ESL One NYC Preview

Eight teams will enter, one will be the victor! The point of that opening line was to sound Gladiator-esque, to convey how epic ESL One NYC is going to be! SK Gaming, Astralis, FaZe, Team Liquid, VirtusPro, Na’Vi, EnVyUs, and Cloud9 are in New York with $1000 worth of modern gladiator armor, in the form of CSGO’s finest Kevlar and Helmet!

Live from New York city, this year’s event is in the Barclays Center Brooklyn, where the aforementioned teams will compete for a share of $250,000 USD.

ESL One NYC 2017

The top 3 at ESL One NYC

Based on recent form, SK Gaming remains in the number one spot. They’re in a bit of a slump, and despite placing 3rd at ESG Mykonos, their last win was at ESL One Cologne. SK is hellbent on getting a result in New York.

In the number two spot and just by a hair, Astralis are expecting a top placement in ESL One NYC. Like SK, they have a stable roster for some time now, and the expectation for a win from these top two teams is immense.

FaZe is the new megastar lineup of CSGO. They recently benched kioshuma and allu was sent packing to OpTic, leaving spots for Olofmeister and GuardiaN. It’s just a matter of time before FaZe picks up a huge tournament win, will it be here in NYC?

ESL One NYC Contenders; Hot on their heels

Team Liquid tore up SK in ESG Mykonos semis only to lose 3-2 in the finals. Oskar was MVP in Mykonos, Liquid is on form, confidence is high and could pull off a result.

Virtus.Pro has played a lot of CSGO this year, two tournament wins and a handful of 2nd-4th places. They are overdue a win and are capable of going all the way, they did in 2016.

After winning PGL Krakow, Kane (Gambit’s coach) left with Zeus, now the in-game leader for Na’Vi. This is now a much stronger team and a huge contender, like Virtus.Pro above, they made it to the final last year and won it. Lighting. Strikes. Twice?

EnVyUs and Cloud9 made it here the hard way via qualifiers, it would make a great story, albeit unlikely if they were to pick up the big shiny trophy. Cloud9 have benched n0thing and shroud, have a stable in-game leader, and RUSH and Tarik are in from OpTic.

This is CSGO, anything can happen. Chickens with R8 fades n stuff…

Relive last year’s final

$1M To Play For At ELEAGUE Premier 2017

Running from September 8th to October 13th, the ELEAGUE Premier 2017 is now firmly underway with 16 teams competing for a share of $1,000,000.

Bet in-play on ELEAGUE at ESP!

The tournament will begin with group stages before leading onto the single-elimination, Bo3 playoffs. While the majority of the tournament is played online, the finals will take place in Atlanta, Georgia, similar to previous years.

Competing teams and group makeup

Out of the 16 teams competing, 5 have entered through qualifying stages while the remaining 11 are invited.

OpTic found themselves disqualified from the tournament due to recent roster changes misaligning with the ELEAGUE rules. The rules don’t allow teams to change more than two players on their roster. OpTic has swapped three players as they have only kept Keith “NAF” Markovic and Óscar “mixwell” Cañellas.

Gambit failed to qualify after losing 14-16 on Train to the Polish squad AGO in the qualifiers. This comes as a disappointing blow for the recent PGL Major Krakow winners. Since their failure to qualify for ELEAGUE however, they managed to take home $22,000 and 3rd place at DreamHack Masters Malmö.

Group A

  • FaZe
  • G2
  • Natus Vincere
  • Renegades

Despite the recent addition of Olof ‘olofmeister’ Kajbjer (formerly Fnatic) and Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovács (previously in Na’Vi), FaZe have slipped in the overall rankings. After losing 1-2 to Gambit, FaZe failed to make it out of the group stages of DreamHack Masters Malmö.

It will no doubt make an exciting match when GuardiaN plays his former team, Na’Vi as they begin in the same group. Na’Vi will be feeling confident against at least one team in their group as they recently defeated Renegades 2-0 on Cobblestone and Train. They’ve also managed to pick up wins against G2 and FaZe, but given recent roster changes, it’s unsafe to assume that momentum will be carried forward.

Group B

  • Fnatic
  • Mousesports
  • North
  • Immortals

The Brazilian side of Immortals fought their way into the event by winning every map handed to them during the North American qualifiers. However, they’ll stand against tougher opposition in Group B. Knowing this, and with a string of bad results at ESL Pro League, Immortals will need to seriously step up their game if they want to make out of the group stages.

