The ESL event in New York has started a few days ago on the 30th of September. Everyone has been preparing for this event for a while and as the day has started setting, the group stages begun. Twitch was overflowing, the crowd was cheering, and their minds were blowing. Today ESL One has come to an end with one team walking away with style, a massive toast chalice over their shoulder and, of course, a wealthy sum of money to their name.
So let’s talk about how it went down. The three days, that this event has lasted for, gave us a whole lot to talk about. First, the matchups. There were 8 teams in total; Virtus.pro, fnatic, Natus Vincere, Liquid, SK, G2, OpTic and Astralis. All of them found themselves fighting BO1s in the first two days.
To get a feel for this event, we will look at the four Round 1 matchups which were pretty intense.
The first match went pretty well. VP vs fnatic. This is the standard we see nearly every single time. We have seen these two teams banging their heads against one another for a very long time now, and it is probably not going to stop. VP has proven yet again, they are the better team of the two. Scoring a 16:6 on Cobblestone against fnatic. It was a hell of a go for VP, and a sign of fnatic not lifting enough weights after their lineup change. Top man of the match… NEO. There is no mistaking, NEO is one of these people who do their job perfectly.
Next matchup was somewhat of a complete ‘Get Rekt M8’ situation, as Astralis has put themselves into a 5:13 situation, and then utterly shamed G2, coming back 16:13 on Dust 2. This was indeed an achievement for Astralis, and surely they will not waste it in the future. G2 had their luck until Astralis took it away from them and used it to their advantage.
The third match of the day and of Round 1, has been SK vs OpTic. This was a balanced match, with both teams coming to a close scrape at some points. After having a total offensive on Train, SK came out on top, winning the match with a 16:10 score.
Last but not least, in the Round 1 matchups. Na’Vi vs Liquid… There is nothing much to say other than that Na’vi doesn’t stop until they have what they want. They use everything they can to defeat their opponents, and this time was no different. No wrongs, no mistakes.They have taken the map for themselves scoring a 16:9 against Liquid.
After a couple more rounds, there were only 4 teams left. The eliminated teams were;
G2 - Struck by the power of OpTic.
Astralis - OpTic was on a rampage by now.
Fnatic - Thrown onto the returning plane by Liquid.
OpTic - After such a road towards the semis, VP have caught onto them.
The remaining teams proceeded to the semi-finals.
The semi-finals were short but fruity. First up, Na’Vi vs Liquid. Na’vi is in a really good form at the moment. Liquid had no chance, although they gave it a really good go, extending the match to 3 maps on a BO3. Na’vi was still warming up during the first map, Cobblestone, and so they have been defeated by Liquid 16:7. Although, the next two maps were not as easy for Liquid. Train, 16:13 to Na’vi, a close one, but not enough. Last, Dust 2, was victorious to Na’vi 16:10, which was not as close as the previous one.
That’s half of the semis gone by. Now, to the second match. VP vs SK. What a time consuming match, you could count this as a whole separate event at this rate. So, let’s get to the details. The first map, Mirage, has been good to SK, scoring a 19:16 overtime against VP. Unfortunately for SK though, this triumph didn’t last long... well in this case just 1 out of 4 total overtimes. VP took it to the next level on Overpass, taking it to 3 overtimes before finally winning 25:21. Nuke, the final map, has also rewarded VP with a clean and a quick win of 16:7 over SK.
These semis took VP and Na’Vi to fight it out in a final BO3 on Cobblestone, Train and Mirage. The first win has gone to VP, completely stomping Na’vi 16:3, but as many of the matches during this event, it seemed to turn around on the next two maps. Next one, Na’vi 16:8, closely to a mirror image of the previous battle. Lastly, 19:17 to Na’vi, winning the final clash of this huge event, winning themselves a big one, 2-1. $125,000 was worth it, but taking the cup home, is also an achievement. VP has come off the set, still taking a total of $50,000 and a great applause from the crowd.