ECS LAN Finals Primer: Major Implications

by Dennis Gonzales Jun 23 2016
Thumbnail image courtesy of theScore esports / ECS / FACEIT

The debut season for Esports Championship Series' comes to a head at the SSE Arena, Wembley in London, where the three-day LAN Final is being held and where eight of the top teams from around the world slug it out.

The LAN Final is also notably the last premier LAN event before the upcoming CS:GO Major at ESL One Cologne 2016, which is less than two weeks away and six of the eight teams in ECS will also play in Major. As such, ECS serves as a mini-Major and an important look ahead.

theScore esports has taken a look at the groups and given a quick breakdown on what to expect in London over the next three days.

Group A

Opening Matches

Match 1 Match 2
Luminosity Gaming vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas Team Liquid vs. G2 Esports

Top Performers

Player Rating (June 23)
LG coldzera 1.25
Liquid s1mple 1.19
G2 shox 1.14
NiP f0rest 1.12

Group A is by far the group of death for the tournament, featuring the previous Major champions in Luminosity Gaming, the revitalized G2 Esports and Ninjas in Pyjamas squads, as well as Team Liquid fielding the 'all-American hero' in s1mple.

What's likely a sure thing is LG progressing to the playoffs, as the team has been on a tear for the better part of two months, taking home titles from DreamHack Austin and the ESL Pro League Season 3 LAN Finals. The second playoff slot in the group is a tossup however.

The European teams have shown strong signs of life in the season, but their most recent performances have left much to be desired. G2 nearly missed out on the Major, barely qualifying with a 3-2 record. While NiP finished second at DreamHack Summer 2016 after losing to Immortals 1-2 in the Grand Finals, GeT_RiGhT was the lowest rated player of the series, with a 0.67 rating.

If G2 and LG face off in the group, keep your eyes peeled on the series, as those two teams are also in the same group at the Major in ESL One Cologne 2016.

Group B

Opening Matches

Match 1 Match 2
Astralis vs. Team SoloMid Fnatic vs. Cloud9

Top Performers

Player Rating (June 23)
Astralis device 1.19
Fnatic olofmeister 1.16
TSM Twistzz 1.12
C9 shroud 1.10

Astralis and Fnatic are the expected teams to top the group as both teams have shown strong performances in their recent outings. Though Team SoloMid and Cloud9 shouldn't be counted out completely, it will be the Europeans' group to lose.

Fnatic's debut with a recovered olofmeister at ELEAGUE largely showed the classic Swedish squad that had a six-LAN streak from the tail end of 2015 through the first quarter of 2016, 'largely' being the operative word here. Despite topping the group, the players themselves admit that they have a lot of lost ground to make up for.

Like Fnatic, Astralis also topped their group at ELEAGUE, but in an interview with theScore esports, when asked about the team's performance in Atlanta karrigan said, "We were not satisfied at all, we made many mistakes." They were also knocked out of DreamHack Summer 2016 after losing 1-2 to Ninjas in Pyjamas during the semifinals.

Despite these hiccups, it will be an uphill battle for the North American squads.

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. You can follow him on Twitter.