We’re past the halfway point in Season 2, and the race for the playoffs is white-hot across all three divisions. Pre-season predictions have been ripped up, new stars are rising to prominence, and there are storylines wherever you look in each competition.
Potentially the most important league table of the Gfinity Elite Series is the overall Franchise Championship, and it makes for fascinating reading. So let’s take a closer look and break down the fortunes of all eight franchises.
8. Epsilon (4 Points)
SFV: 8th, 0 wins, 1 point.
Rocket League: 8th, 0 wins, 0 points.
CS:GO: 3rd, 4 wins, 13 points.
We start at the bottom of the table, the last place we’d expect to find the reigning Franchise Champions. But that’s exactly where Epsilon languish; the very same franchise who clinched the Season 1 CS:GO Championship in dominant fashion, reached the Rocket League Championship final and also made the SFV semi-finals.
Epsilon’s CS:GO team remains strong, with only one loss so far in Season 2. But their Rocket League and SFV teams have no wins and just a point between them, both mathematically out of contention for the playoffs with two weeks to go. Just what has gone wrong? It’s hard to tell; not much has changed in their lineups, and players like Takamura and Data have been cornerstones for their respective teams but simply failed to deliver this season. Either way, perhaps the best Epsilon can hope for now is a successful defence of their CS:GO Championship.
7. Team Infused (6 Points)
SFV: 3rd, 4 wins, 12 points.
Rocket League: 7th, 0 wins, 1 point.
CS:GO: 7th, 1 win, 6 points.
Infused are in a similar situation to Epsilon, although in their case it is their SFV squad banking the points for the British veterans. An epic win over previously unbeaten Prophecy last week was a massive statement of intent from the Season 1 semi-finalists.
But their other teams haven’t been able to hit the same level. Key Rocket League player Doomsee announced he was taking a step back after Week 4 after failing to secure a single win. Infused took the chance to reshuffle the team, and a close 3-2 loss to Envy last week may suggest they’ve finally turned a corner. Meanwhile, in spite of their lowly position the CS:GO team remain in playoff contention, so they have a very slim chance to help haul Infused up the franchise rankings.
6. exceL (6 Points)
SFV: 6th, 2 wins, 8 points.
Rocket League: 6th, 2 wins, 6 points.
CS:GO: 6th, 1 win, 6 points.
What is it with exceL and the number 6? Their unhealthy infatuation with the number isn’t really helping their season - but you can’t argue they aren’t consistent.
The reigning SFV champions have struggled to defend their title in a fiercely competitive division. It’s a story of fine margins, as evidenced from their two bonus points from close losses, alongside two wins. The CS:GO squad, semi-finalists in Season 1, are in a similar spot of bother. However, all three teams remain in playoff contention, so we could be talking about a very different scenario for exceL come season’s end.
5. Team Envy (11 Points)
SFV: 1st, 4 Wins, 13 Points.
Rocket League: 5th, 2 Wins, 6 Points.
CS:GO: 5th, 2 Wins, 8 Points.
Overall second place in Season 1, Envy’s SFV squad are doing everything right in their quest to go one better this time around. The likes of TKR and Nassim-Claw have lit up the Gfinity Arena with spectacular performances and celebrations after victories in Street Fighter. Elsewhere, it’s a similar situation to exceL. Envy’s Rocket League and CS:GO teams are firmly in the playoff mix, and both are coming off wins in Week 5 so have momentum on their side.
4. Method (12 Points)
SFV: 4th, 3 Wins, 9 Points.
Rocket League: 3rd, 4 Wins, 12 Points.
CS:GO: 4th, 3 Wins, 10 Points.
It’s going to be a nervous fortnight for Method. All three of their teams are in the playoffs as it stands, but if they slip up teams like exceL and Envy are waiting to pounce. The Rocket League team - semi-finalists in Season 1 - look slightly more safe, thanks to the dynamic goalscoring of Mognus and Metsanauris. But the CS:GO lineup in particular will have to be on their guard as they face exceL on the last weekend of the regular season in what could be an pivotal matchup.
3. Endpoint (13 Points)
SFV: 5th, 2 Wins, 8 Points.
Rocket League: 4th, 3 Wins, 10 Points.
CS:GO: 2nd, 4 Wins, 13 Points.
Speaking of nerves, reigning Rocket League champions Endpoint will be feeling similar levels of tension as Season 2 nears its conclusion. This Saturday’s clash with exceL could be decisive, but having been in a similar situation at this point last season, star players Cheerio, Tinny, Shakahron and co will be ready for a high-stakes contest.
The SFV squad are in the opposite situation. A crucial win last week over Reason leaves a path open for them to the playoffs if they can clinch further victories over exceL and Epsilon. Elsewhere, their CS:GO team are gathering form at just the right time; a big win over Method last week puts them tied for top spot with Reason and Epsilon and in a strong position for the playoffs.
2. Prophecy (14 Points)
SFV: 2nd, 4 Wins, 13 Points.
Rocket League: 2nd, 4 Wins, 12 Points.
CS:GO: 8th, 1 Win, 3 Points.
As Meatloaf once sang, two out of three ain’t bad.
A CS:GO squad that made the semi-finals of Season 1 now languishes dead bottom of the table and out of playoff contention. Conversely, their SFV and Rocket League rosters have experienced a strong upturn in fortunes as until last week both teams were unbeaten in Season 2. Week 6 will be pivotal to see if they can bounce back, but with strong core players like Shivryuken, Akainu, Mummisnow and Sebadam on their rosters, you wouldn’t bet against it.
1. Reason Gaming (15 Points)
SFV: 7th, 1 Win, 3 Points.
Rocket League: 1st, 5 Wins, 15 Points.
CS:GO: 1st, 4 Wins, 13 Points.
How the mighty Epsilon have fallen, and how Reason have spectacularly risen up in their place.
Sure, their SFV squad have been frustratingly inconsistent and cling to playoff hopes by a thread - but even then, the likes of Undacuva and SaltyKid have been great fun to watch on Friday nights. Conversely their CS:GO and Rocket League squads, propelled by young stars like Borito B, Rix Ronday and Teses, have taken their respective divisions by storm. Reason have yet to lose a match in Rocket League competition this season and in CS:GO they have dusted off after a Week 1 defeat by Envy to win four in a row, including an epic 22-18 victory over previously unbeaten Epsilon in Week 4.
Can anyone stop them marching towards at least one piece of silverware this season? It’s looking more and more unlikely by the week.
WHERE TO WATCH
Watch all the Elite Series action LIVE on Twitch! Street Fighter V starts at 6pm Friday, Rocket League 10am Saturday and CS:GO 4pm Saturday (all times BST.)