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Liquid and mousesports are our new league leaders, as pressure mounts on various teams after ESL Pro League’s third week concludes

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Another hard-fought week in Counter-Strike’s elite league ends. With 18 more maps in Europe, we’re getting a good idea of how the leaderboard will look when all is said and done.

North America only had 12 maps to offer, and quite a few teams remain relatively inactive, which makes it harder to assess each team’s strength. Still, there are some pleasant surpises with a few underdog teams in the upper echelon.

Let’s have a closer look at both regions.

EUROPE

mousesports had a busy but successful week. They won 5 out of 8 maps against FaZe, G2, NiP and Heroic, and are now sitting at the top of class, with 8W-1OTW-5L. What an incredible success story the mice are continuing to write after NiKo left them last year and everybody deemed them dead. Their recent form is crisp, everyone is on point, they’re confident and fear no one. Exciting times ahead for chriJ and his boys, as they can beat anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Astralis are also on the rise after adding Magisk. They beat North in the Danish Derby, split maps with G2 and are second with 7W-1OTW-4L. Even though the move wasn’t planned, and Astralis was forced into a corner after Kjaerbye’s decision to leave, Magisk seems to revitalize an Astralis that has been in a rut for too long. We may see them taking titles again, especially in this wide-open era.

FaZe, Na’Vi, NiP, all sitting on 20 points, and the Space Soldiers (19 points) round out the remaining four playoff spots.

G2 (4W-9L-1OTL), North (4W-8L), LDLC (3W-1OTW-6L) and AGO (2W-8L) all face tremendous troubles. While their fate is not yet determined, the point of no return closes in at a smart pace. We’re already past the halfway mark of the season, it’s already do or die for these sides.

Check out the EU standings below:

Match Of The Week Recap – Astralis vs. North

In the clash over who comes out on top after the Danish shuffle, Astralis prevailed.

First, the two teams had a rendezvous on de_inferno, the perfect map to settle their beef after the whole Kjaerbye incident. Well, Astralis certainly let North feel their wrath. After winning the first pistol round, gla1ve lead his team to a crushing 14-1 CT side shut down. At no point was North able to contest Astralis creative and aggressive defense. MSL & his boys managed to win the second pistol and the subsequent two rounds, but wasted no time closing out the remaining two rounds after their initial buy round, closing the map 16-4.

Next up, de_nuke. A map, on which the Astralis core has been solid on since the beginning of time. Starting on the more difficult T side, Astralis conceded the first four rounds to North, before getting on the board themselves. It looked like from that point on, Astralis had everyting under control, but North finished strong by winning the final four rounds, for a 9-6 halftime lead. When Astralis switched to the CT side, they showed their expertise on the map, as they cleanly dominated both bomb sites, only allowing North two more rounds, and ultimately winning 16-11.

North had high hopes when they brought in Kjaerbye and mertz, but so far we haven’t seen too much from them. It’s high time to turn things around if they want to avoid that pesky relegation battle.

North America

Two teams remain unbeaten, Liquid (7W-1OTW-0L) and NRG (6W-0L). Especially the boys around daps are showing great promise, performing well not just in EPL. Each of their players has an incredible K/D rating, with only daps lagging a bit behind, which is expected from the IGL. We could be seeing a new team ascending to NA’s top here. Hopefully they can confirm their form on LAN.

Luminosity are playing a solid season again. After making top six last year already, they are on pace for a second consecutive qualification for the finals with 6W-3L-1OTL.

OpTic Gaming had a solid start into the season, winning five out of their initial eight matches for fifth spot. They split maps with Ghost Gaming this week.

Cloud9 and SK haven’t been active this week, which keeps them in the lower half of the standings. But the Brazilians finds themselves in an extremely unpleasant situation with four losses in the previous week.

Team Dignitas seem to be quite overwhelmed by the level of play in EPL, as they suffered two more defeats at the hands of Liquid and are now dead last with 0W-6L.

Check out the full standings for NA below:

Match Of The Week Recap – Team Liquid vs. Renegades

The first map on which NAF clashed with his former teammates from Renegades, was de_mirage. A good map for both sides, and for the first half we saw a tight match. The Renegades started on the CT side and after troubles early on, they closed out the half with a 8-7 lead. After switching to the T side, the Aussie team got dominated by Liquid however, as they lost the map 16-12. Especially nitr0 and Twistzz showed up with 25 and 22 frags respectively.

de_cbble was always going to be more difficult for Renegades, as steel and his American brothers are regarded as one of the world’s best teams on it. While Renegades did surprise with a solid showing, especially after winning the first five rounds on the T side, in the end Liquid cruised to a comfortable 16-9 victory. Once again it was Twistzz who took matters into his own hands, dropping an insane 30 bomb with 106 ADR for a 1.73 HLTV rating.

Highlights Of The Week

See you on Tuesday for Week 4!

As always we will be returning with more EPL action from both regions on Tuesday.

Tune into the here to watch your favorite teams battle for a spot in the offline finals in Dallas. 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.