ECS Season 3 – Week 4 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 four, from May 9 to 11. You can find the replays of each day at http://youtube.com/faceit.

Summary of the previous weeks

 

European League – Day 1

  • Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. Team EnVyUs – Nuke 9:16 (6:9; 3:7)
  • Team EnVyUs vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas – Nuke 13:16 (8:7; 5:9)
  • Virtus.pro vs. GODSENT – Train 16:11 (11:4; 5:7)
  • GODSENT vs. Virtus.pro – Cache 16:13 (5:10; 11:3)

The first day of the European League started with a clash between Ninjas in Pyjamas and Team EnVyUs. In February, the rival G2 Esports acquired most of the players of the French team, thus they fought with a relatively new lineup. Their rank drastically changed in the past months: according to HLTV they were ranked 10th on January 30th, while now they hold only the 28th position.

De_nuke was the battlefield selected for both matches. Considering the past three months, both teams had a poor performance on this map; in particular NiP with a 28.6% win rate. In the first best-of-one, EnVyUs had a better Counter-Terrorist side scoring 7 to 3. Cédric “RpK” Guipouy contributed to the final 16:9 victory with an outstanding 64% headshot rate and 1.42 rating.

The second game was more balanced, and in this case NiP claimed the game with a difference of only three rounds, scoring 16:13. Despite the final result, a member of EnVyUs was the MVP of the match: Vincent “Happy” Schopenhauer. He almost led his squad to victory with 33 kills, 1.14 per round on average, and a 1.53 rating. Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg followed with 28 kills and a 1.41 rating.

A series of controlled bursts, executed by Happy, won the 10th round. He advanced covered by a smoke, and quickly defeated his opponents before they could even react.

Moving on the second series we find Virtus.pro and GODSENT – both displayed a rather negative performance so far, and are placed at the bottom end of the ladder. GODSENT lost ten of of their past twelve matches, and Virtus.pro has a negative win rate since the end of March.

The first match took place on de_train, where VP earned a big advantage during the CT-side, winning 11 rounds. They won 16:11, confirming their win rate above 60% on this map in the past three months; instead, GODSENT dropped down to 25%. The man of the match was Jarosław “pashaBiceps” Jarząbkowski, who scored a 1.54 rating and almost one kill per round.

On de_cache the result was different. During the first half Virtus.pro had the upper hand, but once the sides swapped, GODSENT demolished their opponents with a 11:3 score, winning the map 16 to 13. Overall, the stats of the players were similar, hence we won’t nominate any best player for this game.

Featured below, Joakim “disco doplan” Gidetun’s Pistol ACE on de_cache.

 

European League – Day 2

  • fnatic vs. Virtus.pro – Inferno 19:15 (8:7; 7:8) (4:0)
  • Virtus.pro vs. fnatic – Mirage 9:16 (8:7; 1:9)
  • G2 Esports vs. mousesports – Cobblestone 16:11 (10:5; 6:6)
  • mousesports vs. G2 Esports – Train 16:13 (6:9; 10:4)

Virtus.pro were back in the fight also during the second day. Their opponents, fnatic, only played a total of four games in the league so far, scoring 2-2. The match history between the two teams is conspicuous: from 2016 onward they clashed a total of sixteen times, and fnatic were the losers in this matchup, with just seven victories on the record.

The first battle took place on the de_inferno. Considering the entirety of the games, the Swedes won all fights against VP on this map starting from October 2014, for a total of nine matches. Today, the latter really wanted to break this streak, and it resulted in an engaging match that ended 8:7 – 7:8, leading to the Overtime. Fnatic finally demonstrated their expertise on this map prevailing in four consecutive rounds, and claiming the tenth victory in a row against VP on de_inferno – scoring 19-15. Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer deserved the title of MVP with a grand total of 37 kills, 1.09 per round on average, and a 1.46 rating.

The teams moved on de_mirage, an arena favorable to VP: fnatic’s win rate on this map was negative in 2017, and they lost all the recent games against the Polish team. These statistics didn’t stop them from claiming the game. Virtus.pro’s execution was poor, and Fnatic conquered the CT-side 9 to 1, winning 16 to 6. Robin “flusha” Rönnquist had a solid 1.58 rating and 42.3% headshot rate.

