After two tourney wins this year and spending big money on the likes of GuardiaN, olofmeister, and NiKo, many expected the best from FaZe Clan heading into EPICENTER 2017.
But expectations aren’t the same as reality. Let’s recap the action.
EPICENTER 2017 – Group A
Group A opened with SK Gaming as the clear victors over Virtus.pro 2-0 (16-5 and 16-7). Next up, FaZe Clan took on Gambit Esports, the winners of the ELEAGUE Major 2017, the DreamHack Austin 2017, and the PGL Major Krakow 2017.
It proved to be an epic contest: Gambit just edged out FaZe Clan in the first game 19-16 to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three contest. In the second game, FaZe Clan took charge on the Inferno map and won 16-9 to level the contest. The third game was a classic on Cache. In a back and forth contest, FaZe Clan came out the winners with a 22-20 victory.
In the battle of the losing teams from the opening two games, Virtus.pro edged out Gambit in another close battle.
From there, all eyes in Group A were on the SK Gaming vs. FaZe Clan clash. First, FaZe Clan romped to a win in the opening map 16-7. However, SK Gaming roared back, taking the second map 16-2 and then pushed home that advantage on the third map 16-8 to take a 2-1 victory and the top seed spot from Group A in the playoffs.
Still, FaZe Clan would head into their final game as the favorites to beat Virtus.pro. They once again started very well, winning the first map by a commanding 16-2 score. Then, Virtus.pro took the second map 16-11, forcing a third and final match. This was another great game, but FaZe Clan cracked under the pressure, and Virtus.pro shocked many by taking a 16-13 win to claim the second seed spot in Group A.
Final Standing – Group A
- SK Gaming 2-0 (71-38) +33
- Virtus.pro 2-1 (91-107) -16
- FaZe Clan 1-2 (120-121) -1
- Gambit Esports 0-2 (83-99) -16
EPICENTER 2017 – Group B
Group B began with a clash between G2 Esports and Astralis, two teams that were initially expected to be the two qualifiers from the group. The first game was a close battle with G2 Esports edging it 16-13, but in the second match G2 Esports dominated Astralis with a 16-4 victory.
The second game in the group pitted North against Team Liquid. In the opening match, Team Liquid edged the map 16-14. Their Danish opponents bounced back in the second and third games, taking them both by 16-11 scores for a 2-1 victory.
That left Team Liquid and Astralis battling to save their place in the competition. It was a case of double Danish misery for Team Liquid; Astralis came through as the victors 2-0.
Then, G2 Esports displayed real dominance in dismantling North with consummate ease, defeating them 16-1 on Mirage and 16-5 on Nuke. This forced North into an all-Danish playoff against Astralis for a place in the playoffs, which is being contested currently.
The winner of the North vs. Astralis match will take on SK Gaming in the first semifinal, while the second semi pits G2 Esports against Virtus.pro.
The winners of those games will then contest the final.
ESL One Hamburg promises to be every bit as exciting as Frankfurt
After three years in Frankfurt, the German ESL One event has moved to a new home in the Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg. Eight of the best Dota 2 teams competing for a prize pool of $1 million in the latest matchup on the Valve Pro Circuit.
In addition to the top cash prizes — $500,000 for the winners, $200,000 for the runner-up, and $90,000 apiece for the third- and fourth-place teams — there are 750, 450, and 150 Pro Circuit Points up for first through fourth place.
The eight teams competing have been drawn into two groups:
- Group A – Evil Geniuses, Fnatic, Newbee, Team Secret
- Group A matches – Newbee vs. Fnatic and Evil Geniuses vs. Team Secret
- Group B – Keen Gaming, Team Liquid, Virtus.pro, SG e-sports
- Group B matches – Team Liquid vs. SG e-Sports and Virtus.pro vs. Keen Gaming
After these opening games, the two winners from the first two matches will play each other. The winner of that game claims the top seed from the group. The two losers also play, and the team that loses that game is eliminated. The two remaining teams play the final group game, with the winner claiming the second seed spot in the playoff semifinals.
You can place bets on all the games, as well as the outright winner market, for the ESL One Hamburg at Betway over the weekend. Currently, Team Liquid are the 31/20 favourites to win the event ahead of Virtus.pro at 3/1 and Evil Geniuses at 9/2. Next comes Newbie (6/1), Team Secret (7/1), and then you head into the outsiders with Keen Gaming (16/1), Happy Feet, and SG e-sports (30/1).