After seven long weeks of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competition, the regular season of the ESL Pro League Season 6 has wrapped up. Standing atop of the European standings is none other than Fnatic, who dominated the region pretty much all season.
Despite losing both Dennis "dennis" Edman and Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer prior to the start of the season, Fnatic (18-8, 55 points) has performed much like the Fnatic teams of yesteryear that took the Counter-Strike world by storm. Under the leadership of Maikil "Golden" Selim, Fnatic rode a strong wave of success all season to take the No. 1 spot, including a 4-0 record in the final week. The squad will enter the December playoffs with a full head of steam.
Coming up right behind Fnatic was North (18-8, 53 points), who missed out on the top seed by virtue of the new point system giving less weight to overtime wins. Despite lurking somewhat in the background all season long, a perfect 4-0 Week 7 with sweeps over LDLC (11-15, 32 points) and BIG (9-17, 25 points) cemented North's spot in the playoffs.
FaZe Clan (15-9, 47 points) is a team that, despite winning ESL One: New York and the ELEAGUE Premier, has come up short with its new-look roster. The additions of Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács and olofmeister were supposed to make this team unstoppable, but it was anything but in the Pro League this season. The team closed out the campaign with a 1-3 record this past week, leaving FaZe with an unappealing 7-5 record over the last three weeks of the season. While it was enough to secure the third seed, it may not be enough come playoff time.
Astralis (16-10, 47 points), the No. 4 seed, certainly had its fair share of troubles following its ELEAGUE Major win in January. Even the usually reliable Nicolai "dupreeh" Reedtz hasn't looked as crisp with his AWP as he has in the past. A 2-2 split with mousesports (12-14, 35 points) and Team EnVyUs (12-14, 37 points) over its final four games certainly didn't quell any frustrations about the normally stout unit.
Rounding out the playoff teams are Ninjas in Pyjamas (15-11, 42 points) and HellRaisers (13-13, 41 points). While it's somewhat surprising to see NiP in this spot after losing in-game leader Adam "friberg" Friberg, it's been a winning organization in the past. HellRaisers, on the other hand, has always flown under the radar while mainly showing up in the minor circuits. After battling back into the EPL from the relegation tournament following its 10th-place finish in Season 5, the Commonwealth of Independent States-based team is now in the playoffs.
Not every team can make the playoffs, however. Some notable misses include G2 Esports (13-13, 39 points), who just can't seem to break out of this rut despite being branded as a super-team upon its arrival at the start of this year, and mousesports, who have consistently been in the running for the title of a top-tier team but also can't seem to get over the hump. It'll be back to the drawing board for both of these teams, and it wouldn't be surprising to see some roster moves coming at some point in the future.
Fans wanting to see their teams duke it out in the playoffs won't have to wait long, as the Season 6 finals are only a few weeks away in Odense, Denmark. These six team will face off against the top six teams from the North American region starting Dec. 5. Based on previous finals, this certainly won't be one to miss.