Just like last week it was another crazy weekend in the world of esports. MOBA fans were treated to the final days of play for the Chongqing Major and the start of the League of Legends professional season. CS:GO fans were treated to North American action courtesy of the ELEAGUE Invitational. Sports fans got more FIFA action with the FUT Champions Cup and Fighting Game fans got to watch the Dragonball FighterZ World Tour finals.
With so much to cover let’s hop right in!
We left off last week with Team Secret and Virtus Pro set to square off in the Winner’s bracket finals. The two had demonstrated they were the best teams throughout the tournament and Virtus Pro looked particularly strong not having dropped a single match before this highly anticipated showdown.
This all changed in the first match during this best of three when Secret were able to secure a 35 minute victory in their first game. Undeterred however Virtus Pro demonstrated why they had been considered a strong favorite throughout the event. They responded with two 35 minute victories of their own to secure their place in the grand finals.
This sent Team Secret down to the lower bracket to square off with Evil Geniuses, who had advanced through all four rounds of the lower bracket knocking off Thunder Predator, Vici Gaming, Ehome and PSGLGD in the process. Despite their impressive run Team Secret proved to be too much for EG, quickly dismantling them in two games of approximately 30 minutes each. This set the set the stage for the tournament finals and a highly anticipated rematch between the two teams that had proven themselves to be the undisputed kings of this event.
This time a best of 5 series instead of only 3, Team Secret was able to again secure the first win of the series and shocked everyone by taking the second game as well. These two wins were built on incredible starts for Team Secret as they were able to finish both games in about 20 minutes. With their backs against the wall Virtus Pro responded in the third match and pulled out a victory in a 40 minute war of attrition but ultimately they left themselves too little room for error the rest of the way.
Secret evidently wanted nothing to do with a fifth and final winner take all match, coming out strong in the fourth and ultimately final game. There they were able to secure the series and tournament. For their efforts Team Secret was awarded 4,950 DPC points and $350,000.
Virtus Pro were given 3,000 DPC points and $170,000 for coming in second place. With the event taking place in China extraordinary attention was given to the Chinese teams attending and ultimately it was the lowest ranked Chinese Team, PSGLGD, who performed the best finishing in fourth place overall.
ELEAGUE invited four of the best western squads to their studios in Atlanta to battle it out for their share of $150,000 in a spectacular double elimination event.
FaZe Clan and Cloud9 squared off in the first match of the tournament and the series proved to be everything fans could have wanted. Cloud9 was able to take the series in only two games but with both matches going into overtime FaZe Clan was always just one or two plays away from taking a game or the series. On the other side of the bracket BIG was able to quickly get the 2-0 over Complexity.
In the winner bracket finals Cloud9 again gave the fans everything they could have wanted and more against BIG. While they were able to again win both games in the series both matches came down to the very final round and were won with a 16-14 scoreline. This placed Cloud9 in the event finals where they would patiently await the lower bracket’s champion.
FaZe Clan was able to completely dominate Complexity in the first elimination match of the event, securing the sweep with a devastating 16-2 victory on Cache. BIG proved to be a more difficult challenge and the two battled it out in the their series to go the full 3 games for the first time in the entire tournament.
The two traded 16-14 victories in the first two games demonstrating again just how evenly matched these top three teams were. The deciding match was played on Inferno and ultimately went the way of FaZe Clan with a more convincing 16-10 final score to ensure the last series of the weekend would be a rematch of the first.
Cloud9 got off to a blistering start in the finals, taking the first map Mirage by an incredible 16-3 margin. Determined to get their revenge however FaZe came roaring back and was able to get victories on both Inferno and Train to secure the series and the tournament.
The weekend gave us some of the most exciting and intense matches of Counter Strike we’ve ever witnessed and if you missed any of the action we definitely recommend going to check out the VoDs via the official ELEAGUE website.
With so many recent victories across a multitude of fighting game titles and dominance at the start of this season fans can be forgiven for expecting SonicFox to walk through his competition at this year’s DBFZ finals but it was not meant to be. Taking time away from the game to focus on other titles left the FGC superstar looking less like his dominant self than he would have liked.
He finished in 5th place this weekend, being bested first by BNBBN in an intense 5 game showdown in the Winner’s quarter finals and again by Dogura in the lower bracket’s quarter finals. Instead of being defeated by his result however he appears to be more motivated than ever to shore up his weaknesses and prove to everyone he is the best FG competitor in the world. He was still the highest finishing player from anywhere outside of Japan as the top 4 spots were all Japanese stars.
Kazunoko ultimately walked away with the victory and the title of DBFZ world champion and was awarded with $10,000 on top of the world championship title for his efforts. For full results including prize distribution, the bracket and VoDs you can check out the official Liquipedia page.
History was made in competitive FIFA for the second consecutive weekend, this time at the January edition of the FUT Champions Cup. DullenMike was able to secure the tournament victory becoming the youngest player to ever do so at only 16 years of age as well as the first German player to take home the title. He was awarded $50,000 and 1,500 Global Series points for his efforts.
The path wasn’t easy as he had to defeat the 2017 World Champion Spencer Ealing early on in the tournament just to move on. In the finals he was able to best Hasoo convincingly to take home the title and the cash. The next FUT Champions Cup will take place in February.