We have asked players, casters and Gameforge officials to let us know which team they think will be crowned the first ESL S.K.I.L.L. Pro League champions. Our lovely commentator Lauren 'Pansy' Scott, Gameforge's own Christoph 'Meisterbrau' Will and players from the other Pro League teams shared their thoughts on the Grand Final with us. We are all really looking forward to the match at gamescom on August 6th and it will be a really good Best of 5 match up between PENTA Sports and EnRo GRIFFINS.
In the group stage they have already played against each other and PENTA Sports managed to beat EnRo GRIFFINS with 2:0 in maps. On Desert Camp they won with 9:5 and on Power Station they lost one round less with a final score of 9:4. Here is what our caster Lauren 'Pansy' Scott has to say about the Grand Final between EnRo GRIFFINS and PENTA Sports.
Lauren 'Pansy' Scott: "When this season started i doubted anyone other than Team Upside Down and Senpai would be in the finals. However two teams stepped up when it really mattered, Enro Griffins had the task of taking on Team Senpai in the Semi Finals and overcame the odds that stood in-front of them. For that reason alone i have to tip them in the Grand Finals. They played so well in their game against Senpai, if they are able to replicate that sort of performance in the Finals i don't see how Penta can challenge them. Taking nothing away from Penta however who had no simpler time with Team Upside Down and i know players like Marre are lan proven and able to handle the pressure when it matters, which could be a swing factor. All said and done im backing Enro here as who doesn't love an underdog story."
We also asked the two other semi finalists and both told us that they think their opponents will win the first season of the ESL S.K.I.L.L. Pro League.
Kowa from Senpai: "Missing the grand final of the SKILL SF2 proleague at gamescom is something Team Senpai and myself will look back at with much disapointment however we will still get to watch two of the best teams battle it out. Looking at the two teams remaining it's, in my eyes, a clash of 2 very different playstyles. We have PENTA which is closest to our playstyle with the more adaptive style vs Enro that goes more with the well thought through tactics and solid approach. I think most people have PENTA as favourite to win but it will come down to if PENTA can keep their heads cool and communicate to find the cracks in Enro's armour and thats a more difficult task than people think under these circumstances. So my money is on Enro for having an easier "LAN playstyle" to control together with previous LAN experince together with most of their lineup still intact."
Kingster from Team Upside Down: "It's very interesting to follow the evolve of SKILL since it has reached to such an amazing level already. Would love to be one of those teams who's gonna fight on stage in Gamescom but I hope the most for Pro League 2 that it will be more teams competing at offline level, maybe the playoffs or a longer tournament spread out on two days. Anyhow its going to be tricky to predict a winner of this first season of Pro League as EnRo Griffins really stepped their game up in the end of groupstage and playoffs. But their passive and static play can get demolished as PENTA is a way more dynamic team with a aggressive touch on it. PENTA might be the perfect counter team to take down EnRo Griffins. My tips to both teams is to just change their things all over and make it complete Upside Down style. My best guess is that it will be 3-2 in favor for PENTA Sports. Good luck both teams wishes Kingster & Team Upside Down."
And of course we also asked Christoph Will from Gameforge about his predictions on which team will get the trophy, the over 20,000 EUR prize pot and will be crowned the first ESL S.K.I.L.L. Pro League champion.
Christoph 'Meisterbrau' Will: "My favorite for winning the Grand Final of the ESL Pro League Season 1 are the EnRo GRIFFINS.
As they mention in their interview, they lost surprisingly to InFlame in the early part of the group stage and used this wake-up call to focus on their strats and teamwork.
Many of the players in this team like DonQ, Hunt3r and Spectre have been playing SKILL for some time and I had to chance over the months to often listen to their communication, mostly through streams on Twitch.
I always had the impression of a lot of raw skill being in this team (no pun intended), but they were lacking the psychological cohesion that turns good teams into great teams.
Whoever their in-game leader is and whatever they did to renew their focus and teamwork after the loss to InFlame, it clearly worked: their results in the EPL after week 2 are a lot more consistent.
PENTA is by no means an easy opponent, especially since they managed to beat the GRIFFINS in week 7 of the Group Stage and the teams are practice partners, which means a lot of strats might not be usable for both teams.
Overall, PENTA had the better results in the group stage, which combined with the head-to-head win should make them a favorite on paper for many viewers.
I do however think that the stage atmosphere and playing “offline” will put the psychological advantage on EnRo: Several players of their line-up were part of the team that beat Senpai in the Studio Final of the ESL Euro Series in Summer 2014 – which means they (should) know how to win offline.
It is hard to predict, but I think the fact that they are all living in Germany and talk German might also put the crowd more on their side at gamescom– which could make the difference in the ESL Arena!
Ultimately, since both teams are more or less equal in skill and strategies, this small advantage might be everything needed for EnRo to win the Bo5.
I’m definitely excited for the Grand Final and can’t wait to be in the crowd to see live who will take home the trophy and more than 22.000€ - GL HF to both teams!"
3 out of 4 statements lean towards EnRo GRIFFINS winning the ESL S.K.I.L.L. Pro League, but what do you think? Which team do you think will win the Grand Final and which player will carry the most? Let us know what you think via Twitter and Facebook and remember to use the hashtag #ESLProLeague.
You can watch the Grand Final live at gamescom in hall 9 or on Twitch.tv/esl_skillsf2.