ECS Season 7 format a welcome addition to CSGO

There has been a lot of curiosity surrounding the new online format for the FACEIT Esports Championship Series, affectionately known as ECS to those in the know. Traditionally, this event consisted of a LAN tournament that was the culmination of a round robin online season that pitted the best of the best from EU and NA against one another. It worked, but it contributed to a very heavy, perhaps even overbearing, schedule for many teams.


Some have been critical of the changes there's a lot to love about the new format. It places all of the emphasis on each of the weekly tournaments. No longer will we see a team playing online matches from across an ocean while at another LAN simply because their scheduled was so packed that they couldn't be rescheduled.

Follow the action: ECS Season 7 schedule, live stream and results

Now if you're away, you simply don't enter for that week and some other squad can have a shot. Now there's a chance to start fresh every week and the pressure on the players for an entire season is diminished.

Helping the CSGO ecosystem

Additionally, there is a cash prize every week that can be used to help sustain team activities and cover expenses, which is huge for unsigned organisations or less well-funded organisations. Even if the sum is small, it's something and that has the potential to make a world of difference for teams facing a situation similar to that encountered by Bravado Gaming and Project Destiny. Earning $750 just for showing up isn't exactly nothing and it's great for feeding the CSGO ecosystem, as well as a huge incentive for small orgs to try to get into ECS play.

In an era of competitive esports, where teams are seeing so many issues with their players facing fatigue and burnout, I really love this solution. Playing well early on is rewarded by less demanding schedules, as well as fewer VODs being available for your opposition to analyse. There's more time for teams to get practise in, as well as the option to take a week off if needed (though you would run the risk of having lower cash winnings in a tiebreaker situation).

Surprises in store

The best part? It gives teams a shot no matter who they are. The top seed from EU, Astralis, cruised through with three 2-0s, but the bottom seed from NA in Rogue was the surprise victor in Week 1. They managed to beat Team Liquid 2-1, Luminosity Gaming 2-0, and CompLexity Gaming 2-1 en route to a ticket to London.

It's easier for surprise teams to have a great stretch of games over the course of three or four days than over the course of a couple of months. Granted, it's early and some teams are giving new looks that their opponents aren't ready for (looking at you MSL, good freaking work). But it's exciting that anything can happen, as we've already seen, because hey, sometimes your opponent is just having a really good day.