Elisa Invitational Group A kicks off 12:30 EET on Monday 26th of October. The first teams entering the virtual arena are Heroic, MAD Lions, AGF and Apeks. All the teams in the tournament listed Heroic as the toughest opponent, so there shouldn’t be any doubt about the favorite to win the group.

However, Heroic has played tournament after tournament lately, almost 90 maps during the last three months. If Heroic hasn’t recovered well enough from DreamHack Fall Open, the new lineup of MAD Lions is surely ready to snatch the better seed for qualifier finals.

AGF Esports and Apeks are the underdogs of this group. Neither one should be counted out though, as the opening best-of-one offer both of them a chance to surprise.

Teams were interviewed in the beginning of October, a few weeks prior to the tournament. Since then, a lot has changed. Main differences are that ENCE forfeited and there will be two spots for BLAST Premier Fall Showdown instead of one. Not to mention the addition of Joakim ”jkaem” Myrbostad to Apeks roster.

Opening matches and Winners’ match are best-of-one, and they are played on Monday. Both Losers’ match and Decider match are best-of-three, they are played on Wednesday and Thursday.


Heroic

Heroic was the #1 team in the world for one week, according to HLTV Ranking. Astralis topped them quickly, but they’re still in the second place. They also beat Astralis in the Consolidation final of DreamHack Open Fall, so it’s possible they regain the #1 spot on next week’s ranking.

HLTV rank (19th of October): #2nd

Latest tournaments

  • DreamHack Open Summer 2020 Europe: #2nd
  • ESL One Cologne 2020 Europe: #1st
  • ESL Pro League S12 Europe: #3rd
  • IEM New York 2020 Europe: #7-8th
  • DreamHack Open Fall 2020: Top2 (best-of-five final tonight)

Players

NickNameAgeCountry
cadiaNCasper Møller25Denmark
b0RUPJohannes Borup21Denmark
nikoNikolaj Kristensen22Denmark
stavnMartin Lund18Denmark
TeSeSRené Madsen19Denmark

The first official appearance for this Heroic lineup was in the last Elisa Invitational less than half a year ago. They were narrowly defeated by Dignitas in the second qualifier final, losing the spot for BLAST Premier Spring Showdown. Failed roster deal with FunPlus Phoenix has been a distant memory during last months, when Heroic has been in the top three of European tournaments again and again.

Heroic lost their coach Nicolai “HUNDEN” Petersen after he was caught using the infamous coaching exploit during DreamHack Masters Spring. The eight-month long coaching ban was set 31st of August. A month later Heroic announced that HUNDEN will work as the team’s analyst going forward.

IEM New York was obviously a massive blunder for them in the beginning of October, since they finished in the last place. DreamHack Open Fall 2020 was their chance to get back on track, and they used it perfectly. They play in the Grand Final tonight, against Vitality.

Johannes “b0RUP” Borup and René “TeSeS” Madsen represented the team during Elisa Invitational media sessions. Here are some of the topics we discussed.

In-game roles

b0RUP:

– We don’t have a designated entry fragger or designated support player. Depends on the map, I would say, but niko, stavn and TeSeS are definitely the hard hitters, as well as cadiaN. I’m more of an anchor player on CT sides. Niko is playing all rotation roles with stavn. As terrorists me, cadiaN and TeSeS are taking map control while two others are lurking.

The toughest opponent in the tournament

b0RUP

– Either ENCE or GODSENT is our toughest opponent. If GODSENT hits their high level and they get the ball rolling, I think they can do a lot of damage. ENCE has been showing good things on and off between best-of-threes. They have taken down some titans in top10 in the past few weeks.

TeSeS

– I think it’s ENCE right now. ENCE is playing with Jamppi and he is really good. He has a kind of X factor, where he’s doing stuff no one else can do. Like some flashy plays or sick kills. He brings a lot for the team.

(for TeSeS only) You have played under multiple different IGLs this year. How is cadiaN’s leading style different from HooXi and AcilioN?

TeSeS

– CadiaN’s call in-game leading style is very loose. The playstyle is depending on players making the right decisions in every moment. We also have really structured tactics and playstyles. We have a good balance of structure and playstyle and I think we have found the perfect balance between those two. Right now it works really well for us, because we are kind of unpredictable and some tactics are predictable as well. It’s easy to play, when every player of the team is making the right decision most of the time.

Goals and expectations for Elisa Invitational Fall 2020

b0RUP

– Our goals for Elisa Invitational is of course to do good. We’ve had a lot of prac days in a row now. We haven’t had that since the player break. We believe we will do really good, compared to the last event [IEM New York Europe, last place finish].

TeSeS

– Our goal is definitely to win this qualifier for BLAST, and hopefully we will move on. I think we are the best team in the Elisa and I think we definitely should win.


