Photo Source: Cybbet
So far, 2016 has been a year of Esports increase and CS:GO has risen at an astonishing pace. With the introduction of ELEAGUE, Valve’s majors increasing their prize pool, and hundred thousands of dollars pouring into the scene, the game has progressed to a level never seen before. The ECS Finals has an unannounced prize pool as of the moment, but it is above $500,000 making it one of the premier tournaments of the year. The finals will begin tomorrow, June 24th and continue on to Sunday, June 26th.
The Regular Season
ECS started off their first season this year with the North American and European qualifiers to determine who would join the invited teams. Without a Roof (now known as Team Kaliber) and Echo Fox made it through the North American qualifier while mousesports and G2 Esports triumphed across the Atlantic. In the eight week span of the league, all of the teams in their region played each other in a best-of-three with the top 4 from both regions advancing to the finals. From North America, Luminosity Gaming had a flawless record and were the top team. Cloud 9 were close behind, with just a single loss to Luminosity. The next two spots were determined by a playoff bracket with the teams finishing in 3rd-6th participating. Team Solomid and Team Liquid came out on top in the gauntlet and received the invitations to the finals.
In Europe, the fight for the top spots were much more competitive. Astralis stood as the clear victors with their 8-1 record, but there was a tie for 2nd place between G2 Esports and Ninjas in Pyjamas. The tiebreaker was their head-to-head record, which resulted in G2 advancing directly to the finals as they had beaten the Ninjas in the final week of the league. Fnatic were the lowest team advancing to the playoffs, but they managed to sweep both NiP and mousesports to grab the qualification spot. NiP crawled their way through the loser’s bracket to take the remaining spot.
The matchup for the ECS finals paired a North American team against a European team. The pairing was the first seed from one region versus the fourth seed and the second seed against the third seed.
LG vs NiP
Maybe it was a little unfortunate for NiP to be matched up against the best team in the world, but this is what happened. The Swedes showed that they were a top team over the last few months, but LG has been competing at the top for about half a year now since their last roster change. Although NiP have the talent and strategy to beat LG, it would be an upset if that were to happen.
Liquid vs G2
Liquid are using two upgrades from their last roster for this tournament. However, they have not had that much time to practice with their acquisitions. G2 on the other hand, have jumped the world rankings the last few months with the resurgence of shox and Scream. The French team should be winning this game, unless s1mple and company do something brilliant.
Astralis vs TSM
TSM have improved quite a bit in the last few months along with many other teams in this tournament. Astralis on the other hand, have been on the decline for a while. Still, Astralis are a top European team and should still be victorious in this match.
Fnatic vs Cloud 9
With olofmeister returning to Fnatic, Cloud 9’s chances of winning this series looks very bleak. During the last event, ELEAGUE, where olofmeister returned, the team looked stellar as they topped their group with a clean 2-0 win over FaZe in the finals. Cloud 9’s run at ELEAGUE was also impressive as they almost took down LG, and they will need to perform at that level if they want to defeat Fnatic.
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