Astralis hold its spot as the team to watch after ECS Season 5 win
In our previous prediction for the ECS Season 5 finals, we mentioned that Astralis were the team to watch. We also said that the rest of the EU side looked shaky and it was most likely to be Team Liquid that would contend in the grand final.
As expected, Astralis came out on top with a 2-0 victory against Team Liquid, although the NA team definitely put up a good fight.
In this article, we take a look at the stories of the event and why we think Team Liquid and Astralis will be the teams to watch out for in the coming months.
Look Out For Team Liquid After ECS Season 5
Overall, this was a very great tournament to watch. Whilst the NA side struggled more than we thought they would during the group stages, Team Liquid was an outlier that pushed ahead with more confidence than we’ve ever seen before.
In the group stages, Team Liquid went up against Fnatic twice and Astralis once. They didn’t have it easy. In fact, out of the entire lineup, both Astralis and Fnatic were easily within the top 3 best performing teams as of late.
Despite their obstacles, they pulled out a close 16-14 victory and then a stronger 2-0 game on the decider match thanks to an incredible 16-5 performance on Nuke.
Liquid faced the biggest threat, Astralis, during the group stage, too. At that point, things didn’t look too hot for them. With a 16-6 loss, it was damaging to their morale, but not game over – the two wins against Fnatic pushed them into the playoffs.
Team Liquid was fortunate to go up against NRG during the semifinals, which essentially meant a free pass to the finals.
It was there though, that Astralis held onto their title as the best CS:GO team in the world in 2018.
Astralis is The Team to Bet Big on In 2018
With Astralis back together as a full roster and Device’s health improving every day, we have witnessed the strongest Astralis lineup since its inception in early 2016. Not only does Astralis have a lot of experience under their belt playing together, but they have a strong bond and a recently renewed hunger for dominance.
Meanwhile, the other recent top performing teams, FaZe and SK, have been plagued with roster issues. SK’s roster has fallen apart, most likely due to some internal issues, and FaZe has lost their main man, Olofmeister, for an undisclosed time due to health issues. As a result, the two top teams that once fought against each other like titans have fallen and burned. In the ashes, Astralis has risen up as the best team in the world.
I still think that there’s the potential for FaZe to come back to the top relatively quickly. The star talent on FaZe across the board is phenomenal, and as soon as Olofmeister is back in fighting shape, they’ll be ready to fight Astralis for the top spot.
Until then, no other team has what it takes to truly compete against Astralis in big best of three or best of five events. Their map pool is ridiculously strong, holding 70% to 100% win rate across every map, except train, which still sits at an impressive 62%.
Faze, the closest chance any team has to competing against Astralis, on the other hand, has a 40% to 63% across their map pool, with cache being their strong point at 75%. And all this was mostly before Olofmeister left the team.
As you can tell, things are looking up for Astralis, and it’s going to take a long time before any team can take a win against them. Astralis may have a free pass to take the rest of 2018 all to themselves.