The first stage of FACEIT's 2015 League is approaching its terminus as we enter the final two weeks of the European and North American regions and the final week of the Oceania region: below let us examine who has a chance of advancing to the offline finals.
Since the announcement of FACEIT's $275,000 League in February, the first stage has hummed along smoothly and is now nearing its conclusion. The top five teams from Europe, the top two from North America and the winner of the Oceania League will all advance to an offline final from this stage, which will determine next season's participants, along with apportioning some of the 2015 prize pot.
|FACEIT's first 2015 season is winding down photo HLTV.org|
The full schedules for the three regions can be found here in our previous post. As can be seen, Europe is currently entering its sixth week of play (out of seven); North America into its fifth week (out of six); Oceania comes to a close with its final three matches at the end of this week.
Additionally, weekly FACEIT qualifiers have been taking place to allow up-and-coming teams to compete with the bottom two teams of each region for a slot in the second season.
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Let us take a brief look at each region and the teams who are geared to advance to the offline finals:
What could be the league's most robust region is also arguably showcasing the most variance so far as a few top contenders are stalled at the bottom of the standings.
The Swedish-Finnish NiP are in a premium position for advancing with a 7-2 record. With six more matches to complete for the Ninjas, an unlikely series of straight losses would still probably place them in the bottom of the advancing five teams for the region. Such is the good fortune of having the most advancing teams.
In terms of players, Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg has made a sizeable impact throughout the season, and his 1.27 player rating is tied for the highest out of all European players. Partner-in-crime Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund trails not far behind at a 1.12 rating as well.
|f0rest with a dominant showing so far in the FACEIT League photo HLTV.org|
The Swedish fnatic and the Polish Virtus.pro are the next teams in line with a fairly positive winning record, although the latter's success is slightly offset by a nearly neutral round-differential due to several closely-fought wins.
VP have the serendipity of Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski's monstrous performance throughout this first stage, and the twenty-one year old is tied with Lindberg with a 1.27 player rating in our stats section. fnatic are slightly more evened out in terms of player impact, although Jesper "JW" Wecksell boasts a stout 1.23 rating across six maps.
The next three teams are all very much in the race to attend the offline finals, although one of them are currently in a mysterious position. Titan and EnVyUs (the latter standing as back-to-back offline event champions) are lightly slumping with negative records so far, at 3-4 and 2-5 respectively. The former team also holds the distinction in beating rival Frenchmen nV in a direct confrontation.
|EnVyUs will have to grind out a better record by the season's end photo HLTV.org|
Na'Vi are a big question mark as their 1-1 record and conspicuous absence of matches either means the CIS organisation will be playing league catch-up at a breakneck pace or dropping out of the race entirely, though that is unlikely and purely speculative.
Finally, both LGB and TSM have cut frustrating figures in the European league, the latter's perfomance more surprising considering their dominant offline showings at ESL One Katowice 2015 and the SLTV StarSeries XII, placing 5-8th and 3rd respectively.
It should be stressed once again that with a five team berth for qualifying for offline finals in Europe, no team is truly out and both TSM and LGB can succeed if they set off on a winner's streak at the expense of other teams losing. The race continues.
With only two spots up for grabs to attend the FACEIT League Stage 1 finals, the competition is theoretically more narrowed in North America, although a clear favourite has emerged in the standings.
Liquid, whose fortunes have been woebegone in other leagues such as ESEA Invite Season 18 and CEVO-P Season 6, stand dominant with a clean 6-0 record and a slot at the finals virtually assured.Eric "adreN" Hoag accepted the tall order of mad-fragging, as his1.30 player rating suggests, while fellow star Nick "nitr0" Cannellais not far behind at a 1.25 rating.
|adreN's Liquid are so far sitting pretty at the top of the NA league photo HLTV.org|
Liquid are not out of the water yet, and one more win would go a long way to virtually cementing their place at the offline finals. Below Liquid, three teams still hold fairly competitive records in the league, with a theoretic fourth able to engage a possible miracle run.
ESL One Katowice 2015 attendees CLG and Cloud9 are still in contention, standing at 4-3 and 3-3 each. However, another team with one less match-played than CLG and one less match-lost than Cloud9 sits between them in the standings: eLevate.
With the strong roster addition of Derek "desi" Branchen and theensuing results to show for it, I feel like this may just be eLevate's show to steal, especially since the team's skill ceiling seems to be currently rising. I also think Daniel "roca" Degiovanni, so long known on the North American scene for his insane aim moments, is on fire in this league, suggested by his 1.19 player rating.
|CLG are gearing up for a close fight with rivals Cloud9 and eLevate photo HLTV.org|
Finally, SKDC could engage their inner Space Jam moment and win their final three matches to finish with a 5-5 record, which would only be enough if CLG, Cloud9 and eLevate lose all of their ensuing matches from here on out; the prognosis is therefore grim.
Luminosity, marked as Mythic in the standings for statistics consistency reasons until the season finishes, are effectively out of the first stage and have no doubt turned their focus on ESEA and CEVO, both of whose upcoming finals they will be attending.
In a regional league with a different format (teams play each other only once with a standard map-picking system) and only one champion earning the finals spot and $5,000, the contest is actually fairly undecided so far.
Immunity lead with a 4-0 record, while the more known Vox Eminor stand at 3-1 performance and are tied with The Chiefs. The final three teams are meanwhile out of the contention.
|Vox Eminor could be part of a league that comes down to the wire photo HLTV.org|
With Vox going through some roster stability issues and with their final match this coming weekend against the undefeated Immunity, the stakes couldn't be higher.
Since The Chiefs are playing against the 1-3 record-holding AVANT GARDE, a win there and a win for Vox would mean a threeway tie for the top spot in the league. A count through round-differential could therefore make this region the most closely contested of all.