Gamereactor was at the ESL Pro League Season 6 finals in Odense, Denmark this past weekend, seeing the best teams in the league battle it out for the grand prize of $225,000 US dollars, and Brazilian side SK Gaming followed up their previous win on Danish soil in the Blast Pro Series with another win here.
The group stages took place early last week and Group A saw FaZe Clan emerge in first place, sharing a 4-1 record with Fnatic. Just behind them was HellRaisers, with a 3-2 record earning themselves a place in the playoffs, meaning that the last three teams would be eliminated from the competition, these being Luminosity Gaming, Astralis, and Team Liquid. The latter two teams would've been particularly surprising for many, as Astralis did extremely well in the Blast Pro Series and had a home advantage yet again, and Team Liquid had shown promise in the past with new signings like Steel.
Elsewhere in Group B, North had an extremely disappointing competition, as the Danish team ended with a 1-4 record, sitting at the bottom of the group. Ninjas in Pyjamas and NRG Esports were also eliminated at this stage, both being on 2-3 records, and just above them was Misfits and OpTic Gaming with 3-2 records each. Like FaZe in Group A though, SK also had a 4-1 record to move immediately onto the semi finals as group winners, leaving the other two to enter the quarter finals.
The quarter final between OpTic and Fnatic started very well for the green wall, who claimed a 16-14 win on Inferno to kick things off, but on Train Fnatic fought back to get a win of their own, 16-10. This left it all to play for on the decider map, Mirage, which was particularly close, although Fnatic managed to make the comeback a reality by winning 16-14 to seal a spot in the semi finals, where they would face FaZe Clan.
In the other quarter final Cobblestone was the first map between HellRaisers and Misfits, and this was extremely close, being pushed into overtime before Misfits eventually clinched the win for themselves 22-18. With all to play for on Overpass, and Cache awaiting if HellRaisers could bring it back to 1-1, it wasn't nearly as close in the second map, as Misfits dominated 16-6 to send their opponents out of the competition, while they advanced to face SK in the semi final.
Both grand finalists showed their strength in their semi finals to advance, as FaZe beat Fnatic 2-0, with 16-7 and 16-10 wins on Mirage and Overpass respectively, while SK Gaming had a much easier time of things on their two maps against Misfits. The first on Cobblestone saw the Brazilian side earn a 16-6 win, but things were about to get much worse for Misfits, as they were flattened 16-1 on Overpass to go crashing out of the tournament.
The Bo5 grand final started off much closer than any of these maps, as a constant back and forth between FaZe and SK eventually resulted in a win for the former 16-13 on Inferno. FaZe and olofmeister in particular started off great in the second map - Overpass - as well, but the response from SK was much stronger this time, as strong performances from players like fer meant they could get their own win and level the maps at 1-1.
The Brazilian side then started a lot stronger on Mirage, and FaZe seemed a lot weaker in contrast, so after establishing a solid lead in the first half they could easily capitalise to make the map score 2-1. It all rested on Train, then, and what better way to end a tournament than with an overtime win, as SK took the European side down 19-16, despite strong resilience from players like GuardiaN.
Did you expect SK Gaming to win the finals like they did?