Virtus Pro narrowly keep their spot in the ECS

Polish superstars Virtus Pro fought tooth and nail to remain in the ECS.

Virtus Pro came out on top of an exceedingly Esports Championship Series’ promotions series to secure their spot in the league’s main European division.

Heralded as one of the most legendary teams in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the Poles in Virtus Pro have often been criticized for their poor form online—a stark contrast from the team’s form at LAN events.

But Virtus Pro’s generally poor form online shouldn’t overshadow the series between Virtus Pro and the Turkish team Space Soldiers in ECS’ promotion series. Despite ending with a 3-1 victory for Virtus Pro in terms of map score, Space Soldiers mounted an impressive showing against the overwhelming favorites.

The teams played a total of 123 rounds across only four maps, with two of them ending in overtime. Only one map didn’t see either team pick up more than 10 rounds, which incidentally happened to occur on Inferno, where Space Soldiers mowed Virtus Pro down in a convincing 16-8 victory.

Space Soldier star player Ismailcan “XANTARES” Dörtkardeş had a stand-out series. The 21-year-old ended the series with 99 kills. For Virtus Pro, fan-favorite Jarosław “pashaBiceps” Jarząbkowski delivered a vintage performance, dropping 96 kills across all four maps, while only dying a total of 82 times across the four maps.

While the Turkish team is yet to establish itself as a household name—aside from XANTARES who has gained worldwide notoriety for his individual performances–in 2016 the team won multiple smaller scale international events. And given their performance in last night’s matches, it only looks like a matter of time before Space Soldiers make a massive impact at a major event.

With the promotion series over, the third season of ECS now has its entire European field ready for the upcoming regular season.