Below we highlighted olofmeister’s proficiency with the AWP – he scored two kills with a single shot.

One of the highest-scoring squads in the league, mousesports, entered the arena. Their opponents, G2 Esports, drastically improved their rank on HLTV in the past months, moving from 14 on February 22nd to the present 5 – instead, mouz are ranked the 15th.

G2 already faced mouz two times on de_cbble during 2017, winning all games. Today, they confirmed their supremacy on the map with a well-played Counter-Terrorist side, that secured their final victory with a 16:11 score. Nathan “NBK-” Schmitt was one of the best players in this confrontation – he executed 25 kills, inflicted 105.9 damage per round on average, and obtained a 1.50 rating.

The two teams never challenged each other on de_train before, and mouz only played two games on this map in the past three months. Overall the fight was fair: both scored the most rounds during the CT-side, but mousesports gained a slightly advantage that granted them the victory 16 to 13. Tomáš “oskar” Šťastný and Chris “chrisJ” de Jong both supported their team with a similar number of kills, 26 and 25 respectively, and an ADR around 90.

Below, an amazing 1vs4 clutch by Alexandre “bodyy” Pianaro.

 

European League – Day 3

  • Team EnVyUs vs. Virtus.pro – Nuke 6:16 (5:10; 1:6)
  • Virtus.pro vs. Team EnVyUs – Nuke 16:10 (11:4; 5:6)
  • G2 Esports vs. Team Dignitas – Train 2:16 (1:14; 1:2)
  • Team Dignitas vs. G2 Esports – Cache 12:16 (9:6; 3:10)

Virtus.pro participated also in the third day, this time against Team EnVyUs. Recently, the two teams encountered each other only in a couple of matches, and the French resulted the victors. One of these fights took place on de_nuke, the map selected for both of today’s best-of-one. Studying their performance on this map in the past three months, we can notice that it is rather negative: VP totaled a 38.5% win rate with 5 wins and 8 losses, while EnVyUs a 45.5% win rate with a 5-6 score.

The first game ended 16 to 12 for Virtus.pro, that demonstrated a skilled defence as Counter-Terrorists, thanks to which they won as many as 10 rounds in the second half. All their players shared a similar rating and number of kills, which indicated how the victory was achieved by a combined effort – but, in particular Janusz “Snax” Pogorzelski did better than the others and obtained a 1.43 rating.

The situation radically changed in the second map; VP was completely overwhelmed, and lost the control of the game since the very start. They only scored 1 round in each side, and lost 2 to 16. Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom was responsible for this massacre in which he secured a 3.14 K/D, 1.22 kills per round on average, and a superlative 1.87 rating.

In the replay, a triple kill by Jarosław “pashaBiceps” Jarząbkowski, achieved combining a controlled burst and a grenade.

The top ranked team in the EU ladder so far, G2 Esports, fought against one of the lowest ranked ones, Team Dignitas. Looking at the history, there are no previous matches between the two lineups, but G2 were the clearly the favourite for this series.

The battlefield for the first match was de_train, where dignitas lost all games played in 2017. G2 displayed a better T-side, that rewarded them with 11 rounds and a final 16 to 10 victory. Overall, no MVP can be nominated out of this game, as all players showed an equal level of skills.

Dignitas was undefeated on de_cache with a 3-0 score in 2017, and their best victory happened during ECS S3 against Ninjas in Pyjamas, on May 2. We invite all our readers to watch that match in order to witness dignitas’ abilities on this map, that they won 16:2. Today, they didn’t perform as well, or their opponent was just too strong: they obtained only a round as CT, and lost the Bo1 with a 6:16 score. Ricardo “fox” Pacheco tried everything to carry the team to victory, but his efforts weren’t enough: he scored 19 kills, a 42% headshot rate, and a 1.08 rating.

G2 Esports won a full-eco round on de_train, confirming to be the best team in this matchup.

The fourth week of the European league ended with G2 Esports and mousesports at the top of the ladder with 18 points. Astralis dropped to the third position, but they will have a chance to acquire points in the next week, as they will play against Team EnVyUs. At the end of the rankings we find Team Dignitas and GODSENT with 9 points each. The official standings are available here.