If DreamHack Masters Malmö is anything to go off, Immortals might find a win against Fnatic as they managed to take them down 2-0 in the group decider match of the tournament. Fnatic has only played two games since Malmö, both being wins against the French side, EnVyUs.

North proved many analysts wrong during their performance at Malmö and has had plenty of games to practise on in the meantime at ECS Season 4 and ESL Pro League. Also in group B is the European squad of Mousesports who have struggled to make headlines recently following a lack of any consistent map wins.

Group C

  • Cloud9
  • NiP
  • Virtus Pro
  • EnVyUs

The Swedish squad of NiP have certainly picked up momentum in recent months and boast 3rd place finish at Malmö and wins against teams such as Na’Vi, Gambit and FaZe.

Things aren’t looking good for the EnVyUs team after only winning 3 of their last 10 maps. It’s a slightly better story for Virtus Pro who have won 5/10 of their most recent maps. Interestingly, this includes a win against fellow Group C members, Cloud9. The American squad struggled to get past SK during Malmö and have since won and lost a map to Immortals.

Group D

  • Astralis
  • SK
  • Heroic
  • Liquid

After making it through their respective qualifiers, Heroic and Liquid have arguably got the most unlucky group placement. Up against seasoned veterans SK and Astralis, it’s unlikely they’ll make it out of Group D.

Astralis will play Liquid in the first match of Group D, followed by SK vs Liquid. Assuming an SK vs Astralis winners match takes place, the Danish side of Astralis should feel quietly confident after beating SK 2-0 in the quarterfinals of PGL Major Krakow on Cache and Overpass.

Prize Money

With $500,000 going to the 1st place winners of ELEAGUE Premier 2017, the winners will be the highest paid team of ELEAGUE history.

To put it into perspective, seasons one and two of ELEAGUE guaranteed $400,000 each!

EPL Season 6 Has Begun!

EPL Season 6 - ESL Pro League Trophy

EPL Season 6 (ESL Pro League) is back in action after the initial games of the season were played earlier on in the week. Now into its 6th season, EPL is an online league with two divisions, European (EU) and North American (NA). While the majority of the league is played online, the final 6 places will be fought for on LAN. Each division has a total prize pool of $125,000 and will run from August 22nd to November 12th, 2017.

NA EPL

Despite only being a few games in already, a lot has happened in the NA league. Most recently, OpTic have been disqualified from yet another tournament (after being replaced by Cloud9 at DreamHack Masters Malmö) due to their latest roster changes. ELEAGUE’s rules state that if more than two players on a team’s roster changes, they will be immediately disqualified. The recent roster changes come after Tarik Celik, Will “RUSH” Wierzba, and James “hazed” Cobb left the organisation earlier in the month. OpTic’s replacement will come from the Americas Open Qualifier being held in a few days time.

As well as being first to leave, OpTic was first to start the league off with a 16-5 win over Ghost on Cache. They later played Ghost again on Inferno and while finding it slightly harder work, still managed to win 16-10. Team Liquid and SK Gaming traded a win for a win after Liquid took train 16-12, only to be demoralised in a 3-16 game on Cobble later that evening. CLG fought off Cloud9 16-11 on Train and then 16-12 on Cobble, placing them 2nd on the leaderboard behind NRG as OpTic have now been disqualified. NRG and Splyce were the only teams to go into overtime, resulting in a 19-16 win to NRG on Inferno. They later took Splyce for another ride on Cobble, landing the 2nd win with 16 rounds to 5.

EU EPL

The European squads are no strangers to roster changes either with Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer and Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovács now playing for FaZe after coming from Fnatic and Natus Vincere respectively. These moves seem to have worked well for FaZe who are now 1st place after their initial day of the tournament. Fnatic also appear to be working well with their new recruit, Jonas “Lekr0” Olofsson as they secured wins on both maps against BIG.
EU EPL couldn’t have got off to a more interesting start with FaZe thrashing French side G2 16-3 on Cache. Nikola “NiKo” Kovač was arguably “man of the match” with an impressive ADR of 106.4. FaZe later went on to clinch another win over G2 on Overpass, ending 16-13. Olofmeister seemed quite comfortable in his new position, picking up a respectable 20 kills, including an impressive 4-kill while defending bombsite B.The Danish team Heroic secured two wins against HellRaisers, first on Mirage with 16-8 and later on Overpass with a closer 16-14 result. It was Mirage that brought the only overtime in the EU EPL with GODSENT picking up a 19-16 win over Mousesports to finish the first day off with a bang.

