The ECS Finals: First Millionaires in History of Counter-Strike

Nov 27 2018 5 min read
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As the year 2018 is coming to an end, we as a CS:GO community have only a few events to watch. Yes, there will still be DreamHack Winter in Sweden and ESL Pro League Season 8 Finals in Denmark next month. But the ECS Finals Season Six is what we were waiting for. Not just because of the huge prize pool and the world class players on the server, but mostly because the event in Texas was to become a crucial point. And to be frank, even before this event people had no idea about it. I will try to explain this later, okay? Just continue reading, you will understand it in the end. 

The Event That Made It Happen

First of all, let’s look at the event information. The tournament started last Thursday, at the Esports Stadium in Arlington, USA with early group stage and four best-of-one matches. Prize pool was huge as always: $660,000 in total with the winning team taking $250,000 home. For a poor European guy like me, it's a lot of money folks but to be honest, players and community get used to this kind of prizes and we are not that surprised anymore like several years ago. It’s just where the scene is right now and I am grateful for it (SPOILER ALERT - this article will be about money a lot!), because we worked really hard to get to this point. 

Anyway, the eight best teams from Europe and North America were split into two groups and started their journey in Texas. First day was about best-of-one matches where anything could happen. Especially on top level where teams are basically on the same level (except Astralis). 

As you can see from the picture, nothing extra surprising happened that day. Maybe the match between North and Liquid were a little bit different from what I expected. But on the other hand, since the Casper “cadiaN” Møller came on board as a new in-game leader, the Danish squad is playing great. We were waiting for performance like this since their creation and I am really glad to see them finally playing as a team. By the way, if I am talking about North, I must show you something. And I know it’s another spoiler, but who cares, this is just nuts… 

Valdemar “valde” Bjørn is just from different dimension. I started watching him closely a year ago, when he was still playing in the Heroic jersey, and even though the team wasn’t the best, valde had potential to become one of the most deadly and consistent player from the Scandinavia, maybe even from the whole world. And I wasn’t the only one who was thinking about him this way. This 1v5 clutch just confirmed everything what I just said. And don’t forget it was in 12:13 situation for NRG with potential money reset for North if valde couldn’t clutch this. If I would be in this situation, my heart would explode but look at him, calm and confident - no more words needed. Just beautiful to watch! 

Show Must Go On!

Anyway, moving on to the best-of-three matches, I started wondering if something unexpected would happen. And I didn’t have to wait too long to be surprised. In the preview article I made before this event, I was so sure about current number one Astralis. Who wouldn’t be, they have no competitors in these days. I was so sure that I said and I quote:

 “And the best kept for the last. My infallible predictions. Well, Astralis is gonna win. Thanks for your attention. See ya!” 

Well, I should stop with predictions or people at will get me fired very soon. Brazilian Made in Brazil came to this event really prepared and won the series 2:1 (yeah very closely, 22:20 on Train and 16:14 on Inferno), but still pretty amazing if you consider it’s best-of-three series and Astralis. The full list of matches you can find right below:

During the playoffs, I was just thinking if NiP and North could manage this crazy journey in the USA and progress to the Grand Finals over Astralis and Made in Brazil again. Well, they didn’t. End of story. Those were surely beautiful matches, both went to three maps, however the era of NiP is gone (nobody says they can’t came back on top again, would love to see it personally) but not this time. Story of North is a little bit different. I feel like they are just getting on the highest level now (finally have great chemistry on the server), but struggling with closing the matches. No pressure, things like this need some time. It will come one day, just keep going boys.

So, ready for the Finals?


And don’t look at me like tarik okay?! It will be fun, promise! 

The veto went well for both teams I think (insta Nuke ban from mibr was a good idea). Astralis picked Inferno while the Brazilian five choose Overpass. Good for everyone. I knew it would be a close match and it definitely was! I could easily make a dedicated article about it. That’s how close and interesting it was. But I still need to tell you about the breaking milestone so I have to be quicker. Basically, it was a rematch from the group stage except for the fact that Danes were the one to celebrate here. They managed to win first map with just pistols and UMP’s in the last round of the map (16:14) and on Overpass we went to double overtime (22:20). I was so sad about the MIBR (they played so freaking good, maybe for the first time this year), they deserve to win. But it’s Counter-Strike, shit happens all the time, you know. At least, I can give you small shot of tarik wonderful 1v4 play on Overpass. Valde vol.2, ladies and gentlemen, don't you think?

And like that, the history was made!

And finally, the breaking milestone of Counter-Strike history. Ready? Oukej. With this trophy the Astralis trio - Xyp9x, Dupreeh and dev1ce - became first CS:GO players to break $1 million in prize winnings. Fucking millionaires, guys! By playing computer games. Isn’t life finally beautiful and fair? You don’t need to answer that, it was a rhetorical question…  

I am so happy and proud of them, they keep playing together for so long, going through both good and bad times, and now they are writing history of our sport. I am going to cry, I knew it… 

  • Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth: $1,038,721.90

  • Peter "Dupreeh" Rasmussen: $1,035,922.74

  • Nicolai "Dev1ce" Reedtz: $1,003,423.21

And by the way, Nicolai won the MVP medal again. Am I the only one who starts to be little bit bored of dev1ce and s1mple MVP rewards? They are both great, probably the best, but there are other players too, okay? Keep that in mind for next time please. 

And that’s it. Hope you enjoyed our coverage of The ECS Finals this year and don’t forget: this time it was Astralis who wrote a new chapter of eSports. Next time, it could be you… 


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