ECS Season 3 – Week 5 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 five, from May 16 to 18. You can find the replays of each day at http://youtube.com/faceit.

Summary of the previous weeks

 

European League – Day 1

  • Fnatic vs. Team dignitas – Inferno 16:7 (9:6; 7:1)
  • Team dignitas vs. Fnatic – Mirage 6:16 (0:15; 6:1)
  • Astralis vs. Team EnVyUs – Inferno 16:1 (14:1; 2:0)
  • Team EnVyUs vs. Astralis – Train 10:16 (6:9; 4:7)

In the previous week of ECS, Team Dignitas faced G2 Esports in a strenuous fight that led to their ultimate defeat, 2 to 0. Unfortunately for them, they had no room to breathe also in today’s series: considering these last two games, Fnatic holds the second position in the EU ladder with a 6-2 score and 18 points. Since February, when Jesper “JW” Wecksell and Robin “flusha” Rönnquist joined the team, they conquered and maintained a stable rank #11 on HLTV.

There are no matches recorded in the history between the two lineups. The first battle took place on de_inferno, where Fnatic won ten matches out of thirteen in the past 3 months, with a win rate above 70%. Dignitas were able to fight on par during the first half and obtained 6 rounds, but once the sides swapped Fnatic overwhelmed them with a 7:1 score, and won 16 to 7. An astonishing performance for Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer, who scored 32-10, an average damage per round of 135, and a rating of 2.23.

The teams moved on de_mirage, where the overall win rate is negative for both of them. There was no contest in the first half, won by Fnatic 15 to 0 as Counter-Terrorists. Dignitas didn’t want to lose so easily, and driven by the support of their fans they snatched 6 rounds in the second half, finishing this matchup 6 to 16. Flusha acquired the highest rating of 1.76, and killed as many as 26 opponents.

In the highlight below, flusha blocked dignitas’ attempt to take control of B-bombsite on de_inferno, obtaining a quick triple kill.

The second series featured a fight between Team EnVyUs and the actual top ranked team in the world, Astralis. The Danish team maintained the first position in the rankings in all 2017, and proved their worth by winning the last CS:GO Major in January. Recently, the two teams faced each other on the same maps selected for today’s confrontation – de_inferno and de_train – and EnVyUs was appointed as victor in both of them with a 16-13 score. Today the situation was drastically different.

On de_inferno, Astralis won 16 to 1, leaving almost no chances to the French team. Alexandre “xms” Forté had a better game if compared to the rest of EnVyuS, and tried to acquire some rounds, but generally the squad was overpowered. Nicolai “device” Reedtz was the MVP of the game with a 2.40 rating and an excellent 26-5 score.

EnVyUs’ win rate on the de_train was rather negative: 30% with only three victories in all 2017. Today they tried harder, probably to comeback after the defeat on the first map, but ultimately they lost also this game to Astralis. Thanks to the combined efforts of device and Markus “Kjaerbye” Kjærbye, who scored 29 kills each, Astralis won the battle 16 to 10.

Device defended the B-bombsite on de_inferno from the same exact spot used by flusha in the game versus dignitas. He obtained a triple kill with his AWP.

 

European League – Day 2

  • Astralis vs. Team Dignitas – Nuke 16:14 (11:4; 5:10)
  • Team Dignitas vs. Astralis – Mirage 7:16 (3:12; 4:4)
  • FaZe Clan vs. Team EnVyUs – Inferno 16:14 (11:4; 5:10)
  • Team EnVyUs vs. FaZe Clan – Train 3:16 (3:12; 0:4)

Astralis continued to fight also on day 2, against Team Dignitas. The skill difference between the two teams was huge: dignitas is currently ranked the 40th on HLTV, and they are one of the worst placed team in the EU league. Their performance improved greatly since the acquisition of the new roster in March, but they also never won a single time on de_nuke, the map selected for the first battle.

Even if all statistics were against them, dignitas displayed an optimal performance, and lost the first map with a respectable 14:16 score. Both teams had the upper hand during the CT-side, but Astalis snatched one extra round in each half, and was rewarded with the victory. THE MVP was a member of dignitas, Jorgen “cromen” Robertsen, who scored 29 kills, a 1.46 rating, and an amazing 69% headshot rate.

