ECL Season 40 complete; Playoffs begin Tuesday
With Season 40 of ESL Challenger League reaching its conclusion following last night's games, the eight playoff teams have been confirmed, with ATK and MIBR standing tall with the best records in their respective groups. This season of ECL was competitive down to the wire, with the final matches of the season having playoff implications.
ATK survived the storm inside the Group A gauntlet to secure first in the group, as well as one of the top seeds in the playoff bracket with a 6-1 record. ATK maintained a top placing in the group throughout most of the season, but the competitive nature of the group never allowed the team a chance to be comfortably in the lead. Their first placing was put in question after losing 0-2 to ONET4P with a match against Orgless the day after. ATK put any doubts to rest by taking the victory over Orgless 2-1 to solidify first place.
Not far behind them is Carpe Diem and paiN at second and third place respectively, thanks to their 5-2 showing on the season. Although the numbers splitting these two teams are razor-thin, Carpe Diem secured the tiebreaker advantage because of their 2-0 victory over paiN in Week 7. Carpe Diem enters the playoffs coming off a 2-1 win over Bad News Bears with new talent Anthony “CLASIA” Kearney in place of Jordon “jitter” Ruggiero. The new-look Carpe Diem is off on the right foot, and look to continue that into the playoffs.
Although third in groups, paiN has a case to make of their own as favorites heading into the playoffs. The team dropped two straight before turning a corner, closing out the season with three-straight match victories. With the momentum in their favor, they look to not only secure first in playoffs but potentially enact revenge on ATK and Carpe Diem along the way, as they were the only two to slow down the surging paiN lineup.
Orgless enters the playoffs with a lot to prove, as the team has failed to consistently meet expectations inside and outside of ECL. Their three-match win streak was curbed by a two-match skid to close the season as they slipped into fourth place in Group B. For Orgless, it is out of the frying pan and into the fire. After ending their season with a loss to ATK, they will have to find their footing fast against the undefeated MIBR in the quarterfinals.
The final standings for Group A are:
1. ATK (b0denmaster, Fadey, MisteM, motm, truth, Coach: sprayxd)
2. Carpe Diem (chop, CLASIA, HexT, Walco, wiz, Coach: Axed)
3. paiN (biguzera, hardzao, NEKIZ, nython, PKL, Coach: rikz)
4. Orgless (daps, Bwills, Minus, koosta, Swisher)
5. ONET4P (consti, Elk, Fr3nk1e, Pol0, walker, Coach: vein)
6. Bad News Bears (MoMo, Pluto, Shakezullah, Spongey, Swahn, Coach: madcow)
7. Third Impact (RZU, xCeeD, Danejoris, grape, JAM, Coach: becker)
In Group B, MIBR shined amongst their peers with a league-best perfect 7-0 record on the season. Their unblemished record was possible thanks in part to an impressive effort on behalf of star talents Jhonatan “JOTA” Willian and Matheus “Tuurtle” Anhaia, who both ended the season in the top three in frags per round and ADR. Their consistent impact was a major catalyst for the team’s recent success and makes a strong case as favorites to make a deep run in the playoffs.
Party Astronauts were not far behind MIBR in their playoff efforts, ending the season second place with a near-perfect 6-1 record with their sole loss coming at the hands of first-place MIBR just a week ago. If Party Astronauts want to exact revenge on their Brazilian opposition, they will have to work for it, as they will be operating on the other side of the bracket. This revenge match would lead to fireworks should these two teams collide, as these are two of the best teams of the season when comparing win-loss records.
Gaimin Gladiators closed out Week 10 with a clean 2-0 record following an up and down 3-2 start to the season. Victories over Eros and Strife over the last two days cleared up any concern whether the organization would miss out on playoffs in its first season representing a CS:GO team, as they ended their successful regular season with a 5-2 record to earn the third seed in Group B. GG looked prepared to bolster their roster prior to the playoffs by adding Otto "garfield" Netteberg and coach Kory "SEMPHIS" Friesen, but plans fell through after the team was denied emergency transfers. With the team now using retired substitute Riley "Reality" Fusch, the team's playoff hopes are much less clear.
The battle for fourth seed between oNe and Strife was a war of attrition that came down to the final match of the season. The two teams fought tooth and nail in their final showdown, even seeing overtime on Strife’s map pick of Inferno. Strife was able to secure the win in double-overtime and take a tight 7-8 deficit on Nuke and run away with the 16-10 victory to secure the match 2-0 along with the playoffs spot. Strife have survived the peril that has plagued them as of late and earned themselves a playoff opportunity. A playoff victory and invite to the ESL Conference is exactly what the core needs in order to move away from the controversy of weeks past.
The final standings for Group B are:
1. MIBR (chelo, exit, WOOD7, Tuurtle, JOTA)
2. Party Astronauts (ben1337, djay, Jonji, PwnAlone, viz, Coach: Muenster)
3. Gaimin Gladiators (cynic, JazzPimp, jeorgesnorts, norsaC, Realty)
4. Strife (aris, J0LZ, SLIGHT, stamina, D4rtyMontana, Coach: crisby)
5. oNe (Maluk3, trk, keiz, pesadelo, xns, Coach: eleito)
6. Eros (freshie, JTMythic, omniscient, rezy1on, shutout, Coach: Noot)
7. BHOP (BeaKie, Delta9, silas, SPERMY, stanislaw)
8. X13 (garfield, halo, Makzwell, scar, Wilky, Coach: KayJay)
The confirmation of the eight playoff teams also means the confirmation of the playoff bracket. The eight teams will collide in BO3 double-elimination action with the two finalists meeting up in a BO5 finale to determine the winner of ECL Season 40. The winner will not only take home bragging rights but be invited to the ESL Pro League Conference Season 16 for an opportunity to qualify for ESL Pro League Season 16 in August. The playoffs will kick off on Tuesday at 08:00PM.
MIBR vs Orgless
ATK vs Strife
Party Astronauts vs paiN
Carpe Diem vs Gaimin Gladiators
The full bracket can be viewed here.