After weeks of big LAN events and some pretty big one-off online tournaments we finally have a week where there is almost nothing going on. There is no big LAN, there is no major online one off and with the ESL Pro League group stage done and dusted all that leaves us with is ECS, which has somewhat been flying under the radar for a while.
In Europe we have some familiar faces at the top of the standings with G2, Mouz and Astralis at the top, although surprisingly NiP is sitting just behind them in fourth. GODSENT and Dignitas sit in the relegation places, but once again VP isn’t far ahead of them.
In the NA division things are a little more surprising. Cloud9 sit at the top of the table with CLG, OpTic and Liquid just behind them. Liquid actually has the chance to go top when they play their games in hand, as they are one of only two teams in the league to only lose one map, the other is Renegades who have only played four games. Ghost Gaming have been very disappointing and have lost all 10 games, putting them in last place, with Luminosity just ahead of them with three wins.
This week we have some pretty hype matches, and some that will have big impacts on the final standings. We are now past the halfway point, so every win really does become very important and one mistake could cost you a shot at the LAN. So let’s get down to it and look at the matches taking place this week.
Dignitas vs Astralis
On paper this looks like a clean sweep for Astralis over a team that is battling for relegation, but the recent Dignitas roster changes make this a lot more interesting. Since those roster changes Dig have looked good, and have actually started to pick up a few wins. This match will be the real test for this line up though, as of yet they haven’t really faced that many top teams, and they don’t get much bigger than Astralis. Our prediction is 2-0 to Astralis, but with the caveat that if this Dig lineup is working well they could easily take a map and prove to the world that they do deserve to be in this competition.
Cloud9 vs OpTic
Cloud9 have been impressive online since the start of ECS. They sit at the top of the group at 8-2 and elsewhere managed to win the Subaru online event last weekend. Whats even more impressive is that in their 10 ECS matches, they have only dropped 91 rounds. OpTic meanwhile have also looked good and sit just behind C9 with a 6-4 record. This will be one of the most important matches in ECS this week. A win for C9 gives them some daylight at the top, with CLG and Liquid being their only challengers, but a win for OpTic throws open the entire race to first. We have to go with 2-0 to C9 based on how good they have been, but OpTic could do well here.
FaZe vs G2
This is perhaps the match on paper that is hardest to call. Both teams have been doing well recently, and both have recent LAN wins, but their online form is quite different. FaZe have struggled against the big teams online, and missed out on the Pro League finals, whereas G2 made it in with ease and came second in the group. In ECS they top the group with a 6-2 record and have looked good. But counting out FaZe is never a good idea with their fragging power. We think this will be a 1-1, after all FaZe haven’t lost in the ECS yet and G2 are looking great.
Liquid vs Renegades
Both of these teams have only lost one match in ECS so far, giving them both a good chance of making it to the top of the table. However at least one team is going to be handed some more losses this week and we have to say that it will be Renegades. Liquid have looked really quite good recently, if a little inconsistent, but they have knocked off the likes of Immortals, OpTic and CLG so far. Renegades on the other hand have only played SK and Luminosity, who have both struggled. We think this will be 2-0 to Liquid and put them in the driving seat for ECS.
Fnatic vs GODSENT
Based on from alone this result shouldn’t even need to be predicted, as Fnatic should win this easily 2-0. However you have to factor in the rivalry between the two teams after the failed Swedish shuffle and that may just give GODSENT the extra incentive they need to take a map. We think this will be 1-1, purely because GODSENT will really want to win this, however the quality over on Fnatic should be more than enough to secure one map.
Ghost vs Luminosity
While NA has some matches that will impact the top end of the table, this will be the most important match at the bottom. Ghost are all but out of the competition, however a 2-0 win here would give them some hope of staying in the league. Luminosity however, have a better situation but have a lot of losses. They too need a 2-0 win to help their cause, otherwise their season could be over. This match has so much riding on it, and you would hope that both teams have been studying hard. Unfortunately for Ghost we have to say Luminosity will take it 2-0. Ghost have looked outclassed in this league, and at this point it would be a surprise to see them win even one map this season. This is their best shot, but even then we think Luminosity are just too good for them.