 

North American League – Day 1

  • Immortals vs. Luminosity Gaming – Cache 13:16 (4:11; 9:5)
  • Luminosity Gaming vs. Immortals – Train 16:9 (6:9; 10:0)
  • Cloud9 vs. NRG Esports – Inferno 12:16 (9:6; 3:10)
  • NRG Esports vs. Cloud9 – Inferno 7:16 (5:10; 2:6)

The two Brazilian teams, Luminosity Gaming and Immortals, clashed against each other during the first day of the North American League. The former is the second worst rated team in the ladder; in fact, prior this series they lost seven matches, and won only one. Today, they were finally able to gain some points by winning this confrontation. It was a completely unexpected result: taking into consideration the past games between the two teams, Immortals won seven out of eight matches, losing only a battle on de_nuke in November.

The first fight, on de_cache ended with a 16:13 score. Luminosity exploited the most the advantage brought by the CT-side, winning 11 round during the first half. Gustavo “yeL” Knittel defeated 26 opponents for this team, and obtained a 1.53 K/D. In 2017, the win rate of both teams on this map is around 50%.

On de_train, Immortals was once again the clear favourite as they defeated Luminosity in all the previous fights on this map. Today, Luminosity were on a rampage, and during the second half they countered Immortals’ offensive with a perfect 10:0 score – bringing home the victory 16 to 9. Gustavo “SHOOWTiME” Gonçalves claimed the title of MVP with a 69.6% headshot rate, 104.3 average damage per round, and 23 kills.

In the highlight below, yeL cleaned the A-bombsite of de_cache with a triple kill that secured the round for his team.

In the last series of the day, NRG Esports faced one of the top ranked teams in the tournament, Cloud9. They never fought against each other before, but C9 were considered the favourites for the victory.

Things didn’t go as expected in the first match, that took place on de_inferno. In 2017, the win rate of both teams on this map was excellent and above 60% – after this series NRG hit 72.7% with a 8-3 score. During the first half the fight was even, but NRG moved on the offensive in the second, obtained 10 rounds as Terrorists, and won 16 to 12. Jacob “FugLy” Medina and Vincent “Brehze” Cayonte had an equally important role for this victory. They both scored 28 kills and a solid rating around 1.40 – FugLy also attained a headshot rate of 53.6%.

Cloud9 enacted revenge shortly after, winning the second match, played always on de_inferno, with a 16 to 7 score. This time they suppressed NRG as a well-oiled machine, and claimed their superiority on this map. It was too late for the first game, but at least they tied the series. Jake “Stewie2K” Yip was one of the best members of his team, scoring a 1.29 rating and 0.83 kills per round, but honestly they all presented an equal level of performance.

FugLy’s triple kill won NRG the 15th round of the first map.

 

North American League – Day 2

  • Cloud9 vs. Counter Logic Gaming- Mirage 16:13 (11:4; 5:9)
  • Counter Logic Gaming vs. Cloud9 – Cache 14:16 (8:7; 6:9)
  • OpTic Gaming vs. Luminosity Gaming – Nuke 16:9 (10:5; 6:4)
  • Luminosity Gaming vs. OpTic Gaming – Mirage 9:16 (6:9; 3:7)

Cloud9 have a remarkable advantage in the ladder if compared to all the other NA teams, and after today’s series they obtained a total of 24 points, with a 8-2 score. Almost undefeated, they only dropped a game versus Immortals and NRG Esports, but prevailed against any other opponent. Counter Logic Gaming are also in great shape, and prior this matchup they had the same score as C9 – 6-2. Cloud9’s victory reshaped the top of the ladder, and in future CLG must step up their game if they want to conquer the first place.

Both best-of-one featured hard-fought games where C9 won just for a handful of rounds. On de_mirage, both teams showed a better Terrorist-side, but in the end C9 won 16 to 13 thanks to the 11 rounds gained during the first half. The man of the match was Ricardo “Rickeh” Mulholland with an astonishing 113.9 average damage per round, 32 kills, and a 1.55 rating.

The fight on de_cache was very close, and C9 won with a difference of only two rounds – 16 to 14. The teams clashed on this map only a single time in the past six months, and in that case C9 won in overtime. Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert contributed the most to the team’s victory with a 64.3% headshot rate, 28 kills, and a 1.51 rating.