The Danish team Heroic secured two wins against HellRaisers, first on Mirage with 16-8 and later on Overpass with a closer 16-14 result. It was Mirage that brought the only overtime in the EU EPL with GODSENT picking up a 19-16 win over Mousesports to finish the first day off with a bang.Although FaZe has 1st place, Fnatic 2nd and Heroic a close 3rd, it’s still all to play for in this season of the ESL Pro League on both sides of the pond.

Although FaZe has 1st place, Fnatic 2nd and Heroic a close 3rd, it’s still all to play for in EPL Season 6 on both sides of the pond.

ESL One New York 2017 Qualifiers

ESL One New York Qualifiers

Last Minute Update!!!

OpTic Gaming, Immortals and Misfits have withdrawn from the competition and have been replaced with L4Org, Rise Nation, and Tempo Storm!


This summer has been packed with CS:GO tournaments ranging from DreamHack Open Atlanta, the PGL Major in Krakow and ESL One: Cologne. But now, it’s the turn of ESL One 2017; with the Barclay Centre in Brooklyn, New York hosting the event.

Eight world-class teams will travel to the Big Apple for ESL One New York, to battle it out for the prestigious crown and the biggest slice of the $250,000 prize money between September 14th and September 17th. Of those eight teams, six were invited directly, with the remaining two slots to be filled by the teams who successfully emerge from the European and North American qualifiers. These closed qualifiers will take place on the weekend of August 19th and 20th, with eight teams competing in each qualifier. Currently, the European qualifier is comprised of seven invited teams, which are G2 Esports, Gambit Esports, Ninjas in Pyjamas, HellRaisers, Team EnVyUs, BIG, FlipSid3 Tactics and Pride Gaming who made their way from the open qualifiers.

On the other hand, the North American qualifier has seen some fearsome teams invited to the event; the likes of Cloud9, Immortals, OpTic Gaming, Counter Logic Gaming, Misfits, NRG eSports and Renegades. Joining them is compLexity Gaming who progressed from the North American open qualifier, will compete for the final two spots at ESL One New York 2017.  Moreover, the LAN finals of ESL One New York 2017 will so far feature the star-studded rosters of Danish organisation Astralis, North American squad Team Liquid and the Brazilian SK Gaming, who are fresh from their 1st place finish at the ESL One Cologne tournament. Plus, ESL One New York 2017 will also welcome Natus Vincere, European Faze Clan, who finished 3rd and 4th respectively at the ESL One Cologne competition, as well as the Polish outfit Virtus.pro. It will be intriguing to discover who will claim the final two spots from the qualifiers, as the ESL One New York 2017 is set to be a fiercely competitive event yet again.

Quality of competition

There is so much pedigree here with these teams, below is a table of recent wins from 2017. Note, tournament classification is based on Liquipedia’s notation:

Premier Tournaments: offer a significantly large prize pool, are frequently played offline, and typically feature the best players around the world. They are commonly held by established franchises and are considered prestigious amongst the community

Major Tournaments: feature a large prize pool and a good number of top-tier teams and events may take place offline, online or online with an offline playoff.

Region Team name Major/Premier Contests won in 2017
EU BIG PGL Minors [Major]
ESL Meisterschaft: Spring [Major]
EU Team EnVyUs DreamHack Atlanta [Major]
World Electronic Sports Games [Premier]
EU FlipSid3 Tactics DreamHack Leipzig [Major]
EU G2 Esports ESL Pro League S5 [Premier]
Dreamhack Tours [Major]
EU Gambit Esports PGL Major [Premier]
DreamHack Austin [Major]
EU HellRaisers No major/premier wins in 2017
EU Ninjas in Pyjamas DreamHack Valencia [Major]
EU Pride Gaming Polska Liga Esportowa [Major]
US Cloud9 Americas Minor championship [Major]
US Counter Logic Gaming No major/premier wins in 2017
US Immortals No major/premier wins in 2017
US Misfits No major/premier wins in 2017
US NRG eSports No major/premier wins in 2017
US OpTic Gaming No major/premier wins in 2017
US Renegades Asia Minor Championships [Major]
US compLexity Gaming No major/premier wins in 2017

As it stands

The brackets are not yet set, but the last two teams are accounted for and we’re ready for the qualifiers!

