The Road to the ECS Season 5 Grand Finals - Astralis vs. Team Liquid Preview and the Story So Far - Dexerto

The Road to the ECS Season 5 Grand Finals – Astralis vs. Team Liquid Preview and the Story So Far

Published: 10/Jun/2018 17:02 Updated: 26/Jul/2018 12:04

by Ross Deason


The Grand Final of ECS Season 5 will see Astralis face Team Liquid for the top prize of $250,000. Here are their stories from the event in London so far, and what to expect from them heading into the final match.

Team Liquid’s road to the final saw them defeat Fnatic and then lose to Astralis on day one before bouncing back to beat Fnatic in a best of three rematch on day two for the Group A decider match.

The North American team then moved on to blow past their North American rivals, NRG Esports, in the first semifinal of day three in order to book their spot in the final.

The Team Liquid players have been on the brink of winning their first premier international CS:GO tournament seemingly forever, but they have always fallen just short.

With cs_summit 2 being their only event win of note, a victory in the ECS Season 5 Finals would be a massive step up and finally announce them as a team that is capable of winning any major competition against any form of opponent.

The key to victory will be the star players like, Keith ‘NAF’ Markovic, showing up in a big way and producing the sort of fragging power that can be expected from their European opponents.

It is the star power of players like NAF and Jonathan ‘EliGE’ Jablonowski that has separated Team Liquid from other North American teams in recent months, and also helped them to triumph over NRG Esports in the semifinals of this tournament.

However, they also need the youngest member of the team, Russel ‘Twistzz’ Van Dulken, to have one of this monster games if they are to make that final leap from contenders to champions.

Astralis came into the tournament as the consensus number one team in the world following their dominant displays at events like the ESL Pro League Season 7 Finals and DreamHack Masters Marseille 2018.

The Danes started their tournament run with a shaky T side performance on Inferno against Cloud9 but they quickly turned things around on the CT side with a dominant display that secured them a spot in the Group A winners match.

In that match they met Team Liquid. Once again playing on Inferno, Astralis continued their CT side dominance and quickly swept past their North American opposition to secure a spot in the semifinals against FaZe.

FaZe Clan has been one of the only teams to give Astralis any trouble in recent times and even managed to defeat them in the IEM Sydney Grand Final at the start of May while playing with Richard ‘Xizt’ Landström instead of Olof ‘olofmeister’ Kajbjer.

Astralis still came into the semifinal match as heavy favorites, though, and FaZe were once again playing without their full roster as Jørgen “cromen” Robertsen was stepping in for the still absent olofmeister.

In the end it was Astralis who prevailed, though not as comfortably as some might have predicted. The Danish team had to work hard for the entire 30 rounds on Train in order to secure a 16-14 score and one map lead.

Moving onto Astralis’ map choice of Inferno, the result seemed to be a foregone conclusion and the favorites eventually eked out another victory to book their spot in the Grand Final against Team Liquid thanks to yet another insane CT side performance.

The Danish team will not be looking to make any major changes to their game heading into the final against Team Liquid. “Business as usual” should be more than enough to for device and company to secure yet another tournament victory.

The combination of star power, intuitive teamwork, perfectly placed grenades, and diverse strategies has gotten Astralis to the top of the CS:GO landscape and should be enough to keep them their in the Grand Final of ECS Season 5.


ForZe under fire for signing CSGO coach implicated in cheating scandal

Published: 24/Oct/2020 21:30

by Alan Bernal


Russian esports org forZe are facing backlash for signing former Hard Legion coach Aleksandr ‘zoneR⁠’ Bogatiryev, who was banned by ESL for abusing a coaching bug that was found to compromise competitive CS:GO matches.

After the initial wave of backlash, forZe clarified that zoneR was brought on for a “testing coach period” to the ‘forZe School,’ a project that teaches and develops emerging CSGO talent. They do not recognize the forZe School as an academy team and said its not affiliated with the main roster.

“Zoner has made a big shameful mistake but we’ve decided to give him a second chance as he’s still a well-experienced coach,” forZe wrote in a statement. His work with the school will be conducted under supervision with the team’s management.

Despite org CEO Sergey ‘MegioN’ Ignatko’s optimism for the signing, debacles within the CSGO competitive landscape in the last year created a perfect storm for doubt on the deal.

“Not the smartest brand development choice, forZe have a lot of lovable characters and their storyline is exciting,” esports host and commentator Alex ‘MACHINE’ Richardson said. “Would be a shame to see an ill-thought out decision damage their reputation or fan base.”

Moreover, people are concerned that the org would position young, impressionable players to work with a person who was found cheating.

“This has to be a joke, right?” FaZe Clan coach Janko ‘YNk’ Paunovic said. “The most blatant cheater in coaching is supposed to set an example for young players? My mind is blown, absolutely disgraceful from forZe.”

On September 1, Hard Legion announced they were parting ways with zoneR, who went by the in-game name ‘MechanoGun’ at the time, following ESL’s decision to ban him as well as two other coaches after an investigation found them guilty of using a coach’s spectating bug.

ESIC csgo coach bug ban
ZoneR, listed here as ‘MechanoGun,’ was given a 36-month ban after ESIC found 16 cases of using the coaching bug.

It was initially decided that zoneR would be banned for 24 months from playing or coaching in ESL or DreamHack events. ESL later upgraded his ban to 36 months after the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) concluded their investigation of the bug’s abuse.

Of the 37 CSGO coaches found cheating, zoneR’s three-year ban was the longest penalty issued by far. He was found of using the bug in 16 cases, and had “Tier 1 Aggravated” sanctions levied against him.

This comes at a sensitive time for the CSGO community, who have been anxiously awaiting any further reaction from Valve on the coaching scandal. Some are worried the publisher might create bigger consequences or tweak team structures to prevent it from happening again in the future.

“If Valve removes coaching it’ll be because of some BULL**** like this,” CSGO commentator and BOXR CEO, Mohan ‘launders’ Govindasamy, said.

A similar concern sprouted when CSGO teams whose coaches were implicated in ESIC’s findings were simply demoted from the position to an analyst role; thereby using a loophole to keep working with the team.

ForZe will monitor their partnership with zoneR for the time being, but said they could part ways with him after the testing phase for his position has concluded.