Winners and Losers of ESL One New York
ESL One New York came to a close with FaZe completing a dominant run by sweeping past Liquid 3-0 in the grand final on Sunday. Read on as we take a look back at the $250,000 tournament and find its winners and losers.
ESL One New York kicked off with a GSL group stage, which most surprisingly saw Astralis eliminated early for the first time with their current lineup, at the hands of Liquid, who clinched their spot in the semis from second place.
In the same group, FaZe secured first place without breaking a sweat, defeating Virtus.pro and the Danes, while SK and Cloud9 made it out of Group A, leaving Natus Vincere and Envy disappointed after early exits.
FaZe opened the grand final with a crushing 15-0 half on Inferno, ending Liquid's three-month long win streak on the map. Up to that point, no one had managed to break into double digits against the European squad, and an 11-4 Terrorist half on Overpass looked to make way for yet another quick affair, but Nick "nitr0" Cannella's team fought back and took FaZe to the whole 30 rounds, though without success.
Down 0-2 in the best-of-five series, Liquid were under pressure on map three, Mirage, and found themselves unable to break Finn "karrigan" Andersen & co., who were crowned ESL One New York champions following a 16-4 beatdown.
|Group stage||Map (VOD)||Stage|
|Liquid||16 - 14||Astralis||Inferno||Group B decider (M1)|
|Astralis||19 - 17||Liquid||Cache||Group B decider (M2)|
|Liquid||22 - 18||SK||Inferno||Semi-finals (M1)|
|Liquid||16 - 14||SK||Cobblestone||Semi-finals (M3)|
|FaZe||16 - 14||Liquid||Overpass||Grand final (M2)|
It wouldn't be a list of winners if we didn't look at the actual winners of ESL One New York, FaZe. And what a campaign it was; the most dominant run at a big event in recent memory, possibly of CS:GO's five-year history.
To show just how crushing FaZe's journey throughout the $250,000 event was: not only did the European squad not lose a single map, they conceded an average of fewer than six rounds per map (5.57, to be exact).
Naturally, it's tough to evaluate the future of FaZe and their consistency further down the line — all five players had an amazing tournament individually, which is tough to pull off on a regular basis —, but we have probably seen their peak now, and it's scarily high.
For now, ESL One New York marks FaZe's return to the top five. All that remains is for us to wait for the next event, ELEAGUE Premier playoffs, and cautiously consider the superteam a favorite, until some of the other improving lineups, such as G2 or North, prove us otherwise.
Liquid had already looked like a turnaround story ahead of ESL One New York, when they made their first final at ESG Tour Mykonos, defeating SK along the way before eventually falling short to mousesports.
Their second consecutive grand final appearance is a great sign that Liquid are here to compete for titles, especially after they disposed of SK once again and added another top-five scalp in the form of Astralis in the group stage.
The North American squad has actually never looked better, at least not with this lineup; we'd have to go back to their days with Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev to find comparable results. What's more, they've proven that they can go toe-to-toe with some of the best and find the edge under pressure, which, in Wilton "zews" Prado's words, is their new psychologist's doing.
Needless to say, Liquid's future is looking good. Their next appearance will be in Atlanta, ELEAGUE Premier Group D, where they'll once again go up against both SK and Astralis - and we've already seen that that doesn't stop the squad led by nitr0.
The most obvious disappointment of ESL One New York must be Astralis's group stage exit. With how good Liquid and FaZe looked ahead of the tournament, it was clear Group B would be tough to survive, but the Danes were still favored to do so.
Astralis have been a powerhouse for nearly an entire year, with 10 top-four finishes in a row, but their results as of late are worrisome: first, their loss to Gambit in Malmö ended the aforementioned streak, and now they have to deal with a group stage exit at the hands of Liquid in New York.
Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander's team are riding a downward spiral, which Nicolai "device" Reedtz accounts to individual form, and that does seem to be the case. Especially in New York, Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye's level was far from optimal, and the sort of consistency from Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth that powered Astralis to their latest title (IEM Katowice) is gone.
Right now, the Danes have a small window to get back on the horse with ELEAGUE Premier's Group D coming up in nine days. If they are to fail again, which is not an unlikely scenario with SK and Liquid in the same group, they'll then have nearly three weeks to fix things ahead of EPICENTER.
Natus Vincere headed into ESL One New York with a lot to prove after their exit at ELEAGUE Premier the previous weekend, but they only left their fans disappointed again in the Big Apple.
In their previous tournaments, Natus Vincere had faced tough teams, like Astralis in Malmö, and FaZe and G2 in Atlanta. This time, they had to beat Cloud9's new, shaky roster to get out of groups but couldn't do so.
Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko's return has so far yielded no significant improvement. Instead, Na`Vi will have to go back to the drawing board and put in some much-needed hours prior to EPICENTER, for which they first have to qualify. Fortunately, they've got a month to work things out, unlike many of the other top teams, who still have one or two tournaments in between.
Virtus.pro return to the list of losers after being part of such a list following DreamHack Masters Malmö. In the meantime, the Poles gave a better account of themselves at ESG Tour Mykonos, although they were still not a title contender by any means.
In New York, Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas & co. went out in the last place once more, for the third time in their last five offline appearances, and, in the process, they lost their flawless record of three years against North American opposition by losing to Liquid.
It's hard not to point fingers at some of the players, and it appears Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski came to the same conclusion, judging by his brutally honest statement on Facebook. He also shared that someone else will call the shots from now on. That is at least a good start, because the weight of leadership had clearly taken a toll on Virtus.pro's superstar player.
With ELEAGUE Group C (also featuring NiP, Cloud9, and Envy) taking place this weekend, the timing of such a change may have been a bit off, but things can hardly look any worse for Virtus.pro right now.