ECS Season 3 – Week 7 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 seven, from May 26 to 28. You can find the replays of each day at http://youtube.com/faceit.

Summary of the previous weeks

 

European League – Day 1

  • FaZe Clan vs. Team Dignitas – Inferno 16:5 (10:5; 6:0)
  • Team Dignitas vs. FaZe Clan – Overpass 10:16 (4:11; 6:5)
  • fnatic vs. FaZe Clan – Mirage 19:17 (12:3; 3:12) (4:2)
  • FaZe Clan vs. fnatic – Train 16:11 (8:7; 8:4)
  • G2 Esports vs. Team EnVyUs – Nuke 17:19 (6:9; 9:6) (2:4)
  • Team EnVyUs vs. G2 Esports – Inferno 16:19 (11:4; 4:11) (1:4)

The weekend started with a battle between Team Dignitas and the undefeated FaZe Clan. Skill wise, FaZe is a capable team, and they should achieve an easy victory in today’s series: they are ranked the 2nd on HLTV, while dignitas currently hold the 40th position. There are no previous matches between the two lineups.

On de_inferno, FaZe obtained a quick 16 to 5 victory. They scored 10 rounds as Counter-Terrorists, and finished the game with a perfect 6:0 score in the second half. Nikola “NiKo” Kovač inflicted 113.7 damage per round on average, killed as many as 25 opponents, and reached a 1.70 rating.

The second game took place on de_overpass, a map where dignitas are usually stronger on the T-side, and on which they achieved a 50% win rate in 2017. This time, they were not able to penetrate FaZe’s defenses, and lost the first half 4 to 11. Once the sides swapped, they tried their best to recuperate as many rounds as possible, but ultimately FaZe had the upper hand 16 to 10. Håvard “rain” Nygaard was the top killer in his team, with a 28-18 score and 106.7 ADR.

In the highlight, Ricardo “fox” Pacheco defended the B-bombsite on de_inferno with all his might.

FaZe Clan continued to fight, this time against fnatic. FaZe won 2 matches out of 3 against the Swedes in 2017, but considering also the past year, fnatic is the victor with a 6 to 5 score. Currently, FaZe are in a great shape, but also fnatic still hold a more than respectable 11th position on HLTV.

Fnatic won the previous three fights on de_mirage, and today they proved yet again their superiority on this map. Both teams had an almost perfect CT-side, conquering as many as 12 rounds, and bringing the match into overtime. Here, fnatic won the first game of the series with a 4:2 score. This is the first loss for FaZe Clan, that remained undefeated in the previous six weeks of ECS. Aleksi “allu” Jalli contributed to the team’s victory scoring 34 kills and a 1.27 rating.

The players moved on de_train, a map favourable to FaZe. Here, they won four of the past five matches versus fnatic, and attained a win rate above 70% in 2017. The first half was rather balanced, but FaZe had a better defense and obtained 8 rounds as Counter-Terrorists, winning the match 16 to 11. Nikola “NiKo” Kovač earned the title of MVP for the second time today: he killed 22 opponents, inflicting 83.9 ADR, and obtaining a 1.14 rating.

Unfortunately, there was no english stream available for this series, but you can check out the replay in Russian offered by StarLadder: Mirage; Train.

The first day of the European league ended with a derby between G2 Esports and Team EnVyUs. They amazed their fans with an incredible show, playing both games of the series until the very end, never giving up and moving in overtime twice. The teams clashed a total of eight times in 2017: G2 won most of the battles, totaling a 6-2 score.

The battleground selected for the first match was de_nuke. G2 Esports are extremely proficient on this map: they scored 12-4 in 2017, for a grand 75% win rate. Considering all statistics, the audience was mostly oriented on the victory of G2. Instead, EnVyUs today triumphed with a 4:2 in overtime. Each member of EnVyUs obtained a respectable score and rating – the best man was Alexandre “xms” Forté, who scored 30 kills and a 1.36 rating.

Below, Cédric “RpK” Guipouy killed the last opponent alive and tied the score to 15:15.

