ECS Season 3 – Week 2 Recap

After considerable success in the previous iterations, the third season of Esports Championship Series has been confirmed and the online league kicked off on April 14. The tournament, organized by FACEIT, features a $1,500,000 prize pool; 50% is utilized to ensure player and team stability, while the remaining $750,000 will be given out in prize money.

A total of twenty teams, ten for the European region and ten for the North American one, will compete in the online league from April 14 to June 8. The tournament will follow a round-robin format, where all teams must face each other in two best-of-one series. Only the top four teams will earn the right to participate at the LAN event, held at SSE Arena, Wembley in London, UK, from June 23 to 25. Teams placed in the top eight will also receive a direct invite to ECS Season 4.

The online league is composed of eight weeks of games. To ensure you won’t miss any of the action, we will cover each one and provide a comprehensive recap. In today’s report, we will take a look at what happened during week two, from April 25 to 26. You can find the replays of each day at http://youtube.com/faceit.

European League – Day 1

  • FaZe Clan vs. Virtus.pro – Train 16:4 (13:2; 3:2)
  • Virtus.pro vs. FaZe Clan – Inferno 10:16 (9:6; 1:10)
  • Astralis vs. GODSENT – Overpass 16:5 (10:5; 6:0)
  • GODSENT vs. Astralis – Mirage 9:16 (3:12; 6:4)

In the first match of the day in the European league, FaZe Clan clashed with Virtus.pro on de_train. If we take a look at their past fights on this map during all 2016, FaZe never lost a single game, and also today they demonstrated their tactical superiority.

The Counter-Terrorist side fell in their hands with an absolute 13 to 2 victory; three more rounds won in the second half determined the end of the game with a final score of 16:4. Håvard “rain” Nygaard was certainly the MVP of the match with a 1.87 rating and the exceptional headshot rate of 80% – 35.9% more than his average. He ended the game with as many as 25 kills, while at the second place we find his teammate Nikola “NiKo” Kovač with 22.

The teams moved on de_inferno, where Virtus.pro were able to hold their ground on the Terrorist side, ending it with 9 rounds in their hands. Once the teams swapped sides, FaZe totally overwhelmed their opponents by achieving 10 victories and leaving only a single round to VP. With a 16 to 10 score FaZe Clan claimed also the second Bo1 of this series, thanks to which they jumped on the top 4 of the EU ladder with 6 points. Aleksi “allu” Jalli defeated the highest numbers of enemies on de_inferno with 26 kills, while rain had to accept the second place with 24. It was the first game ever in which the two teams faced each other on de_inferno.

The highlight below shows that FaZe were in great shape. They lost round 5 and were forced to a full eco, but even so they accomplished an almost perfect defense on the B Bombsite: four headshots blocked VP’s offensive.

The second series witnessed a battle between GODSENT and Astralis. So far the two lineups have a 2-1 record against each other, with Astralis on the lead; two of these games have been played in the previous season of ECS.

The first map, de_overpass, granted a decisive 16:5 victory to Astralis. GODSENT fought back during the first half, securing 5 rounds; but, once the teams swapped sides the Danes demolished their opponents with 6 victories in a row. No real MVP emerged out of this game: overall, Astralis worked as a well-oiled machine.

Another victory followed for the Danish team on de_mirage, and once again they were extremely proficient on the T-side, scoring 12:3. GODSENT couldn’t find an answer against their tactics, and lost also the second Bo1 scoring 9:16. Markus “Kjaerbye” Kjærbye pulled off the most kills in the match, 28, and obtained a 1.75 rating. After the first day, Astralis were the leaders of the EU ladder with 15 points.

The highlight featured below demonstrates how a well placed grenade can decide the fate of a game. Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth heavily damaged three enemies while they were approaching from Construction, procuring an easy round for his team.

