The final of ESL Pro League Season 8 has finished recently. The time has come for us to make a conclusion.
Vici Gaming, INTZ eSports, North, and ORDER
These teams have left the competition first. Only North surprize among the above-mentioned participants. If such results had been expected from Vici Gaming, INTZ and ORDER, North would have had a chance to fight for the further participation in the tournament. The Danes got in Group B with such opponents as MIBR, Sharks eSports, NRG eSports, Ghost Gaming, mousesports, Natus Vincere, and ORDER. North created a tough battle against their opponents in the first match, having lost to NRG with a score 13-16. In the second match, North played against Sharks eSports and performed way worse than in the first match. There, they only managed to win 4 rounds on the first map and 7 rounds on the second one. Having totally won 11 rounds in the second match, North together with Vici Gaming, INTZ eSports, and ORDER were eliminated from the tournament first and earned a money prize in the sum of $20,000.
BIG, HellRaisers, Sharks eSports, and NRG eSports
The only thing can be said about these participants, which placed 9th-12th in the standings, except Sharks eSports: “Could do better”. HellRaisers didn’t play enough in the match against G2 Esports but they could. The team is in the top twenty CS:GO rosters in the world and was ready to advance to the final of the lower bracket, however, this didn’t happen. BIG and NRG eSports had even entered the top 10 best teams in the world and didn’t meet the expectations, having finished their participation in the group stage. Sharks eSports places 92nd in the rate by HLTV and this is the only team, which managed to exceed the viewers’ expectations, having held the 9th-12th place. Sharks eSports, just like BIG, HellRaisers, and NRG, earned a money prize in the sum of $22,000 for their efforts.
G2 Esports and Ghost Gaming
These teams advanced to the final of the lower bracket of their groups and had a chance to reach the playoffs but lost. Despite this, both G2 and Ghost exceed all viewers’ expectations. For example, North or NRG eSports might be in their place, however, we see G2 Esports and Ghost Gaming on the 7th and 8th place in the standings.
The French from G2 started their participation in EPL #8 Finals unsuccessfully, having lost the match against Team Liquid, but managed to get back on their feet and fought back in a few matches. Having got in the lower bracket, shox with his team faced INTZ eSports and, having made some efforts, prevailed with a score 2-1. The French had to confront the players from HellRaisers in the next match. The match was not easy too but as a result, G2 beat the European opponents with a score 2-1 and advanced to the final of the lower bracket to grab the last invite to the playoffs. There, they faced the Australians from Renegades who successfully defeated the French opponents with a score 2-1 and made it to the final stage.
Ghost Gaming’s way, just like G2’s one, began with a failure. Having played against mousesports, the Canadian-American roster was defeated with a score 5-16 and stepped down to the lower bracket. They played against the Australians from ORDER there and, having achieved victory with a score 2-0, advanced further through the bracket. In the next round, Ghost met NRG eSports. The result of the match was unexpected both for NRG eSports and all viewers and, probably, for Ghost Gaming too. Ghost finally prevailed in a tough match for an advancement to the final of the lower bracket who eliminated NRG from the tournament. The representatives of the yellow-black tag achieved victory in the final match between Ghost and Natus Vincere. Natus Vincere was close to a loss, however, advanced to the playoffs, having beaten Ghost Gaming.
G2 Esports and Ghost showed a great performance and the teams earned a money prize in the sum of $24,000 for the 7th-8th place at the tournament.
Natus Vincere (a place in the rate by HLTV — #3)
After Na’Vi’s victory at BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen 2018, the CIS team failed a performance at Intel Extreme Masters XIII — Chicago, having placed 13th-16th. After such turn of events, viewers didn’t know what to expect from the team. A part of the public was sure that Na’Vi’s failure would repeat, while the other part hoped for a successful performance of Natus Vincere at ESL Pro League Season 8 Finals. Na’Vi was close to a loss in the first match of the tournament, which was hosted against ORDER, but prevailed with a score 16-14. In the second match of the upper bracket, Natus Vincere was beaten in the match against mousesports with a score 0-2 and stepped down to the lower bracket where faced Sharks eSports. The match against the Brazilians was a one-way track. Having lost to their opponents only 12 rounds, Na’Vi advanced to the final where they had a match against Ghost gaming. Natus Vincere was close to a loss in the match and the match was brought to an overtime on one map, however, Na’Vi got what they wanted and advanced to the playoffs. The match was hosted in the quarterfinal, which everyone had been waiting for so long. Natus Vincere faced their personal opponent, Team Liquid. S1mple, as he had promised, showed a great performance against Liquid but it was not enough to achieve victory. The team played very bad and, having won 10 rounds in total, finished the participation in the championship on the 5th-6th place.
The roster of Natus Vincere:
Ioann “Edward” Sukhariev
Egor “flamie” Vasilyev
Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev
Danylo “Zeus” Teslenko
Denis “electronic” Sharipov
Mykhailo “kane” Blagin (a coach)
Renegades (a place in the rate by HLTV — #13)
Renegades can be called the only team among all teams, which have advanced to the playoffs, that surprised the public more than others. Everyone expected the Australians to lose the match against BIG in the group stage but Renegades managed to win two more matches than they had been expected. They faced HellRaisers in the first match and were defeated hardly with a score 5-16. Having stepped down to the lower bracket, the Australians analyzed their mistakes and minimized the chance to repeat them. In the next match against Vici Gaming, Renegades showed a more or less confident play and guaranteed themselves the 9th-12th place at the tournament. Having advanced to the second round of the lower bracket, Renegades had to play with BIG. The match was not easy for both sides but the Australians prevailed with a score 2-1, as a result. AZR and his teammates had to face G2 Esports in the final of the lower bracket. This match was over with a victory for the Australians with a score 2-1, on the outcome of which Renegades advanced to the playoffs and had to play against mousesports. On the first map, RNG performed very well, having lost only 4 rounds to their opponents, however, they lacked two rounds to achieve the final victory over the Europeans. In the end, Renegades, just like Natus Vincere, held the 5th-6th place at the tournament and earned a money prize in the sum of $32,000 for their efforts.