Also on de_mirage, dignitas’ win rate was horrible, and this time Astralis punished them with a 16 to 7 victory. The second half was rather balanced, but as Counter-Terrorists Astralis scored a total of 12 rounds. Markus “Kjaerbye” Kjærbye led his team to victory with a shocking 84% headshot rate, killing as many as 25 enemies, 1.09 per round on average.

In the highlight, cromen killed four enemies with a full spray of AK-47, then he proceeded to finish the remaining one, obtaining an ACE. All deaths were caused by headshots.

Afterwards, it was the time of FaZe Clan versus Team EnVyUS. So far FaZe were undefeated at ECS, and after this series their maintained this status, earning the second place with 18 points and a 6-0 score. There are only two games in the history between the two teams, and they scored 1-1. After the acquisition of Nikola “NiKo” Kovač in February, FaZe’s rank increased over time, moving from the 9th to the actual 2nd place.

On de_inferno, FaZe had a 27.3% win rate in 2017, while EnVyUs were above 60%. Both teams prefered the Counter-Terrorist side, and the French team fought almost on par with their opponents, losing only for two rounds and scoring 14 to 16. Aleksi “allu” Jalli defeated 31 players, 1.03 per round, and earned a 1.45 rating.

De_train was a complete massacre: FaZe scored 12 rounds as Terrorists, then proceeded to obtain a flawless 4-0 in the second round, winning the matchup 16:3. Allu was again one of the best players, with a 1.77 rating, 2.22 K/D, and a solid 60% headshot rate.

We featured Finn “karrigan” Andersen’s defense on de_inferno – he killed four enemies from arch.

 

European League – Day 3

  • G2 Esports vs. FaZe Clan – Nuke 5:16 (4:11; 1:5)
  • FaZe Clan vs. G2 Esports – Overpass 16:14 (12:3; 4:11)
  • fnatic vs. GODSENT – Inferno 16:12 (10:5; 6:7)
  • GODSENT vs. fnatic – Mirage 19:16 (8:7; 7:8) (4:1)

Also G2 Esports weren’t able to break FaZe Clan’s win streak – they continued to reap victims, and reached the 8-0 score in the ladder. The are ten fights in the match history between the two teams since August 2016, and overall they tied 5 to 5. They scored 1-1 on the first map, de_nuke, with the most recent confrontation won by G2 in April. Instead, de_overpass is a new battlefield where they never clashed before.

FaZe showed a breathtaking performance on de_nuke, dominating on both sides of the map, and bringing home the first Bo1 with a 16 to 5 score. With this victory, their win rate on the map increased to 78.6% in 2017, over a total of fourteen games. The MVP was Håvard “rain” Nygaard with an exceptional 3.22 K/D, 29 kills, and a 69% headshot rate.

On de_overpass, each team had the upper hand during the Terrorist-side, but in the end FaZe won by acquiring one extra round in each half – the score was 16:14. Nikola “NiKo” Kovač obtained a 1.29 rating and 57.7% headshot rate.

In the highlight below, rain killed the defenders of the B-bombsite on de_nuke, and defused the bomb just at the last moment.

It was time for a Swedish derby with fnatic against GODSENT. They only played a couple of matches in the past six months, both on de_train and won by GODSENT. Fnatic are obviously in a better shape – currently they hold the 11th position on HLTV, and the top 4 in the ECS EU league. Instead, GODSENT are one of the worst placed teams in the tournament so far – they will most likely fight for a chance to get in the top 8 and earn an invite for the next season.

Even if the statistics were adverse to GODSENT, they offered a strong performance to all their fans, and fought almost on par with their opponents. Fnatic won the first battle on de_inferno with a 16:12 score, with a deciding CT-side that granted them 10 rounds. Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer scored the most kills, 27, and earned a respectable 1.38 rating.

The supremacy on de_mirage was heavily contested by both teams. They tied 15:15, and finally GODSENT were able to claim victory with a 4-1 score in overtime. An extraordinary game for Joakim “disco doplan” Gidetun, who killed as many as 33 opponents, 0.94 per round on average, and obtained a 1.35 rating.

Markus “pronax” Wallsten was waiting covered by a smoke, but Robin “flusha” Rönnquist surprised and killed him.

