We’ve been following and predicting ECS matches in the run up to the Finals. Teams from Europe and North America have clashed, each trying to step over the other for a place at the Finals. A team had to make it into the top four for a place at the Finals, and each team fought eighteen matches in an effort to do just that. Well, the ECS Finals are here, and the qualifying teams will be competing for a prize pool of $750,000. The winning team should take home at least $225,000 of that. We’ll be balancing the strengths and weaknesses of the competing teams here, to give you a better idea of which team is most likely to come up on top.
ECS Finals – Teams Qualifying from Europe
Fnatic are without a doubt the top team from Europe. They have won fourteen matches, taking just four losses, which gives them a score of forty two points. Fnatic are definitely a team to watch at the ECS Finals. The next teams in line are FaZe Clan, with thirty nine points, and Astralis, with thirty three. Ninjas in Pyjamas, who have been doing exceptionally well recently, also have thirty three points, but have won less rounds than Astralis. However, do bear in mind that with dev1ce ill, Astralis may no longer be playing at their best. G2 Esports, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Virtus.pro and Team EnVyUs have qualified for the next season of the ECS. Heroic and GODSENT are the lowest ranking teams, and will have to participate in the promotion matches to win a spot in the next season.
ECS Finals – Teams Qualifying from North America
Cloud9 have certainly dominated here, with just three losses out of eighteen matches played, and a score of forty five points. Optic Gaming are next in line with thirty six points, followed by Team Liquid and Luminosity Gaming with thirty three points each. SK Gaming, who were actually the defending champions, managed to score thirty three points, but they lost more rounds as compared to Team Liquid and Luminosity Gaming, and were not able to qualify for the ECS Finals. SK Gaming will join NRG Esports, Renegades and Counter Logic Gaming in the next season of the ECS. Ghost Gaming and Immortals, ranking last, will have to make their way through the promotion matches if they want to feature in Season 5. Ghost Gaming might be there, but Immortals truly have a long way to go to feature anywhere.
The Format of Play in the Final Combats
The eight teams participating have been divided into two groups, A and B. In Group A, Fnatic, OpTic Gaming, mousesports and Luminosity Gaming will fight each other to qualify for the playoffs. In Group B, Cloud9, FaZe Clan, Team Liquid and Astralis will do the same. The initial matches will be best of one matches, and the elimination matches will be best of three matches. The top two teams from each Group will qualify for the Playoffs. All the matches in the Playoffs will be best of three matches, including the Finals. All these matches will be LAN matches, held on location at the Hard Rock Hotel in Mexico.
Teams in Group A at the ECS Finals
The Group A battles in the run-up to the ECS Finals should be very interesting. There are teams as diverse in playing styles as Fnatic and mousesports featured, after all. There are rumors that the Optic Gaming group is running into serious issues. These rumors are as yet unconfirmed, and we’ll keep you updated. Fnatic are definitely the top team in this group, with mousesports and Optic Gaming also playing in excellent form. And the locale is luxurious beyond measure. That’s bound to help team morale. We’ll give you a brief assessment of each of the teams participating in this group.
This team has a win-rate of seventy eight percent per match and fifty six percent per round at this event. But those initial matches were online matches, and the ECS Finals will be offline, so let us see how well Fnatic does offline. Fnatic have played only twelve offline matches with their current roster, and not very successfully, we may add. Out of twelve matches played, they lost seven, and won just five. This gives them a win-rate of a mere forty one percent per match and forty eight percent per round when playing offline. They have played Train four times, with two wins and losses, and Cobblestone three times, with two wins and one loss. They played Inferno once, and won it. The team has not been very successful in the remaining maps. How are they likely to do in the ECS Finals? Compare their offline stats with those of the other teams below, to get a better idea of how they’ll stand up to ‘close combat’ in the final battles of this event.
This team were second in the North American region, with twelve wins and six losses. This gives them a win-rate of sixty percent per match, and fifty six percent per round. That’s really quite good, so let’s take a look at their performances in offline matches. OpTic Gaming have a win-rate of forty seven percent per match and forty nine percent per round. This means that they are better than Fnatic in offline events. The team has a fifty percent chance of a win in Overpass. They’re reasonably good at Mirage, with three wins and two losses, and at Train, with four wins and one loss. Their performances in Cache and Inferno are dismal.
