CS:GO pros preview ECS Season 8 Finals
By Yinsu Collins
Last Updated: 28/11/19 3:00pm
It's nearly the end of another exciting year for Counter Strike and here's everything you can expect from day one of the ECS Season 8 Finals – previewed by the players themselves.
Evil Geniuses v AVANGAR
Up first, the Berlin Major runner ups will be taking on one of North America's finest, Evil Geniuses, to kickstart the group stages at the ECS S8 Finals.
EG, who are currently ranked number two, have had their ups and downs this season and after failing to show up at recent events, Tarik 'Tarik' Celik admits the lack of consistency has been an issue for his side.
He said: "We've been very inconsistent, doing well in one event and then bombing out at the next. It's unacceptable because we want to uphold ourselves to a certain standard and that's something we're trying to figure out as we speak.
"Even going into this event it's a pretty important one for us. The last couple have been pretty tough so we're hoping we can turn things around. It's just a matter of creating a consistent system within the team which is something we're working on."
His coach, Chet 'ImAPet' Singh goes into more details as to why they've looked sloppy in recent tournaments but reckons they still have a fair chance against AVANGAR.
He told Sky Sports: "We've not had opportunities to practice as much because everyone's schedules have been really busy. We are trying to practice as much as we can so we can be as prepared as we can be and keep our spirit high.
"We haven't jumped into the new patch so we're not really sure how we'll perform. Obviously we will have an opportunity to before the game against AVANGAR but we're not as prepared as we should be.
"I'd say AVANGAR are a pretty good team, when we played them at the Major they were really on point. They take a lot of risks and gambles but as long as we show up it should be a pretty fair game for us."
On the other side, AVANGAR have seen vast improvements to their performances this year and their Rifler Alexey 'qikert' Golubev feels positive about.
He said: "In general, this year has been pretty good for us. We added AdreN and SANJI to our roster and I've really liked having them and playing with them. We made it to the Major final you know so I think it was a good year overall. I've really enjoyed this year but it's still important to show up at ECS, it's not done yet."
Team Liquid v Ninjas in Pyjamas
Announcing the groups for the ECS Season 8 Finals ✨— #ECS8 Finals 🇺🇸 (@ecs) November 12, 2019
World-class CS is coming to Texas. Secure your seat 🎟️ https://t.co/xsEGkr9iPZ #ECS8 pic.twitter.com/Zu0Vtj8OeL
Arguably one of the most exciting matches of the day goes to Team Liquid v Ninjas in Pyjamas. The two sides met in Copenhagen and to the surprise of many, NiP came out on top, something Simon 'twist' Eliasson believes can be replicated at ECS.
He said: "Of course I think we'll be able to beat them again after Copenhagen. No, we're not really afraid of them. We've been putting out some strong performances and I think we have what it takes to win the whole tournament. I feel confident because we've been practising really well."
However, Liquid's Jake 'Stewie2k' Yip believes they're still one of the strong favourites, not just for their opening game against NiP but in the entire tournament.
He said: "I'd say that we are one of the favourites going into this tournament without being cocky or anything like that. I still think we're on top and the only other team that's looking really good is Astralis. Our confidence is pretty high right now, there are a lot of teams we actually want to play against such as MiBR, EG and especially Astralis - we'd love to meet them in the final."
Astralis v Sharks
The greatest CS:GO team of all time, Astralis, will also be competing at the ECS S8 finals in the hopes of winning yet another event.
However, they weren't able to make it out of Groups back in ECS London in Spring to which their coach Danny 'zonic' Sorensen admits was due to a lack of preparation.
He told Sky Sports: "It's been a good year for us obviously during the Spring we had bit of a downfall. It wasn't intended but it was important for me that after we won the major we took it a bit slow because I could see that some of the players were getting exhausted.
"For us, it's about winning the most prestigious tournaments so it was about getting ready for Berlin. Unfortunately ECS London fell into a time where we didn't put as much work into our preparation and boot camping as we could have. It was just bad timing, we go into every tournament to try and win it obviously but it was a tough time for us.
"From an objectives point of view, I feel like we're better suited for this tournament. We have more energy after the summer which was really good for us. But this will be a tough tournament with some tough opponents we're just preparing for our match against Sharks."
When it came to their match against Sharks, despite being the heavy favourites, Astralis' in-game leader Lukas 'gla1ve' Rossander reckons it won't be an easy feat.
"Facing an underdog in the first round is never easy, especially in a BO1. @sharksesportsgg have already shown that they can play - and beat - the best teams.— Astralis (@astralisgg) November 28, 2019
We have to be fully prepared, and I believe that we are."
- @gla1ve_csgo is ready for the ECS Finals!#ToTheStars pic.twitter.com/vgiUN2FJch
He said: "I'm not too sure if it's going to be easy, if you look at Sharks, they've been winning against teams like Team Liquid. I'm not too sure because of all the changes so I think it's going to be a pretty exciting match - it's going to be pretty nice to play against them. Last time we lost against Furia and this time we'll be taking on another Brazilian team so hopefully we take some kind of revenge I guess."
Fnatic v MIBR
Last but not least, Brazilian side MIBR will have the tough task of trying to take down Fnatic and after their performance at the Asia Championship, MIBR have a good chance of giving them a run for their money.
Like Astralis, MIBR struggled at ECS London but Epitacio 'TACO' de Melo insists that they're a new team going into this tournament.
He said: "We had a very different line up at ECS London than the one we have today so we're not really thinking about the last ECS. We've got different chemistries now with the roster so we're really confident in the work we've been putting in in the last week so I'd say we're coming in fresh for the tournament."
MIBR have made a few roster changes this year, including the addition of Vito 'kNgV-' Giusepe who believes his side have what it takes to beat Fnatic.
He said: "We're pretty confident to go up against Fnatic. Yes, they're the favourite but we're really prepared for them. They can have the odds in their favour but it's about the best team winning in the server on the day so we're ready for them."