EPL Finals - History has been made again!

Dec 12 2018 5 min read
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The Finals of the year. I think, we can call it ESL Pro League Finals Season 8 this way. I know, I know there is a Major who rule them all, but its end of the year and this was probably the last big event with world class players on the stage in 2018. Maybe I am starting to be a little bit emotional, but be honest who would not be If you watch the Counter-Strike scene these days. As the title says, history has been made once again and it's actually true. Astralis did it. They won… No, no, no. I will not tell you before you see the all crazy actions and stuff, yep? Take it easy my friend, step by step, game by game.

Let’s have a look at the basic information. The tournament run from December 4-9 at The Sparekassen Fyn Arena in Odense, Denmark and offered $750,000 in cash. The sixteen teams around the world made it through the online phase to book a ticket to Denmark. A complete list of teams with a group stage looked as follows:

Group A

  • Astralis
  • BIG
  • Liquid
  • HellRaisers
  • Renegades
  • G2
  • INTZ
  • ViCi

Group B

  • MIBR
  • Natus Vincere
  • Ghost
  • North
  • NRG
  • mousesports
  • Sharks

As you can see - except FaZe Clan, Swedish NiP and Fnatic - every teams and player who mean something in our world was in Odense to enjoy one of the latest show this year. 

The matches started with casual best-of-one openings while the playoffs were best-of-three single-elimination format. The best-of-five grand finals then ended up the whole league.

Let’s start with the teams which ended up their journey in Odense faster than they planned. Australian ORDER, Brazilian INTZ, Chinese ViCi and Danish North. Except for North, all of the teams were underdogs. Nobody expected to see those teams in playoffs. I think, for this players it's more about getting useful experience on the biggest tournaments, playing against world-class teams than surprising the whole world like QBR on Major last year. To get to the top, you need experience and lots of hours practicing, we all know that. It’s just a matter of time.

However, North was one of the aspirants at least on playoffs. Nicknames like valde or aizy are really scary, but the Danish #2 is struggling with consistency all the time. Actually, from their creation. One day they win DreamHack, another day they leave the tournament with the last place. I just hope the new year will be more successful for them, because I love watching them, lot’s of firepower and good team structure which you would expect from Danes, but it wasn’t enough this time.

Now, let’s have a look at the middle teams which ended up between 7 and 12th places. The names here are more known and the level of CS is higher than in previous teams. French G2, Canadian Ghost, American NRG, German BIG, European mix HellRaisers and Brazilian Sharks. Many stories have been written, but I would love to focus on the lineup of G2. As you may have noticed, last week we have informed you that French “super team” is not that super as it may look like and because of poor performance during the whole year, two veterans - SmithZz and Ex6TenZ - were benched while the - JaCkz and Lucky - were brought on board. This was the last event for the “old” lineup and I know that the things did not go well as players planned, but I must admit I enjoyed their last show. Players seemed very calm on the server and to be honest I really enjoyed their performance. Maybe the best tournament they played this year. Life is really strange sometimes. Let’s just say goodbye to them with this winning map against Renegades

Before we will look closer on the grand finals, let’s see what happened with Made in Brazil, mousesports, Natus Vincere and Renegades. For Renegades was this event first big test with the new roster and they did great. Like really great. I didn’t expect this result at all. For  Made in Brazil and Mousesports its different story. Both teams were in top-3 worldwide ranking in the past and if you watched the ECS Finals week ago, you should not be surprised with this result. Maybe Natus Vincere could face Astralis in the grand final, but Ukrainian five really struggled in the group stage so to get in the playoff is actually a small victory for them. As a highlight I recommend you to see Tomáš OskarŠťastný sick performance against Renegades

And now the finals. Astralis versus Team Liquid. Europe against USA. I don’t know how many times we saw those two teams in the grand final this year. Many times. And it's almost every time the same story. Liquid are prepared, very motivated to beat them for the first time and… You know what? Just look at this video, it says more than I could. 

Yeah. A Device is going to be the Device. He crushed them all again. The first map went well for Liquid. But the rest was completely in hands of Danes. They won 3:1 in the end and are Champions of ESL Pro League Season 8

If you like number and pretty pictures, let’s have a look at this:

You think our story ends here? Nope, my friend. Not at all. 

As you may have heard before, Intel company announced that if one of the team will win 4 of 10 events by ESL or DreamHack this year they will also earn 1 Million Dollars in cash. And guess what, this was the 4th title for Astralis which means they earner not only $250,000 for winning the league, but also $1,000,000 from Intel which is new biggest prize money winning on one event in the history of Counter-Strike! I mean… On this event, history was really made. And I am so happy to see what is really happening in our sport now. 

This was another nice story to tell and I hope you enjoyed our coverage. :)


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