It’s tight at the top of the table in the EU ESL Pro League Season 7 as teams completed Week 5 of the seven-week season.
Second-placed Ninjas in Pyjamas took advantage of a pair of teams in flux on their way to a perfect 4-0 week. NiP have looked solid throughout Pro League, with wins over Na’Vi and FaZe this week enhancing their record to 13-5, which is surprising given their difficult schedule thus far. Dennis has continued to improve in his role as In-Game leader, with the team improving overall from week to week. Given the uncertainty surrounding both FaZe and Na’Vi these wins do lose some of their lustre, but an upcoming easy schedule should see continued dominance from NiP.
The most surprising team of the week by far was AGO Gaming, who claimed a stunning 4-2 record against high tiered competition. Long stuck behind the likes of Virtus.pro in the Polish scene, AGO have slowly begun making a name for themselves, with this week putting other teams on notice. A 1-1 split to open the week against Astralis, with the Danes needing Overtime for their victory, followed by a 2-0 win over the ever-dangerous HellRaisers was capped with a 1-1 split against mousesports, who are currently one of the top three teams in the world. Long term success will be the true test for AGO, yet in a similar scenario to NiP, a fairly weak set of upcoming opponents could allow them to gain momentum to close out the season.
Space Soldiers still top
Space Soldiers maintained their spot at number one in the standings, picking up three wins this past week. Splitting 1-1 against Fnatic, even with their current struggles, is a decent enough result, with a 2-0 win over middle of the road North also boosting their record.
Space Soldiers have continued to be a bright spot in Pro League, surprising the world by consistently being towards the top of the table. For some time now, Space Soldiers have had upset potential, yet concern continues over whether or not any prolonged success is feasible.
Space Soldiers close out the year with some tougher opponents, notably Astralis and mousesports, but their hopes of a top two finish are more than possible.
FaZe could be in trouble
Two teams currently struggling have found themselves in the middle of either a roster move or canceled roster move; FaZe Clan and Na’Vi.
FaZe’s olofmeister has been forced away from the game due to personal reasons, with the team bringing in Xizt as his temporary replacement. The effects of this move have already been felt, with FaZe having an incredibly poor week with an 0-2 record against NiP, a 1-1 mark against last place Team EnVyUs (with a 5-16 loss to give EnVy only their second win of the season) and a 1-1 draw against North, a clash that FaZe’s previous roster would have cruised through.
Recently FaZe have come under fire for their inability to close out games in high pressure situations, yet this recent roster change has caused FaZe to lose their best quality; consistency against much weaker opposition. If things continue to move in a downward trajectory, Xizt and/or In-Game leader karrigan could be on their way out of the team in short order.
Na’Vi on the other hand are in a completely different situation given the status of s1mple and flamie. A transfer of both players to SK Gaming was in the works, yet it fell through due to a myriad of issues. The team have been struggling for some time, with s1mple being the lone bright spot as he is considered the best player in the world right now.
Na’Vi are one of the biggest disappointments of the year, given the expectations with Zeus back in the line-up. Na’Vi had a 1-3 week that was even worse than it appears as the 1-1 split was against Heroic, one of the bottom tier teams in Pro League. Added to this was the narrowness of Na’Vi’s win – 16-14 with Heroic’s best player JUGi not playing.
Na’Vi still sit in fifth place, but one wonders what the outlook is for this team given the apparent turmoil within. That will be one of the story lines as the teams move into the final two weeks of the season.