PLG Grand Slam 2018 [Day 1] Recap

by Ruben Backx

PLG Grand Slam 2018 had a rough start, with technical delays postponing matches by over 6 hours. Nonetheless, teams went over-time to try and catch up as much as possible ahead of day 2 at the Abu Dhabi event.

As outlined in our viewer’s guide, the opening matches were supposed to start at 11 AM (UTC+4). However, due to technical issues, the opening games were delayed significantly. As opposed to the planned start time, the group stage matches only kicked off around 5 PM. They ran late into the evening, with fnatic finishing their last game around 2 AM (UTC+4).

Due to the technical delays including network and server crashes, PLG decided not to stream any of the group stage games to prevent further problems. This was obviously met with disappointment from viewers and fans. The organizers spent the day getting everything ready for day 2 in conjunction with trying to rectify today’s issues.

These delays also affected our ability to report effectively, as WiFi was intermittent and power was unreliable. This left us no choice but to view games in the group stage area rather than on a dedicated media stream. For today’s recap, we’ll look at each group’s key storylines and provide insight where we can.

Group A

[table id=12 /]

Group A featured the Swedes from fnatic, who are currently ranked 11th in the world. Challenging them were 5POWER, Sharks and eNergy. Going into the group stage fnatic were obviously expected to take first without breaking a sweat. They demonstrated this by shutting down the South Africans from eNergy with a dominant 16-3.

The other opening match-up saw 5POWER put against Brazil’s Sharks, which was also a very one-sided match. Sharks breezed passed the Chinese/Mongolian squad with a scoreline of 16-4.

The group’s winners’ match, the last game to be played on day 1, ending at 2 AM, pitted the Swedish favorites against the Brazilian Sharks. The Sharks put up a fight, but couldn’t hold out. fnatic eventually won 16-8 and took the first place in group C, as expected, securing their spot in the playoffs.

Sharks will have to fight for the second playoff spot tomorrow morning. Their opponent is still unknown as 5POWER and eNergy have yet to play their elimination match. It will be played first thing on day 2. 

Group B

[table id=13 /]

While some could argue group B to be the easiest group, it produced some of the tensest and competitive matches. TYLOO managed to secure their playoff spot by taking down both ECL.GG and Grayhound with a score of 16-14 in both games, making it out of groups.

The local favorites, NASR, had less success. Even though they were aiming to reach the playoffs, they seemed to be a shadow of themselves today. They lost to Grayhound 10-16 in the opening match and 0-2 (12-16 and 8-16) to ECL in the elimination match. The boys from UAE have sadly ended their run at this tournament and will be the first to depart Group B.

As for ECL.GG and Grayhound, they both won a game and lost a game, so they’ll be facing each other in the best-of-three decider on day 2 to see who gets group B’s second playoff spot.

Group C

[table id=14 /]

Group C saw the tournament’s first big upsets, with what should’ve been an easy group for the Frenchmen from G2 becoming a little hectic. The first game played was the game between AVANGAR and ShotCallers, which AVANGAR won comfortably, 16-3. 

After that, G2 took on the forZe, which in theory should have been a win in the bag for them. Instead, the Russians from forZe pulled a rabbit out of the hat with their enthusiastic pre-game chants and shut down G2 with a scoreline of a 16-11.

forZe continued their success in the winners’ match. Once again, unexpectedly, taking down the Kazakhs from AVANGAR with a confident score of 16-8, securing their playoff spot for day 2.

The boys from G2 managed to regain control in the elimination match against ShotCallers, although it was, once again, far too close for what should have been an easy game for the French team. Instead, they barely scraped by the Middle Eastern mix, beating them 2-0 (16-14 and 16-9).

With that, ShotCallers were eliminated, while G2 live another day. G2 will have to take on AVANGAR in the best-of-three decider match on day 2 to see who gets the second playoff spot after forZe.

Group D 

[table id=15 /]

As for group D, due to the delays they only managed to get the opening matches done. HellRaisers, another favorite to win the tournament, matched up against the Jordanians from Chosen5. While there were brief moments of hope, HellRaisers made quick work of the squad, shutting them down 16-6.

In the other match, the Singaporeans from BOOT-d[S] took on INTZ, a Brazilian lineup featuring the likes of João “felps” Vasconcellos and the infamous Vito “kNgV-” Giuseppe. Nonetheless, they stood no chance facing B.O.O.T-d[S] on de_train, a favorite of the Singaporeans. This, coupled with  Anthony “ImpressioN” Lim dropping and impressive 23 frags, won the young squad the game, 16-7.

BOOT-d[S] will be up against HellRaisers in the winners’ match, while INTZ will look to save face against Chosen5 in the elimination match, all to be played on day 2.

Following today’s result, these are the 3 teams that have already qualified for the quarter-finals.

  • 🇨🇳 TYLOO 
  • 🇸🇪 fnatic
  • 🇷🇺 forZe

As briefly mentioned throughout the recap, the remaining group stage games will be finished on day 2, with the first games starting at 10:30 AM (GST, UTC+4). Below are day 2’s current match-ups and timings:

PLG Grand Slam 2018 – Day 2 

  • 10:30 – Chosen5 vs INTZ | BO3
  • 11:00 – eNergy vs 5POWER | BO3
  • 11:00 – HellRaisers vs BOOT-d[S] | BO1
  • 11:10 – Grayhound vs ECL | BO3
  • 12:45 – BOOT-d[S] vs INTZ | BO3
  • 15:15 – Sharks vs 5POWER | BO3
  • 14:30 – AVANGAR vs G2 | BO3
  • 19:00 – HellRaisers vs G2 | BO3
  • 20:30 – TYLOO vs Sharks | BO3
  • 20:30 – fnatic vs ECL | BO3
  • 20:30 – forZe vs INTZ | BO3

CSGO2ASIA will continue to update the schedule as soon as we know more, so do check back periodically for updates. For live updates on scores, behind the scenes and more, do follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

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