They have won thirteen matches and lost five at this event. This gives them a seventy two percent win-rate in matches, and a fifty five percent win-rate in rounds. They’ve played thirty four matches in offline events, and won more than half of those. That gives them a win-rate of fifty nine percent in offline matches, and fifty four percent in rounds. Mousesports have played Train and Cobblestone eight times each, winning five times in each map. Nuke is perhaps their best map, with five wins and only one loss. They are not so good in Mirage, with only two wins to their three losses. They’re reasonably good in Overpass, but hardly adequate in Inferno. Cache is their worst map. Nevertheless, these stats show that mousesports have perhaps the best chance of all the teams in Group A of qualifying for the Playoffs.
The only reason Luminosity qualified was because SK Gaming were forced to play without boltz. This damaged the meta of the new ‘super-team’ so that Luminosity were able to edge them out. Luminosity Gaming’s win-rate in matches in this event is sixty one percent, with a fifty five percent win-rate per round. Their offline performances are dismal. With only four wins out of twelve matches played, Luminosity Gaming have a thirty three percent win-rate per match and forty seven percent per round in offline events. Their weakest map is Train, with only a single win out of four matches played. They are not good in Cache either, with two losses and a single win. They are dismal in all the remaining maps except Inferno, in which they do show some proficiency.
Teams in Group B at the ECS Finals
While FaZe Clan have shown the common tendency of any ‘super-team’ to be unreliable, no one could deny their dominating presence in this group, especially given their proficiency in offline events. However, it is Cloud9 that are actually in the lead here. Astralis would have made for excellent competition, but they are handicapped by the health issues of their star player, dev1ce. Team Liquid can play exceptionally well on occasion, but they can also be very unreliable, winning or losing matches seemingly at random.
Cloud9 have lost just three matches out of the eighteen that they played at this event, and are definitely in the lead here. They have an eighty three percent win-rate per match, and a fifty eight percent win-rate per round. However, as the final matches of this event will be offline matches, their performance in offline matches is just as, if not more important, than this. Cloud9 have played in forty eight offline matches, and won twenty nine of these. This give them a sixty percent win-rate per match, and fifty three percent per round. Mirage is their most successful map, with nine wins and three losses, followed by Train, with nine wins, but four losses. They have won four matches in Cobblestone, out of seven played, and have three wins and three losses in Inferno. In Cache, they managed to win two out of three matches played. Cloud9 also won two matches in Overpass, out of seven matches played.
FaZe did very well in the online matches, ranking second, with thirteen wins and five losses. This gives them a win-rate of seventy two percent for matches, and fifty six percent per round. But FaZe tend to dominate in offline events as well, which makes them a top contender at this event. FaZe Clan have fought in forty eight offline matches, and won thirty three of them. This gives them a win-rate of sixty nine percent per match, and fifty seven percent per round. This makes Faze perhaps the best team in Group B. FaZe tend to dominate in Mirage and Inferno, but their best map is Overpass, with eight wins out of nine matches played. They are also good in Cache, with only one loss out of five matches played. Their worst maps are Train, with only two wins, one draw and four losses, and Nuke, with just one win out of three matches played.
With eleven wins and seven defeats, Team Liquid has a win-rate of sixty one percent in matches, and fifty four percent in rounds. But these stats were mostly from before they took in steel from Immortals. With the new addition to their team adding ‘steel to liquid’, Team Liquid are potentially quite strong. Team Liquid have already played five LAN matches with their current roster, and have won two of them. Don’t judge them by that, because there’s a ‘phasing in’ period as a new roster gets its meta together. They certainly could put out some great plays at this event, but don’t rely upon it. This team haven’t got their act together with the new roster.
With dev1ce’s health issues disabling him, RUBINO will be standing in for him. In the unlikely event that dev1ce is somehow able to return to the team, Astralis will be a force to be reckoned with at this event. However, we wouldn’t suggest that Astralis rely upon that happening. RUBINO is currently a member of Team Dignitas. Astralis never bring in a new player lightly, and are a shining example of how a player-run organization can face off against teams like FaZe and SK Gaming. If Astralis have taken RUBINO on board, then there is little doubt that he is the best possible replacement for dev1ce that they have available. However, that doesn’t mean that RUBINO can match dev1ce in the meta of this team, if anyone can.
So those are the latest analyses of the different teams at this event, as well as their potential to win the final offline conflicts at the Hard Rock venue. Stay tuned for detailed day-by-day analyses of this event, and ace reporting. We have the best statisticians and CSGO analysts working out match predictions. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest on your favorite Esports titles.