ESL Pro League Season 5 Finals Review

ESL Pro League Season 5 Finals is over and now it’s time to sum up.

First it should be mentioned that the event was organized by Electronic Sports League (ESL) and ESEA, the companies that have a long-standing experience in this industry. Due to the extensive list of sponsors, including ESEA, Logitech G, paysafecard, theScore eSports, xFinity and Mountain Dew, the prize pool for EPL #5 Finals was $750,000. It makes ESL Pro League Season 5 one of biggest CS:GO tournaments.

The final stage of the championship started with the group stage. The organizers decided to divide 12 participants into two groups 6 teams in each. G2 Esports, Team EnVyUs, SK Gaming, Fnatic, Immortals and Cloud9 were seeded to Group A, while North, mousesports, Team Liquid, OpTic Gaming, Natus Vincere and NRG eSports were seeded to Group B.

The group stage was played in Round Robin system, and the matches were held in best-of-one format (Bo1).

As for the Group A, everything was rather easy to predict. G2 Esports, Team EnVyUs and SK Gaming demonstrated a good game and got to play-off. However, no one expected that one of the most prominent North American teams would take the last place. We wouldn’t be surprised if Fnatic or Immortals who had a player on the test period since May 24 got these results. However, Cloud9 did not manage to demonstrate a good performance and took 4-6 place along with Fnatic and Immortals, and left the tournament during the group stage. Team EnVyUs deserved the honors as it demonstrated the best results in their group. They played on a high level and managed to win two matches with a huge score difference between the opponents. The French team defeated Immortals with 16:2 score and SK Gaming with 16:3 score.

In Group B, almost all participants were strong enough to compete for the places in play-off. It should be highlighted that North demonstrated the best results among all teams in the group stage. It has been unclear whether Team Liquid or OpTic Gaming will move to the play-off series till the end of the group stage. The teams showed almost equal results, but Team Liquid demonstrated a better game than OpTic and managed to move to the final stage of EPL #5 Finals.

After the end of group stage, the organizers decided to move several teams to the quarterfinals and the remaining teams to semifinal. G2 Esports and North after taking the first places in groups were distributed to the semifinal as were expecting for their opponents these. As for mousesports, SK Gaming, Team EnVyUs and Team Liquid that took 2-3 places in their groups, they were distributed to the quarterfinal.

Play-off matches were played in best-of-three (Bo3) format with Single Elimination bracket.

On June 1, the matches mousesports VS SK Gaming and Team EnVyUs VS Team Liquid were played. SK Gaming defeated the opponents, and Team Liquid did the same in their match.

G2 Esports and North have been waiting for the opponents in the semifinal. After French and Danish players met their next opponents, the European team defeated them winning two maps in a row. G2 Esports and North met each other in final. An interesting fact: both teams that demonstrated the best results in group matches ended their participation in the Grand Final.

The Grand final confrontation was not very tough, and G2 Esports won it with 3-1 score and became the champions of ESL Pro League Season 5. The winners were also rewarded with $225,000 prize.

Results of each team and conclusions

NRG eSports

The team took the last place with 0-5 score and demonstrated the worst results during ESL Pro League Season 5 Finals. However, almost no one expected that this team would demonstrate something significant, so their performance cannot be called an unexpected turn of events.

Fnatic

Once legendary roster did not manage to show significant results yet again. Olofmeister and the team played in a good way but it was not enough to get to the play-off. Taking into consideration their opponents in Group A, it was not a surprise. However, if Fnatic continue to show such results, the disband of the team is inevitable.

Immortals

As well as Fnatic and NRG eSports, a Brazilian team also did not manage to get through the group stage, and this was also rather predictable. After fnx withdrawal, the team became weaker, and a new player, kNg, joined the team only on May 24. The roster did not manage to reach a good game condition for such a short period and took a deserved 5th place in Group A.

Natus Vincere

CIS team cannot restore their condition after winning ESL One New York 2016. After past 8 months, the team did not manage to show good results except for 3-4 place on EPICENTER: Moscow CS:GO 2016. The management of the organization tried to improve the situation replacing team coach for Andi, however, the results of the team leave much to be desired.

OpTic Gaming and Cloud9

These two teams differ from other tournament participants because they reached worse results that they achieved. OpTic Gaming were rather good: the American team took the third place on cs_summit and Intel Extreme Masters XII — Sydney. On Australian tournament, OpTic played far better than North and it made OpTic one of the main candidates to moving to play-off. However, OpTic disappointed the hopes. Cloud9 took 4th place on cs_summit and won Subaru Invitational 2017, but despite those results, the team took the last place losing to Fnatic and Immortals.

Team EnVyUs and mousesports

Both teams demonstrated a good game in the group stage. Someone did not expect such a performance from these teams, but French team and European mix proved that they got to the final stage of ESL Pro League Season 5 Finals and passed to play-off for good reason. Both teams lost matches against their opponents in quarterfinals. It should be mentioned, that mousesports took 5-6 place on EPL #5 Finals and won the biggest prize for the last year of their esports career.

SK Gaming and Team Liquid

Both teams demonstrated rather good results. After a long stagnation, Team Liquid took the prize place. The last serious event where Team Liquid took 3-4 place was ESL One New York 2016.

After the second win on Intel Extreme Masters XII — Sydney, SK Gaming lost their condition a little bit. It can be seen from the second place on Subaru Invitational and 3-4 place on ESL Pro League Season 5 Finals. In general, they demonstrated a good game, but they can do it better.

North

I think that this team is the breakthrough of the tournament. The Danish players from North have never won any event being in this organization. It seems that they’ve changed their approach to trainings before the tournaments and managed to put maximum efforts to prepare for ESL Pro League Season 5. This is evidenced by the first place on ESL Pro League Season 5 — Europe Division and the second place on ESL Pro League #5 Finals. Danish players increased their total winning from all tournaments for more than two times with one successful performance on EPL #5. North is the team that exceeded all expectations and deserves the respect and complement.

G2 Esports

After a big transfer between G2 Esports, Team EnVyUs and Millenium, French players from G2 Esports finally reached a good condition. They won DreamHack Tours 2017, that took place on their Motherland, and kept working hard to prove that their success on DH Tours was not a coincidence but the achievement of the players.

Kenny «kennyS» Schrub, one of the G2 Esports players, deserves a special attention. AWPer received the second MVP reward in a row being a member of French team. His first reward as the most valuable player in G2 Esports roster he’s got on DreamHack Tours 2017.

Summing up

5th ESL Pro League season is over. There were no serious technical problems, and ESL proved one more time that they can be trusted to hold big events. In the tournament itself, there were teams that disappointed and teams that surprised spectators with their performance. EPL #5 was very vivid and there is no doubt, that the 6th season will be even more striking.