Week 5 of the European division of ESL Pro League Season 6 featured several stacked matches. While Fnatic still leads the pack, plenty of teams are now jockeying for position to squeeze into the playoffs with just two weeks left in the regular season.
Astralis (11-7, 33 points) finally got into the playoff picture with an explosive Week 5 performance to earn the No. 2 spot in the EU standings. The Danes started the week with a quick 2-0 win over Team LDLC (9-9, 25 points). Astralis then took on BiG (8-8, 22 points) on Wednesday in an overtime frenzy in Game 1 that went in favor of BiG, but the Danes struck back in Game 2 to settle the series in a split.
After taking down North (10-6, 30 points) 2-0 on Thursday, Astralis began to show fatigue having a tough series split against FaZe Clan (10-8, 31 points) and a 2-0 loss to Fnatic (14-6, 41 points) on Saturday. Despite ending the week on a bad note, Astralis still managed to break into the conversation and supplanted North's standings slot.
FaZe Clan still holds on to third in the EU standings despite a rollercoaster Week 5. FaZe started the week on Wednesday against North, which rattled FaZe's cages a bit in Game 1 before FaZe dominated Game 2 to settle the series in a split.
On Thursday, however, HellRaisers (8-10, 26 points), who now sits seventh in the EU standings, silenced FaZe Clan with a 2-0 sweep. After a close series split with Astralis in an overtime loss, FaZe Clan ended the week on a sore note after thrashing Heroic (7-9, 23 points) in Game 1, but then fell in Game 2 as Heroic tries to fight for the last spot in the playoffs.
After a tough battle in Week 5, Ninjas in Pyjamas (9-9, 27 points) held on to the sixth spot to stay within the playoffs contention with two weeks remaining. The Ninjas started the week with a nail biting 19-17 win over Fnatic in overtime and then followed that up with a 16-4 thrashing in Game 2. NiP then took a tough loss on Wednesday as Team LDLC (9-9, 25 points) blanked the Swedes in efforts to hold onto to their spot in the top-6, who would actually end the week in eighth place.
Feeling the burn from LDLC's 2-0 sweep, NiP struggled to win rounds against mouz in Game 1 of Inferno for a 16-2 loss, but the Swedes turned it around on their more favored map, Nuke, to end the tough week on a high-note for a 1-1 split. Although mouz came up short of a 2-0 win, the German-based team managed to break into the top-6 with a firm hold on the fifth place spot ahead of NiP.
Fnatic had mixed results in Week 5 but still managed to hold on to the top spot with two weeks remaining. The No. 1 team started the week against the Swedes of NiP, who overcame the favorites in the extra rounds to take Game 1 and took Game 2 in short order. The crushing loss to start the week really affected Fnatic, which would return on Friday to only lose to HellRaisers in the rough second half performance in Game 1, but Fnatic found light at the end of the tunnel in Game 2 to settle the series in a 1-1 split. Despite having a rather slow week, Fnatic managed to end the week on a high-note to send Astralis off with a 2-0 sweep.
The top-six got a new makeover in Week 5 as Fnatic, Astralis, FaZe Clan, North, mousesports and Ninjas in Pyjamas sit in the playoff picture with only two weeks remaining. The European Division of ESL Pro League will resume Tuesday, October 17 at 1 p.m. ET as teams head to Atlanta for the ELEAGUE Premier playoffs set to kick off on Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET.