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Esports Championship Series – Four Weeks in and SK Gaming are Stumbling

Esports championship series

The Esports Championship Series Season 5 has been running for four weeks now in both Europe and North America qualification zones. The top four teams in each of the qualifiers will make it through into the ECS Season 5 Finals which will take place at the SSE Arena, London, England between June 8 and June 10.

However, some big names are struggling to make those top places in both qualifying sections and we will examine how things have gone in both the North American and European regional qualifiers in turn.

It is worth noting that due to scheduling conflicts, the teams in these qualifiers do not play the same number of games in each game week and as such, some teams have played considerably more games than others in the qualifying tournament thus far. Those teams that have played fewer games will play more during the second four weeks of qualifying to make up the difference and ensure that all teams play the same amount of games across the eight weeks.

All matches are best of two games and are played in the same game week. Each team plays the other team in their league once for a total of 9 matches and 18 individual games.

ECS North American League

Current Table

PosTeam NameRecordGames WonGames LostPts
1NRG Esports15-126115945
2Cloud911-524719633
3Luminosity Gaming7-516413721
4Team Liquid6-414912818
5Renegades6-814618618
6Rogue5-510613015
7SK Gaming4-612211012
8OpTic Gaming3-111552019
9compLexity Gaming3-111482139
10eUnited2-6881176

Qualification Criteria

  • Top Four enter the ECS Season 5 Finals
  • 5th to 8th retain their place in the League for ECS Season 6
  • 9th & 10th place compete in the Season 6 Challenger Cup for the final two places in Season 6.

The Story So Far

There have been two unfolding stories in the North American qualifier and that is the dominance of NRG Esports, who have surprised everybody by achieving a superb 15-1 record to sit comfortably clear at the top of the table.

Equally surprising is the fact that one of the most talented CS:GO teams in the world, SK Gaming, currently sit in 7th position, albeit having only played 10 games thus far. SK Gaming have lost a number of very close double-header matches, notably to Cloud9 and NRG Esports, that has seen them post a losing record of 4-6 from those opening ten games. The pressure is now on them over the final four weeks of the qualifiers to improve their position and work their way into playoff contention.

That is not going to be easy with all the teams currently in the top four, plus Rogue, all having lost fewer games than SK thus far, so it is going to be an exciting final few weeks of qualifying in North America to see who eventually makes it into the finals.

Who do each team have left to play?

  • NRG Esports – Luminosity Gaming
  • Cloud9 – Rogue
  • Luminosity Gaming – Team Liquid, NRG Esports, SK Gaming
  • Team Liquid – eunited, Luminosity Gaming, SK Gaming, Rogue
  • Renegades – OpTic Gaming, Rogue
  • Rogue – Cloud9, eUnited, Team Liquid, Renegades
  • SK Gaming – compLexity Gaming, eUnited, Team Liquid, Luminosity Gaming
  • Optic Gaming – eUnited, Renegades
  • compLexity Gaming – eUnited, SK Gaming
  • eUnited – compLexity Gaming, Team Liquid, Optic Gaming, SK Gaming, Rogue

Key Matches

The set of six games across three matches between Luminosity Gaming, Team Liquid and SK Gaming will likely have the biggest impact on which of the teams earn the remaining qualifying spots for the Finals in June.

ECS European League

Current Table

PosTeam NameRecordGames WonGames LostPts
1Astralis13-122813439
2Fnatic9-517715827
3FaZe Clan6-414910918
4mousesports6-615715118
5Ninjas in Pyjamas5-614812315
6GODSENT5-714116615
7G2 Esports4-2916612
8Virtus.pro4-913719012
9Gambit Esports4-1013620312
10Team EnVyUs3-91271919

Qualification Criteria

  • Top Four enter the ECS Season 5 Finals
  • 5th to 8th retain their place in the League for ECS Season 6
  • 9th & 10th place compete in the Season 6 Challenger Cup for the final two places in Season 6.

The Story so Far

Danish team Astralis have once again proven their quality by putting together the best record in the European League, losing just one of the 14 matches they have played against seven teams. Only mousesports took a game off them and that win has proven crucial for mousesports as it has lifted them into fourth in the table.

Both Fnatic and FaZe Clan look well set to qualify despite records that they will feel are slightly below what they should have expected coming into the event. The real unknown factor in the European qualifying section though, which could have an impact on Fnatic and FaZe Clan is G2 Esports who have played just six games but who have a 4-2 record, though it should be noted that all their games so far have been against teams that are ranked sixth or below in the table.

In the second half of fixtures over the next four weeks there are going to be some massive matches to be played including Ninjas in Pyjamas two matches against FaZe Clan and mousesports which could well define who has the best chance of qualifying out of that trio of teams.  How G2 Esports perform against teams ranked 5th or higher will also likely determine whether they reach the Finals too, or whether they simply secure their place for Season 6.

Who do each team have left to play?

  • Astralis – G2 Esports, Gambit Esports
  • Fnatic – G2 Esports, GODSENT
  • FaZe Clan – Team EnVyUs, G2 Esports, GODSENT, Ninjas in Pyjamas
  • Mousesports – G2 Esports, Gambit Esports, Ninjas in Pyjamas
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas – FaZe Clan, G2 Esports, mousesports
  • GODSENT – FaZe Clan, Fnatic, Virtus.pro
  • G2 Esports – Astralis, Team EnVyUs, FaZe Clan, Fnatic, mousesports, Ninjas in Pyjamas
  • pro – Team EnVyUs, GODSENT
  • Gambit Esports – Astralis, mousesports
  • Team EnVyUs – FaZe Clan, G2 Esports, Virtus.pro

Key Matches

The six games between FaZe Clan, mousesports and Ninjas in Pyjamas will likely have the biggest bearing on events at the top of the League, although you cannot rule out G2 Esports having a say in matters given the number of games they have still to play in the event.

 

Ian John

About

A lifelong poker fan, Ian is also well-versed in the world of sports betting, casino gaming, and has written extensively on the online gambling industry. Based in the UK, Ian brings fresh insight into all facets of gaming.