Just one week after DreamHack Dallas concluded, eight more of the world’s best Counter-Strike teams did battle in the finals of the seventh season of the ECS. Held at London’s SSE Arena in Wembley, the eight teams in attendance competed for a share of $500,000 in prize money. Let’s take a look at what went down.
Courtesy of HLTV
Is the Astralis Era Over?
Danish team Astralis have been at the top of the Counter-Strike scene for months and heading into ECS finals as the newly crowned second-best team in the world; the Danes were hoping to add another tournament win to their names.
It was not to be. Astralis finished third in Group A, behind NRG and Furia. They did take down Ninjas in Pyjamas to stay alive in the tournament, but were eventually beaten by the Brazilians of Furia in a three-map thriller to place in the top six alongside Complexity.
With this loss and Team Liquid now holding the top spot in the world rankings, is the era of Astralis dominance at an end or will they bounce back and retake the spot they held for 86 weeks?
Furia Impress on the Big Stage
As a team with relatively little experience of playing on the big stages, Furia have had a remarkable rise to the upper echelons of international Counter Strike.
Their two victories against a supposedly superior Astralis was certainly a shock but their hectic style of play caught the Danes of Astralis and North off guard, setting up a match with Team Vitality in the grand finals.
Despite their second-place finish in London, Furia will be back in action at the closed qualifier for the Americas Minor before heading back to Europe for Moche XL Esports.
Vitality A Class Above the Rest
After falling to Furia at DreamHack Dallas, Vitality managed to avenge their loss with a dominating performance in the grand finals. Frenchman Mathieu “ZyWOo” Herbaut was in fine form as the team won their second title in just three weeks.
Hometown star Alex “ALEX” McMeekin shone alongside his French teammates, dropping 40 frags across both maps in the finals and an impressive 1.48 HLTV rating.
Thanks to their watertight defence on Overpass, Vitality walked away with a ruthless 16-4 win to take home the trophy. Now with a month until ESL One Cologne, it will be hard not to consider Vitality as championship contenders after such an authoritative performance in London.
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