CS: GO Epicenter Closed European Final Ends, Six Teams Now Verified For The 2019 Epicenter Final In Late December

CS: GO Epicenter Closed European Final Ends, Six Teams Now Verified For The 2019 Epicenter Final In Late December
Credit: Epicenter via Twitch

The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Closed European Qualifier Finals have finally concluded after a close battle between teams mousesports and Heroic, where Heroic finally eeked out the victory on the second map of the series.  With the closing of the European qualifiers, we now have six teams that are definitely in the Epicenter finals, and the finals themselves are shaping up to showcase impeccable competition of professional Counter-Strike.

The Epicenter final is taking place in Moscow, Russia, from December 17th through December 22nd.  With eight separate teams from around the globe all competing for their slice of the $500,000 prize pool, and even without knowing the final two teams, the competition looks to be amazing.

Thus far, Evil Geniuses, fnatic, Vitality, AVANGAR, Heroic, and Natus Vincere have all punched their tickets to Moscow.

Evil Geniuses was a clear forerunner for this event, well before the finalists were even chosen.  Based in the United States, this western-style Counter-Strike team has been dominating the professional Counter-Strike scene for almost the entire year of 2019.  They’re currently globally ranked at #1, and they make it clear with every showing that they have no intention of dropping that seed.  They’ve only dropped one match of their last eight, against Ninjas in Pyjamas, the well-known Swedish juggernauts that have occasionally found themselves at risk of relegation due to streaks of poor performances.  Evil Geniuses recently surpassed Astralis in points, relegating Astralis to the #2 position in seeds.

fnatic is another given in terms of current tournaments; with a global ranking of #3, there’s no denying that their star-studded roster is primed and ready to decimate the competition.  From notable names such as ‘JW’ and ‘flusha’, fnatic continues to play nearly flawless Counter-Strike with pristine individual showings every match.  They’ve lost two of their last eight matches, and have recently had a beautiful showing against Evil Geniuses in the most recent competition in Turkey.  They found themselves winded on their second showing, and easily succumbed to EG’s fresh roster.

Team Vitality, the ever-burgeoning French team centered around sniper ‘ZywOo’ have found themselves struggling in recent showings, despite their seed of #5 globally.  They have lost half of their past eight showings, and they weren’t considered to be close matches.  Eyes are on Vitality after they dropped NBK, with their concern being that having two in-game-leaders simultaneously was causing spotty performances.  Since dropping NBK, Vitality haven’t appeared to be a top 30 team, much less top 5.

Natus Vincere (better known as NaVi) has been doing better in recent showings with only dropping three of their last eight matches.  NaVi has readily found themselves in the top-ten of professional Counter-Strike for years, ebbing to-and-fro with a short-lived dip in late 2017.  With stars like ‘S1mple’ and ‘GuardiaN’ providing deft clutch frags, NaVi could surprise the tournament in an upset.

Finally, Heroic is the most recent team to sign their itinerary to Moscow.  Heroic is, thus far, the lowest-ranked team to enter into the Epicenter 2019 finals, with a seed of #17 globally.  While they had a great showing today against mousesports, it remains to be seen if they can readily stand toe-to-toe with the heavyweights of professional Counter-Strike.

Two professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams have yet to be decided to join these six in Moscow in December.