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European and North American standings tighten up after Week 6 as we get into the thick of the ESL Pro League action

Peter Stewart
Contributing Editor
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As we really get into the thick of the ESL Pro League Season 5, and begin to get a better understanding as to the type of teams that will be in the offline finals, we weren’t at all concerned that there wasn’t going to be some intense action throughout Week 6, especially with the likes of Astralis, Natus Vincere, SK Gaming, and OpTic Gaming, in action.

In this week’s recap, you will find an in-depth summary of the league standings from Europe and North America, our favourite bits of action from the week, as well as a look back at our two Hot Matches of the Week.

Europe

Standings

At the end of another week of action, North hold onto their top position in the European standings by the skin of their teeth, holding off Astralis and Natus Vincere, after only winning one of their maps against HellRaisers, 16-10 on de_mirage. Currently, the Danish side holds a total of 33 points from 16 matches played, leaving themselves with a 11-5 win/loss record.

Much like at the conclusion of last week. Although North are leading in the European region, there a number of teams that are chasing their tail for that number one spot. Both Astralis and Natus Vincere sit on 30 points after 16 matches played, while the fourth placed team, HellRaisers, have come out of nowhere, with wins over Na`Vi and North this week, to put themselves well within a chance of qualifying for the LAN finals in Dallas, Texas.

For the first time this season, G2 Esports have made it out of last place with wins over Fnatic, and Team LDLC this week. After 14 matches played, the French ‘super team’ has obtained 18 points, putting themselves into 11th place, a position that will keep them in the Pro League for another season.

Below, you can find an updated look at the European ESL Pro League Season 5 standings at the end of week six.

Hot Match of the Week - Recap

In our weekly preview of what to expect from the week ahead, we recommended that you tune into a battle between fourth place side, Natus Vincere, and Ninjas in Pyjamas, a side that initially struggled at the start of Pro League, but since the acquisition of William “draken” Sundin, has seen some major improvements in their gameplay.

The highly anticipated match between the two European giants got underway on de_overpass with Na`Vi taking the initial pistol round, but with a won force buy from NiP in the second round, the Swedish side were the first to take control with a 3-1 lead. With the level of skill on these teams, you can always anticipate a back and forth type of match, and that is exactly what happened. The CIS lineup bounced right back, and by the end of the first half they led NiP by one round, 8-7.

The second half got underway and NiP would have like to get off to a positive start on the Counter Terrorists, but it wasn’t to be as Na`Vi dominated, and before you knew it, they were leading 11-7. With the CIS side just a few rounds away from closing out the map, the Swedes from NiP started to mount a few rounds together, but it was too little too late and Na`Vi secured the first map win of the series, 16-12.

 

 

The second map, de_cbble, got off to a bit off a different start, but it still featured some great action from these top teams. With a fast A push in the pistol round, Ninjas in Pyjamas won the initial few rounds of the map, leading Natus Vincere 3-0. Na`Vi started to take a few rounds back from the Swedish side, but their momentum didn’t last for long as Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund was dominating the server. As the teams switched sides, NiP led Na`Vi 11-4.

In need of a good start to the half, Natus Vincere pushed the Counter Terrorists hard, but unfortunately for them, NiP were still able to extend their lead to 12-4. As NiP progressed, and looked to close out the map quickly, Na`Vi decided it was time to pull a fast rush, and it pulled off. After such an important round won, the Terrorist side started to put some more rounds on the scoreboard, only trailing 14-8, but the situation got out of control for the CIS side as Ninjas in Pyjamas won an upgraded pistol force round. The Ninjas ultimately went onto win the map 16-8, taking three points away from the series.

 

 

Highlights of the Week

Insanity from STYKO

 

 

Clutch kennyS strikes again

 

 

G2 need more of this

 

 

North America

Standings

At the conclusion of Week 6, SK Gaming’s long flawless streak has finally come to an end at the hands of OpTic Gaming. Regardless of that, the Brazilian side still remains at the top of the North American standings with 42 points, and a win/loss record of 14-2. This season, Cloud9 have continued their reputation as the ‘NA Kings of Pro League’ with another solid performance in the online qualification process. Currently, C9 sit in second place with 36 points from 16 matches.

Again, similar to that of the European standings, the positions in the qualification zone are still all to play for with a number of teams just within a few points of each other. Immortlas are currently the final team to hold a position within the qualification zone at 27 points, but with a number of teams around them, either on the same points or jusy a few behind, it’s difficult to say at this stage which sides will qualify for the LAN finals.

Over the past week, the situation at the bottom of the table has seen some slight changes. With a 2-0 win over Selfless Gaming, 16-10 on de_cbble and 16-14 on de_cache, compLexity Gaming has pulled away from the bottom three with a total of 15 points. Gaining those six points, coL has put themselves in a position where they will remain in the ESL Pro League without having to compete in the relegation matches - that is of course based on them staying in this position.

Below, you can find an updated version of the North American ESL Pro League Season 5 standings as week six comes to a close.

Hot Match of the Week - Recap

In our preview of Week 6, it was our recommendation to you that you should make an effort to tune into the match between SK Gaming, a side that had not yet lost a match in the Pro League, and OpTic Gaming, a side that were going through some roster troubles, but still found themselves in 9th place.

With the way they were playing, there was obviously a very high expectation for SK Gaming to get off to a solid start, and they did just that on de_train. After a quick pistol round win, the Brazilian side led OpTic Gaming 3-0. The OG side did manage to get one round back, but in the rounds after, SK extended their lead to 5-1, but in the following rounds, the momentum completely changed. OpTic slowly put together a number of rounds and tied up the map 5-5 before continuing to dominate the first half and lead 9-6 as the two lineups switched sides.

Knowing that their flawless record was at stake, the Brazilians tried to turn up the heat by winning the first few rounds on their Terrorist side, putting them on par with OpTic at 9-9. At this point the rounds were starting to go back and forth, but with their new fill in, Jason “jasonR” Ruchelski, OG just squeezed ahead of the competition, closing out the map 16-14, and breaking the flawless record of SK.

 

 

The second map, de_inferno, got off to the exact same start as the first map with SK Gaming taking an initial 3-0 lead on the Terrorist side over OpTic Gaming. The Counter Terrorists of OpTic Gaming did managed to get a couple rounds back after the initial deficit, but for the remainder of the half it was all Brazilian dominance as SK switched to the CT side with a very comfortable 11-4 lead.

In the second half, OpTic came out all guns blazing against the SK side to try and claw back into the game, and they almost did exactly that, winning three rounds in a row before the Brazilians stopped them in their tracks. From their on in, it was again all about the Brazilians as they won five rounds in a round to take the map 16-7, and add another three points to their total.

 

 

Highlights of the Week

1 Man. 3 Kills. 20 Bullets.

 

 

Surreal is unreal

 

 

It was destiny

 

 

We’ll be back in a week!

With a SL i-League StarSeries event taking place next week, teams from Europe and North America will take a break from online competition to focus on their preparation for the US$300,000 event. With that, we’ll be back on Tuesday, March 11 with our week preview, and more CS:GO action.

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