Week 8 of the ESL Pro League proposes to change the way the league standings look with an exciting three days of action ahead

We seem to be saying thing at the start of every week, but as we approach the final three weeks of action, the leaderboard has suddenly got even tighter, and we still can’t really confirm which six teams from each region will be competing in the LAN finals later this year. However, as another week gets underway, we do get closer to finding out the storylines for the ESL Pro League Season 5 finals.

Here is everything you need to know for the eighth week of the ESL Pro League!

Europe

Standings

At the end of Week 7, it was the number one team in the world, Astralis, that obtain the top position in the European ESL Pro League standings, ahead of Natus Vincere, after winning another series 2-0, this time over HellRaisers, after a 16-9 win on de_overpass, and a close 16-14 win on de_mirage. With that win over HR, the Danish powerhouse has now acquired a total of 36 points from 18 matches, giving themselves a respectable 12-6 record.

Generally, throughout the whole of this season, although one team has lead the standings, the teams around them haven’t been too far away from claiming that number one spot. This week, the same situation occurs as, for the lineups within the qualification zone, there is a maximum of two wins between the top of the leaderboard and their position, so fully depending on the results of this week, we could be seeing a completely different leaderboard in our recap.

G2 Esports, a side that has been struggling to get anything going, has shot up to seventh place with a total of 30 points, putting themselves in a very good position to receive an invite to the LAN finals in June. The French ‘super team’ that was formed during the ‘French Revolution 2.0’ is currently tied with FaZe and Fnatic, but with two games in hand over Fnatic, we could see a major change in the season standings.

Below, you can find an updated look at the European ESL Pro League Season 5 standings at the end of week eight:

Hot Match of the Week – Natus Vincere versus G2 Esports

This week’s Hot Match of the Week for the European region features an intense battle between CIS side, Natus Vincere, and G2 Esports, a team that has recently come into their own after some earlier troubles in the ESL Pro League.

As previously discussed, since their quarter-final matchup against Astralis at the ELEAGUE Major 2017, we haven’t seen much from Natus Vincere, which is very surprising, especially when you look at the high skill level of all the players sitting within that CIS team. At IEM Katowice, Na`Vi finished in a disappointing 5th-6th after losing to Astralis, Heroic, and North – we all know that’s not the usual result of this talented side. However, most recently at the SL i-League StarSeries event, the side started to show some life in their gameplay, finishing in a respectable 3rd place, behind Astralis and FaZe, respectively.

Regardless of their relatively poor offline performances, Natus Vincere still sit inside the top five teams in the world, whilst also holding the second place spot in the ESL Pro League, behind Astralis in first, with a total of 36 points from 18 matches, leaving themselves with a record of 12-6. I’ll be intrigued to see if they can keep up a high level of play after a resurging performance at the StarSeries event.

G2 Esports, Natus Vincere’s opponent, have been through more than thick and thin since their roster change during the ‘French Revolution 2.0’ that took place earlier in the year. For the majority of the ESL Pro League Season 5, the French side have been in the bottom three, or in outright last place, looking like they were going to be relegated from the Pro League, or would have to fight to remain in the league for next season in the relegation matches. However, recently things have taken a slight change in direction.

After winning nine matches in a row, against the likes of Fnatic and Ninjas in Pyjamas, the French ‘super team’ has shot up into seventh with 30 points, alongside Fnatic and FaZe Clan, and now they look like they could go ahead and receive an invitation to the season finals. This match will play a crucial role in their fate.

Outside of online competition, the French side competed in their first LAN event as a new roster in Kiev, Ukraine for the SL i-League StarSeries tournament. Generally, the side did show off some very promising performances, taking down a number of top sides, including NiP, HellRaisers, and SK, but were ultimately eliminated by the future winners, FaZe Clan, to finish in a respectable 5th-8th for their first event.

This is one of those matches that you’ll definitely not want to miss out on as it has the potential to drastically change the future for a number of teams in the fifth season of the ESL Pro League. Tune into the YouTube exclusive livestream at 19:00 CEST to watch the action unfold.

North America

Standings

After another week, SK Gaming remains at the top of the North American standings, leading the rest of the competition, including Cloud9 and Team Liquid, who are both just a few wins away from taking away the top spot in the NA region. With only two wins from four in Week 7, the Brazilian side have lost a chunk of the huge lead that they once had, now sitting on 48 points from 20 matches played, putting together an admirable win/loss record of 16-4.

Similar to the European counterparts, it’s still very difficult to say at this late stage which lineups will be competing at the season finals in June, considering how close the points are between the teams within, and around, the qualification zone. Three of the top eight teams in the league currently sit on a total of 33 points, including NRG Esports and OpTic Gaming, so I’m intrigued to see which of those teams will be able to perform well in the final, and deciding, weeks. However, NRG and Renegades have, respectively, four and two games in hand, and that’s definitely going to change how the leaderboard looks in the last three weeks.

The battle for survival at the bottom of the table continues between Rush, Winterfox, and the former Selfless Gaming side that were released last week. Combined, the three sides have only been able to obtain a total of 18 points from 52 matches, which isn’t acceptable if they want to continue to play at this level of CS:GO. If they are to stay in this league, or to eventually return after relegation, something is going to have to change, whether that’s roster based, or tactically, I do not know, that’s for the sides to decide.

With this unravelling at the bottom of the league standings, it will be interesting to see which sides will make it out alive, and which will be sent packing from the Pro League.

Below, you can find an updated look at the North America ESL Pro League Season 5 standings at the end of week seven:

Week 8 of the ESL Pro League is here!

Tune into ESL CS:GO YouTube channel to watch the best teams in CS:GO battle for their spot at offline finals in Dallas, Texas from June 3-4. If you want to watch the season finals live, you can purchase tickets here whilst they are still available.

For live coverage, and all of the latest updates on the ESL Pro League, be sure to follow ESL Counter-Strike on Twitter and Facebook.

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