European League – Day 2

  • Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. FaZe Clan – Nuke 13:16 (9:6; 4:10)
  • FaZe Clan vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas – Inferno 16:1 (14:1; 2:0)
  • Team EnVyUs vs. GODSENT – Train 16:11 (6:9; 10:2)
  • GODSENT vs. Team EnVyUs – Cache 16:11 (11:4; 5:7)

FaZe Clan took part also in the second day, and this time their adversaries were Ninjas in Pyjamas. The performance of the Swedish team in 2017 has been underwhelming: in the past three months they won 19 games and lost 31, and according to HLTV they dropped from rank six to twelve. William “draken” Sundin joined the team on March 13, but on the whole the condition of the squad has not changed.

The arena for the first match was de_nuke. NiP already faced FaZe on this map in March, and likewise they lost. The first half was balanced, but once on the CT-side FaZe gained the control of the game, winning as many as 10 rounds, and ending the game 16 to 13. Continuing the trend of the first day, rain harvested the battlefield, claiming 32 kills on his own with a steady 71.9% headshot rate and scoring a 1.71 rating.

The second game, on de_inferno, was a complete disaster for NiP: they lost 1:16, taking only a single round as Terrorists. The two teams never challenged each other on this map from 2016 onwards. NiKo was the MPV of the game with an astonishing 2.49 rating and a stunning 4.33 K/D – he killed as many as 1.53 players per round on average.

He won an incredible 1vs3 clutch on round 13. NiP successfully engaged from mid, defeating all defenders in the area; but NiKo flanked them, won the first 1vs1, and finished the clutch with a well executed flash.

On the second matchup, GODSENT went against Team EnVyUs. The latter replaced three of their players in February, and so far there are only two games in the history between the two teams, both won by EnVyUs.

The first game on de_train featured an excellent CT-side for EnVyUs, who obtained 10 rounds and ultimately won the map 16:11. The man of the match was Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom with 30 kills and a 1.54 rating, but his teammate Christophe “SIXER” Xia was just slightly behind with 26 kills and a 1.50 rating,

In the second fight GODSENT had the upper hand exhibiting a convincing assault as Terrorists on de_cache, securing 11 rounds. The second half was indeed more balanced, but they still won the Bo1 with a 16:11 score. Joakim “disco doplan” Gidetun lead his team to success scoring one kill on average in each round and a 1.62 rating.

In the highlight below, Jonas “Lekr0” Olofsson secured the 9th round for his team by swiftly defeating three opponents in a row.

The second week of games of the European League has come to an end. Astralis and FaZe Clan hold the first and second place with 15 and 12 points respectively, and the latter one is so far undefeated. The worst score goes to Team Dignitas, that has only two losses on the record, and to GODSENT with 3 points and a 1-5 score. The official standings are available here.

North American League – Day 1

  • Counter Logic Gaming vs. NRG Esports – Cobblestone 16:10 (9:6; 7:4)
  • NRG Esports vs. Counter Logic Gaming – Postponed due to scheduling conflicts
  • OpTic Gaming vs.Ghost Gaming – Train 16:3 (12:3; 4:0)
  • Ghost Gaming vs. OpTic Gaming – Train 14:16 (10:5; 4:11)

The first day in NA started with Counter Logic Gaming facing NRG Esports on de_cbble. Unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts they were forced to play only the first game of the series. In 2017 neither team gained a consistent advantage over the other: they fought a total of seven times, with a 4-3 score in favour of CLG. In the past, they battled only a single time on de_cbble, and CLG won in overtime 19 to 16.

Also today the teams were evenly matched, and CLG defeated NRG with just a slight advantage in each round, ending the Bo1 16 to 10. Kenneth “koosta” Suen was the man of the match with a 1.32 rating and 0.92 kills per round.

Afterwards we moved on de_train, the battlefield selected for both games between OpTic Gaming and Ghost Gaming. The lineup of the latter is composed of the ex-Bee’s Money Crew, signed on April 19th. The first match was a total victory for OpTic, that demolished Ghost’s defense gathering 12 rounds as Terrorists. Once on the CT-side, they scored the remaining 4 without missing a single round, and won the map 16:3. The MVP goes to Will “RUSH” Wierzba, who obtained an exceptional 1.91 rating and 3.43 K/D, concluding the game with 24 kills and only 7 deaths.

