Having already taken home the top prize at the CS_Summit in March and from the Intel Extreme Masters in Sydney just a few days later, SK Gaming have now claimed their richest prize of the year.
With their superb $250,000 victory at the Esports Championship Series Season 3 Finals last weekend, they landed their biggest payday since they won half a million dollars at the ESL One: Cologne 2016 last October.
The German-Brazilian team was always among the hot favorites for this event and has now confirmed their place as the current best and certainly most consistent CS:GO squad.
The event took place at Wembley Arena in front of packed crowds, and SK Gaming were initially drawn into Group A. SK started up next against G2 Esports, a team that had bettered them in a recent tournament, but SK were in great form and notched up a 16-7 victory.
That set up a match between FaZe Clan and SK Gaming in the third game. Once again, SK Gaming came through with a 16-8 victory to claim top spot in the group and ensure a place in the semis. Despite that defeat, FaZe Clan would go on to claim the group’s second spot, defeating G2 Esports in a best-of-three final game 2-0 (16-10, 16-11).
In Group B, Cloud9 came through over Fnatic and then had an epic 19-15 victory over Astralis. Astralis claimed the runner-up spot with a 2-1 victory in the final and deciding game against Team Liquid (16-4, 9-16, 16-10).
Despite Group B’s tight competition, the experts always projected the likely winner of the tournament would come from Group A. In the semis, SK Gaming overcame Astralis 2-1 in their best-of-three encounter. However, SK did suffer a scare, losing the opening game 16-12.
The second semi was more straightforward: FaZe Clan defeated Cloud9 2-0, (16-5 and 19-15) to earn a spot in the final and their second chance to get the better of SK.
It proved to be an epic finale. FaZe Clan put up a tremendous battle in all three maps, winning the opening map 16-11 to put SK under real pressure. The second map ebbed and flowed before SK Gaming snatched a 19-17 win in overtime. The third map was also on a knife edge, but SK won in another 19-17 overtime epic.
The next time these teams will be in action will be at the ESL One in Cologne 2017 starting Tuesday, July 4.
PGL Major Krakow 2017 Offline Qualifiers get underway
With the $1,000,000 PGL Major Krakow just over two weeks away, it is the final chance for a host of teams to claim one of the eight remaining qualification spots. The PGL Major Krakow 2017 Offline Qualifiers will run from June 29 through July 2.
At the end of this qualifying campaign, eight new teams will join the eight teams already qualified to contest the finals in the middle of July.
The eight teams already confirmed by way of earning “Legends” status are:
- SK Gaming
- Natus Vincere
- Gambit Esports
- FaZe Clan
Sixteen teams are competing in the offline qualifier in a Swiss qualifying system. It will have a total of five rounds to decide which of the eight teams will claim a spot in the finals.
The first round will see each of the teams seeded, and the top seeds will take on the bottom seeds in the opening round. In the second round, the eight winning teams will play against each other, as will the eight losing teams.
In the third round, the four teams with 2-0 records will play against each other; the eight teams with 1-1 records will battle it out; and the four teams with 0-2 records will also play each other. The losers of the games among winless teams are eliminated.
The two teams with a 3-0 record after the first three rounds will earn the first two qualifying spots and not need to play more. Other teams still in the tournament will play Round Four, which pits the six 2-1 teams against each other and the six 1-2 teams against each other.
The three teams that win those 2-1 matches will also qualify for the finals, while the losing teams of the 1-3 record games are eliminated.
This leaves one final round to decide the final three spots from remaining 2-2 teams. The winners claim the final three qualification spots; the three losers head home.
The 16 teams competing are:
- G2 Esports
- Team Liquid
- OpTic Gaming
- Flipsid3 Tactics
- Vega Squadron
- PENTA Esports
- Team Dignitas
Bet365 is offering match betting on some of the big games. All eight first-round matches are priced up and available to bet on now.
Image credit: Christian Södergren / Flickr.com / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0