This week we continue to monitor the impressive run of Cloud 9’s CS:GO team, as well as recap the ESWC and preview the FACEIT League Finals. This and more, including our LCS roundup, in this week’s eSports Weekly!
LCS: Fnatic Moves Closer to Perfect Season, and it’s Down to the Wire in North America
Only two games remain now in the summer split of the EU LCS, and Fnatic still strives toward that undefeated season. Unsurprisingly, Fnatic had another strong showing this week, defeating ROCCAT and Elements to move to 16-0. Only two teams stand in the way of their 18-0 goal: SK Gaming, and their grand finals opponents from last split, Unicorns of Love. Origen shook off a tough loss on day one to Gambit, and came back to defeat SK Gaming on day two to give themselves a one game lead over H2k, who got upset by soon-to-be relegated team Copenhagen Wolves. With this lead, Origen goes into the last week with sole ownership of the number two spot, rather than sharing it with H2k, making it more likely that Origen joins Fnatic in the second round of playoffs with a bye. Gambit and Unicorns of Love went into their day two head-to-head game with the same record: 7-8, tied for fourth, putting playoff seeding implications on the line in their match. UoL defeated Gambit to go ahead in the ratings 8-8, and send Gambit down to 7-9. UoL now sits alone in fourth place, while Gambit is tied with Giants and ROCCAT in fifth.
The last four games of the NA LCS will have a lot more implications for playoff seeding given how close all the top teams are to each other. Gravity sits alone in the top spot at 11-3, but Team Liquid sits right behind them at 10-4, with three teams (CLG, Impulse, and TSM) sitting right behind them at 9-5 each. CLG ended their four game slide with two wins last week against eNemy eSports and Team Dragon Knights. Although these seem like trivial wins against bottom teams, they’re important for CLG’s mindset going into the final two weeks. Impulse had a 2-0 week as well, knocking off Dignitas and beating a Team 8 squad that just upset TSM. It was not TSM’s best week, as they went 0-2 for the first time in what feels like forever, dropping to Team 8 and Liquid, and dropping from tied for first to a three-way tie for third.
The first day of week eight will be highlighted by some key match-ups by some of the top teams. TSM will come off their disastrous week seven with a match-up against one of the teams they’re tied for third with, Team Impulse. Afterwards, CLG will face their biggest challenge since stopping their slide, going one-on-one with Team Liquid, who’ve won their last four. Dignitas faces two tough opponents in first-place Gravity and TSM this week, and Dignitas are the only team that’s currently qualified for playoffs that hasn’t ensured their spot.
CS:GO: Cloud 9 Gets Closer and Closer, ESWC Results, FACEIT Finals Preview
While this LCS split has proven to be one of the more disastrous splits in the Cloud 9 LoL team’s history, these past few weeks have been a coming out party for their CS:GO squad. After finishing first place in the North America ESEA standings, Cloud 9 went to the ESL Finals, and surprised everyone with two victories over EnVyUs, in a best-of-one and in a best-of-three. C9 would make it all the way to the finals before falling to Fnatic 3-1. The next weekend, Cloud 9 would play big on the international stage again, going a perfect 3-0 in the group stages of the Electronic Sports World Cup, defeating EnVyUs again in a best-of-three (2-0 again), before finishing second place again, falling to Na’Vi 2-1, in a series that was much closer than expected after C9 was blown out on map one, 16-3. With back-to-back second place finishes in premier tournaments, Cloud 9 has come into this weekend’s event, the FACEIT League Season 2 Finals, with confidence and a desire to take home that elusive first place trophy.
Cloud 9 is off to a hot start in these finals, with a 2-0 record in group play, earning one of four spots in the playoff finals. C9 soundly defeated the star-studded Team Kinguin, 16-7 on Dust II, before getting revenge on Na’Vi in a down-to-the-wire 16-14 victory on Cobblestone. Kinguin recovered in the elimination series against Virtus.Pro, defeating the Polish squad 2-1 and sending VP home, before being bounced themselves by Na’Vi, who won 2-1 and earned a spot in the playoff finals. Group B is highlighted by CS:GO royalty, including Fnatic, TSM, and Ninjas in Pyjamas. This group was joined by Team Liquid, who were way out of their league, and sent home after their initial loss to Fnatic, and a 2-0 loss to NiP. TSM notched two victories over both Swedish squads to earn their spot in the playoff finals, and NiP and Fnatic faced each other in a best-of-three for the fourth and final spot. Fnatic took map one on Train 16-14, the map that NiP chose. NiP had the lead late on map two, Mirage, but gave up some critical rounds near the end to allow Fnatic to take the map 16-14, and the series 2-0. Fnatic will face Cloud 9 in the semis on Saturday, while TSM squares off against Na’Vi.
- CS:GO: Following their struggles in the past two tournaments, specifically losing to Cloud 9 in two best-of-three series, EnVyUs opted to drop out of the FACEIT League Finals, and according to a report (that requires some translating), will be relieving shox and SmithZz, and are hoping to replace them with some of their fellow countrymen and rivals in Titan, kennyS and Apex. This started after managing director Hastr0 tweeted that changes were coming after their poor result at ESWC. An official announcement will be made soon.
- CS:GO: In their first event since their rebranding, the CLG.Red ladies took home the title in the ESWC women’s final, defeating Games4u 2-0 on Cache and Inferno.
- Dota 2: Mousesports is disbanding their Dota 2 squad after failing to qualify for the International 5, according to the team’s post on the Dota 2 subreddit. Mousesports picked up the Team Tinker roster only a short time ago, but after failing to make it to the biggest event of the year, the members of the team are taking time away from playing competitively. This news brings up more issues with the state of competitive Dota 2, namely regarding the massive gap in prize pools between the International and other tournaments.
- Hearthstone: Vulcun have announced on their blog that season two of their Deckmasters tournament has been cancelled, citing numerous issues that make running season two “less than feasible.” Daily Dot’s Callum Leslie discusses several of the issues that Vulcun ran into.
Streams to Watch
- CS:GO FACEIT League Finals Playoff Bracket (Final Day). TSM faces Na’Vi in the first semifinal (14:00 CEST, 07:00 CST), followed by Cloud 9 vs Fnatic. Winners of each semifinal will face each other in the grand finals. Watch here on FACEIT’s Twitch channel.
- NA LCS Week 8. Schedule here. Watch here on Riot Games’ Twitch channel.
- The Evo Championship Series. Smash Bros., Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and more. There are several Evo Twitch streams, this is the main stage channel.