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The eSports Championship Series is back.
Two Open Qualifiers will allow four teams, two from Europe and two from North American, to earn their spot in the ECS Development League. The Open Qualifiers will be single elimination until the quarterfinals and semifinals, which will be best-of-three matches. The top two teams from each Qualifier will move on.
Four invited teams will compete alongside the four Open Qualifier teams in the Development League. After a series of best-of-two matches, the top two teams from each region will progress to the ECS Promotional Playoffs.
In the Promotional Playoffs, the EU and NA relegated teams will face off against the qualifying teams from the Development League in best-of-five matches. The winners of the relegation matches will earn their place in the Season 3 League.
FaZe Clan, Cloud9, OpTic Gaming, and Season 2 victors Astralis are returning to compete via invite after top performances in their regions and in the Season 2 Finals.
According to the rankings of HLTV, the top two sides in the world of CS:GO will be facing off against each other on Sunday.
The history has been back and forth between these two teams. The last time they met was in the semifinals of IEM Sydney, where FaZe Clan came out on top. However, they were beaten by Astralis in the Grand Final of Intel Extreme Masters XI: World Championship. Yet in StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3, FaZe Clan got their redemption over Astralis.
Since Sydney, Astralis has exhibited just par performances, not living up to their brilliant standards. While FaZe Clan, although losing to SK in the final of IEM, has been on a good run and has managed to establish a fine winning streak.
Astralis is arguably the best side in the world, but FaZe Clan may just be the team that will give them a run for their money throughout the course of the year. Judging by what happened in the past months, the prior statement is proving to be true. Although if we look at past history and trophy cabinets of the sides, the match is too close to call. But, Astralis has been looking to get the better of the opposition again since Sydney.
Since the arrival of 17 year old Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken, Team Liquid has been on a fine run and won most of their matches. “Twistzz”, has settled into the side well since the departure of Jacob “Pimp” Winneche in the CS:GO roster.
In the eSports Championship Series Season 3, Liquid exhibited fine performances. Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski, who happens to be one of the youngest players on the side, has gelled well with the young “Twistzz”. Team Liquid has recently earned a spot at ESL One Cologne after winning a 2-0 victory against CLG in the grand final of the North America Closed Qualifier (16-14 on Cobblestone and 16-8 on Inferno).
Since the start of 2017, the lineup of Cloud 9 has been under the weather and has failed to perform up to standards. They will require the expertise of Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham and Mike “shroud” Grzesiek to get them a much needed win. Since the end of ESL Pro League, Cloud 9 has played out some fine performances and managed decent results. The last series they lost was against their current opponents, Team Liquid, in the ESL Pro League season 5.
The odds of both the teams on William Hill are pretty close (1.67 for Cloud 9 and 2.10 for Team Liquid). Interestingly, the odds for both the matches in the best-of-two series are the same.
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