MAD Lions

HLTV rank (19th of October): #27th

Latest tournaments

  • DreamHack Open Summer Europe: #7-8th
  • ESL Cologne Europe: #9-12th
  • Eden Arena: Malta Vibes Week 9: #2nd
  • Eden Arena: Malta Vibes Week 10: #9-11th 

Players

NickNameAgeCountry
HooXiRasmus Nielsen25Denmark
acoRFrederik Gyldstrand23Denmark
refrezhIsmail Ali22Denmark
sjuushRasmus Beck21Denmark
roeJFredrik Jørgensen26Denmark

MAD Lions won the first season of Flashpoint, but it hasn’t been easy for them ever since. They benched Lucas ”⁠Bubzkji⁠” Andersen in the summer and tried out international roster for a while, before returning back to full Danish lineup just before this tournament.

They changed their in-game leader too, as Asger ”AcilioN” Larsen was let go and Rasmus ”HooXi” Nielsen came in his place. Elisa Invitational will be a good test of their new leadership and lineup in general.

HooXi and Fredrik ”roeJ” Jørgensen represented the team during Elisa Invitational media sessions. Here are some of the topics we discussed.

In-game roles

HooXi:

– Basically I’m the IGL, I’m the one calling the shots for the most part. Refrezh is more of a lurker I guess. Also really good at helping me mid-round call and come up with suggestions and inputs. RoeJ is more of the aggressive player, kind of our star rifler I would say. There’s acoR, he’s the AWPer, a lot of frags and clutch plays. Sjuush is a really good anchor player, holding the sites and doing what’s needed.

roeJ:

– Usually refrezh tends to have those kind of solo positions where he ends up as lurk on T-side, while me and sjuush usually play entry roles and go with the team. That’s the general idea, but of course it changes from map to map and position to position.

– On the CT side it’s kind of the same thing. I play pretty aggressive on both sides, where sjuush is more like an anchor player. Refrezh is kind of in a role where he flows a bit. so he’s not stuck to a site like sjuush is.

Toughest opponent in the tournament

roeJ:

– It’s probably ENCE. I feel like they are a pretty good team. It seems like they’re getting back into form with the addition of Jamppi and he’s been doing pretty well. I think they also had a pretty rough period and it seems like they’re coming out of a slump and playing pretty good CS.

I have to ask this, because so many teams have mentioned Heroic as their answer for the previous question. What do you think about Heroic in this tournament?

He laughs and continues:

– Of course Heroic, I kind of forgot about them actually. Of course they are looking really good. They are a team to watch out, they’ve been playing really well. They made it to top1 [HLTV-ranking] actually. They just came out, as Astralis went on top of them this week. They’ve been playing really good CS and I actually think that in terms of roles and players, they are really solid.

HooXi:

– The obvious one is probably Heroic. I feel like a dark horse to the toughest opponent would be GODSENT. But I think for sure Heroic because of their firepower and just in general I feel like they’re playing really well right now.

Goals and expectations for Elisa Invitational Fall 2020

HooXi:

– I think the goal is to go the whole way and win the whole thing. It’s not really much to say, but I feel like we should be able to, even though we haven’t been playing together that long and haven’t had too much practice. Hopefully, we’ll get there.


AGF Esports

HLTV rank (19th of October): #45th

Latest tournaments

  • Nine to Five #1: #3-4th
  • Nine to Five #4: #16-18th
  • LOOT.BET S7: #3-4th

Players

NickNameAgeCountry
netrick Jonas Wenzelsen25Denmark
LukkiLucas Pilheden21Denmark
KristouKristoffer Aamand18Denmark
fr0slevMagnus Frøslev23Denmark
TMBThomas Bundsbæk18Denmark

AGF Esports qualified for Elisa Invitational by winning Dust2.dk Liga Cup 2020, without losing a single map in the playoffs. They’ve been rising the ranks steadily, reaching TOP50 in HLTV ranking a couple of weeks ago.

They have been in the spotlight for their co-operation with North. Their AWP player Kristoffer ”kristou” Aamand played for North as a stand-in in the summer, before North bought him and loaned him back to AGF in September. He’s been back in the AGF lineup for almost four months now, and has certainly shown his talent with the big green gun.

AGF is a semi-professional team, but they are ready to do some damage in this tournament. They already beat HAVU in a LOOT.BET match earlier this week, with some really convincing map wins.

Rasmus ”FaagaN” Møller Thomsen, Magnus ”fr0slev” Frøslev and kristou represented the team during Elisa Invitational media sessions. Here are some of the topics we discussed.

In-game roles

fr0slev:

– Nettrick is our in-game leader. He’s the one who is calling the strats and controlling the game. He tries to read the game as much as possible. We have kristou, who is our AWP player. I guess the rest of us, TMB, Lukki and me are just simply rifle players. We don’t really go too deep into roles in terms of dedicated entry player or dedicated support player. I guess we can all fill out those roles and positions, it just depends a bit on the map and also the situations we are in.