Arguably, Pride Gaming had a tough route to the qualifiers having to fend for themselves in a pool of 32 teams. They might have swept the BO3 in the final, but they had a few rough rounds in the preceding BO1’s, notably their 16-14 win over an unnamed team! Prior to that quarter-final they had an easy run of things, winning 16:4, 16:7, 16:14 (quarter-final mentioned above), 16:8 and finishing with the 2 map sweep in the final versus Binary Dragons, winning 16:11 on Inferno and going to OT with a 22:20 win on Train.

Contrast that to compLexity Gaming’s (coL) route to the final. They had one match less to play and started off with a sketchy 16:13 win over Sizzle Gaming. They went on to win the quarter-finals 16:9, 16:4 in the semi-final and dropped Rise Nation 2 maps to 1 in the final with coL winning map 1 22-20 in OT on Cobblestone, only for Rise Nation to win on Inferno 16-11. In the final map, on Train, coL won convincingly 16-6, securing their place in the qualifiers.

Invitation Status North American Qualifiers European Qualifiers
Invited Cloud9 BIG
Invited Counter Logic Gaming Team EnVyUs
Invited Immortals FlipSid3 Tactics
Invited Misfits G2 Esports
Invited NRG eSports Gambit Esports
Invited OpTic Gaming HellRaisers
Invited Renegades Ninjas in Pyjamas
Qualified compLexity Gaming Pride Gaming

Ones to watch

Although the highly anticipated event is fast approaching, there are still a multitude of features still to be decided on, such as the host, commentators and analysts, but more importantly the format of the tournament. However, you would imagine that the format will replicate that of the ESL One Cologne event earlier this year; that competition adopted the respected Swiss System for the group stage, and then the playoffs were comprised of a single-elimination bracket, best of three quarter-finals & semi-finals, and then crucial best of five grand final. It would make complete sense to stick with that same schedule as it flowed well last time, but we’ll just have to keep our eyes peeled and our ears to the ground until they announce it formally.

Lately, there has been quite a bit of transition for some teams, with big signings being made and existing players dropped to the bench. Cloud9 have attempted to bolster their squad by adding tarik and RUSH to their roster, with long-term members’ n0thing and shroud being sacrificed. Elsewhere, Faze Clan has potentially made the best acquisition in the build up to ESL One New York by securing the services of legendary AWPer, GuardiaN, with allu making way. Gambit secured HObbitt, one of their star players previously on loan from Tengri, by buying him out for $100,000. Will these movements amongst squads pay dividends come September?

Going into the tournament in Brooklyn, SK Gaming could be the most dangerous opponents to come up against, as they should be flying high with confidence after three 1st place finishes in their last 4 LAN competitions, plus the win in the grand-final at ESL One Cologne. SK Gaming’s star-studded line-up of coldzera, FalleN, fer, TACO and felps have forged a dominant force on the CS:GO esports scene.

Others to watch out for will be Faze Clan who despite having an early exit in PGL Majors, has had decent form going into the tournament. Their two successive 2nd places at the IEM XII Sydney and the ECS S3 Finals plus a marquee signing in GuardiaN, and Astralis, who are always putting in good performances and have most recently won the ELEAGUE Clash for cash tournament.

All in all, tune in on September 14th to see eight incredible CS:GO teams attempt to gain first place and a share of the $250,000 prize pool!

Team Liquid Team Liquid Win TI7 At The DOTA2 International 2017

MATUMBAMAN, Miracle-, MinD_ContRoL, KuroKy and GH, collectively known as Team Liquid win TI7, taking home $10.8 million in prize money.

In second place, Newbee walked away with $3.9 million after getting swept away 3-0 in the best of five grand final.

Dota2 fans at the KeyArena in Seattle Washington watch Team Liquid vs. Newbee in the TI7 Final
Dota2 fans packed into the former Seattle SuperSonics Stadium at the KeyArena in Seattle Washington

Record Breaking Tournament

This year’s tournament has broken numerous records within Dota 2 and esports as a whole. For another year in the running, there has been no two-time winner of The International as Team Liquid take their first win. No team in the history of the tournament is yet to win the event more than once.

Breaking new records this year is the 3-0 scoreline as that is the first 3-0 finish in any Dota 2 International grand final Bo5. The past two years have ended 3-1 with 2015 going to Evil Geniuses and Wings Gaming taking 1st place in 2016. Defending champions Wins Gaming were not part of the tournament this year since they disbanded and formed Team Random.

