EG Black make ECL S45 grand final; MIBR to face ATK in consolidation final
As we head into the final stretch of the ESL Challenger League season, the competition has begun to heat up as the playoffs have neared their climax. With some close matches, crazy comebacks, and multiple overtimes to come, here is our recap of all the recent games in ECL Season 45.
The second string side that has been in the news as of late, with Soham "valens" Chowdhury's comments about potentially promoting the young squad, having their work cut out for them in the upper bracket semifinal against Nouns. Requiring all three maps, a monstrous comeback was required on the climactic map of Inferno as Colby "Walco" Walsh's squad clawed back from an 11-4 deficit at halftime to take the map, and subsequently the series, 16-14.
In the opposite upper bracket semifinal, it was an all-Brazilian affair as paiN took on MIBR. Despite being the higher ranked of the two and having been in much better form as of late, paiN was unable to best their Brazilian brethren, being defeated on Vertigo and Inferno, with the scorelines being 16-10 and 19-16 respectively.
Heading down to the lower bracket, the Brazilians were able to relieve some of the paiN that they suffered in the upper bracket during their clash against Wildcard. The North American side recently added some Brazilian flair of their own in the shape of coach João "horvy" Horvath, however his wisdom and guidance were not enough to see them through the series, losing 16-9 on Nuke and 19-17 on Inferno and thus ending their run in the playoffs.
Nouns were unable to replicate paiN's feat of bouncing back after a loss in the upper bracket, crumbling in crushing fashion against ATK. Michael "Swisher" Schmid led the server with a 1.33 rating as ATK took down their compatriots 16-14 on Mirage and 19-15 on Inferno in yet another overtime encounter.
The lower bracket final saw an end to paiN's run in ECL Season 45, as ATK came out victorious and booked their spot in the consolidation final. It was Swisher leading the way once again, going 82-56 across the three-map series and sending the 23rd-ranked team in the world packing.
More NA success followed in the upper bracket final as EG Black booked their spot in the grand final with a 2-0 victory over MIBR. EG Black's success in making it to the final means they have already improved on ECL Season 44's showing, where they were defeated by ATK in the consolidation final. It could be ATK that they meet in the grand final this time around, as Swisher and co. face off against MIBR tonight at 08:00PM