The teams moved on de_inferno, where EnVyUs’ win rate in 2017 was extremely negative. Despite it, they showed a good performance, and each team won 11 rounds as Counter-Terrorists. Once in overtime, G2 swiftly claimed victory 4 to 1. Nathan “NBK-” Schmitt dominated the opponents with a magnificent 34-19 score: he obtained a 1.60 rating, a 100.7 ADR, and killed 1 enemy in almost all rounds.

NBK- performed a real miracle, winning a 1vs5 clutch in less than 12 seconds. He didn’t even reload his AK-47 a single time!

 

European League – Day 2

  • Team EnVyUs vs. mousesports – Nuke 16:5 (11:4; 5:1)
  • mousesports vs. Team EnVyUs – Cobblestone 10:16 (2:13; 8:3)

Team EnVyUs entered the battlefield again, and faced mousesports in the only series planned for the EU league on day 2. Mouz had a rather stable performance in the past months, and from April onwards they won 16 games out of 31. The teams encountered each other only in a Bo1 series during 2017, and mousesports won it with solid scores. In particular, they fought on the same maps selected for today’s games.

This time the result was drastically different as EnVyUs conquered the series 2 to 0. On the first map, de_nuke, the French won 11 rounds as Counter-Terrorists, and destroyed mouz’s defense winning the second half 5 to 1. The top player of the match was Vincent “Happy” Schopenhauer with a 1.48 rating and an exceptional 20-0 score.

EnVyUs’ victory on de_cbble was completely unexpected because it is one of their worst maps ever. They have a 28.6% win rate with a 4-10 score in 2017. Both teams tried to accumulate as many rounds as possible during the T-side, but EnVyUs had a better game scoring 13-2 in the first half. Happy was in great shape today as he claimed again the title of MVP: he killed 27 opponents, 1.04 per round on average, and inflicted 106 ADR.

An unstoppable Christophe “SIXER” Xia cleared the last round on de_nuke with a quadra kill.

 

European League – Day 3

  • Astralis vs. FaZe Clan – Train 16:1 (14:1; 2:0)
  • FaZe Clan vs. Astralis – Nuke 16:10 (5:10; 11:0)
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. Virtus.pro – Nuke 16:11 (5:10; 11:1)
  • Virtus.pro vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas – Train 2:16 (2:13; 0:3)

The best European teams clashed during the last day. Astralis and FaZe Clan hold the top two positions, not only in our league, but also in the overall rankings on HLTV. They fought each other a total of fifteen times in 2017, but no real victor has been determined yet: Astralis lead with only a slight advantage, 8 to 7.

FaZe won the last battle on de_train just a couple of weeks ago, but today the situation was extremely different. Astralis monopolized the game with a 16 to 1 score – FaZe scored a round only as Terrorists. The MVP was Markus “Kjaerbye” Kjærbye with exceptional statistics: a 2.14 rating, 100% KAST, 119 ADR, and 23-3 score.

Afterwards, the squads moved on de_nuke, that presented a more balanced fight. In their encounters during the past months, the teams meet on this map a total of four times, scoring 2-2. Astralis prevailed during the first half, obtaining 10 rounds as Counter-Terrorists, but once the sides swapped FaZe was flawless. They built an impenetrable defense that blocked any assault organized by the Danes, and ultimately won 16 to 10. Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth displayed a solid performance by killing 22 opponents and earning a 1.20 rating.

In the highlight below, Nikola “NiKo” Kovač’s quick triple kill on de_train.

The second battle featured Virtus.pro against Ninjas in Pyjamas. These games were extremely important for NiP, because they still have a chance to qualify for the LAN event, while Virtus.pro can only hope to enter in the top 8. VP are experiencing a negative period, and considering all May, they only won five games out of fifteen.

On de_nuke, VP claimed 10 rounds during the first half. NiP were able to achieve better results once on the CT-side, winning it 11 to 1, and claiming the match with a 16:11 score. Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg obtained 1.04 kills per round, for a total of 28, and inflicted 110 average damage per round.

Considering all 2017, NiP’s best map is de_train with a 61.5% win rate. They proved their ability by defeating VP 16 to 2, leaving in their hands only two rounds as Terrorists. The top player of the match was William “draken” Sundin, who got a stunning 1.91 rating, a 126.1 ADR, and a total of 22 kills.

We highlighted Adam “friberg” Friberg’s quadra kill, that secured round 10 on de_train.

