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It all comes down to this in the final week of the ESL Pro League Season 5

Peter Stewart
Contributing Editor
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The final week of the ESL Pro League Season 5 is finally here, and it all comes down to the last few matches in this week of edge-of-your-seat, intense, and thrilling action. In just a few days we’ll know exactly which teams we’ll be seeing in the season finals, but there’s still a lot to happen before we do - I can’t wait for the week to get started and I’m sure you all feel the same way.

Here is everything you need to know for the tenth week of the ESL Pro League!

Europe

Standings

At the end of the ninth week of action, North headed back to the top of the European ESL Pro League standings, ahead of second place side, mousesports, after two big wins from Ninjas in Pyjamas and Team LDLC, both series’ completing with a 2-0 win. Those results put the top Danish side at 51 points from 24 matches played, cementing their spot in the ESL Pro League Season 5 finals in Dallas, Texas.

The second place side, mousesports, were the only other European team to claim their spot in the offline finals after Week 9 with spectacular wins over HellRaisers and Natus Vincere, including a 16-0 win on de_cache over the CIS side. At the end of the week, for the teams in, and around the qualification zone, it got even tighter with just a few wins in it - G2 Esports and Astralis do seem to be the favourites for acquiring their invite to the offline finals, sitting at 42 points each.

The bottom of the table got even more interesting with four teams now tied for 27 points, putting themselves in 10th-14th place. It’s difficult to say which teams will be playing in the relegation matches, but we can almost certainly say that Team kinguin will be the side facing instant relegation from the Pro League. However, this week they still have six maps to play with matches coming up against Fnatic, Heroic, and LDLC.

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

Hot Match of the Week - FaZe Clan versus G2 Esports

There is a number of very important matches taking place this week as teams try to obtain their spot in the offline finals or avoid relegation, but this week’s Hot Match of the Week for the European region features a very intense battle between sixth place side FaZe Clan, and G2 Esports, a top side that shot up into third place despite a terrible start to their Pro League campaign.

Despite their acquisition of Nikola “NiKo” Kovac from mousesports, a player that consistently plays amazing Counter-Strike, FaZe Clan got off to a very start in the ESL Pro League Season 5 with a 3-3 win/loss record. The same story has occurred throughout the majority of the season with the side not really being on any kind of streak until recent times. Recently, the teams has started to play very well and they have won six out of their last eight matches, helping to put them in a position that could potentially see them qualify for the season finals.

Although FaZe has had a bit of a wishy-washy Pro League season, their performance in offline play has been slightly different. In their past three tournaments, IEM Katowice 2017, SL i-League StarSeries Season 3 Finals, and most recently, IEM Sydney, the European side has had two second place finishes, and one championship win. FaZe’s win came from the SL i-League tournament after taking major champions, and number one team in the world, Astralis.

G2 Esports, the opponent of FaZe Clan, has been through more than thick and thin over the past few months since their questionable roster changes with Team EnVyUs during the ‘French Revolution 2.0.’ For the majority of Season 5, the French has been completely out of all the top action, sitting in the bottom three, or in outright last, ultimately making it look like they were going to be relegated from the pro division. I was beginning to rule them out after just a few weeks in, but fortunately for G2, the ‘CS:GO Gods’ were looking over the French ‘super team’ and sent them in a completely different direction.

After winning 13 out of their last 15 matches played, winning matches against the likes of Fnatic, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and Natus Vincere, the French side have flown past the rest of the competition into third place, ahead of FaZe Clan, with a total of 42 points, tied with Astralis. This match against FaZe is the last match they have in the Pro League so we’ll have to wait and see if they can make the most of it, and earn an invite to the finals in Dallas, Texas. What a storyline this would be if they did manage it.

Outside of competing in the ESL Pro League Season 5, the French side have only competed in two offline events with the complete roster, including the SL i-League StarSeries event. At the event in Kiev, Ukraine, the side were ultimately eliminated by the eventual winners, FaZe Clan, finishing in 5th-8th, but they did show off some very promising signs, taking down a number of top sides, including NiP, HR, and SK Gaming. Most recently, the side won the DreamHack Open Tours 2017 event, defeating EnVy, Tricked, mousesports, and eventually HR in the final. With that, if they do make it to Texas, I’m beyond excited to see how they’ll perform in their next LAN event with that win under their belt.

This is most certainly a match you do not want to miss out on as both sides look to solidify a spot in the ESL Pro League Season 5 finals so tune into our YouTube exclusive livestream at 21:00 CEST to watch the action unwind.

There are a number of other crucial matches that are taking place at the same time, including Fnatic versus Mouz and North versus Virtus.pro so be sure to keep an eye out on those matches and their final results.

North America

Standings

At the end of the penultimate week of action, the North American was still led by Brazilian side, SK Gaming, who have no acquired a total of 51 points from 21 matches played, giving themselves an impressive record of 17-3. With their win over NRG Esports, SK were the first confirmed North American side to qualify for the offline finals in Dallas, Texas later this year. Their Brazilian brothers, Immortals, and the ‘NA Kings of Pro League,’ Cloud9, currently sit behind SK in second and third place, respectively, with 48 points from 22 matches each.

The rest of the table at the qualification zone is in a very tight positions with only a few points difference between playing on an international stage in Dallas for the offline finals, or watching the action from home. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out for Team Liquid, NRG, Misfits, OpTic Gaming, and Counter Logic Gaming. You can read our preview of the match between OpTic and CLG here and how it could be the match that decides the North American division, here.

The bottom of the table has stayed in a similar situation in comparison to the past few weeks with it officially being game over for Rush, Winterfox, and the former Selfless Gaming side, The Foundation. The Foundation still have a few games to work with to potentially avoid instant relegation from the Pro League, but I’m doubtful of how much of a difference that will make if we consider and look at how the side has been playing throughout the season - it’s unlikely that much is going to change.

Below, you can find an updated view of the North American ESL Pro League Season 5 standings at the end of week nine:

This. Is. It.

Tune into ESL CS:GO YouTube channel to watch the best teams in CS:GO battle for their spot at offline finals in Dallas, Texas from June 3-4. If you want to watch the season finals live, you can purchase tickets here whilst they are still available.

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