It’s the all important final week of LCS action! We also look back at ESL One Katowice’s record-breaking statistics, and much more in this week’s rendition of eSports Weekly!
LCS: The Final Week
It’s the last week of the nine week spring series. Those at the top want to finish strong, those at the bottom want to avoid relegation, and those watching at home just want playoffs to start, so let’s get right into it!
EU LCS Day One: SK picked up a solid win over MeetYourMakers, their 14th win of the split, to secure the #1 spot going into playoffs. With Fnatic’s victory over H2k Gaming, Fnatic secured their #2 seed going into the playoffs. Even if H2k win Friday against Unicorns of Love, and Fnatic lose to Elements, Fnatic still holds the 2-0 head-to-head record against H2k, and get that all important first round bye in the playoffs. The teams that will play in the first round of playoffs are H2k, Gambit, Unicorns of Love, and one other team to be determined. Copenhagen Wolves faced off against ROCCAT Thursday with playoff implications on the line for both teams, and the Wolves and Elements both picked up important wins late in the season. This puts CW, Elements, and ROCCAT in the 6-7-8 spots, with all the emphasis on their Friday performances. Despite MYM’s loss, Giants lost as well, meaning Friday will also decide which team will be relegated.
EU LCS Day Two: In Friday’s opening game, Giants upset the Copenhagen Wolves. With this win, Giants put the pressure on MeetYourMakers to win their match in order to force a tiebreaker to avoid being instantly relegated. And with CW’s loss, Elements were put in a position to force a tiebreaker with the Wolves for that sixth seed, and that final playoff spot. All they had to do was beat Fnatic! If they lost, no playoffs and if ROCCAT won, it would force a tiebreaker between Elements and ROCCAT for the seventh spot, and a reserved spot in the summer split. Unfortunately for Elements, Fnatic came out strong, led by Febiven on LeBlanc going 7-0-6. Elements only picked up three kills, and were bounced from playoff contention. All Elements could do was sit back and watch, as ROCCAT fought for the opportunity to challenge Elements for that spot in the summer split. MeetYourMakers were fighting to avoid being instantly relegated. Miraculously, MYM won their match against ROCCAT, avoiding instant relegation. With two losses coming right at the end, ROCCAT dropped from playoff contention to having to fight to avoid relegation.
NA LCS Preview: In the NA LCS standings, there’s far less speculation at the bottom of the ladder. With a 1-15 record going into the final week, Team Coast will get relegated to the Challenger series regardless of how well they perform over the weekend. Winterfox and Dignitas are in similar situations: no matter how well they do, they will still face the 2nd and 3rd place Challenger teams for two spots in the upcoming summer split. All they can fight for is the eighth place spot, so they have the option to select which Challenger team they face. The only questions left regarding the NA LCS playoffs revolve around seeding, and who will fall to the seventh spot, thus missing the playoffs. Gravity and Team 8 sit at the respective 5th and 6th spots with 9-7 records, while Liquid holds the seventh spot at 8-8. Liquid is 1-1 against both teams, and Gravity and Team 8 face off against each other on Sunday, so hope is not lost for Liquid, as long as they play well. TSM will more than likely finish with the top seed. All they have to do is win one of their games, against either Coast or Cloud 9. Even if they just win one, and Counter Logic Gaming win both their games, that will tie them with CLG for top spot, but TSM’s 2-0 record against CLG will earn TSM the #1 spot. With so many close records in the top seven spots, it’s really a toss-up regarding where each team will finish.
CS:GO: ESL One Katowice Shatters Viewership Records
The biggest Counter-Strike event of the year so far is also the most viewed of all time, according to ESL’s newest post-event report. ESL One Katowice broke several viewership records for a CS:GO tournament, and set some impressive milestones. In a snazzy new infographic, ESL compared their Katowice numbers to numbers from the previous most viewed CS:GO tournament, ESL One Cologne in 2014. The total number of unique Twitch viewers increased by 198%. A staggering 8.78 million unique individuals tuned in to watch the world’s best teams duke it out. And the concurrent viewership (amount of people watching at a single moment) peaked at 1,012,475, marking the first time a CS:GO event has hit the 1 million mark in this category. The infographic also showcases some of the top individual performers during the tournament. One of the top players was the champion Fnatic’s olofmeister who scored 2nd in kills, 2nd in KD ratio, 1st in entry kills, 3rd in headshots, and was the only player to pick up more than one ace. The infographic notes that nearly a quarter of olof’s kills came from the Tec-9, prompting the team to use this photo as their Facebook photo for a short time. Runner-up Ninjas in Pyjamas’ GeT_RiGhT also had a strong showing, going 1st in kills AND headshots, 3rd in entry kills, and was the second most picked in fantasy teams, behind teammate friberg. Despite my fantasy team’s poor showing, and shamefully earning just a silver medal in Valve’s pick em’ challenge, I’m pleased to see how rapidly the sport is growing. The future is bright for CS:GO.
- Hearthstone: We’re getting the Blackrock Mountain expansion next week! The new expansion for the competitive card game is coming out sooner than expected, releasing April 2nd.
- CoD: The Call of Duty: AW World Championships are live on MLG.TV this weekend in Los Angeles. North American champions OpTic Gaming are looking to win the big one and secure their status not just as the best team in the world, but as one of the best teams in the history of Call of Duty.
- MLG: Speaking of MLG, Major League Gaming is returning to the Summer X Games in Austin this June, bringing Call of Duty and Dota 2. This is Dota 2’s first appearance at an X Games event.
- Dota 2: If that’s not enough Dota 2 for you, tickets for the Dota 2 International Championships have gone on sale. Valve’s FAQ will answer any questions you have about the biggest Dota 2 event of the year.