No. 3 SK Leads NA EPL, Cloud9 and Liquid Close Behind

by Steven Cropley

The race is tight in the North America region of the ESL Pro League season five going into week four, however, SK Gaming, the No. 3 team in the WWG CSGO Team Rankings currently sits alone at the top. By a margin of one map, the Brazilian squad keeps No. 12 and 19 Cloud9 and Team Liquid at bay.

(Photo: ELEAGUE)

With a record of 8-0, SK Gaming has swept four opponents. Of those four opponents, two of them have been none other than their Brazilian brothers of No. 9 Immortals and unranked Luminosity Gaming, the rosters former organization. The squads closest matches came against the 1-7 RUSH, however, SK was playing from Berlin at the time as they were boot camping for upcoming events with their newest member, Joao 'felps' Vasconcellos. Can SK do what Cloud9 could not last season and pull off an undefeated run? Things look promising, although the team has yet to face the boys in blue nor Liquid or No. 8 OpTic Gaming.

Cloud9 sit in second place in the standings with a record of 7-1. However, six of those wins came in sweeps of teams that have been less than stellar this season. It's 1-1 split came against a strong Immortals squad that was coming off of a strong performance at IEM Katowice. Next up on Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert's teams schedule is the green wall of OpTic Gaming. Although OpTic has been struggling since the departure of Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz, this should be a match to determine which NA squad will join the Brazilians at the top of the pack apart from Liquid.

Liquid's 7-1 is even less impressive as it has yet to face a ranked opponent this season outside of No. 25 Misfits in week one which is making its debut in the rankings this week. Wins against Selfless Gaming and compLexity don't do much to solidify its top three placement at the current time. Splitting maps with NRG Esports doesn't bode too well either, although it was missing Jacob "Pimp" Winneche due to a surgery that had taken place in his home country of Denmark preventing him from making it home in time. Wilton "zews" Prado played in his stead.

Will these three be able to hold on or will a dark horse shake things up in North America? Odds favor At least SK and Cloud9 being a safe bet this season.