A week ago, 16 teams headed to the Verizon Theatre in Dallas for the ESL Pro League Season 7 Finals. The teams hailed from all around the globe, and it was Danish side Astralis who ended up taking home the top prize. Now that the dust has finally settled, let's recap the action and pick out the best plays.
The group stages
After turbulent times across the top level Counter-Strike scene where we’ve seen a lack of dominance and a sense of mystery, Astralis once again staked their claim for the top spot with impressive group stage displays. They destroyed their Danish-counterparts 16-3, then comfortably saw off the struggling SK Gaming 16-11 and 16-10. These results set up a match against Team Liquid in the upper-bracket with the victor heading to the semi-finals and the less fortunate team to the quarter-finals. Fortunately, the Danes cruised to victory winning 16-10 and 16-7 to book themselves a spot in the semis. SK Gaming were spooked early on, heading to overtime against Ninjas in Pyjamas, who they managed to eventually overcome 19-16. The Brazilians succumbed to Astralis 0-2, which saw them drop to the lower bracket and face off against the Aussies of Renegades whom they quickly dispatched of 2-0. SK Gaming would play OpTic for a place in the playoffs: it was a tight affair, which saw them head into map two in a deficit after losing Train 14-16. However, they rallied back, storming the Danes on Dust 16-6 and setting up a series-deciding game on Inferno, where they emerged as victors after winning 16-13. The American teams in general disappointed, only one of Cloud 9, NRG Esports and Team Liquid made it through the group stages. Liquid impressed with best-of-three victories against both Natus Vincere and mousesports despite playing their opponents' best maps. All of which set up for an exciting knockout stage that delivered no shortage of top-tier plays. Starting off with this triple kill from the grand final...
NAF’s heroics help to close out Mirage
The Team Liquid man pulls out a vital 3K to keep his teams slim hopes alive in the grand final which helps close out Mirage 16-14.
flamie the eco fragger
In a throwaway round for Team Liquid, the Na’Vi man remains focused and mops up a weak push from his opponents, collecting four kills in the process.
FNS keeps his cool
The newly appointed in-game leader keeps calm and applies brain surgery to FaZe Clan in their opening game.
The clutch master doing what he does best.
Danish rifler Xyp9x is renowned for his high percentage of clutch wins and this time was no different. He gives Astralis a much-needed pistol victory to build their economy ahead of the second half.
dupreeh brute forces past FaZe’s defence
Team Astralis fragger and ESL Pro League MVP Peter 'dupreeh' Rasmussen storms towards the A site on Inferno after finding three quicky entries.
The Brazilian scores SK the first round win with this magnificent intuitive play.
nitr0 leaves it late
The Team Liquid in-game leader finds three quick frags to see Liquid take a one round advantage heading into round twenty-one.
ngiN holds firm on Inferno
ngiN finds four to secure map point for his team in their round one match against Renegades.
gade’s mind games prevail
The young Dane plays an excellent clutch situation to perfection against Space Soldiers which helps to further tighten OpTic’s grip on the series.
NiKo provides brilliance once again
The talented marksman once again displays his sheer brilliance with an ace clutch, reocvering brilliantly after finding himself in deep waters versus not one, not two, not three but four SK opponents.