In the last round, Matthew “Wardell” Bowman tried his best to continue the match: he faced four opponents and killed three of them thanks to his sniping skills, but RUSH crushed his dream with a clean burst from T-Train.

The second Bo1 was fairly balanced, and this time Ghost started on the T-side, securing 10 rounds during the first half. But, once again OpTic proved to be a fearsome opponent on this map: when the sides swapped they started reaping rounds, winning the second half 11:4, and the entire map 16 to 14.

OpTic Gaming best player was Óscar “mixwell” Cañellas, who seized 28 kills and a 1.41 rating. Instead, Phong “bee” Nguyen was the man of the match for Ghost, with 26 kills and a 1.20 rating – he obtained an average of 0.86 kills per rounds. Have a look at his 4k, entirely via AWP, that secured round 20.

North American League – Day 2

  • NRG Esports vs. Ghost Gaming – Mirage 16:13 (8:7; 8:6)
  • Ghost Gaming vs. NRG Esports – Cobblestone 7:16 (6:9; 1:7)
  • Counter Logic Gaming vs. Luminosity Gaming – Train 16:3 (12:3; 4:0)
  • Luminosity Gaming vs. Counter Logic Gaming – Train 7:16 (7:8; 0:8)

NRG Esports and Ghost Gaming opened the dances on day 2. There is no history of matches between the two teams. They clashed on de_mirage with equal strength: no team had the upper hand over the other and the second half finished with a difference of only two rounds, giving the victory to NRG 16 to 13. Peter “ptr” Gurney was the MVP of the match with a 1.45 rating, while the rest of his team didn’t go past 1.00. He averaged 0.9 kills per round but his headshot rate was lacustre, only 19.2%.

On de_cbble NRG showed their training on the Counter-Terrorists side, achieving an almost perfect 7:1 score, and winning the map 16 to 7. Damian “daps” Steele and Vincent “Brehze” Cayonte were the main contributors of the team’s victory. The former obtained a 1.43 rating, the latter 1.28, and both of them scored 22 kills.

In the next highlight, Matthew “Wardell” Bowman double kill with the AWP granted Ghost the 9th round on de_mirage.

The last series of the NA league featured a battle between Counter Logic Gaming and Luminosity Gaming. Both teams have not achieved anything major recently, so ECS is great opportunity to show their worth to the fans. Considering their past head to head games, no real victor emerged – CLG leads 4 to 3.

Both the Bo1 have been played on de_train, a new map to enrich the match history between the two teams. CLG dominated the first game by earning 12 rounds on the CT-side and the final four as Terrorists; Luminosity could only steal three rounds during the first half, and lost the match 3 to 16. Kenneth “koosta” Suen and Ricardo “Rickeh” Mulholland showed an impressive performance, scoring a 1.87 and 1.79 rating each. Gustavo “SHOOWTiME” Gonçalves achieved a 100% headshot rate, but with only two kills on the record.

On the second game, Luminosity’s perseverance rewarded them with a stable first half, but once the sides swapped CLG won 8 consecutive round and ended the game 16 to 7. The best player was Kenneth “koosta” Suen with a 1.57 rating, 0.96 kills per round, and a total of 22 kills and 12 deaths. The highlight below displays his 4K on the CT-side, following which he also defused the bomb.

This last series ended the second week of the North American league; you can find the official standings here. Up to today, Ghost Gaming and Luminosity Gaming are the worst placed teams of the tournament: six defeats for the former, and four for the latter. Currently, the top teams are Counter Logic Gaming with 4-1, and OpTic Gaming with 4-4; they both possess 12 points.

Don’t miss the third week of Esports Championship Series S3, from May 2 to 4, always streamed on the official FACEIT channel. The postponed match between NRG and CLG will also take place on May 2, as the last game of the first day.