SK Gaming leads EPL after Week 1 in North America

ESL Pro League Season 6 began this week. Patrick Strack/ESL

It's about that time yet again.

After a few weeks off, the ESL Pro League has come back to North America. The North American Counter-Strike: Global Offensive scene wasn't necessarily quiet during the break, however, as we saw some major roster moves unfold during the layoff. With those in mind, let's take a look at how some of the teams fared in the first week of action.

OpTic Gaming (4-0, 12 points) probably made the biggest splash of the offseason. First, it shipped Tarik "tarik" Celik and Will "RUSH" Wierzba to Cloud9 (we'll get to them in a bit) in order to form an all-European roster with the addition of Adam "friberg" Friberg, Aleksi "allu" Jalli, and Emil "Magisk" Reif. OpTic is still looking for a permanent fifth member, which allowed Keith "NAF" Markovic to still get some playing time during Week 1.

With such a massive overhaul, many would have assumed there to be some growing pains. Instead, OpTic has opened the Pro League with back-to-back sweeps of Ghost Gaming (1-3, 3 points) and Rogue (0-4, 0 points). Sure, those aren't the highest caliber teams ever, but it's a nice start nonetheless.

Cloud9 (1-3, 3 points) used RUSH and tarik to replace stalwarts Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert and Michael "shroud" Grzesiek, but the team's results weren't as immediate as OpTic's. Cloud9 opened up the week by getting swept by Counter Logic Gaming (3-3, 9 points) on Tuesday, and then picking up a 1-1 split with NRG Esports (3-1, 8 points) on Friday. It's clear that this team will take a bit to gel, but with seven weeks still left to go, it's not quite time to sound the alarm just yet.

SK Gaming (6-2, 18 points) and Team Liquid (4-2, 12 points), who both made it to the semifinals of the Season 5 Finals, steered clear of roster moves that dominated the scene. It appears as if consistency was the right call, as both got off to a nice start to Season 6.

SK, with a whopping four series, had the busiest week of all. It split a series with both Liquid and Immortals, while sweeping both Luminosity Gaming (0-4, 0 points) and compLexity Gaming (2-2, 6 points). Liquid, meanwhile, had a pretty active week itself, playing three series over Week 1. It opened with the aforementioned split against SK before also splitting with Ghost Gaming and then sweeping CLG.

Of particular note, the defending PGL Major runners-up, Immortals, got off to a rough start with two series splits with SK and Renegades (2-2, 5 points) for a 2-2 start. Meanwhile, the new teams of Splyce (1-3, 4 points), Ghost and Rogue haven't fared very well at all. Splyce and Ghost finished 1-3, while Rogue is sitting at the bottom of the league with an 0-4 record. There's still plenty of time for these teams to rebound, however.

At the conclusion of the first week, the top-6 in North America consist of SK Gaming, OpTic Gaming, Team Liquid, Misfits, Counter Logic Gaming and NRG Esports. The league will be taking a week off for DreamHack Malmo, with Week 2 kicking off with a match between Renegades and compLexity Gaming at 7 p.m. ET on Sept. 5.