The online portion of ESL Pro League Season 7 has ended. The teams have gone through two and a half months of relentless EPL action and the best 13 teams of Europe and North America will meet up in Dallas on May the 14th with MVP PK and Grayhound Gaming from the APAC region and a yet-to-be-determined team from South America to battle for the crown.
In EU, the final week saw some high profile teams fail to qualify for the LAN event, whereas in NA all favorites made it through in the end.
In the bottom of the standings it is LDLC in Europe who will get directly demoted and in NA Team Dignitas have to bid farewell to Pro League.
Let’s look at both regions on more detail.
Before the final week started, NiP, Na’Vi, Space Soldiers and Astralis had already qualified for Dallas. Mouz and FaZe however were in great positions to clinch their tickets to Texas as well, both requiring only two points. chrisJ and his boys won two maps against Space Soldiers on Monday for their berth. FaZe also faced the Turks on Thursday, they also won both maps and also snatched their berth.
Which meant there was only one berth left to distribute and four teams had realistic chances of claiming it - G2, Heroic, Hellraisers and North. In the end, the Hellraisers were successful, but it couldn’t have been any closer as Hellraisers and Heroic both have 39 points and the Danes were already on match-point against AGO. Had they won in regulation, Heroic would’ve ended the season with 40 point, one ahead of Hellraisers and in the Finals.
Both G2 and North also had the chance to surpass Hellraisers, but the French lost their decisive map against Na’Vi and North against Hellraisers. The guys around ANGE1 got a little lucky in the end, but it always finishes like that in EPL.
In the relegation battle, EnVy and AGO will fight against relegation against the number two and three seed from MDL. LDLC will be demoted directly. It has to be said, all three teams played underwhelming season and deservedly find themselves in the cellar.
Match Of The Week Recap – G2 vs. Na’Vi
For the CIS mix this encounter was only about which seed they will get in the end. But the French still had a shot at making it to the playoffs if they 2-0’d Zeus & Co. here.
But their dreams were already crushed on the first map. Another electronic & s1mple show ensured Na’Vi a 16-13 win on de_mirage. G2 played well, and even had a lead late in the second half, 13-12 as Terrorists, but that’s when Na’Vi won four rounds in a row to get the W.
Next up was cobblestone and this time G2 manages to get the victory on the back of a mixwell show, who finished with 31 frags and a 1.80 HLTV rating. Unfortunately it was already too late at this point and the French will miss their second Pro League Finals in a row.
Team Liquid has been the definition of dominance in the online portion of this season. They are 10 ahead of NRG in second, the only two teams that had prematurely secured their tickets to Texas ahead of the final week.
Still, NRG is THE surprise team of both regions. They played extremely good Counter-Strike all around and it’s going to be super exciting to see them play in front of a huge crowd in Dallas.
OpTic and Cloud9 remain on ranks three and four respectively. They had a comfortable lead heading into the last week, and they took care of business. Renegades did the same, they are fifth with 40 points.
The final berth goes to SK Gaming. They faced the Renegades on the final two maps, and the Aussies actually had the opportunity to spoil the Brazilian’s season. Had they won just one map, Rogue would’ve slipped in ahead of FalleN’s boys. However, it is a good and fair thing that SK made it to Dallas after all. The Brazilians were forced to forfeit three maps and played their series against NRG from Europe with a horrible ping. They are after all one of the strongest teams in NA and it’s good to see them at the LAN, especially after their disappointing premiere with Stewie in Marseilles.
Team Dignitas has to bid goodbye to EPL as they will get demoted directly. Splyce and compLexity occupy the relegation ranks. In a last-ditch attempt, Ghost Gaming managed to squeeze by compLexity to avoid the relegation battle.
Match Of The Week Recap – Sk Gaming vs. Renegades
After Luminosity lost their matches on Monday against Ghost Gaming, SK regained control over their own fate. Winning both maps against Renegades would ensure them LAN participation.
First the Brazilians and Aussies met on de_train and it was quite the nail biter. After a very strong T-side, after which SK led 11-4, jkaem & Co. showed that they too know how to play as Ts. Renegades won 11 rounds in a row beginning on the T side, leading 15-11. That’s when SK started their comeback, winning the remaining four rounds to get to OT, and then closing it out 19-15. Had SK lost that map, they wouldn’t have made it through to the playoffs.
On cache, SK put on a clinic, dispatching of the Aussies with 16-3. Stewie2k had 25 frags in 19 rounds and only seven deaths for an HLTV rating of 2.20.
Good to see both teams in Dallas, a lAN both can use to redeem their underwhelming performances in Marseilles.
Highlights Of The Week
It’s Finals time, baby!
On the 14th of May, the world’s best teams will descend upon Dallas to battle for glory and the coveted Pro League trophy.