The fifth week of the European league ended with Astralis reacquiring the first place in the ladder with a 9-3 score and 27 points. FaZe Clan holds the second place with a 8-0 score – we wonder which team will finally break their win streak. GODSENT and Team Dignitas are at the bottom of the ladder, but the former displayed a satisfying performance during the Swedish derby. The official standings are available here.

 

North American League – Day 1

  • Cloud9 vs. OpTic Gaming – Train 4:16 (4:11; 0:5)
  • OpTic Gaming vs. Cloud9 – Cobblestone 5:16 (2:13; 3:3)
  • Team Liquid vs. Renegades – Cobblestone 16:9 (12:3; 4:6)
  • Renegades vs. Liquid Gaming – Mirage 19:17 (11:4; 4:11) (4:2)

Cloud9 won three Bo1 in the past week of ECS, and claimed the top position in the NA league. They played a total of 29 games against OpTic Gaming since 2016, totalizing 20 victories, and proving to be the best team. Considering 2017 only, they had the upper hand seven times out of nine.

The battlefield selected for the first game was de_train, where C9 defeated OpTic in the past three confrontations. Against all odds, OpTic crushed their opponents with a 16 to 4 score. They won 11 rounds in the first half, and then had a perfect T-side scoring 5:0. The man of the match was Will “RUSH” Wierzba, who got 30 kills, an awesome 2.36 rating, and a pretty solid 70% headshot rate.

Instead, C9 outwitted OpTic in the second Bo1: they earned 13 rounds as Counter-Terrorists, and finished the game with a 16-5 score. De_cbble is one of C9 best maps, and in the past 3 months they had a win rate higher than 70%. They tied the series, but still the fight on de_train was a huge surprise as they have a respectable 69.2% win rate on this map, while OpTic hovers around 50%.

Featured below, a spray by Timothy “autimatic” Ta, that earned C9 the fourth round on de_cbble. He was also the second highest rated player in the match with 1.38.

The first day ended with a battle between Team Liquid and Renegades. The two lineups encountered each other a total of seven times so far, and Renegades won six of those matches. Despite these data, Liquid maintained a better rank in all 2017 – but, in the past three months their rank dropped from the 15th position to the 19th, while Renegades improved from the 28th to the 22nd.

The first map, on de_cbble, was one of Liquid’s favourites: in 2017 they won 18 games and lost 6, with a 75% win rate. Their CT-side was almost flawless, and they won 12 rounds, while Renegades struggled to break their defense. The second half saw a more evenly division of the rounds, but Liquid was still the better team and won the match 16:9. The MVP was Nick “nitr0” Cannella with a 65.4% headshot rate, 26 kills, and a 1.56 rating.

The win rate of both teams on de_mirage was around 50% in 2017 – they fought a very close match in which the winner wasn’t decided until the very end. Each team secured 11 round as Counter-Terrorist, thus scoring 15-15 and starting the Overtime. Here, Renegades finally won with a 4 to 2 score. Nemanja “nexa” Isaković was the best player for Renegades with a 57.1% headshot rate and 1.27 rating. Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski from Liquid scored the most kills, 31, and had an even higher rating of 1.30.

In the replay you can have a look at the last round of the match, in which nexa won the game with a brilliant 1vs3 clutch.

 

North American League – Day 2

  • Cloud9 vs. Renegades – Train 16:7 (11:4; 5:3)
  • Renegades vs. Cloud9 – Cache 6:16 (6:9; 0:7)
  • Immortals vs. NRG Esports – Inferno 10:16 (4:11; 6:5)
  • NRG Esports vs. Immortals – Cobblestone 11:16 (5:10; 6:6)

Cloud9 and Renegades faced each other multiple times from 2016 onwards. C9 demonstrated to be a better team scoring 13 to 4, and they also won all the previous matches on the maps selected for this series, de_train and de_cache. Renegades claimed two games versus C9 in 2017, but beside those their performance has been subpar, and the NA team almost always prevailed.

C9 confirmed the results obtained in the previous fights and won both maps. De_train ended 16:7 in their favour, with 11 round conquered as Counter-Terrorists. The MVP was Jake “Stewie2K” Yip with a 1.96 rating, 64.3% headshot rate, and 1.22 kills per round.

