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The excitement is building ahead of IEM Katowice
  1. Esports

Esports: CS:GO ESL Challenger League matches

The ESL Challenger League action continues with the number of teams still in the hunt dwindling down. The final leg of the event that began in October is nearing its end.

ESL Challenger League North America has had plenty of new faces making a name for themselves EG Black has emerged as a big contender for the championship in North America. They have a tough match-up ahead with Brazil's TeamOne.

The action in the lower bracket in the EU has not disappointed thus far, but there have been plenty of teams set home early including AGO, and Eternal Fire, both of which have made appearances in much bigger events in CS:GO.

Wednesday's action will decide who advances to face teams that have lost in the upper bracket. Fnatic Rising, the academy team for Fnatic has a chance to make a big splash as they face ex-Finest to open Wednesday's action.

Let's look at some of the matches:

EG Black has momentum to get the job done

Both teams involved in this ESL Challenger NA match have plenty to play for in Group A action. EG Black has already emerged as the top team in the Group. The team is 6-0 and well in Play for a high seed in the bracket.

TeamOne, -150 to beat EG Black, is right behind them as they are 5-0, and in a position to hand EG its first loss of this event. TeamOne stands a little bit higher than EG Black in the world rankings at 42nd overall. As for EG they are 63rd in the same rankings.

EG Black hasn't lost a map in each of their last six matches. Their last match was a 2-0 win against Strife. They were able to beat them on Nuke 16-5 and then a 16-10 victory on Inferno to close the match out.

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TeamOne is coming off a clash with fellow Brazilian organization MIBR. They were able to get that match done in two maps. TeamOne was able to win Inferno 16-13. They then closed the match out with a 16-9 win on Nuke.

So, both TeamOne and EG Black have played on the same maps in their respective last matches. That could make things interesting if those are the map choices. TeamOne has won six of the seven total maps played against EG Black in a head-to-head setting.

The head-to-head match-up to watch will be EG's wiz against TeamOne's pesadelo. Wiz has been a strong player with an average of 0.78 kills per round. This match should come down to the wire, but EG Black has built the confidence they need to get a victory.

Ex-Finest has the edge against Fnatic

Both teams were able to reach the next round of the Lower Bracket in this tournament, but they will both need their best games if they want to outfox the other. The team formerly known as Finest is coming off a convincing 2-0 win against ESTOWNIA.

That was quite the turnaround after the team was knocked out of the upper bracket with a 2-0 loss at the hands of SAW. They couldn't get much going as they lost Nuke 16-13 and Vertigo 16-7.

As for Fnatic Rising they have had a surprising run during this event, including a 2-0 loss against forZe in the upper bracket. They have since knocked out AGO in three maps. That was quite a win for an Academy team getting their feet wet in the ESL Challenger League.

The young team looks to be one of the more accomplished teams that plays at the Academy level as well. These very players could be the future of the Fnatic organization. Volt has emerged as the top player for the team. His team will need a lot of firepower for this match ahead, as they face a team that features hades a former member of ENCE.

Hades and twist have both been making climbs in their consistency and that has helped ex-Finest make some moves during this event. Hades, who is still only 22-years-old, is going to be hard to limit. Even if Fnatic Rising can stop him, he has three other teammates that will be hard to stop.

Fnatic Rising, -175 to win the clash, has shown they can compete with the big organizations, but this match is going to be hard to win. Three maps seem like a possibility, but ex-Finest is still the better bet for the outright victory.

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