The roster of Renegades:
Aaron “AZR” Ward
Justin “jks” Savage
Joakim “jkaem” Myrbostad
Jay “liazz” Tregillgas
Sean “Gratisfaction” Kaiwai
Aleksandar “kassad” Trifunovic (a coach)
MIBR (a place in the rate by HLTV — #4)
MIBR is one of the very few teams-participants, which placed the place it had been expected to place. Unlike the previous teams that advanced to the playoff stage, MIBR made it to the semi-final through the upper bracket in the group stage. In Group B, the Brazilians played against Sharks eSports, NRG eSports, and mousesports with a score 16-2, 2-1, and 2-0, respectively. Having advanced to the playoffs, MIBR had had a small break till the moment when their opponent was determined on the outcome of the match Natus Vincere vs Team Liquid. Probably, the break was the reason why the Brazilians, being in the relaxed state, won only two rounds on the first map and eight rounds on the second map in the match against Liquid. As a result, MIBR had a difficult loss with a score 0-2 and placed 3rd-4th at the tournament. In general, their performance was not bad, except the last match, in which the Brazilians were simply not ready for such a confident play by the American opponent.
The roster of MIBR:
Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo
Fernando “fer” Alvarenga
Marcela “coldzera” David
Jacky “Stewie2K” Yip
Tarik “tarik” Celik
Janko “YNk” Paunovic (a coach)
mousesports (a place in the rate by HLTV — #6)
The Europeans from mousesports had a good start in the group stage. There, they defeated Ghost Gaming and Natus Vincere with a score 16-5 and 2-0, respectively. The European roster was not able to prevail in the final against MIBR and advanced to the quarterfinal of the playoff stage. Mousesports faced Renegades, which, in turn, had a tough path through the lower bracket. Having beaten the Australians with a score 2-1, mousesports went to the semi-final where they were waited by Astralis. The match against the titans of the CS:GO world was not a one-way track. On the first map, mousesports managed to win 12 rounds but they were able to do nothing on the second one and achieved victory only in 5 rounds. Mousesports, just like MIBR, finished their participation in ESL Pro League Season 8 - Finals on the 3rd-4th place in the standings and earned an appropriate money reward in the sum of $55,000.
The roster of mousesports:
Chris “chrisJ” de Jong
Tomas “oskar” Stastny
Robin “ropz” Kool
Miikka “suNny” Kemppi
Martin “STYKO” Styk
Sergey “lmbt” Bezhanov (a coach)
Team Liquid (a place in the rate by HLTV — #2)
Liquid had become the champions of SuperNova Malta 2018 in two days before the beginning of ESL Pro League Season 8 Finals and earned a money prize in the sum of $80,000. Due to this, many viewers were sure about an advancement of the team to the final, however, a part of them thought that the Americans might relax morally after the successful performance and not to reach the final match. Liquid showed themselves well in the group stage and defeated G2 Esports and BIG with a score 16-8 and 2-0, respectively. In the final of the upper bracket, Liquid faced Astralis who beat their opponents with a score 2-0. As a result, Liquid had to start their way in the playoffs from the quarterfinal. There, the Americans played against Natus Vincere and defeated the CIS team without a special effort, having lost only 10 rounds to the opponents on two maps. Liquid advanced to the semi-final on a high morale and beat MIBR with a score 2-0, having also lost totally 10 rounds on two maps. After getting to the final, Liquid had to play against its least comfortable opponent, the Danish team Astralis. The Americans managed to win one map in the final match, however, this was not enough to achieve victory. Astralis was in a very good shape and the fact, that they were separated from a bonus in the sum of $1,000,000 only with a victory over Team Liquid, was a strong motivation of the Danes. Due to this, Liquid finished their participation in a tournament in the second place, having advanced to the final against Astralis, for the fourth time. The Americans earned a money prize in the sum of $110,000 for their efforts.
The roster of Team Liquid:
Nicholas “nitr0” Cannella
Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski
Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken
Keith “NAF” Markovic
Epitacio “TACO” de Melo
Wilton “zews” Prado (a coach)
Astralis (a place in the rate by HLTV — #1)
At ESL Pro League Season 8 - Finals, the Danes defeated Vici Gaming, HellRaisers, and Team Liquid with a score 16-8, 2-1, and 2-0, respectively, in the upper bracket and went right to the semi-final of the playoffs. There, they faced mousesports and beat the European opponents with a score 2-0 and, having advanced to the grand final, Astralis met the team, with which they most frequently played in a final of LAN tournaments, Team Liquid. The final match was over with a score 3-1 in the favor of the Danish team and Astralis grabbed a money prize in the sum of $250,000.
Astralis became a winner of a tournament one more time. This team beat all records for earnings from prize pools of tournaments. What is more, Astralis has become the winner of the first season of Intel Grand Slam and earned $1,000,000 for this achievement. As one more bonus, five players and a coach received the souvenir gold bars with an engraving of their names on them.
What makes this team so undefeated? Is this a high individual skill, a high morale, a team play, and a united spirit, a skill of understanding a gaming situation? Astralis has all above-mentioned qualities, that’s why no one has been able to move them from the top of the world rate for a long time.
The roster of Astralis:
Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen
Andreas “Xyp9x” Hojsleth
Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander
Emil “Magisk” Reif
Danny “zonic” Sorensen (a coach)