We’ve just been through another gruelling week in the ECS, and NRG Esports and Astralis have completely dominated their regions. Each team has ten wins and no losses, and both have scored thirty points. This puts them far ahead of just about every other team at this event. Of course, both Astralis and NRG have eight matches left to play. However, if they manage to win even half of those, their place in the main event is guaranteed. Let’s take a look at how things are going for the teams competing in the ECS.
Teams from North America battling in the ECS
NRG Esports have put out an incredible performance in Season Five of the ECS. They’ve effectively proved that small changes and adjustments can be very effective in improving the way a team plays. It all started with them hiring nahtE in January of this year, and later taking on Immi as their coach. Since then they have won eighty percent of their matches.
They have already cleared more than half their slated matches in the ECS by defeating OpTic Gaming, Team Liquid, Renegades, compLexity Gaming and eUnited. They still have to face Cloud9, Luminosity Gaming, SK Gaming and Rogue.
Renegades’ opening matches were not at all in their favour, since they were playing with a stand-in. They were easily defeated by NRG Esports in both the matches they played with that team, but the team recovered in their next matches against eUnited, and later won one match against compLexity Gaming. They got a free win going up against SK Gaming, since SK Gaming forfeited that match. However, with some of the best teams in the world waiting to go up against them, their future here does not look bright. Losing against compLexity Gaming is a hint that Renegades, missing one core player, cannot possibly survive into the higher levels of this event.
There is no doubt that Team Liquid are back in the game. They put out excellent plays, yet they don’t seem to have gotten their act together completely yet. They struggled against compLexity Gaming in their opening matches, and lost both the matches they played against NRG Esports. Again, their matches against OpTic Gaming were far too close, and they lost one of them. However, they face a mix of strong and weak teams, and are sure to make it to the main event.
Rogue are number four on the ladder, but this situation could well change in the next week’s matches. Rogue’s first matches against eUnited were postponed. Their next matches were against compLexity Gaming and Rogue won both of them. The second match against compLexity Gaming was won in overtime. While Rogue have some roster changes, they’re still missing a coach.
Luminosity Gaming have won just two out of the four matches they’ve played in the ECS. The team are having serious issues playing Cobblestone, so much so that they even lost to eUnited there. However, they’re all but invincible on their best maps, winning with a massive difference in scores when the map favours them. While this advantage means that they’re likely to score at least twenty seven points at this event, it remains to be seen whether that will allow them to remain in the top four.
Optic Gaming, like Rogue, had their matches against eUnited postponed. However, even if we exclude those, OpTic have still played six matches in the ECS so far, winning just two of those. One of the matches was against Team Liquid, while the other was against Luminosity Gaming. The new OpTic Gaming doesn’t seem to be half as effective as the old one. On the other hand, teams like Liquid are no mean adversaries this year. OpTic could certainly qualify for the main event.
EUnited were formed by signing on former players of Rise Nation. They were supposed to play ten matches to date, but four of their matches were postponed. In the remaining six matches, they managed to take a win from Luminosity Gaming, but that seems rather a lucky chance, since they’ve played miserably enough in all their remaining matches, losing every one of them. The only reason eUnited are even in this event is because Counter Logic Gaming disbanded their CS:GO team. They are certainly the weakest team here.
CompLexity Gaming have improved the management of their team, and added a new player. However, all that tweaking doesn’t seem to have made much of a difference, with them winning just one match out of the eight they played in the ECS. They even lost against Rogue, and the only match they won was against Renegades. CompLexity Gaming have no chance at all here, and the best they can hope for is to rank within the top eight, and so book a slot in the next season.
Cloud9 have not played a single match to date. However, they’re a good enough team that they could threaten NRG Esports’ dominance here. They are potentially the strongest team at this event, and could outmatch every team here. That includes SK Gaming.
If you remember, we predicted a few weeks ago that SK Gaming might let TACO go. This is because he has been delivering performances that are consistently below average. Now TACO has himself stepped down from his position as an entry man for the team. With him gone, SK Gaming have an empty slot on their roster, forcing them to forfeit their matches against Renegades. This happened in the last season of the ECS as well, where SK Gaming lacked a member, and were unable to qualify for the main event. As for who will eventually replace TACO – is anyone willing to accept long odds on it being a Brazilian?
