Welcome back friends to a new season of ESL Impact! With Season 4, I'm taking a new approach to my weekly re-peek blog series. Each week of this season I'll be sharing with you the highlights of the week, the players who impressed, and all the important storylines as they happen!
Before we dive into the first week, here's the lowdown on what's changed between seasons
North America and South America are single groups. No more double round robin (yay!) makes each game more important, and rematches are off the table. The top 2 teams from each region will qualify for the LAN finals, no playoff required.
New organisations enter the arena. It wouldn't be a new season without some new big names joining the fray. A big welcome to ENCE Athena, 1WIN Gang, Fluxo Demons, and Tsunami Sirens!
Check out their announcement videos - seriously, they slap.
Want the quick downlow of the results of the week? Check out the recap!
Top Plays of the Week
Every week we'll feature the best plays of each day. And well, it's fitting that the first day of play saw two ANa highlights in the Top 5! 🐐
Can I get an oooooooooyyyyaaaaaa?? zAAz and juliano start the season with some fire as both feature in the Top 5 of Day 2 🔥🔥
Players to Watch
Our first big upset of the season saw MIBR, a favourite in the South American league, fall at the hands of Divina in a close 2-0. Notably, this victory was led by Dani, with the 16 year old making her ESL Impact debut with 60 kills, an almost 2.0 KD, and a 1.67 HLTV rating! 🤯
Another player that started the season strong was pauliiee as she returns for her second season of ESL Impact, but this time under the BIG EQUIPA banner, rather than NIP. The young Israeli talent impressed with 43 kills in a triple OT victory on Anubis over VP Angels.
This opening match was an important litmus test for BIG EQUIPA, as the roster moves to fully English comms for the first time. BDog sat down with D7 following the match to discuss the changes and more, which you can watch here!
Nigma Galaxy felled their nemesis in NIP, getting their revenge on the only women's squad to beat them in a Bo3 in 2 years - and back-to-back no less!
Half of the European series featured an overtime, but special mention goes to 9 Pandas Fearless who weathered a triple OT Overpass (naturally) over Shinigami. But talk about the competition being tight!
Just who are mocreias? The Brazilian mix rocked Fluxo Demons, and though they couldn't beat out the Demons, a 30 round Nuke against the best team in SA is a statement piece. The mix features many familiar faces, with former FURIA duo mari and bokor, and ex-MIBR players Arkynha and yodinha2k.
Favourites prevail in NA, with EG Gold, FlyQuest RED, Team Karma, and Shimmer all starting with wins. Now that's what I call seeding! With the move to a single NA group, a single loss can be the difference between making or breaking it.
We also saw Team Karma go up against Hyperion, where rain and EMUHLEET took the win over their former Dignitas teammate artStar. With so many former stars returning to CS, things only look brighter for North America! ✨
We're just beginning the action here for Season 4! Here's the games to come for Week 2. For the current standings, check here.