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Do or die time! Welcome to the second half of ESL Pro League Season 6

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We’re past the halfway-mark of Season 6. This is where every single map begins to count. Where the championship teams separate themselves from the rest of the field, and where character, determination and grit decide over who stays in the league, and who gets relegated.

The fifth week of ESL Pro League, the second super week of season 6 with matches from Tuesday through Sunday in Europe, and from Wednesday through Monday in the US, brings exciting, decisive and classic match-ups to our screens. Let’s jump right into it.

Here’s everything you need to know before tonight’s matches kick off.

EUROPE

Last season’s champs, G2, are currently sitting on rank 11 and are in dire need of points if they want their chances of a repeat to remain intact. Luckily, the upcoming week offers just that, a chance. With 8 maps scheduled this week against EnVy, LDLC, Na’Vi and HR, this is their opportunity to turn around their season and leap ahead in the standings.

Astralis find themselves in a simliar situation. Though the Danes have only played 8 maps so far and therefore sit in 10th place with 5W-3L. Matches against LDLC, BIG, and three real bangers against FaZe, Fnatic and North, will play instrumental roles on Astralis’ road to Odense. Surely, they want to be part of the EPL finals in their home country.

Be sure to tune in tonight when NiP and Fnatic battle it out on cache and mirage. The age old Swedish saga, which once again promises fireworks when the revived Ninja squad faces the top dogs in Europe.

Find the full schedule for all the 44 games happening in Europe here, and check out the standings below!

Match Of The Week – North vs. FaZe

Fireworks also await us on Wednesday, when North and FaZe brawl on mirage and inferno. Both squads are red hot right now and rightfully occupy ranks two and three of EPL Europe. Some of the world’s best aimers are locking horns when NiKo, olof and rain try to outshoot k0nfig, Valde and aizy.

Especially FaZe seemingly can’t err these days, coming off an impressive win at ESL One New York, qualifying for EPICENTER and the ELEAGUE Finals, and solid showings in Pro League.

Just last week olof dropped a 37 bomb with 161 ADR in a 16-10 win over NiP on mirage. Another showing like this spells trouble for North.

This will be the first time these two rosters clash and I can’t wait to see which playing philosophy prevails. The more skill heavy, individual approach FaZe exercises? Or MSL’s strict tactical style he demands of his players?

A prediction here seems almost impossible, but just going off the most recent form of the two, I’d say FaZe is the team here that plays for the 2-0.

North America

There are many unexpected guests among the top six placed teams in NA. Perhaps most surprising of all is NRG Esports, who are currently ranked 3rd. The NA-EU mix consisting of daps, FugLy and the three newcomers, Brehze, AnJ and CeRq, is playing an outstanding season thus far, splitting maps with C9, Liquid, Renegades and OpTic, while getting the 2-0 versus Ghost and Splyce. Another high calibre teams is on the agenda for NRG this week, when they face SK on Friday.

Speaking of surprises, to be honest, ranks one through four are all rather unforeseen. OpTic, Misfits, NRG and Renegades. No SK, Liquid or C9, who we would’ve anticipated there instead.

To be fair, those three teams are behind in matches played due to a busy travelling schedule over the last few weeks. Nevertheless, it’s extremely tight in ranks one through eight in NA, and I for one am looking forward to seeing some new faces in Odense.

Check out the full schedule for another 44 matches in North America here, and see the full standings below!

Match Of The Week – SK Gaming vs. Cloud9

What a treat for Counter-Strike lovers. SK versus C9. The Brazilians are 5th in the league with 7W-3L, Stewie2k & Co. sit in 8th with 6W-4L.

There’s a lot on the line here if we take the outstanding matches for both squads into consideration.

In addition to SK, C9 still play Renegades, Liquid, OpTic and Misfits. C9 ought to take advantage of the slump SK is in, if they don’t want to sweat it towards the end of the season. This match will be played online, and that’s where C9 frequently manages to shine against FalleN’s boys.

SK is currently in a minor crisis which could very well turn into a major one if they aren’t careful. They had to suffer uncharacteristic losses in and outside of EPL. Just past week, the Brazilians had to accept defeat against Heroic twice in ELEAGUE.

coldzera’s prolonged dip in form certainly ties in to SK’s problems. He’s been on an absolute tear for 18 months and fragged himself into contention for the title best CS:GO player of all time. It’s impossible to keep up that level forever, but SK need him if they want to return to the top.

The match between these titans will have a huge impact on how the season in NA eventually shapes up. SK have built a small cushion and can concede a loss more easily than C9, who will be hungry to get the W. My prediction is a 1-1.

Superweek 5 is upon us!

Tune into the ESL CS:GO YouTube channel to watch your favorite teams battle for a spot in the offline finals in Denmark, Odense, and make sure to reserve plenty of time for all the 88 matches happening across both regions.  If you want to watch the season finals, you can purchase tickets here.

For all the latest updates on the ESL Pro League, be sure to follow ESL Counter-Strike on Twitter and Facebook.

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.