Teams from Europe battling in the ECS
Astralis have defeated Team EnVyUs, FaZe Clan, Fnatic, GODSENT and Virtus.pro to dominate the European region at the ECS. They still have to face G2 Esports, Gambit Esports, mousesports and Ninjas in Pyjamas. One look at their most recent matches will tell you that they are going to crush G2 and Gambit. There’s no doubt at all that Astralis are on the warpath, and that this is the comeback the world has been waiting for. Astralis are going to be in the main event – but will they win it? Time will tell, as it always does.
Ninjas in Pyjamas
Ninjas in Pyjamas are down on their luck – again. They not only lost against Astralis, but also lost a match against Virtus.pro. The map was Train, which Ninjas in Pyjamas are supposed to excel at. Ninjas in Pyjamas have still won three matches, two against GODSENT and one against Team EnVyUs. Though their old coach pita has rejoined the squad, the Ninjas haven’t been able to put down the opposition as good ninjas are supposed to. And that’s with all the extra firepower dennis provides. If the Ninjas don’t see some exceptional wins soon, he may well walk off the team.
For some reason FaZe Clan are not quite as effective in online matches as they are in offline ones. Their first matches were against Virtus.pro, and FaZe Clan easily won the first match. The second map went into overtime twice and was finally won by Virtus.pro. FaZe then defeated mousesports quite easily, only to lose against Astralis in their next matches. Let’s see if the winners of the last season can even make it to the main event in this season.
The erstwhile winners of IEM Katowice this year were no match for Astralis, and Fnatic won just one round in match one against Astralis, and just seven in match two. Things were quite different when Fnatic went up against Team EnVyUs, and Fnatic put them down so hard in both encounters that EnVyUs will be a week catching their breath. Right now, Fnatic are in third place in the European section, and with fourteen matches left to play, are definitely still in the game.
Virtus.pro seem to be getting back their touch, winning two out of the five matches they’ve played in the ECS. One of those matches was against Ninjas in Pyjamas, but the second was against FaZe Clan. Are this legendary team staging a comeback? You could say that about them if they win even half their matches here. The ECS is tough, and a team that can survive its gruelling grind is also tough. For those who didn’t know it, MICHU is now a permanent member of Virtus.pro, and TAZ has left Virtus.pro to permanently take MICHU’s place in Team Kinguin.
GODSENT played six matches in week two and lost four of them. They fought Ninjas in Pyjamas and Astralis on maps they can barely play adequately, and still put up a tough fight. Does that sound like this team might be playing competently? It isn’t, because GODSENT also lost against those teams on their best maps, and not merely badly, but miserably. They just scored one round against Ninjas in Pyjamas, and two against Astralis in the second match. Even though GODSENT are hardly the weakest team here, they are not going to make it to the main event. The most they can hope for is to qualify for the next season.
Team EnVyUs have fought eight matches in this week alone. The drawback there was they didn’t get enough time to rest between matches, or to recoup, with the result that they lost all those matches, but one. Their last match was against Ninjas in Pyjamas and they managed to win it by three rounds, but only after a bitter fight. It has been more than a year since Team EnVyUs won any major, and they seem to be competing with Virtus.pro in an inane struggle for mastery of professional incompetence.
G2 Esports will begin their matches in week four, and their first match will be against Virtus.pro. That’s when we’ll see if Virtus.pro are on the rebound from their spell of disasters, or whether this event will continue what has come to be a tradition.
Gambit Esports’ first match will be against Fnatic in week three of the ECS. Of course, Gambit Esports are hardly the finest team here, but they can give Fnatic a hard time and might even win one match.
Mousesports have played two matches against their longtime nemesis and rivals FaZe Clan. While FaZe put them down there, they have plenty of matches left in the ECS in which to make up lost ground. They did manage to reach the finals of the last season of the ECS. How well they do in this season depends on whether they can find a way to take on FaZe Clan, because FaZe stand in mousesports path here, and if they can’t find a way around them, they’re going to have to find a way to go through them.
That’s how things are going in the ECS. While some teams dominate now, that could change in the immediate future, as teams that have been waiting in the wings enter the arena. Stay tuned for detailed day-by-day analyses of this and other major CS:GO events, and ace reporting. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest on your favorite Esports titles.