ECS Season 6: Astralis Grind It out
Season 6 of Esports Championship Series finished with the final tournament in Arlington, Texas. Astralis proved themselves worthy of being considered currently the best team in the world. The Danish team took the cup and $250,000 of the prize pool, albeit with more difficulty than some of their recent triumphs.
Such a victory is excellent proof that Astralis are truly Esports Team of 2018.
The Group Stage – Dominance of NiP and MIBR
The tournament ECS6 started with the Group Stage (November 22-23):
- Group A was a place of glory for MIBR. These guys defeated mousesports (winners of ESL One: New York 2018 and Astralis to proceed to the semifinals. Astralis began quite nicely, getting a confident victory against Cloud9 (champions of Boston Major 2018). After a loss to MIBR, they played the deciding match with mousesports and won it.
- In Group B, no one was more powerful than NiP. The Swedish guys defeated NRG and North. The second semifinalist from this group was the team North (champions of DreamHack Masters Stockholm 2018. They won out over Team Liquid and NRG.
It’s nice to see MIBR recovering from their recent bitter losses, such as no victories at Blast Pro Series in Copenhagen, or the 0:16 match at Faceit Major: London 2018 (the only such game in the history of CS:GO Majors).
It’s also nice to see Ninjas in Pyjamas returning to full power. The team still doesn’t demonstrate that level of excellence they managed not so long ago, but this CS:GO legend is deservedly among the world’s elite teams.
Cloud9 performed poorly again. It seems like getting the Major champion title took all motivation from the team. Even changes to the roster aren’t effective enough. Cloud9 fell to 24th place in the Global ranking of CS:GO teams (according to hltv.org).
Of course, CS:GO Esports professionals are on a higher level than all the actual CS:GO ranks – they play in a totally different dimension of mastery.
The Playoff Matches. Can Someone Stop Astralis?
This might be a pleasant and uneasy feeling at the same time – being the best CS:GO team in the world and understanding how everyone else is dreaming of defeating you.
Now, Astralis is in such a situation, and the whole community attentively observes every tournament with them. Will it be the moment of losing that amazing advantage? Finals of ECS6 didn’t become that moment at all the same like IEM Chicago 2018. Still, Mouz and MIBT tried very hard!
The Playoff matches took place on November 24-25.
- Ninjas in Pyjamas – Astralis. The teams played on Nuke, Train, and Inferno. The first map is a well-known “Astralis location”, and NiP couldn’t win here (7:16). Secondly, on Train the situation reversed (16:11). Ultimately, Astralis won the match on one of their favorite and most successful maps – Inferno (5:16).
- MIBR – North. Train, Inferno, and Dust II were the maps for this game. The first one was a disaster for North (16:2). They played much better on Inferno (8:16), but finally lost the game on the third map (16:9).
Game locations from ECS6 are in our list of the Best CS:GO Maps.
Grand Final: Astralis – MIBR
The first map was Inferno. MIBR started on the CT side, and the beginning wasn’t promising for them. Still, towards the end of the first half, they took quite a few rounds. In the second half, Astralis seemed to be losing their advantage, but still they won 16:14.
Here are a few very interesting rounds from this match. Checking them out might be helpful for your playing style (like reading our CS:GO Gameplay Review.
Astralis lost two players on Bombsite B but managed to clear up Bombsite A and plant the bomb there. It seemed like a perfect situation for them. Still, MIBR thought different. FaLLeN with AWP demolished Magisk and dupreeh to defuse the bomb and won the round.
Magisk and dupreeh left the game early on the way to A. Then, FaLLeN and fer tried to hide behind one column on Bombsite B and both were burned away by Molotov. After the planting, one Astralis player hid on B and two – on banana, waiting for two remaining MIBR guys trying to defuse. Tarik and coldzera decided to keep the weapon.
coldzera with AWP made two perfect kills near Bombsite A by taking a very good position. That secured the round for MIBR.
FaLLeN made an ace, demolishing four Astralis guys on B and then finding dupreeh close to banana.
Astralis effectively stopped aggression towards B. Three remaining MIBR guys rushed on B and cleared it up from dupreeh and Magisk. Only a lack of time prevented FaLLeN from planting the bomb and trying to win this round.
This seemed to be a guaranteed victory for MIBR because Astralis had no money and fought with weak weapons and almost no equipment. But the seemingly impossible happened! First, dev1ce stopped two opponents with CZ75-Auto, took fallen Galil AR and finished with another one. Then, Magisk got the job done – again with CZ75-Auto.
The second map was Overpass
Astralis started on a T side and won three rounds. Then MIBR took the leading role and won 7 rounds in a row. Astralis made a breathtaking comeback to bring the tie to overtime (first of two). As a result of this tough match, Astralis won 22:20.
MIBR lost the pistol round and had no decent weapons for the second one. Stewie2K was the only remaining player of this team. He had USP-S but used Zeus x27 to stop Xyp9x and take his UMP-45. Then his team lost the round anyway, but using Zeus x27 is quite a rare event nowadays.
Astralis planted the bomb on A and surrounded it with smoke. Three remaining MIBR players rushed to fight for diffusion and two of them were stopped quite quickly. But alas for Astralis! tarik took care of the diffusion, spinning around the bomb. That saved the round for the team – the 7th in a row for MIBR.
dev1ce was using AWP on the level of excellence, so his bullets found three MIBR players in different places. Then dupreeh finished the work with M4A4. This round prevented MIBR from entering the Match Point situation. Astralis started their comeback.
That was Match Point for MIBR, and it seemed nothing could stop them in this round. First, tarik kicked out Magisk and Xyp9x. But then dupreeh with CS75-Auto changed the situation drastically. His bullets found fer and Stewie2K. coldzera stopped gla1ve, and dev1ce remained one against two (with the bomb planted). Quite a desperate situation, wasn’t it? Not for dev1ce! With AWP, he demolished coldzera, then did the same to FaLLeN with a USP-S. For Astralis that was a rush to the first overtime.
tarik found himself in a 1 vs 4 situation. He managed to plant the bomb and defeat it from Xyp9x and dev1ce. That was the last round taken by MIBR in this game.
The prize pool of ECS6 was $660,000. It was divided in this way:
CS:GO Skins in Grand Final
As usual, professional CS:GO players were using various eye-catching skins at this tournament – that’s quite a common way to express yourself in the game.
Here are some of the weapon finishes in the hands of the Astralis and MIBR guys:
DMarket is the place to buy the same CS:GO skins as famous Esports professionals!
The next big CS:GO Esports tournament is ESL Pro League Season 8: Finals in Odense, Denmark (December 4-9).