This week we recap last weekend’s hectic ESL ESEA Pro League finals, and preview the upcoming Electronic Sports World Cup. This, including our weekly LCS roundup, and more in this week’s eSports Weekly!
CS:GO: ESL Finals Results, ESWC Preview
The finale of the first ESL ESEA Pro League is now wrapped up, and it goes without saying to those who watched, that up until the very end it was one of the more unpredictable CS:GO events in recent history. The tournament began with four best-of-one’s pitting North American teams against the heavily favored European teams. Shockingly, Fnatic, TSM, and EnVyUs all fell to Counter Logic Gaming, Keyd Stars, and Cloud 9 respectively. CLG, along with Virtus.Pro, won both of their group stage matches, ensuring a spot in the semifinals. Fnatic and TSM were forced to face off in a best-of-one elimination game that Fnatic won 16-14, sending the highly regarded Danes home much earlier than expected. Cloud 9 continued to roll forward, defeating EnVyUs again, 2-0 in a best of three, and then beating CLG in the semis 2-0 to earn a spot in the grand finals. But Fnatic nearly being sent home after just two games was the kickstart the world’s best team needed, as they beat Keyd Stars 2-0, defeated Virtus.Pro 2-1 in the semis, and ended Cloud 9’s magical run in the grand finals, defeating the Americans 3-1 to take home the title.
Despite the loss in the grand finals, the ESL ESEA Finals have brought North American teams to the forefront, as fans now realize that the European juggernauts can be killed. For this reason, a lot of attention is now being placed on this weekend’s Electronic Sports World Cup event in Montreal. Cloud 9, CLG, and Keyd Stars are all participating, as well as Luminosity, the fourth American team from the ESL ESEA Finals. Luckily for the NA teams, and everyone else, neither TSM nor Fnatic are participating. However, many big name European squads will be competing, including Ninjas in Pyjamas, EnVyUs, Na’Vi, and Titan. ESWC will also feature teams from South Africa and China. Additionally, this will be the first major event for the newly rebranded Renegades, the former Australian/Oceanic roster of Vox Eminor. I’m not implying that they’re no longer Australian, you know what I mean.
Groups A and B play produced little in terms of surprising results: NiP and Cloud 9 both went 3-0 in their respective groups. FlipSid3, playing with Hiko due to WorldEdit’s visa issues, and Team Liquid also advanced to playoffs. Keyd Stars didn’t have the same luck as they had in ESL, dropping to C9 and FlipSid3, and picking up just one win against Boreal eSports, a Canadian team that went 0-3. The lone Chinese team, QeeYou, fell to NiP and Liquid, but defeated LDLC White.
Meanwhile, in the women’s division, Team Acer looks to defend their title while their banner’s men’s division is disbanded. The highly regarded former Ubineted team, one of the most accomplished women’s teams in the world, is now playing under the Counter Logic banner as CLG.Red, and look to add “ESWC champions” to their list of titles and accolades.
LCS: Fnatic Still On Top, Kikis Leaves On High Note, and NA Is Still Strange
With Fnatic’s win over H2k and Origen’s win over Giants on day one, the two best teams in the European LCS were both looking strong going into their day two match-up. It’s no surprise why this game was highlighted as the match of the week: if there’s a time and team for Fnatic to lose to, it’s Origen. Fnatic took the victory in their first meeting back in week four, and with just four more games after this week, Fnatic are inching closer and closer to that perfect 18-0 record. If they beat Origen, they set a new LCS record for longest winning streak, as they’re currently tied with Cloud 9’s 2013 streak of 13-0. In typical Fnatic-fashion, they surrendered an early lead to their opponents, as Origen had an early 7k lead and Baron after an ace on Fnatic. But smart, calculated teamplay from Fnatic kept them in the game, countering some of Origen’s pushes into beautiful multikills. With the win, Fnatic sets the record for longest regular season streak at 14-0, and have secured first place going into playoffs. The Unicorns of Love went 2-0 this weekend with wins over Copenhagen Wolves and Elements, their last games with jungler Kikis, who announced earlier this week that he was departing with UoL, citing issues with in-game communication and shotcalling.
On the other side of the pond, we’ve got ties for first, third, fifth, and seventh. How these ties split can determine who gets a first round playoff buy, who gets seeded against who, and who will even make it to next year’s split. CLG were at the top of the standings until two weeks ago. They now sit tied for fifth with Impulse at 7-5, having lost their last four. They have a chance to turn it around this week against Enemy and Dragon Knights, two matches that CLG should win, unless their second half of the season tilt is irreversible. Gravity are experiencing a tilt in a positive direction: they’ve won their last four and sit tied for first with TSM at 9-3. They face Enemy and a struggling Cloud 9 this week. Speaking of Cloud 9, while the reintroduction of Hai last week produced some more decisive shotcalling, they still fell to Liquid and Team 8. This week they face Gravity and Dignitas, the two teams surprising everyone and sitting in the top part of the standings. Not an easy schedule for Cloud 9, a team trying to figure out what’s wrong late in the split and avoid relegation.
DreamHack is Coming to North America: Austin, TX in 2016
- CS:GO: CEVO announced a best-of-three format for their group stage for the CEVO Pro League Finals. This announcement came after the ESL Pro League Finals, indicating that CEVO looks to avoid surprise upsets that can arise from best-of-one’s.
- Smite: HiRez Studios announced that they were capping their competitive prize pool for Smite at $1 million, citing that they wanted to spread out the money across more teams. Last year’s $2.6 million was very poorly spread, with the top 4 teams receiving 90% of the pool.