Astralis are your ECS Season 8 Finals Champions.
The ECS Season 8 Finals schedule is set, with eight top CS:GO teams aiming to dominate the standings for a share of the $500,000 prize pool at the Esports Stadium, Arlington, Texas.
The ECS Season 8 Finals schedule sees teams compete in a group stage, semifinals and finals from November 28th to December 1st 2019.
ECS Season 8 Finals playoff stage will feature two semi-finals and one grand finals series where all matches will be best-of-three.
Semi-finals, November 30th
- 7pm CET - Astralis 2-1 Evil Geniuses
- 10pm CET - Team Liquid 2-1 FNATIC
Grand Finals, December 1st
- 10pm CET - Astralis 2-1 Team Liquid
Group stage and live stream info
ECS Season 8 Finals group stage will feature two double-elimination format (GSL) groups of four teams each. Opening matches are best-of-one, all the other matches are best-of-three.
The top two teams of each group advance to the playoffs semifinals.
Day 1, November 28th
Group A opening matches (BO1)
- 4pm CET - Evil Geniuses 16-10 AVANGAR
- 5:30pm CET - Team Liquid 16-4 Ninjas in Pyjamas
Group B opening matches (BO1)
- 7pm CET - Astralis 19-15 Sharks Esports
- 8:30pm CET - Fnatic 16-9 MIBR
Group A winners' match (BO3)
- 10pm CET - Evil Geniuses 0-2 Team Liquid
Day 2, November 29th
Group B winner's match (BO3)
- 1am CET - Astralis 2-0 Sharks Esports
Group A elmimination match (BO3)
- 4pm CET - AVANGAR 0-2 Ninjas in Pyjamas
Group B elimination match (BO3)
- 7pm CET - Sharks Esports 0-2 MIBR
Group A decider match (BO3)
- 10pm CET - Evil Geniuses 2-1 Ninjas in Pyjamas
Day 3, November 30th
Group B decider match (BO3)
- 1am CET - Fnatic 2-0 MIBR
Tournament predictions - who takes the crown?
Counter-Strike writer Tim Masters takes a look at the teams and their preparations for the demanding ECS Season 8 schedule
The post-Major part of 2019 hasn’t exactly popped off in CS:GO, with the world’s best teams looking like they are running on fumes and much debate about the balance of the game in general.
Headline news about Operation Shattered Web is nice, but the analysts are more worried about Operation Shatted Meta, which Valve began a while back by changing the economy of the game to remove much of what makes CS:GO unique.
One thing that does persist across modern CS:GO is Danish brilliance of course, and for all the fawning over Liquid that happened in the summer 2019 is looking more and more like the year of the NA scene has been overrun by Astralis.
With two Majors under their belts, they have already taken home the titles that matter, and they’ve looked pretty good as the year draws to a close, having won their first trophy on Asian soil last week at the IEM Masters in Beijing, where they were frankly imperious.
Astralis coming in hot
Like the clever boys they are, Astralis dodged the follow-up Asia Championship event that came after Beijing, presumably to better prepare for ECS Season 8 Finals.
It seems as though this is a tournament they care about, with the group having history at ECS tournaments going back as far as Gla1ve’s first ever win on Astralis and more recently having failed to even make it out of the groups at what was a low point for the team.
Ahead of the ECS Season 8 Finals, you would have to say that Astralis are favourites for the title if they can find the level they did in Beijing, but consistency is the hardest part of CS:GO and the field is looking extremely stacked in Arlington.
Could one of the chasing pack upset Gla1ve and his men, and if so which team is best prepared to send the Danes packing at this late point in the year?
Can Liquid reign again?
If this event took place before the Major, then you’d be looking at Team Liquid as the clear favourites, but the player break took a toll on a team that turned out to be far more fragile than most of us realised.
The talent in NAF, Twist and the rest is still there, but the belief dissipated like a fart in a hurricane and they look far too mortal to wear the Liquid/Avengers crossover merch these days. Their place atop the NA tree has been taken by Evil Geniuses too, which can’t be fun for nitr0 and his men.
In all honestly, it sounds odd to say but it may be Fnatic that are best prepared for what Astralis are going to bring to the ECS Season 8 Finals schedule, or at least the team most likely to challenge for the title.
As the likes of Na’Vi, Vitality, NiP and others have flattered to deceive, Fnatic have risen in Europe at least, fuelled by a combination of experience and young talent now they’ve finally committed to a degree of change, sort of. Oh, and they also signed Golden, which is pretty much the key to success if you’re a Swedish org in CS:GO.
We’ll have a better idea of how JW and co will get on after their opening game of the ECS Season 8 Finals schedule against MIBR but there is no doubt they are in the group as contenders here.
In theory the top three should be Astralis, Evil Geniuses and Fnatic based on HLTV rankings, with Liquid still fourth despite their torrid run of form, but EG have struggled as much as anyone else with consistency and need to find a rhythm that will allow them to grind games out when they aren’t playing well.
Still, ahead of click-off it’s going to be the Danes who look most likely, with the chasing pack most likely led by EG and whoever can bring their A-game.
The team that needs to win the most is probably Liquid, and if they can find their form and steady the ship it will be great for CSGO in 20:20 too, as we’ll once again have a leading pack with multiple top teams, rather than the one-sided affair much of 2019 has been.
ECS Season 8 finals team rosters
Ninjas in Pyjamas
- Freya (Freya Spiers)
- Smix (Sue Lee)
- seang@res (Sean Gares)
- GeT_RiGhT (Christopher Alesund)
- James Bardolph (James Bardolph)
- ddk (Daniel Kapadia)
- HenryG (Henry Greer)
- Machine (Alex Richardson)
- Sliggy (Connor Blomfield)
Pictures: StarLadder / Flickr