A Swedish nightmare materializes on EU MD4

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Both NiP and Fnatic will fight for Pro League survival in the relegation tournament, potentially setting us up for a novelty – no Swedish representation in the upcoming season. What a huge blow to the once domineering country that would be. FaZe Clan will not only miss the finals but also a shot at closing in on the Intel Grand Slam, while Heroic dug themselves out of the ditches with a huge effort on MD4.

After a catastrophic start into the season, losing 11 out of 14 maps, the Ninjas in Pyjamas regained composure and climbed from dead last onto a non-relegation eleventh rank ahead of MD4. Against Windigo and mousesports however, the Ninjas only collected two maps and six points, which ultimately wasn’t enough to avoid the relegation tournament. The Swedes surrounding GeT_RiGhT, f0rest & Co. are difficult to assess. They play great games from time to time, consistently pushing Astralis out of all teams to the limit, while struggling immensely against supposed underdogs. At relegation, a bad day simply won’t cut. The top MDL teams are as skilled and hungry to take their spot in Pro League, meaning we may very well see a Season 9 without NiP.

The absolute same goes for Fnatic. The second Swedish team end the season second-to-last, and they will need to fight through relegation to remain. JW and his boys’ season was defined through roster struggles. Only a month ago did they settle on their final player, Brollan, alongside previous addition twist. Five points against ex Space Soldiers wasn’t enough for KRiMZ & Co. to leave the relegation zone however. At IEM Chicago Fnatic showed us what their new team is capable of, reaching the semi-finals and only barely losing to Astralis. If the boys show similar poise at relegation, we should see them again in Season 9.

Failing FaZe

The most skilled five-man roster in the history of the game finishes the Pro League Season on rank 11. On MD4, FaZe got crushed by Heroic on two maps (16-6, 16-3) and after a very disappointing season and loss-ridden ending, NiKo & Co. are lucky to avoid the pain of relegation. Their most recent performances have been all over the place since NiKo took over IGL duties from Karrigan. Rumors of the latter’s departure have spread throughout the community and whether or not we will see the same FaZe next season remains to be seen. The team certainly fails to fulfil their own expectations most of the time, and a roster move seems like the logical thing to do. In addition, through their absence in Odense, FaZe won’t be able to stop Astralis from completing the Intel Grand Slam, which will surely be tough to watch from home if the Danes go all the way.

Heroic effort

Ahead of the final Pro League week, Heroic looked like a certain pick for relegation with six maps against HellRaiser, ex Space Soldiers and FaZe left to go. But the Danes pulled through, claiming four of those maps as victors, jumping onto the tenth ranks and staying in EPL for next Season. The Danish era continues as no other country has three representatives in the world’s elite league.

Check out the final standings of ESL Pro League Season 8 below:

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