The ESL ro League CS:Go Finale, which was held from December 8 to December 10, 2017 in the sold-out event held at Sparekassen Fyn Arena in Odense, Denmark, with a prize pool of $ 750,000, has found his Season 6 Champion with SK Gaming.
Surprising achievements in the group phase
FaZe was sovereignly right at the top of Group A, which allowed FaZe a direct promotion to the semi-finals thanks to a tournament regulation. Behind them, however, a thrilling battle for places two and three took place. Without being able to do much about it, Astralis and Team Liquid win with only one match ahead of the group phase. The two teams, which fell far short of their expectations, were also weakened in this Pro League CS: GO Season. On the one hand, the team Astralis already played the second tournament without their star player Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtzn who still fails from competition, due to health reasons. On the other hand, Team Liquid had to renounce their new Brazilian player Lucas "steel" Lopes due to a roster-lock regulation of the Pro League and alternatively compete with their coach Wilton "zews" Prado as Standin. Due to the competition and a surprisingly good performance, the extremely young team Hellraisers secured its second place in Group A in front of Fnatic. The youngsters Özgür "woxic" Eker and Issa "ISSAA" Murad performed particularly impressively on their first big event for the Hellraisers.
Also Fnaticn presented himself after two months of absence from major LAN events with strong wins against Astralis and FaZen and could prove its online dominance even at an offline event. The new roster of Fnatic shows a lot of potential for future tournaments. Group B shows a similar picture at the top. The later tournament winner SK Gaming also secured, like FaZe in Group A, by the placement at the top of the group, a direct ticket to the semifinals of the season. This surprised also those who were placed behind him. Ninjas in Pyjamas was unable to build on the incredible performance at this year's IEM Oakland, where Team SK Gaming battled it 2-1 in the final, and retired as Group Fifth. In addition to NiP disappointed the factory team of FC Copenhagen and rose with only one Map Win as last group of Group B. Misfits, the team surrounding the ex-ingame leader of Cloud9 Sean "sgares" Gares, played impressively, and finalised on the second place in the group. The last ticket to the quarter-finals of the Pro League went to Optic Gaming with wins against SK Gaming and Misfits.
The way to the dream final of the community
Due to the regulation that the respective first group ascend directly into the semi-finals, for many of the CS: GO community after the group phase was made it clear that the final of the ESL Pro League will be the long-sought duel between FaZe and SK Gaming. During the first quater-finals Misfits defeated Hellraisers 2-0. Particularly noteworthy here is the performance of the two French players David "devoduvek" Dobrosavljevicn and François "AmaNEk" Delaunay of the North American team.
Optic Gaming and Fnatic met in the second match of the quarter-final. In the extremely tight and exciting BO3, in which a whopping 86 of a maximum of 90 possible rounds were played, Fnatic prevailed with 2-1. Especially Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson from Fnatic returned to his old strength in this game and won some impressive key scenes for his team. Without surprise, the two semi-final games went on the stage. In the first pairing, FaZe Fnatic defeated with a smooth 2-0 and thus secured the final. FaZe showed in the match a very sovereign team performance. In the semi-final match between SK Gaming and Misfits the class difference was even more noticeable. SK won the BO3 without problems, with a 2-0 score, and lost just 7 rounds in total. Especially Ricardo 'boltz' Prass showed here why SK has committed him: He dominated the series with 41 kills in just 39 laps.
The dream final SK Gaming against FaZe
The currently most dominant teams of the scene met each other in the Sparekassen Fyn Arena in a BO5 and showed the strongest CS no longer seen in a long time. Both teams initially won in their chosen maps - FaZe in Inferno and SK in Overpass. On the third Map Mirage, which was chosen by FaZe, SK was able to secure the first Matchpoint due to a strong performance, especially by Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo.
On the fourth map train, which was chosen by SK and probably represented the most interesting part of the final, FaZe could still save thanks to a Knife -kills by Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács in the overtime, but defeated SK in this with 19-16. Thus, the team around FalleN was crowned for the second time, the first time under the SK banner, the winner of the Pro League with a 3-1 win over FaZe. Since the Season 6 Final of the ESL Pro League is the last big tournament of the eSport Year 2017, one may be curious whether SK can continue the dominance of the year 2017 next year or whether the other teams find a constant way to defeat the Brazilians.