The First Grand Finalist for the ECS Season 5 Finals Has Been Decided - NRG vs. Team Liquid Report - Dexerto
CS:GO

The First Grand Finalist for the ECS Season 5 Finals Has Been Decided – NRG vs. Team Liquid Report

Published: 10/Jun/2018 14:32 Updated: 16/Oct/2020 14:16

by Ross Deason

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The first Grand Finalist at the ECS Season 5 CS:GO Finals has been decided after Team Liquid blew past NRG Esports in swift 2-0 fashion.

The two North American teams came into the first semifinal of the day looking confident but Wilton ‘zews’ Pardo’s statements about Team Liquid not underestimating their competition soon proved to be true.

Liquid recently lost to NRG Esports at the StarSeries Season 5 Finals but they clearly made a number of adjustments for the rematch at the ECS Finals and blew past their rivals on their map pick, Inferno.

Keith ‘NAF’ Markovic was in particularly good form – the Canadian eventually finished with a score of 23-11, and over 110 average damage per round, in the 16-6 victory.

NRG Esports chose to play on Nuke despite the fact that Team Liquid had dominated Fnatic on the same map in the Group A decider match on day two of the competition.

That decision would prove to be one that Damian ‘daps’ Steele and company would regret as Team Liquid once again proved to be virtually unstoppable. NRG got off to a strong start on the CT side but Liquid eventually turned things around to secure an 8-7 lead at the half.

NAF and company then produced a near perfect CT side, dropping just one round, and quickly closed things the series out 2-0 with a 16-8 map score as  Jonathan ‘EliGE’ Jablonowski topped the table at 28-12.

The NRG players are now eliminated from the competition in a respectable 3rd-4th position, netting themselves $65,000 in process, but they will surely feel like their semifinal performance left a lot to be desired.

Team Liquid will now keep a close eye on the Astralis vs. FaZe Clan match as they wait to find out who will join them in the Grand Final, which is worth $250,000 for the winning team.

CS:GO

NiKo’s LAST DANCE? The stats behind FaZe’s IEM New York renaissance

Published: 20/Oct/2020 20:27

by Alan Bernal

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Before IEM New York 2020, FaZe Clan’s CSGO team had gone 338 days before winning an event at Blast Copenhagen in 2019. After taking the top spot in the EU IEM, Nikola ‘NiKo’ Kovač showed why the elite talent would be missed if this really was the last dance with FaZe.

There’s no sugar-coating the FaZe star’s woes in the last year, that was only made more apparent with the team’s placements at events.

Up until October 2020, FaZe failed to make any notable finals and posted an 11th place finish at CS Summit 6, 9th-12th at ESL One Cologne, as well as a 13th-14th placement at ESL Pro League Season 12.

This didn’t help public perception for Niko, who was starting to notice CSGO fans’ flak towards his own IGL capabilities and new teammates on the roster.

Throughout 2020, Niko actually hasn’t been having a bad year. His HLTV rating for the year is sitting at 1.11, a decline from the 1.19 and 1.18 ratings for 2019 and 2018, respectively. The Bosnian has never posted below 1.04 at an event this year.

IEM New York could serve as a turning point in FaZe’s fortune so far. Not only did the team take top billing, Niko soared above his squadmates with a 1.28 event rating with 22.3 kills per map with 55.1% headshot rate to boot.

With questions in the air about Niko’s future in FaZe, the 23-year-old star’s performance at IEM could be an indicator of better things to come as long as he’s on the team.