CS:GO Matches of the Week for June 19-25: ECS Season 3 finals and end of HellCase Cup #5 groups
There is no shortage of CS:GO happening from one week to the next and it can be tough for even hardcore fans to keep track of it all, so we’ve narrowed down your choices to the few must-watch matches of the week.
Esports Championship Series Season 3 Finals
- Where: FACEIT YouTube
- When: June 23-25
- Why: Astralis defending champion, second last premier before Major
The third season of the Esports Championship Series will conclude in London and we’ll once again see the top teams in the world clash, just weeks before the Krakow Major 2017.
This will also be the first LAN event in 2017 where we will see Astralis, FaZe Clan, SK Gaming and G2 Esports compete against one another, and each of those teams are in good form.
With that said, all eyes will be on Astralis at this tournament. They’re the defending champions from last season, but they also don’t look like the dominant force that they were when they won the Major (though much of this has to do with the rest of the top teams coming up to their level).
FaZe Clan have established themselves as Astralis’ main rivals, partly due to them being led by former Astralis captain karrigan, but also due to NiKo’s deadly prowess and unlike during ESL Pro League Season 5, there weren’t any flubs during the online league and both teams will thankfully be present at the LAN finals.
We get neither Astralis nor FaZe at EPL S5 Finals – who’s excited?!?
They are this season’s cost of a spread out online qualifier system.
— lurppis (@lurppis_) May 11, 2017
G2 Esports is another team that finally found their stride, as evidenced by their victories at DreamHack Tours 2017 and EPL S5 shortly thereafter. As such, they will have a strong claim to the ECS trophy.
And finally from the other side of the pond we have SK Gaming, who have been in a slump mostly due to FalleN’s drop in performance. It was the worst person to have a slump on SK, since he’s both their AWPer and IGL, but since he’s had a return to form as of late, it’s been more or less smooth sailing for the Brazilian squad.
Those four teams are likely the most favored in the event, but with the likes of Fnatic, Cloud9, Team Liquid and OpTic Gaming, some upsets are bound to happen.
Hellcase Cup #5 groups C/D
- Where: TBD
- When: Group C – June 19-21, Group D – 22-26
- Why: Slot to SL i-League Season 4 qualifier
The HellCase Cups are minor events in the grand scheme of the pro CS:GO scene, with a humble $10,000 prize pool, but with a qualifier slot to the upcoming SL i-League Season 4, we could see one of these teams have a breakout.
In Group C we see a number of familiar faces, such as Epsilon Esports, a team which has been continually poached by Fnatic and Ninjas in Pyjamas, yet continues to be a relevant team in Tier 2 CS:GO.
Then there’s also Spartak Esports and spray’n’pray, both have some recognizable faces from the CIS scene, such as Spartak’s kibaken who was a short-time Natus Vincere player and snp’s Shara who was a player for FlipSid3 Tactics.
In Group D we have Team Spirit, notably led by ex-Na`Vi player and coach starix. They will be hungry after losing out on a CIS slot to the Krakow Major 2017 offline qualifier. Then there’s MAXISAUCISSE, featuring a number of recognizable names in French CS:GO, DEVIL and matHEND, just to name a few.
For one of these teams, or maybe one from the other groups, HellCase Cup #5 is their stepping stone to something bigger.
Dennis “Tarmanydyn” Gonzales is a news editor for theScore esports who enjoys whiskey, D&D and first-picking Abaddon Slardar Clinkz Medusa Oracle a P90 my Souvenir Negev Discipline Priest Pharah. You can follow him on Twitter.