The ECS Season 5 Finals will kick off this weekend, where eight of the world's CS:GO teams will gather at the SSE Arena, Wembley, London to compete for a $660,000 prize pool. FACEIT have gone to every effort to promote the event and make the experience as thrilling as possible for spectators, so all eyes are on them to deliver. Amongst the eight attendees are teams from both Europe and North America. These were drawn from two months of online qualification which ultimately resulted in four teams from each region advancing from a pool of 10.
The eight teams will be divided two GSL-style groups with initial and winners matches being BO1 matches whilst elimination and decider matches are BO3. This will lead to a four-team playoffs where all matches are BO3.
[table id=16 /] The more difficult of the two groups to predict, Group A will see Astralis, Cloud 9, fnatic and Team Liquid, all of whom are in HLTV’s top eight global CS:GO rankings as of May 28th, battle it out for two semi-final spots. The Great Danes of Astralis are hot off the back of a victory at the ESL Pro League Finals, a second place at IEM Sydney and a glorious first in Marseille. In London they will look to continue to make their case for being the strongest team in the world. One of their group stage opponents will be Team Liquid, who they should be used to playing by now – dueling twice, at Pro League and DreamHack Marseille. The North-American stars of Liquid will be out seeking revenge after falling short only a fortnight ago in Dallas where they were eventually pipped to top spot by Astralis.
[table id=17 /] NRG, LG or G2 are teams of variable form: which one of them joins (probably) FaZe in the playoffs depends in large part on which versions turn up. Will we be treated to the confident, stylish NRG Esports roster that we saw throughout the online portion of ECS Season 5? Or maybe it will be the lightweight NRG, the one that bombed out in 9th-12th place at both ESL Pro League Finals and IEM Sydney. Then there's G2 esports: will we see a French renaissance, or will G2 subject us to the lacklustre performances we've seen from them far too often in the past? Lastly, we have Luminosity, the expected whipping boys of the group – despite their recent acquisition of the well-travelled Lucas 'steel' Lopes. They'll be hoping to pack a surprise or two, even if on paper they are outmatched by the other teams in the group. As mentioned already, this group is more a matter of who will join FaZe in the playoffs than anything else. They'll still be without Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer, who is yet to be reinstated to the starting lineup after his extended period of leave. This means ECS Season 5 finals will be FaZe's first event with stand-in Jorgen "cromen" Robertsen, the wait continues for FaZe to be back with their core five. A top two finish is the minimum expectation for the super-team.
How to watch
The event will be streamed on FACEIT's YouTube channel. Watch this space for an embed when the tournament begins. We'll be updating this page as the event progresses, so be sure to refresh the page for the latest updates from the groups and playoffs!