The situation was critical on de_cache: C9 won 9 rounds as Terrorists, and then obtained a flawless 7 score as CT, winning the match 16 to 6. Timothy “autimatic” Ta resulted particularly efficient in this game: he killed 30 opponents, obtained an average damage per round of 128.8, and a marvelous 2.13 rating. He displayed a performance almost twice as good as any other player in the match. Renegades had a positive win rate in both maps during 2017, but this time their enemies were just too strong.

Stewie2K and Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert won the pistol round during the second half on de_cache thanks to their cooperation.

Finally, the second day of the American league ended with a battle between NRG Esports and Immortals. Just a couple of days ago, Lincoln “fnx” Lau stepped down from Immortal’s active roster, so the coach Rafael “zakk” Fernandes decided to play in his place until the team will find a permanent solution.

Zakk had a performance aligned with the rest of the team on de_inferno: he scored 20 kills, 0.77 per round on average, and obtained a solid 50% headshot rate. NRG won this first game 16 to 10, thanks to a satisfactory T-side that brought 11 rounds in their pockets.

Immortals won the fight on de_cbble with a better CT-side – instead, during the second half the teams got 6 rounds each. The MVP was Ricardo “boltz” Prass with 26 kills, 101.7 average damage per round, and a 1.36 rating. De_cbble is also one of Immortal’s best maps: they played a total of 30 games in 2017 and won 22 of them, with a win rate above 70%.

Henrique “hen1” Teles killed two players with a single shot of AWP.

 

North American League – Day 3

  • Immortals vs. OpTic Gaming – Cobblestone 10:16 (4:11; 6:5)
  • OpTic Gaming vs. Immortals – Mirage 17:19 (5:10; 10:5) (2:4)
  • Ghost Gaming vs. Luminosity Gaming – Mirage 18:22 (6:9; 9:6) (3:7)
  • Luminosity Gaming vs. Ghost Gaming – Train 16:10 (8:7; 8:3)

Yesterday, Immortals showed a solid gameplay even if they were forced to fight with a standin: their own coach. The result today is more amazing because they snatched a game against OpTic Gaming, currently the second best team in the American league. The two rosters fought numerous times in the past, and ultimately OpTic won the most – 11 games out of 19.

The battleground for the first Bo1 was de_cbble. Immortals maintained a stable win rate above 70% on this map in 2017, and won their last fight here versus OpTic. Today, the NA team ruled the conflict with 11 rounds during the Counter-Terrorist side, and won the match 16 to 10. Will “RUSH” Wierzba and Keith “NAF” Markovic strongly contributed to the team’s victory by scoring a rating above 1.35, 25 and 24 kills respectively, and an average damage per round of more than 90.

The two teams had a similar performance on de_mirage in the past three months, and today they had an all-out fight that ended in overtime. Each of them obtained 10 rounds as Counter-Terrorists, then Immortals claimed victory in overtime scoring 19:17. The man of the match was Henrique “hen1” Teles – he killed 33 enemies and achieved a 1.45 rating.

RUSH secured the matchpoint on de_cbble with a quadra kill.

The final series of the day featured a battle between Ghost Gaming and Luminosity Gaming. Ghost didn’t play with their original lineup as the team was participating also in another event at the same time. In order to have enough players, also the coach Phong “bee-1os-” Nguyên took part in this fight.

Luminosity won the first Bo1 on de_mirage, but Ghost tried their best till the very end: the match ended with a double overtime, where the Brazilian team triumphed 7 to 3. The result was more than satisfactory for Ghost as they didn’t deploy their official roster. The MVP was Vinicios “PKL” Coelho with an absurd total of 41 kills, a 63.4% headshot rate, and a 1.53 rating.

Ghost were out of luck on de_train. The first half was even, but once the sides swapped Luminosity pulverized their opponents with a well-organized attack, and tied the series with a 16:10 score. As usual, Gustavo ‘SHOOWTiME‘ Gonçalves attained an optimal headshot rate of 68.4%.

Below, Gustavo “yeL” Knittel’s ACE on de_mirage.

Let’s have a look at the American ladder after the end of the fifth week. Cloud9 maintained the first place and improved their score, moving from 24 to 33 points. OpTic Gaming and Counter Logic Gaming are still in the top 4, while Team Liquid earned the third place with a 6-2 score and 18 points. Ghost Gaming remains the last team in the ladder with a 0-12 score. You can find the official standings here.

The sixth week of Esports Championship Series S3 will take place from May 23 to 25, and will be aired as usual on YouTube.