When people tune in to watch a tournament, they often have certain expectations concerning the outcome of the matches they are about to see. It could be that they expect their favorite team to win against all odds or that they look at a star-studded lineup and get hyped for the match. Naturally, when this happens, the shock to the system experienced when something unexpected occurs is extremely fun, often providing the best storylines from the tournament. ECS LAN Finals had some of those too, so that’s what I’m going to talk about in this article.
TSM vs. Astralis
With their, frankly, abysmal performance in ELEAGUE, TSM didn’t really have many people rooting for them in this match. In all likelihood, there weren’t many people who would have put money on the American org winning their match against the fifth best CS:GO team in the world, as of June 21st. I expect that even TSM players’ mothers wouldn’t have bet money on their sons. And yet, in a close contest that ended 16:12 (8:7; 8:5) on Cobblestone, TSM DID defeat Astralis.
The story of the underdog defeating their opponent against all odds is made even more interesting when you take into account that the Astralis players used to play under the TSM banner, before they parted ways in December 2015 due to misaligned “long term vision,” whatever that means. The team statement said that the former TSM members hoped to meet TSM’s new roster in future tournaments. Well, they did. And lost in one of the biggest upsets of the whole tournament. Personally, I love this kind of stuff, it’s one of the most interesting things in eSports. Even if you didn’t find the games themselves interesting, moments like this would make it all worth it.
TSM vs. C9
According to CSGOFast Betting widget on HLTV.org, you would have more than quadrupled on your bet if you actually staked your stuff on TSM because they were given 21% chance to win the best of three series, with coefficient of x 4.46. While TSM did upset Astralis already, I would have written their success off as a happy little accident and bet on C9 to win. If I was a betting man, that is. I am not. Whatever the case may be, the point stands. C9 were heavily favored to win.
Remember my words about star-studded lineups and hype? N0thing, shroud, skadoodle, Stewie2K, and Slemmy vs. SEMPHIS, FNS, autimatic, SicK, and Twistzz. You would have to be a hardcore TSM fan to pick them to win. Despite all facts pointing to the contrary, TSM spanked Cloud9’s cheeks on Cache 16:7 (9:6; 7:1) and send them on a Train ride to oblivion with the score of 16:11 (9:6; 7:5). It’s been a bad couple of weeks for C9 when facing TSM, to be honest, as their League of Legends roster also lost to Team Solo Mid in NALCS on June 18. Could it be that Andy “Reginald” Dinh’s CS:GO roster found inspiration from their colleagues and scrounged up some juju? It could be. Even if that was the case, TSM’s streak came to an end later, when they had to face the best team in the world – Luminosity.
G2 vs. Luminosity
Different from the TSM shenanigans earlier in the tournament, the Grand Final where the French G2 Esports faced the Luminosity Gaming roster in their last series under the Brazilian organisation’s banner, was projected to be closer than the earlier upset. 40:60 underdogs, G2 were thought to be the weaker team in the matchup. On all accounts, they actually were, except for one thing.
Even though professional players might seem to be emotionless CS:GO robots with only trophies on their minds, they aren’t. The whole Luminosity – SK Gaming debacle was nearing its apex in the days before ECS LAN Finals. It is fair to expect that the Brazilian team was under stress regarding the outcome, their bootcamping suffering for it, resulting in a Luminosity team which didn’t perform up to its usual standards. On the other hand, G2 Esports has played some good Counter-Strike recently. It’s not that difficult to imagine that they could challenge Luminosity even if their heads were in the game 100%. With recent turmoil, however, G2’s 2:0 against Luminosity in the Grand Final of ECS LAN Final didn’t totally surprise me, even though it WAS an upset.