Hello everyone! CS GO has a bunch of big tournaments coming up this December and next year’s first quarter – and as we always do, we will cover all of them on our website! In this article we are going to go over everything you need to know in order to prepare yourself for the ESL Pro League Season 6 Finals – structure and prize pool information, roster previews, betting tips and much more.
About the event
ESL Pro League is organized by ESL in conjunction with ESEA – both are owned by the same group, but provide services and work in different aspects of organizing the competition. The event is going to be held in Denmark, in a relatively small city with less than 200.000 population called Odense.
The number of sponsors for this LAN finals is incredibly big (far too many to even list here). The main ones are Intel, Logitech G, NVIDIA and Betway. Valve (the producer and publisher of CS GO, in case you’re out of the loop) doesn’t provide financial support to the ESL Pro League, so through sponsors is how they manage to fund the insanely big $750 thousand prize pool – with $225 thousand for the winners.
The LAN will take place from December 5th to December 10th with 12 teams attending – 6 qualified from the North American region and 6 from Europe (we’ll go into more details about this in a later section of the article).
The map pool for the tournament is the usual, with no big surprises: Cobblestone, Cache, Inferno, Nuke, Mirage, Overpass, Train. Since there are 7 playable maps and the playoff series are best of 3, this means each team can veto 2 maps and the 3 remaining ones get played.
To earn their spot for this event, every squad had to take part in one of the two available qualifiers: North America and Europe. 14 teams on each region had to battle it out for 6 spots in the LAN finals. To make up for their efforts, the rosters placed from 7th to 14th were rewarded with a pretty hefty prize ($27 thousand to the 7th and $4 thousand to the bottom crew).
Also, the teams that ended up in 7th through 11st in the rankings guaranteed themselves a spot for the start of Season 7 (this article is about the season 6 finals, after this event the next season will begin). Meanwhile, the rest of the squads will have to play in relegation matches to decide whether they’ll be in the 1st or 2nd tier in the next competitive calendar.
The qualified teams for the LAN were:
- Optic Gaming
- SK Gaming
- Team Liquid
- NRG Esports
- Luminosity Gaming
- FaZe Clan
- Ninjas in Pyjamas
The 12 attending teams get split into two groups of six, with the seeds being based on their performances during the qualifiers.
During the group stages, the round robin matches are played in best of 1’s. Since there are 6 squads in each group, every team gets to play 5 matches to decide their rankings.
The 2 top crews advance directly to the semi finals, with 2nd and 3rd places advancing to the quarter finals. The bottom 3 organizations are eliminated from the event. Quarter Final and Semi Final matchups are decided in best of 3s and the grand finals are settled in a best of 5.
ESL Pro League Season 6 betting tips
Now that everyone is on par with the general information regarding the event, let’s take a look at some of the attending teams, starting with the Europeans and then the North Americans.
The all Swedish line up managed to grab 1st place in the European qualifier, which is no easy feat by any means. Golden and Lekr0, the two players added to the roster just a few months ago, seem to be meshing up quite well with the core 3 of flusha, krimz and JW.
Based on their recent performance they’ve shown they can go toe to toe with some of the best teams in the world – Fnatic could be quite a surprise coming in to this event.
The Scandinavian organization (with all 5 players from Denmark) will be playing on home turf at this event.
They’ve only recently claimed their first trophy (Dreamhack Montreal 2017 a couple of months ago), but they have a good shot at this one with the immense crowd support they’ll receive – they’re certainly not the favorites, but this energy coming from the stands might be what pushes them to perform one level above the competition.
FaZe Clan is the all stars team of the season (with each player coming from a different country). So far with this new lineup, they have managed to win 2 trophies (ESL One New York and ELeague Premier) for a total of $625.000 USD – almost claiming a 3rd one two weeks ago at IEM Oakland, where they got narrowly beaten in a best of 5 in the finals by NIP.
FaZe attends this event as one of the big favorites, and everyone is expecting them to show up and dominate their opponents as they have been doing for the past 3 months.
Just like North, Astralis also has a roster made up of professionals from Denmark. The audience will probably support both, but in case the two meet in a playoff elimination series, it’s impossible to call who’ll have the majority support.
Astralis is one of the best squads in the world, but for this tournament one of their players is on medical leave (dev1ce). RUBINO from Team Dignitas will stand in for him, but we should probably expect a dip in the team’s performance due to the coordination and squad chemistry factor.
The legendary Swedish line up is coming back in full force. The fan favorites since the CS 1.6 era f0rest and GeT_RighT have finally reached the top once again, winning a premier event just two weeks ago (IEM Oakland).
With their confidence maxed out, they can do some serious damage to the other organizations – they are definitely a force to watch out for in this ESL Pro League finals.
The last spot in the qualifiers was earned by HellRaisers – a team who is always attending events and putting out some good performances, but never quite good enough to make a big splash on the scene with major or premier event wins.
As one of the underdogs here, they should not be underestimated – as they’ve shown that on a few occasions they can take down some of the best in the world.
Now, the North American squads
Optic Gaming isn’t having the best year up to date. Their last title run was almost exactly 1 year ago (December 2016), and this year the organization’s best result was a 3rd/4th place finish in IEM Sydney.
Earning their seed to ESL Pro League as the #1 in North America came as a surprise to many. Their fans are hopeful they can keep coming up with the same kind of performances that got them here on the big stage – they might even make it far into the playoff bracket.
The Brazilian squad that took the world by storm – arguably the best team in 2017, SK Gaming conquered 5 trophies just this year.
They are absolute favorites to any event they attend, and anything short of at least reaching the semi finals would be a disappointment for the fans.
With players such as coldzera (hailed as the best in the world by many other professionals) and the in game leader Fallen, it won’t be a surprise if they completely dominate their opponents in this event.
The North American powerhouse organization faces the same problem as Astralis – one of their players is unable to attend, so the team coach zews will have to stand in for them. And since this was a last minute change that took everyone by surprise, we can’t put too much in TL’s performance in the upcoming matchups.
In order to make it through the group stages, the other players will have to step it up and perform brilliantly.
NRG Esports is a lesser-known organization, located in the USA but with professionals from many different countries. It doesn’t have the star power, money or infrastructure that some others like SK, Astralis or NIP have.
As one of the underdogs for the tournament, they chase their first ever trophy – but in my opinion it won’t be this time that they’ll lift one.
Misfits is a relatively new organization in the CS GO eSports scene (they launched the CS division in January 2017). So far, they have only claimed roughly $80.000 USD in prizes (which is almost nothing compared to SK Gamings $3 million, for example).
They’re heavy underdogs coming in to this LAN, and managing to advance to the playoffs would already be a big achievement for the squad.
The last team qualified for ESL Pro League is another squad made up of Brazilians. The country has seen immense growth in the scene after players such as coldzera, taco, fallen and fer showed the world they could compete at the same level as the legends from Europe.
Just qualifying and attending the event is a huge morale booster to the team and another step forward to help grow CS GO (and all eSports) in Brazil and South America. They probably won’t go past the group stages though – it would be a huge upset if they did.
You can watch all the action unfold in the upcoming week in Twitch, with many great casters and analysts such as HenryG, Sadokist, PIMP and many others. Set a date on your calendar and tune in to one of the last premier events of 2017!
Thanks for reading and until the next tournament preview! Good luck!