Cloud9 (2 – 0 Record) Semifinal Advancement
The North American players of Cloud9 were undoubtedly the underdogs moving into the Group Stages of the ECS Season 3 Finals next to the likes of Astralis, Fnatic, and their regional competitors of Team Liquid. With their first matchup being against the seemingly revitalized Swedish players of Fnatic things were looking grim, but the ultimate unification amongst the entire Cloud9 roster allowed for them to advance into a 1 – 0 lead in the groups to face the winner of the Team Liquid vs Astralis best-of-one. This time around it was the heroics of mainly Timothy “autimatic” Ta and Mike “shroud” Grzesiek that brought Cloud9 a victory over the contending top 2 team internationally, Astralis, to secure a spot in the Semifinals.
Astralis (2 – 1 Record) Semifinal Advancement
After their first debut in quite a while against Virtus.Pro in the ELEAGUE: Clash for Cash, Astralis makes their way into this event as heavy favorites against their peers. Although many people expected this to be the team that ran a flawless record into the semifinals, it was none other than the previously mentioned Cloud9 who brought the Danes to their knees on Mirage in a best-of-one. This result would have put a damper on the mentality of most other teams in the scene currently, but the team was able to overcome Team Liquid once again in their rematch best-of-three series to save themselves from elimination.
Team Liquid (1 – 2 Record) Group Stage Elimination
The most unfortunate result of this group stage had to have been the perseverance of the Team Liquid players against their adversaries to have been dampened by the unexpected explosion of performance from the Cloud9 players to remove any chance of qualification for the semifinals. Team Liquid had already shown their true abilities to overcome challenges in their best-of-three against Fnatic, but Cloud9 taking an out of the blue victory over Astralis truly put a fork in the road for Liquid’s chances of moving forward. While their form has certainly looked better than recent in this event, Team Liquid still has a little ways to go before they can achieve similarly stunning feats.
Fnatic (0 – 2 Record) Group Stage Elimination
It is a sad day for Sweden when Fnatic is eliminated by North American teams in such a disgraceful manner, losing 16 to 8 on Train to Cloud9 and 1 – 2 on Mirage, Train, and Inferno to Team Liquid on Day 2. Most expected Fnatic to at least put up a fight if they were not to qualify for the semifinals, but they were brutally silenced by their opponents of Group B. With the recent changes in Ninjas in Pyjamas, with Fredrik “REZ” Sterner replacing long-standing member of the team Adam “friberg” Friberg, Sweden has some time to adjust to their ever-changing region and a grace period until their representatives can put themselves together to do something spectacular.
SK Gaming VS. Astralis: 7:00 AM EST
Cloud9 VS. FaZe Clan: 10:30 AM EST
Semifinal #1 Winner VS. Semifinal #2 Winner: 3:00 PM EST
Are you surprised Cloud9 made it to a semi-final berth? Comment below how you feel about the resurgence of North America's superteam.