Kenneth “koosta” Suen won the first round as Terrorist by scoring a triple kill with a Glock-18.

Yesterday Luminosity Gaming surprised their fans winning the series. Today they had to face a stronger opponent, OpTic Gaming, that surely didn’t want to lose a match against the 9th ranked team in the league. Including this series, OpTic won eleven out of their fifteen past games, and their HLTV rank improved from the 15th in April to the actual 10th position. There are a total of five matches on the record between the two teams, and OpTic prevailed in four different ones, leaving Luminosity with a single victory on de_overpass.

OpTiC won the first match on de_nuke with a 16 to 9 score. They obtained 10 rounds during the Terrorist side, and  their Keith “NAF” Markovic brought home a total of 28 kills for the team, with an impressive 1.73 rating and 111.6 average damage per round.

The second fight, on de_mirage, ended in their favour with the same score. They claimed 9 rounds during the first half, and 7 as Counter-Terrorists. The MVP was Tarik “tarik” Celik with a 1.51 rating and 1.04 average kills per round. It was the first fight against Luminosity on de_mirage, while they already seized a victory against them on de_nuke in April.

We featured the exceptional spray of Lucas “destiny” Bullo, who got a 4k on de_mirage with the AK-47.

 

American League – Day 3

  • SK Gaming vs. Renegades – Cache 14:16 (9:6; 5:10)
  • Renegades vs. SK Gaming – Cache 11:16 (6:9; 5:7)
  • SK Gaming vs. NRG Esports – Cache 16:7 (12:3; 4:4)
  • NRG Esports vs. SK Gaming – Inferno 16:14 (10:5; 6:9)

SK Gaming started a real marathon on day 3, as they had to play four consecutive Bo1. Three of the matches took place on de_cache, one of SK’s best maps in all 2017: they won a total of eleven games out of fourteen, totalling a grand 78.6% win rate. Their first opponents were Renegades, a team that played only two games so far in the NA league. Considering the fights between the two teams since 2016, SK has the upper hand with six victories and three losses. Currently, Renegades are ranked 21st on HLTV, and their win rate on de_cache is positive as well, with a success rate above 60%.

The Australian team won the first match with a very close 16:14 score. SK were the favourite and conquered the first half 9 to 6, but once the sides swapped Renegades surprised the audience with their performance, winning 10 rounds as Terrorists. The man of the match was Nemanja “nexa” Isaković with a 1.16 rating and a 66.7% headshot rate.

SK tied the series winning the second game 16 to 11. A victory courtesy of Epitacio “TACO” de Melo, who killed 28 players, scored a 1.51 rating, and inflicted 98.6 damage per round.

We highlighted the double kill that TACO and Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo obtained in the 7th round of the second map.

The last series of the day featured a battle between SK Gaming and NRG Esports. The Brazilian team won the last two fights against NRG, and overall their difference in rank and skill is noteworthy.

The game on de_cache gifted SK with a quick 16 to 7 victory. During the CT-side, SK Gaming claimed 12 rounds, demolishing almost all NRG’s hopes for a comeback. Still, they didn’t give up and fought till the very end in the second half, finishing it with a 4:4 score. Marcelo “coldzera” David and Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo reaped all opponents on the field, obtaining 32 and 30 kills respectively, and a rating above 2.10. It was an almost completely one-sided game.

NRG revolutionized the clash in the second match on de_inferno, where they won 16 to 14. De_inferno is NRG’s most played and best performing map in all 2017: they won a total of eleven games out of fourteen, and achieved a 78.6% win rate. The MVP of this game was Jacob “FugLy” Medina with a 1.71 K/D, 1.51 rating, and 29 kills.

In the highlight, Fernando “fer” Alvarenga surprised NRG on de_dache with a sudden knife attack.

At the end of the fourth week, Cloud9 claimed the first place in the American League with a score of 8-2 and 24 points. They are followed by Counter Logic gaming and OpTic Gaming with a 6-4 score and 18 points each. Ghost Gaming is still the only team in the league with 0 points. You can find the official standings here.

The fifth week of Esports Championship Series S3 will take place from May 16 to 18, and will be aired as usual on YouTube.