Toughest opponent in the tournament

kristou: 

– I think it should be Heroic because they are number one in the world, but all of those teams are very good, so we just have to do our best and see how far we can go.

faagan:

– The obvious pick would be our Danish friend Heroic. They’ve shown great form recently.

Goals and expectations for Elisa Invitational Fall 2020

fröslev:

– I think it’s a little bit hard for us to have too high expectations towards Elisa Invitational, because we are obviously underdogs alongside Apeks. We have to face some of the best teams in Europe. I guess our goals would have to be to do the best we can, and to try and learn as much we can from this experience. 

kristou:

– I think it’s just to make some upsets, and just try to be in our A-game and see if we can beat one of those bigger teams.


Apeks

HLTV rank (19th of October): #75th

Latest tournaments

  • Nine to Five #3: #21st
  • Eden Arena: Malta Vibes Week 8: #3-4th
  • Eden Arena: Malta Vibes Week 9: #5-8th
  • Nine to Five #4: #25-28th
  • LOOT.BET Season 7: #5-8th

Players

NickNameAgeCountry
dennisDennis Edman29Sweden
jkaemJoakim Myrbostad26Norway
MarceliousOle Kristian Langan21Norway
GrusarnSander Iversen23Norway
NastyMartin Garvik23Norway

Apeks dropped quite a bomb this week, as they announced the signing of Joakim ”jkaem” Myrbostad. The 26-year-old is one of the most known Norwegian CS:GO players after touring the world with various international rosters. He came back to Norway after his most recent team 100 Thieves decided to release their whole roster and quit CS:GO.

We interviewed jkaem on Friday, three days before the tournament starts.

You had quite a journey with the boys, how does it feel to be back in Norway?

– Obviously it’s been long long time in America together with the boys. To be honest it feels really good to be back in Norway. I’ve been thinking and dreaming about it for a while. I’m pretty glad I’m back in Norway.

You’ve made most of your CSGO career in international line-ups, is it strange to speak your native language while playing?

– Basically I’ve been speaking English for almost my whole career so it’s a bit weird now to go over to Norwegian again. But I guess it won’t take long, it’s my natural language so I think I’ll be fine pretty fast.

Allu did a similar move in the Spring of 2018, when he left Optic to join ENCE. He raised ENCE and the Finnish scene to a whole new level. Are you planning to do the same with Apeks?

– Obviously a move like allu did with ENCE is something I’ve been thinking for a while. Also a couple of other players that I know have a big interest in that as well. The timing felt right for me to come back now with Apeks that is willing to go all-in with CS, and to bring a Norwegian team back to the top. Definitely the goal is to bring a Norwegian team back to the top.

Is there any role changes in the team, or do you play similarly to truth, who was described to be a lurker player?

– I will go back to my normal, more aggressive role, together with a couple of more aggressive players. I don’t know, right now I feel like we need to play on-the-fly. It won’t be like very strict or very set. We need to have some fun, play together, learn the basics together and just do normal stuff.

Here are some parts of the interview we had with their coach Pål ”Polly” Kammen during the media sessions of Elisa Invitational two weeks ago.

In-game roles

Polly:

– We have Grus, who is our main entry and rifler. He’s usually the frontman. Dennis is our in-game leader, and also usually up in the front with Grus. Nasty is our newest member, who is like a solo CT player, he holds all the bad positions, if you want to call it that,  and tries to lock the sites. On the T side he’s one of the pack, as a rifler. Marcelious is our AWPer. Pretty crazy player, if you want to see some cool flashy plays, he’s the one to spectate.

Goals and expectations for Elisa Invitational Fall 2020

Polly:

– Our goal for every tournament we enter is to go as far as we can. We naturally want to qualify, but we know we have some strong opponents to face. We are very excited, we don’t get opportunities to play these kinds of teams that often these days, so we’re really looking forward to it. Hopefully we can do some damage.


Schedule for Elisa Invitational

All the times listed as EET.

Monday 26.10.
12:30 Heroic vs. Apeks (BO1)
14:00 MAD Lions vs. AGF (BO1)
15:30 Group A Winners match (BO1)

Tuesday 27.10.
12:30 GODSENT vs. Lyngby Vikings (BO1)
14:00 HAVU vs. Dignitas (BO1)
15:30 Group B Winners match (BO1)

Wednesday 28.10.
11:00 Group A Losers match (BO3)
14:00 Group B Losers match (BO3)

Thursday 29.10.
11:00 Group A Decider match (BO3)
14:00 Group B Decider match (BO3)

Sunday 1.11.
16:00 Qualifier final #1 (BO3)
20:00 Qualifier final #2 (BO3)