Just like last season, Pro League is going all the way down the wire. In both EU and NA, tension will be kept up until the last match-day and peak in the very last rounds.
While eight teams across both regions seem primed to congregate in Odense (though anything can still happen), the remaining four spots will be fiercely contested.
As far as relegation goes, everything is wide open in Europe. A quintet of teams are fighting to avoid it. In NA on the other hand, Ghost Gaming are a safe pick for demotion, while Splyce, compLexity and Rogue fight to avoid relegation matches against aspiring MDL teams.
Here’s everything you need to know before tonight’s matches kick off!
If nothing out of the ordinary happens, FaZe, Fnatic, North and Astralis are going to fight over the title next month in Odense. All have played a solid season so far, and nothing suggests this should suddenly change. Nevertheless, besides FaZe, all these squads have been struggling offline in recent months and the EPL finals will be of major importance to get confidence up in a LAN environment. Especially Fnatic need to prove they can reproduce their online performances on LAN.
NiP sit on the fifth rank and have four matches against Heroic and ENVYUS left. Three wins would almost certainly be enough to qualify, but two should suffice as well - a doable task.
G2, LDLC, Hellraisers and mousesports will all battle for the sixth and final playoff berth. The French from G2 stand the best chances but cannot allow themselves to slip-up. Once again, I predict their experience should be enough to get three Ws from their last six maps against GODSENT, Hellraisers and Fnatic, to secure the final spot and the chance to defend their title from last season.
Na’Vi are last with 21 points, and I don't see this changing, as Astralis, BIG and FaZe are waiting for the Ukrainians in this last week, too big of a hurdle to overcome for the struggling squad.
BIG and ENVYUS, currently 12th and 13th, would have to face the number two and three ranked teams from MDL if nothing changes.
Check out the standings for yourself down below:
Match Of The Week - G2 vs. Fnatic
Every match G2 play this week is crucial, but this one against Fnatic will be the most difficult one with potentially a huge impact on the French squad’s season.
Against GODSENT and Hellraisers, shox & Co. should easily be able to at least split maps, but against Fnatic, the possibility of losing both maps, and in extension the sixth spot, is very much alive.
At EPICENTER two weeks ago, we once again witnessed the vintage, with consistency struggling G2. After utterly smashing everyone in groups, looking completely unbeatable, they went out in their first playoff series against Virtus.Pro.
This version of Fnatic hasn’t been very active on LAN since its inception, but when they few offline games they played haven’t been very convincing, compared to what they pull off online. Especially JW has been playing out of his mind since this team got together. Lekr0 and Golden are still not very experienced offline, which likely contributes to their struggles.
As there’s far more on the line in this match-up for the French, as well as being the better team I believe, I see them taking away at least three points in this series to secure their ticket to Odense.
The true Kings of NA, SK Gaming sit on top of the league. A picture all too familiar, and no one can do anything about it, they are just too damn strong. coldzera was beasting at EPICENTER, if he keeps up this form for the rest of the year, he will win back-to-back player of the year awards.
OpTic suffered a tough loss last week in the major qualifier. But they should still be proud of themselves, sitting in second rank at EPL, which is probably better than most would’ve anticipated. They are surely going to Denmark and can redeem last weeks loss.
CLG and Liquid comfortably occupy ranks three and four and behind them is where it gets dicey. C9 are fifth with 35 points, followed by Luminosity, Misfits and NRG, all 32 points.
And they all play each other in the upcoming week, fireworks will fly! Especially Cloud9 have a hell of a homestretch, facing Liquid, OpTic and Misfits in their quest to clinch a playoff berth.
Looking at the cellar of the table, we can count Ghost out of EPL at this point. Rogue will most likely face an MDL team to try and remain in the league. And the last relegation spot will be battled out between Splyce and compLexity.
See the full standings for yourself below:
Match Of The Week - Cloud9 vs. Misfits
A guaranteed nailbiter for the very last day of EPL. The two teams are separated by only 3 points, with Misfits having played two less maps, giving them a chance to surpass C9 before they meet.
The Misfits have shown great things this season and crowned their performances last week by qualifying for the Boston ELEAGUE Major qualifier, where they beat Liquid in a BO3 series. seang@res comes back once again with a new team, proving all the haters wrong, showcasing his skills as a leader time and again.
I believe in the battle for the final two LAN spots C9 and Misfits are certainly the favorites, and I’d love seeing Sean’s band of misfits in Denmark.
Cloud9 have lost a lot of matches they probably shouldn't have this EPL season. I think they have one of the most individually skilled lineups in not just NA, but the world. What holds them back from truly breaking through, it’s anybody's guess. They occasionally do show what they are capable of, but not consistently enough. Having to face Liquid, OpTic and the Misfits, it’s even imaginable they won’t be making it to Denmark at all.
This match will be decisive for both sides. C9 should have the edge, this will certainly go all the way, and nails will certainly vanish from fingertips. Be sure to tune in.
DO NOT miss out on our final super-week of the season!
Tune in to ESL’s CS:GO YouTube channel to watch your favorite teams battle for a spot in the offline finals in Denmark, Odense as teams enter the final week of ESL Pro League season 6. As always, matches kick off today at 19 CET with ENVYUS facing BIG.
Make sure to reserve plenty of time for all the high-pressure matches happening across both regions. If you want to watch the season finals, you can purchase tickets here.
Season 6 of the ESL Pro League is brought to you by Intel, the City of Odense, Nvidia GeForce GTX, Legion by Lenovo, Logitech, paysafecard, xfinity, MDL and YouTube.