Infinity and Touch Point among those eliminated from ESEA Advanced Playoffs

Several squads with strong regular-season records have already faltered in the playoffs.

With ESEA Advanced Season 40 playoffs now whittled down to the top eight teams, it's an apt time to take a look at some of the teams that will be missing out on ECL Relegation or an outright promotion. Of the five teams with the highest regular season records heading into the playoffs, only one team remains, Mythic. The other four teams, Infinity, Omega, Snakes Den, and Touch Point all saw their playoff dreams shattered one way or another.

Latin American powerhouse Infinity were arguably the favorite squad heading into the playoffs of Advanced this season. Infinity was the number one seed in the playoffs after a dominant 12-2 regular season, with the two losses coming from close matches against Mythic and Philadelphia Liberty. With such a strong showing in the regular season, it was fair to say that Infinity were poised to find themselves in ECL for Season 41.

Unfortunately for the Latin American squad, expectations and reality do not always align. Infinity's playoff run started with an incredibly close victory over the sixteenth seed team Vireo.pro, with the series going to a decider map after a brutal second map that saw the game only end in triple overtime. While a win is a win, the fact that Infinity struggled this much to overcome the lowest-seeded team in the playoffs certainly did not bode well for their future matches. Infinity were unable to find their footing in their second match, getting knocked down to the lower bracket after a narrow loss to ninth-seed UYU.

Any hope of a run in the lower bracket for Infinity was swiftly shut down by the tenth seed Unjustified squad, putting an unfortunate end to Infinity's Season 40 campaign. A strong showing from McKinley "Cyrix" Hollison powered Unjustified to victory over Infinity, setting the team up to play Big Chillin in their next game at the expense of the number one seed.

Infinity
1 - 2
Unjustified
All maps
Infinity K - D +/- ADR KAST Rating 2.0
Joel 'tor1towOw' Rios Manrique 67 - 51 +16 96.3 68.9% 1.26
Mexico Francisco 'k1Nky' Alvarez 61 - 49 +12 92.1 71.6% 1.22
Mexico Bryan 'Marro' Valles Valenzuela 49 - 52 -3 71.1 77.0% 1.06
Andres 'spamzzy1' Correa 39 - 51 -12 67.6 64.9% 0.88
Renato 'Pacman' Morales 43 - 57 -14 64.7 64.9% 0.87
Unjustified K - D +/- ADR KAST Rating 2.0
United States McKinley 'Cyrix' Hollison 62 - 52 +10 87.1 74.3% 1.22
United States Andrew 'Sloopy' Church 57 - 49 +8 84.1 68.9% 1.13
United States Kyle 'Just2EZ' Tan 56 - 50 +6 72.7 67.6% 1.10
United States Justin 'jsfeltner' Feltner 50 - 57 -7 87.5 63.5% 1.04
United States Dennis 'Hitman' Brichko 32 - 53 -21 53.2 60.8% 0.68

Touch Point had a fantastic start to their season, putting up seven wins in a row before their season took an unfortunate turn for the worse. After their streak was broken by a loss to Infinity, the team only managed to win three of their remaining six games of the regular season, concluding with losses to Philadelphia Liberty and Kinship. Although they had a rough ending to their season, a quarterfinal finish at Fragadelphia 16 and their earlier strong start made it seem like fifth seed Touch Point had a decent shot of at least reaching relegation.

Going into the playoffs, Touch Point's poor streak carried over, with an early defeat to twelfth-seed Levitate, immediately sending Nikolaos "PoseidoNN" Antoniou and company down to the lower bracket. Touch Point squared off against thirteenth-seed Rectify for their first match in the lower bracket, and although they won and kept their ECL hopes alive, the game was incredibly arduous, with the two maps played going 16-13 and 22-20 before Touch Point edged out their opponent.

Things only got worse for Touch Point in their next lower bracket game, as eleventh-seed Limitless put the final nail in the coffin to Touch Point's run. After Limitless scored a straightforward 16-11 victory on their pick of Dust2, Bradley "Slugy" Kohler posted a phenomenal 2.18 rating on Ancient to eliminate Touch Point from playoffs. From a dominant 7-0 start to the season, to an early departure in the playoffs, it remains to be seen what Touch Point will do differently in the next season of Advanced.

Limitless
2 - 0
Touch Point
All maps
Limitless K - D +/- ADR KAST Rating 2.0
United States Bradley 'Slugy' Kohler 51 - 22 +29 102.4 75.0% 1.70
United States Devin 'AtomiK' Ferrell 41 - 33 +8 105.5 70.8% 1.36
United States Dave 'seziwana' Schrage 39 - 26 +13 84.4 83.3% 1.33
Canada Matthew 'mirth' Mudrinic 33 - 24 +9 64.7 89.6% 1.25
United States Michael 'Millz' Millsaps 24 - 32 -8 62.9 79.2% 0.93
Touch Point K - D +/- ADR KAST Rating 2.0
United States Liam 'xCAPE' Redmond 33 - 38 -5 78.1 62.5% 0.95
United States Noah 'flixxy' French 30 - 36 -6 65.2 66.7% 0.94
United States Nikolaos 'PoseidoNN' Antoniou 33 - 37 -4 76.4 66.7% 0.93
United States Brett 'Beastman' Eastman 24 - 38 -14 54.4 62.5% 0.70
United States Connor 'TiCx' Hartman 17 - 39 -22 54.6 64.6% 0.64

Infinity and Touch Point are not the only high-profile Advanced teams that found themselves exiting the playoffs early. Omega, the team with the second-best record in the regular season, with eleven wins and three losses, were unable to keep up their performance in the playoffs. A surprising upset loss in their opening match against Philadelphia Liberty saw the squad immediately knocked down to the lower bracket. Fighting for their tournament lives against Unjustified, Omega were unable to find a return to their regular season form, as Unjustified edged them out 2-0 to send Omega packing. Since this defeat, Omega has already seen changes to their lineup, with Jason "gir" Fox opting to step back from competitive Counter-Strike.

With eight teams left, and only four chances left for promotion to the ECL relegation bracket or ECL directly, things are heating up in the playoffs. Owing to the fact that most other high-profile competition is out of the picture, Erik "fl0m" Flom's Mythic look set to move through the upper bracket to make a return to ECL. In the lower bracket, Big Chillin are also still fighting for their chance to return after eliminating third-seed Snakes Den and Levitate. Unjustified have also been making their mark in the lower bracket, sending heavyweights Omega and Infinity packing to keep their ECL hopes alive.

The next matches slated to be played are:

United States UYU vs United States Mythic
United States Kinship vs United States Philadelphia Liberty

United States InControl vs United States Limitless
United States Big Chillin vs United States Unjustified

The ESEA Advanced Season 40 playoffs will resume tonight, with Kinship vs Philadelphia Liberty, Big Chillin vs Unjustified, and UYU vs Mythic starting at 08:00PM, 08:30PM and 09:00PM respectively. InControl vs Limitless will be played on Wednesday night at 08:00PM.

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