Season 7 of the Esports Championship Series has drawn to a close, with a surprise victor headed home with the trophy. The young prodigy ZywOo has added the first of many big event trophies to his trophy case, and I feel confident in saying this won’t be the last tournament he wins this year.
ZywOo has won his first big international LAN (unless you count cs_summit), and his second MVP at the ECS Finals. In a lot of ways this seemed expected, as ZywOo been in rare form since the Major earlier this year. Not a lot of players in the history of CS have hit heights like he’s hitting now. What’s crazier is, he’s only 18 years old, and is playing with a questionable supporting cast. I’d call this tournament a coming out party for the young Frenchman, but he’s had his bona fides for quite some time now.
Vitality had quick road to the finals, dropping just two maps, both to the North in the winner’s match of their group. ZywOo finished the tournament with a rating of 1.41 over 10 maps, which is just an absurd number. He led the tournament in seven statistical categories, dominating the competition.
The rest of Vitality played at a reasonably high level, which is refreshing to see. ALEX and apEX both had excellent tournaments, ending their 10 map run with 1.15 and 1.20 ratings respectively. While it’s too soon to tell if their performance will be consistent over the next couple of tournaments, it’s a good sign for a team that has struggled to find consistent secondary and tertiary fraggers to ease the burden on ZywOo.
This is the first time I’ve had to write negative words about Astralis in probably a year, so forgive me if I’m a little rusty. Although if I were, it would be poetic seeing as how the rust on Astralis was palpable through the Twitch stream. They looked flat and disjointed, which they haven’t looked in quite some time. The rust isn’t all that surprising, seeing as how they had gone about a month since their last best of three. Astralis going out in groups is like Hailey’s comet at this point, and it’s definitely a shock to see.
I’m not anywhere near ready to count them out though, obviously. Device still managed to be the second best rated player at the event, with Magisk barely making the top 10. The pure fragging talent is clearly still there, and I can’t imagine this will begin a stretch of Astralis bottoming out at tournament after tournament. I’d expect a bounce back tournament from them at the ESL Pro League Finals.
Furia are young and hungry, and it shows. They play an aggressive style that isn’t popular in top tier CS anymore, and do it without any one player on the team taking up an outsize amount of shine. Kscerato, Art, and Yuurih all have their moments, and it makes Furia one of the most exciting teams to watch in tier one right now.
And yes, they definitely belong in tier one. A run on this level, with this much consistency, deserves a spot in the top 10. They’ve been dominating since the Katowice Major, racking up wins over Astralis, North, ENCE, and Fnatic. That’s a legit resume, and one deserving of a top 10 spot.
North were the only team to take off Vitality this tournament. They beat the Frenchmen 2-1 in the winner’s match of their group in dominant fashion. It seems like Valde is making a real difference on this team. He has helped to structure the team better, and he’s putting up respectable numbers for an IGL. This are looking pretty good for North, for the first time in a while.
MIBR have FalleN on tough times. (Get it?) They’ve been surpassed by a Brazilian roster for the first time since Immortals made the Major Finals, and it doesn’t seem like this is a fluke. If I had to guess, I’d say both teams were going to continue on their respective trajectories, with Furia getting better and better while MIBR continues to fall to the wayside.
The most exciting thing going on with this team, besides their recent rebrand, is the addition of oBo to the roster. oBo is only 15 years old, and he still decimated MIBR in the elimination match of their group. He had an ADR of 98.5 over three maps, leading his team by a wide margin. Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, oBo fell short against Vitality in the decider match. Complexity was beaten 2-0 by the eventual champions.
It seems as though this event was the last gasp of the daps led NRG, and it ended up being a respectable one. NRG had an event best round differential in the group stage, with a +15 over three maps. They dominated Furia 2-0 to secure a spot in the event playoffs, and were matched up against Vitality.
Unfortunately for the NA(ish) squad, they weren’t up to snuff, and were handled in two quick maps. They did, however, manage to put up a stronger fight than Furia, pushing the eventual champs into overtime on map one.
Things are looking up for NRG. I expect them to make a leap over the next few months, and I imagine they’ll be real contenders come Major time.
This is just getting sad. I was trying to be up on NiP, f0rest was playing well, they looked like they were making strides. Turns out that’s not the case. I don’t know how long this team can run on the treadmill of mediocrity before they need a roster change, but I have to imagine change will be coming soon.