At the end of the seventh week, three European teams qualified for the LAN finals in London: FaZe Clan, Astralis, and Fnatic. The next week will be decisive for G2 Esports and Ninjas in Pyjamas as only one of them will earn the last spot available. Mousesports and Team EnVyUs are in the top 8, and thus will receive an invite for the next season of ECS. The remaining three teams still have a chance to reach the 8th position. The official standings are available here.

 

North American League – Day 1

  • SK Gaming vs. Cloud9 – Cache 9:16 (6:9; 3:7)
  • Cloud9 vs. SK Gaming – Cobblestone 8:16 (6:9; 2:7)
  • Team Liquid vs. NRG Esports – Cobblestone 16:11 (12:3; 4:8)
  • NRG Esports vs. Team Liquid – Inferno 16:12 (9:6; 7:6)

SK Gaming and Cloud9 are the top ranked teams in the NA league, so today we expected a great show. Looking at their past games, they fought each other a total of 33 times, with SK leading 20 to 13. Instead, considering 2017 only, Cloud9 is the victor with a 5-4 score.

C9 won the previous match on de_cache with a good margin, and today history repeated itself. As expected, C9 had a better CT-side, and ultimately won the match 16 to 9. The man of the match was Timothy “autimatic” Ta with 23 kills and a 1.43 rating. Despite the result, both teams achieved a great win rate above 70% on this map in the past months.

De_cbble is well-known to be one of SK’s most popular playgrounds. They had a total of sixteen games on this map during 2017, and lost only two times. Today, they exhibited a better defense and obtained 7 rounds as Counter-Terrorists, bringing home the second match of the series with a 16:8 score. Fernando “fer” Alvarenga displayed an awesome performance: he scored 30-13, obtained a 2.02 rating, and inflicted an average damage per round of 111.

We witnessed another 1vs5 clutch during day 1, this time signed by fer. You can enjoy it in the highlight below.

Team Liquid and NRG Esports ended the dances on day 1. The former is currently in the top 4 of the NA league, but the latter isn’t far behind, and has a place in the top 6. They faced each other only twice in 2017, scoring a draw, thus there aren’t enough info to determine an absolute victor.

The first match took place on de_cbble, a map where Liquid already defeated NRG in February. Today, both teams had a solid CT-side, but ultimately Liquid overwhelmed their opponents by scoring 12 rounds in the first half. The 16:11 victory was a combined effort of each member of the team – in fact they obtained similar ratings and scores.

NRG tied the series with a victory on de_inferno. This is one of their best arenas: in 2017 they scored 15-4, boasting an astonishing 83.3% win rate. Liquid didn’t give up easily, and tried to overcome their enemies until the end, losing with a close 12:16. Vincent “Brehze” Cayonte was the top killer of the match with 23, and shared the same rating of 1.16 with his teammate Peter “ptr” Gurney.

In the video below, Team Liquid are waiting for the start of round 5.

 

North American League – Day 2

  • Counter Logic Gaming vs. Immortals – Cobblestone 4:16 (3:12; 1:4)
  • Immortals vs. Counter Logic Gaming – Mirage 16:13 (8:7; 8:6)
  • SK Gaming vs. Luminosity Gaming – Cache 16:14 (10:5; 6:9)
  • Luminosity Gaming vs. SK Gaming – Overpass 4:16 (3:12; 1:4)

As a part of the super weekend, today’s NA games were played live at Santa Ana’s Esports Arena.

The first matchup saw Counter Logic Gaming against Immortals. The match history between the two teams is extremely one-sided as immortals won ten games out of eleven. CLG only conquered a battle on de_cache in April, but otherwise they only suffered losses since September.

As predicted, the game on de_cbble ended with a 16 to 4 victory for Immortals. Ricardo “boltz” Prass must be praised as he massively contributed in the 12 rounds won during the Terrorist side. He was the MVP of the team with a 24-12 score, a 1.62 rating, and a KAST of 90% – the latter measures round-to-round consistency.

The second match took place on de_mirage, where CLG has a win rate above 60% in 2017. Immortals won 16 to 13, but the title of top player went to Ricardo “Rickeh” Mulholland as he was the main culprit behind CLG’s close score. He killed 26 opponents and obtained a rating of 1.21, on par with Lucas “lucas” Teles.

