Upsets happen, and no one is safe: A look at the Battlefield 4 ESL One Spring Season

When we look at the standings for the Battlefield ESL One Spring Season, it feels as though we’re seeing a slightly familiar sight. With Epsilon, Fnatic and MeetYourMakers picking up top three positions, it only takes a glance back to the prior season to realize that these same faces were also at the very top then. The thing we really need to take notice of, however, is the route these teams have had to take to get to this point.

From winter to spring

To be able to understand how this season has developed, I feel we should look back to the Winter Season in order to get to grips with where the early Battlefield 4 scene was heading. At the end of the cups, we had Fnatic in first with 300 points – which equals two cup wins – and two top three finishes. However, this season they walked away in second place with the same amount of points but only one cup win and three top three finishes. This may make it seem like Fnatic had let it slip, but breaking it down further reveals that that’s not the case. In Season 1, they played 18 matches in total during the cup stage, only dropping nine maps – not matches, maps. In Season 2, they played 19 matches, dropping seven maps. However, even with a improved record, they only finished second. The rest of the scene had by then caught up to the sprinting lead that Fnatic first took, who previously only found an ‘online’ opponent in Team uMav.

The first cup of the Spring Season saw various lineup changes, with Fnatic picking up Drunkz (previously in uMav) in place of Winghaven, uMav being picked to pieces by several teams and Epsilon having a huge switch around. However, perhaps the biggest question of all was whether the Battlefield EMS One Grand Finals result was a fluke – did MYM claiming first place translate to this season?

Fnatic and beyond

I think we can skip straight to the semifinals where Fnatic’s concerned. They faced PyRo-Gen who, claimed a respectable and surprising second place in the offline finals. Lancang Dam said it all – PyRo-Gen consistently used that map as a stronghold throughout the offline finals and did fantastically on it. Fnatic apparently wanted to prove a point this season, picking up a huge win with more triple caps than PyRo care to remember, and with that and another win, Fnatic headed on to the finals.

Who would join them was the only question on Fnatic’s mind, and with Epsilon and MeetYourMakers still fighting it out in the semifinals, the answer was up in the air. With the first map being Paracel Storm, Epsilon took a great advantage on tickets with a lead of 75, claiming the first map following that lead in the second half. MeetYourMakers replicated this with some style on Zavod, taking it home following a solid 72 ticket advantage on the half. In the end it came down to Operation Locker, a map that would prove to be make or break, and in a brilliant turn of events Epsilon managed to claim the win and go on to face Fnatic in the finals.

To not give away too much of the journey the first teams took to get those first few points under their belts, I suggest you go and make sure you (re)watch that final game.

Upsets happen

I chose to review the very first cup in particular as it was rather defining of the rest of the season – the power struggle between Fnatic and Epsilon, MeetYourMakers constantly on their heels, and PyRoGen and Team Dignitas never too far away.

The thing I want to point out to everyone looking forward to the group stage and offline finals, however, is the fact that Team PyRo-Gen just scraped their way into the group stage in 16th place in the Winter Season, then going on through a stacked group with uMav in it to claim second place at the offline finals. Upsets happen, and no one is safe this season – anyone could have those few good maps that could result in the crowning a brand new champion.

Tune in to http://battlefield.esl-one.com/channel/esltv-bf4/ at 19:00 CEST to watch today’s Group A matches, or alternatively check out this playlist for all the ESL One VODs.
 

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