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3 storylines to watch at The Kraków Major 2017

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3 storylines to watch at The Kraków Major 2017

We’re just a few days away from the start of The Kraków Major 2017, where 16 of the best CS:GO teams from around the world will compete for a $1 million prize pool, but a number of teams are going into the event with some lost momentum and heavy expectations.

Here are three of the biggest storylines to watch ahead of The Kraków Major.

RELATED: The Kraków Major 2017 Power Rankings

Mixed momentum

ESL One Cologne 2017 may not have been a Major this year, but considering the event took place just a week prior to the Major, it played a big part in showing us what we can expect to see in Kraków.

Starting from the bottom, the biggest storyline from Cologne centres around Virtus.pro’s performance, which left much to be desired. The ELEAGUE Major 2017 runner-ups finished the event in 15-16th place after going 0-3 in the Swiss system group stage. Perhaps it’s more a commentary on the format, but with losses to Immortals and Heroic it seems like the Poles have run out of excuses. And while the stalwart lineup is no stranger to slumps, the timing of this one couldn’t be worse.

VP were not the only team to unexpectedly find themselves in the Bottom 8, as Immortals finished in 12-14th place while Fnatic, mousesports and North all tied for 9-11th place. That’s five solid teams going into the Major with lukewarm or cold results.

On the other side of the group stage, G2 Esports finished in 5-8th place, which is a good finish, but one that’s still below expectation considering the roster’s pedigree. FaZe Clan finished in 3-4th place, which is on pace with their performance throughout the pre-Major season.

Natus Vincere also finished in 3-4th place and look to have a resurgence after a season unbecoming of CIS’ best. However, there’s one team in particular that went on a miracle run, as Cloud9 were the runner ups against SK Gaming.

NA’s only hope

With teams like Virtus.pro, G2 Esports, FaZe Clan and more attending ESL One Cologne 2017, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who seriously predicted Cloud9 to make the Grand Finals. But that’s exactly what happened and it’s exactly the confidence boost the team needed ahead of the Major.

The team looked shaky in the lead-up to the Major, with the wavering form of young guns autimatic and Stewie2k and with outside pressure hanging over the team, but especially shroud.

RELATED: C9’s n0thing on shroud’s retirement talk: ‘We’re professionals and as long as [shroud] shows up with intensity we’re going to play with him’

For better or for worse, C9 have some of the most rabid CS:GO fans and this usually puts additional strain on their players given how connected they are to the community.

They’re under even more pressure since they’re the only North American representative, but they’ve put their best foot forward at Cologne and look to do the same in Kraków.

FalleN the kingmaker

There are only two players in CS:GO that have simultaneously gone into a Major as rookies and went on to win the event, TACO and fnx at the MLG Major Championship: Columbus Major under the command of FalleN, the Godfather. However, a more appropriate nickname for him would be Kingmaker, as he’s poised to take a third Major with felps under his wings.

felps’ story is one we’ve heard before with TACO and fnx. FalleN and his team have been Major contenders since 2015, but have only managed Top 8 finishes. After tapping the talent well that was Games Academy and acquiring TACO and fnx, FalleN went on to win back-to-back Majors.

FalleN’s run at the ELEAGUE Major was spoiled by internal conflicts and an unexpected roster change, which resulted in “just” a Top 4 finish. He once again tapped Brazil’s talent well, bringing in felps from Immortals, and now looks for his third Major title in Kraków in the hopes of matching Fnatic’s record.

Dennis “Tarmanydyn” Gonzales is a news editor for theScore esports who enjoys whiskey, D&D and first-picking Oracle a P90 my Souvenir Negev Discipline Priest Pharah a silenced Cavity 9mm. You can follow him on Twitter.

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