Canals.
In the pistol round, „Joker“ made an insane revolver entry kill to start of the game, however the round still came down to 1v1 and it went into „Gankstars“ favor as „Kingeh“ clutched against „Evo“ on the A bomb site.
As soon as team „Impreza“ got their guns, they got themselves on the board by winning two rounds in a row.
Unfortunately for Impreza, that was the majority of the rounds they got in their CT half.
Gankstars just got the better of them in the most of the remaining rounds and showed how skilled they are.
Impreza did win the 10th round on the CT side due to „Scumpy US“ and „Evo“‘s great hold on the B site.
Once the sides swapped, „Joker“ got yet another revolver kill at the start of the round for his team, but the pistol round came down to a 1v1 situation once again.
Impreza's „Evo“ made sure not to lose this time, and won the duel against „cSolar“ to secure the round for his team.
In the next round, Gankstars got back on track, as „cSolar“ made an impressive triple kill with a revolver to grab the round.
It was 11:4 in favor of Gankstars before Impreza tried to launch a comeback.
It was a little too late and the final score was 12:8 for Gankstars, that had some unexpected problems securing their last round.
Impreza looked great in this matchup and the rest of the teams shouldn't take them lightly.
D2R still not where they want to be (IFL vs D2R)
Looking at the matches of the first week, this one was the hardest to predict and we were pretty sure it was going to be a close one.
Grounded was chosen for this match.
IFL started off hot and D2R lost the first four rounds on the Counter-Terrorist side before „Milio“ managed to win one in a 1vs1 situation against „Fish_Bits“.
Right after that D2R pushed hard and tied the score with three more rounds in a row.
In the ninth round, IFL's „Cute Corn“ made an insane play and got the round for his team by killing „Dappuh“ and later on „Sesame Street“.
The first half ended with a 6:6 scoreline, and we were eagerly awaiting a thrilling second half.
D2R planted the bomb in the pistol round on the B bombsite, however, a great play by IFL allowed „High“ to defuse the bomb and get the round.
After that D2R hit a brick wall and could break through IFL’s stellar defense.
IFL soon took a commanding lead of 12:6.
D2R got one more round, but it was all over when IFL grabbed the following one and the victory with a 6 round difference.
IFL's „Cute Corn“ had a great game with 7 kills more than the second fragger of his team.
A one-sided affair (Impreza vs Infinity Forge)
This game was yet again played on Canals.
Impreza started the match off on the Terrorist side and had no problem winning the pistol round with four of their players still alive at the end.
Infinity Forge defense was lackluster to say the least.
The only round they won in this half was the last one, when „Wolf“ won the 1v1 fight versus „Virgin“ near the A site.
After the side swap, Impreza won the last rounds they needed fairly easily, closing out the match with an impressive 13:1 score.
That's all from the first week of the Critical Ops North American Group Stage.
New gameday is just around the corner.
Make sure to tune in to youtube.com/valiancegg once we go live!