Another tradition that went unbroken this year was the East-West switch. Every year since the event’s opening in 2011, first place has alternated between Eastern and Western teams. It was the European team Natus Vincere who took the first International tournament in 2011.

The Prize Pool

Arguably the biggest record worth mentioning is the prize pool of this year’s event which reached a staggering $24,787,913. It has been the largest prize pool in esports history, largely due to community contributions as only $1.6m was provided by tournament organizers.

To put this into perspective, the largest League of Legends prize pool sits at just over $5m (LoL 2016 World Championship). It’s also more than double the total prize money for the Golf Masters Tournament which came to $11m earlier in the year.

Lower Bracket Survival

Despite dropping out of the upper bracket at the beginning of the event, Team Liquid made an unprecedented run through the gauntlet of the loser’s bracket to claim the aegis. It was the Chinese team Invictus Gaming that knocked Liquid out of the upper bracket in a 2-1 Bo3, forcing them to fight for survival for the remainder of the week in the lower bracket. Liquid later went on to win every remaining match they had scheduled in the tournament.

Team Secret were their first victims, losing 2-1 and ending their part in this year’s event. Meanwhile in other lower bracket games, Team Empire knocked out TI5 winners Evil Geniuses with a 2-0 v, ctory. Team Empire went on to fall, the victim of Liquid’s win-streak, losing 2-0 despite Roman “Reso1ution” Fominok doing excellent work as a sub for Empire.

Virtus Pro was the next in line to fall short, banking another win for Liquid who progressed to play both LGD teams. LGD Gaming was first up against Liquid, and although they were one of the tournament favourites, it wasn’t enough for Liquid who blew them out of the water with another 2-0 win. Liquid went on to beat LGD.Forever Young 2-1 which left the writing on the wall for a Team Liquid vs. Newbee Final.

Runners Up

Newbee certainly had a very different journey to the grand final than Team Liquid. They remained in the upper bracket from the very beginning and clinched their way to the final.

Evil Geniuses were first to play the Chinese team which lead to their removal from the upper bracket after a 2-0 loss. Newbee’s paired up against Invictus Gaming next, with a scrappy 2-1 win on the first map, only to be put back in their place by losing the second map. Unfortunately for Invictus Gaming, they hadn’t brought enough to the table for this year’s event, and Newbee went on to win the 3rd map and the series.

Just like Liquid, Newbee had to face LGD.Forever Young to reach the finals. They proceeded to lose the first map, which seemed to be a running theme in their last few games. LFY pushed back with a 2nd map win but fell short of the series and their spot in the Bo5 final.

The Grand Final

In the packed out KeyArena in Seattle, Dota 2 fans from around the world prepared for an epic Bo5 final with over $10m going to the winner.

Dota2 fans celebrate Team Liquid's victory over Newbee in the TI7 Final
Confetti, fireworks, champagne and a $10.8 million prize for Team Liquid

 

Liquid didn’t want to waste any time getting on with their ultimate goal of winning the tournament. It seemed as if Newbee were constantly on the back foot, trying to fend off the aggressive play from Liquid right from the first map. Map 1 took a mere 27 minutes for Team Liquid to claim victory with MATUMBAMAN doing most of the dirty work for 11 kills.

“All you have to do is win three games”

MATUMBAMAN predicts the win for Team Liquid with a "throat slit" gesture
MATUMBAMAN’s prediction for game 3 at Dota2 TI7!

Newbee managed to stretch the second map out to 34 minutes, but this was not enough as Liquid kept up the aggressive pace, eventually closing the map out for another win.

Everything was on the line for Newbee in game three as this was their last chance to stay in the action. Like 7ckngMad said,

“All you have to do is win three games; they can be the first three or the last three.”

Sure enough, Newbee would need to win the next three maps to become champions of TI7. Liquid had other ideas and denied almost every attempt Newbee made while pushing forward to take map control and punishing them with strategic attacks.

 


2 hours of skilled gaming: $10.8 million dollars

Team Liquid dismantled Newbee in under 2 hours and was crowned champions of The International 2017, taking home over $10.8m in prize money.

Two hours, five players, $10.8 million dollars. That’s just over one million dollars an hour per player, close to Warren Buffet’s hourly rate, not a bad day for Team Liquid.