Lucas displayed a formidable control of his weapon, killing three enemies consecutively.

In the last game of the day, SK Gaming engaged in battle against Luminosity Gaming. They are at the opposite sides of the NA ladder: after this series, SK obtained the second place with 36 points, while Luminosity the ninth with 15. If we take a look at their past matches, Luminosity never won against SK in the last six month, totalizing 0-6.

During the first game they fought on de_cache, a map where SK achieved great results in 2017, scoring 14-4 and a 77.8% win rate. Luminosity tried their best and only lost for a round difference in each half, 14 to 16. This was the third victory of SK against Luminosity on de_cache in the past 3 months.

Finally, SK Gaming claimed the second match of the series by winning 12 rounds as Counter-Terrorists. They earned a 16 to 4 victory on de_overpass – Luminosity attempted a feeble attack in the first half, obtaining only 3 rounds. Marcelo “coldzera” David was the best player with a 1.97 rating, 0.98 more than his average, and 1.15 kills per round. He also featured an exceptional 90% KAST, which explains how he had a crucial impact in almost all rounds of the battle.

Below, a great shot delivered by coldzera while guarding the B-bombsite on de_overpass

 

North American League – Day 3

  • Team Liquid vs. Cloud9 – Train 10:16 (6:9; 4:7)
  • Cloud9 vs. Team Liquid – Mirage 13:16 (7:8; 6:8)
  • SK Gaming vs. Immortals – Overpass 16:19 (7:8; 8:7) (1:4)
  • Immortals vs. SK Gaming – Cobblestone 9:16 (3:12; 6:4)

Cloud9 and Team Liquid are currently in the top 4 of the American ladder. They showed us a great series as both teams tried to obtain the last precious points. There are a total of eight games in their match history, and C9 is leading 5 to 3, but Liquid won the only two games played in 2017.

The map selected for the first confrontation was de_train. They both have positive results on this battlefield, particularly Cloud9, that scored 11-4 with a 73.3% win rate. They won 9 rounds as Terrorists, and then claimed the remaining 7 in the second half, winning 16 to 10. Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert and Jake “Stewie2K” Yip were the top players of the match: they shared a rating above 1.30, inflicting 25 and 27 kills respectively.

Considering the past months, the squads had a win rate around 50% on de_mirage. They had a very close game that almost went in overtime – Liquid won 16 to 13 thanks to a slightly better T-side. Undoubtedly Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken was the MVP with a grand total of 31 kills, 108.3 ADR, and a 1.62 rating.

In the replay, a well-executed spray by Stewie2K.

Finally, the week ended with a battle between SK Gaming and Immortals. SK are placed the 2nd in the NA league and the 3rd on HLTV: they are in great shape and won eight of their past 10 matches. SK won all the battles against Immortals in 2017, and only lost a series in 2016.

Despite the previous results, today Immortals prevailed on de_overpass. Considering the past months, they have a win rate above 60% on this map, and thus were able to fight on par with SK. After an extremely balanced fight, the match moved in overtime, where finally Immortals won scoring 4:1. It is extremely hard to determine a best athlete as everyone played excellently. Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo can probably hold the title of MVP with 30 kills and a 1.33 rating.

The second match, on de_cbble, was different. SK won 16 to 9 with a brilliant Terrorist side that granted them 12 rounds. SK have an astonishing 88% win rate on de_cbble in 2017: they won fifteen games and only lost two. Marcelo “coldzera” David led his team to victory with a 1.58 rating and 117 ADR.

FalleN secured the pistol round on de_cbble winning a 1vs2 clutch with two headshots.

At the end of the seventh week, two American teams qualified for the LAN event in London: Cloud9 and SK Gaming. Team Liquid and OpTic Gaming are currently in the top 4, but they have yet to confirm their spot, as Renegades and NRG Esports are slightly behind with 21 points each. Counter Logic Gaming and Luminosity Gaming follow with 18 and 15 respectively. Ghost Gaming confirmed their last position in the NA ladder with a 1-15 score. You can find the official standings here.

The eighth and last week of Esports Championship Series S3 will take place from June 6 to 7, and will be aired as usual on YouTube.