The best teams of CS:GO are set to takeover Arlington’s Esports Stadium for the ECS Season 6 finals, which will see eight teams compete for a $660,000 total prize pool.
The event will kick things off with the Group Stages on, followed by the Main Event on November 24-25. Although the tournament is not as packed with powerhouses, there are a couple of notable teams. More importantly, the stakes remain just as high. This is especially true for the participating teams who have been on the up-and-up in recent months and could use the ECS Season 6 finals to vault themselves up the pecking order.
With so much on the line and a number of interesting developments to follow, the ECS Season 6 finals is certainly worth following.
So, which teams are competing? What’s at stake? How does the prize pool break down? Who do we cheer for? Be sure to read on more below to find out!
What Is The ECS Season 6 Finals? What Is At Stake?
The ECS Season 6 Finals will serve as the culmination of the sixth iteration of the Electronic Championship Series tournament. As has been the case in previous installments, the teams across two separate leagues battled each other online for many weeks for their respective spots. In the end, only the top four teams from the European and North American leagues advanced and qualified for the ECS Season 6 Finals.
The tournament will run from November 22 to November 25, with the final two days being played at the Esports Stadium in Arlington.
The representatives for the European League for the ECS Season 6 finals include the likes of Astralis, North, Mousesports, and Ninjas in Pyjamas. Meanwhile, for the North American League, we have NRG Esports, MIBR, Team Liquid, and Cloud9.
Holding to the standards set by previous tournaments, the ECS Season 6 finals should be no exception as we see elite teams competing on a grand stage, complemented by a commentary crew that’s befitting of a tournament of its stature and prestige.
Who Is Competing in the Tournament?
The ECS Season 6 finals will feature 8 of the world’s best CS:GO teams converging in Arlington for four days of back-to-back action.
Unlike other LAN tournaments, each of the eight teams earned their entry through only one way: by playing and placing on top of their respective region’s leagues. This saw more than a dozen of teams, both established names and those looking to make a name for themselves, playing against each other online for more than a month.
At the end, only eight teams qualified, and they are as follows:
- Ninjas in Pyjamas
- NRG Esports
- Team Liquid
Unfortunately, not all of the teams who qualified would be able to make their way to Arlington. Visa issues and an overlap with TOYOTA Master Bangkok 2018 forced Renegades to withdraw and give up their spot, making way for Cloud9 to join the fray.
While there certainly are a number of popular teams missing out on the action, the ECS Season 6 finals is still bound to feature some high-level play between the eight teams who are in play.
What Is The Tournament Format? What Is The Prize Pool?
The ECS Season 6 finals is broken up into two main parts: the eight-team double-elimination GSL-format Group Stages and the four-team single-elimination Playoff bracket. Additionally, the tournament will also feature a Texas Collegiate Showdown between Texas collegiate players and a Showmatch featuring a mix of players, talents, and guests.
The double-elimination format is not new to the CS:GO scene. Many previous tournaments have played out this way. Prior to the start, the eight teams were divided into two groups of four teams each. Each team will play best-of-one and best-of-three series against two of their group mates. Because of the format structure, one team will go 2-0, while two will go 1-1, and another one will go 0-2. The teams that go 2-0 will advance directly to the Playoffs. Meanwhile, the two 1-1 teams will play another best-of-three for a slot in the Playoffs.
The single-elimination Playoffs will be no different. A high-stakes match with elimination on the line, the Playoffs will provide a nerve-wracking, and more traditional sports experience.
As stated earlier, the prize pool for the ECS Season 6 finals has been set at $660,000.
The payouts are as follows:
- 1st Place — $250,000
- 2nd Place — $125,000
- 3rd-4th Place — $65,000
- 5th-6th Place — $45,000
- 7th-8th Place — $35,000
Which Teams Should You Be Rooting For?
Astralis are hoping to secure a back-to-back win after winning the ECS Season 5 finals, and unlike the last time, when their run of dominance was still in its infancy, the Danes have only improved since, adding 4 more LAN trophies to their shelf, including the FACEIT Major: London 2018.
But, then again, as the team with the biggest target on their back, Astralis arguably have the most to lose here. If they win the tournament, it’ll be just another day in the office for them. However, if they lose, it’ll make for one of the biggest upsets in recent memory, which is something that North are all too familiar with when they pulled off the unlikely win against Astralis in the Grand Finals of DreamHack Masters Stockholm 2018.
While North have not achieved anything noteworthy since, you could’ve said the same prior to their title win in Sweden.
Speaking of upsets, mousesports are no strangers to shocking everyone else themselves after beating Team Liquid in the Grand Finals of ESL One New York 2018.
Finally, all eyes are on Team Liquid to try and finally win a LAN. So far, playing in front of their home crowd has not proven advantageous for the North American squad after posting a string of second-place finishes throughout the year, with the majority of their Grand Finals losses coming at the hands of Astralis.
Having said that, we’ve seen bigger upsets happen in the past, and though Astralis may have had a stranglehold on the title of the best CS:GO team in the world for almost a year now, they’re certainly not invincible.
Astralis’ dominance these past few months has not gone unchallenged, and you could argue that they saw themselves bleed the most in their most recent win, especially when they faced off against the upstarts, Fnatic, where they had to claw their way to survive and make it to the Grand Finals.
A win may have helped ease any doubts of Astralis losing form, but that particular series showed that they are not unbeatable.
If that happened once, then it certainly can happen again, and you’d best bet that we’ll be there to report it for you in case that happens.
Are Astralis a shoo-in to win the ECS Season 6 finals and go back-to-back? Will this finally be the tournament where Team Liquid get to lift a trophy? Which teams do you think will surprise us the most? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.