Third Party Tournaments August 10, 2021

ESL Pro League Season 14: expectations and predictions

ESL Pro League Season 14 is the main CS:GO league, which will be held from August 16 to September 12 in an online format. The league will be attended by 24 teams (America, Oceania, Europe, and the CIS), which will be divided into 4 groups of 6 teams. Despite all the rumors about the LAN in Malta, the organizers abandoned this venture due to travel restrictions related to COVID-19.

In ESL Pro League Season 14, group winners will no longer qualify for the semifinals

As before, the top three teams from each group will advance to the pro-league finals. First-place teams will start their playoff journey in the quarterfinals. Teams ranked second and third in the group will play in the quarterfinals. 

The CIS region is represented by five teams: NaVi, Gambit, Virtus.pro, Spirit, and Entropiq. All teams except Gambit and Entropiq are assigned to different groups.

ESL Pro League Season 14 participants

Group А:

Source: ESL
  • Heroic;
  • Astralis;
  • Vitality;
  • Spirit;
  • ENCE;
  • Bad News Bears.

Group B:

Source: ESL
  • G2;
  • Virtus.Pro;
  • Complexity;
  • OG;
  • Renegades;
  • Sinners.

Group С: 

Source: ESL
  • Natus Vincere;
  • FaZe;
  • BIG;
  • mousesports;
  • Evil Geniuses;
  • Fnatic.

Group D:

Source: ESL
  • NiP;
  • Liquid;
  • TeamOne;
  • Entropiq;
  • Gambit;
  • FURIA.

Group А

Heroic 

The Danish team, which showed an excellent game against Gambit in the grand final of ESL Pro League Season 13, beating them with a score of 3-2. Six months later, the level of Heroic's game has worsened and the latest results in tournaments confirm this. After winning the pro-league, Heroic had no special achievements, but only 3-4th places at DreamHack Masters Spring 2021 and BLAST Premier Spring Showdown 2021. Despite the disappointing results, Heroic is still on the list of favorites to get out of the group from first place and win the 14th season.

Astralis

Another Danish team has shown terrible results over the past year compared to the period 2018-2020.

Astralis were winners of ESL Pro League Season 12 Europe and ESL Pro League Season 8 

For 2021 Astralis won nothing and did not reach the final stages. The maximum achievement was the LAN IEM Cologne 2021. Astralis, quite predictably, showed a much better result on LAN than online. The Danish team recently signed young sniper Philip "Lucky" Ewald who previously played on Tier 2-3 stage, to the position of the sixth player. 

Vitality

The main disappointment of this year. Despite having the best player on the roster for 2020, they didn't win a single tournament, and at IEM Cologne 2021 they ranked 9-12. Vitality can hardly be called the favorite of their group, much less the tournament. They and Astralis have a similar situation. Despite a successful period in 2019-2020, some dark times began for both teams in 2021, which lasts to this day. But things could change at the ESL Pro League. 

Spirit

The Russian team is not the brightest CIS representative. Despite equal games with Vitality, Heroic, FaZe, and Astralis, the "dragons" lack the experience and skills to beat those top teams. Against the aforementioned trio, who will play against Spirit in the same group, the latter doesn't pull off as favorites, and their chances of making it out of the group are negligible. But, perhaps, precisely because of the underestimated roster, Spirit will turn out to be a "dark horse" and will advance to the playoffs.

ENCE

This is the case when after a few high-profile victories and reaching the finals of the main tournament of the year, the team "goes into the sunset" and participates only in tournaments of Tier 2-3 level. All the team's performances on the tier-1 stage end in failure, and they are likely to meet the same fate in ESL Pro League Season 14.  

Bad News Bears

Outright outsiders of their group. They have no experience of playing in such a league and no significant victories. The Bad News Bears level is a tier 2-3 tournament and championships, but not a tier-1 scene. They may surprise the community and take one card from the same Astralis, but this is the maximum expectation from Bad News Bears.

Group B

G2

One of the main favorites to win ESL Pro League Season 14. In recent tournaments, the French team has shown excellent results. Despite the second and third places, G2 regularly reaches the playoffs and finals of major championships - at IEM Cologne 2021, the team reached the grand final but lost to NaVi.

Virtus.Pro

CIS-team, which is included in the top 5 best teams in the world. The guys didn't just play with top teams like Astralis, Vitality, and G2 - they successfully beat them. VP may be able to leave his group without any problems, having overcome the same G2, and get to the grand final. However, winning the final is an unlikely scenario, because VP falls short of Gambit and NaVi.

Complexity

Unstable team. Like many teams, before the pandemic, Complexity successfully made it to the playoffs of major tournaments: ECS Season 7 Finals, ELEAGUE CS: GO Invitational 7, Dream Hack Open Winter 2018, and Dreamhack Open Atlanta 2018. After the pandemic, the Complexity game level began to decline. Now the team is participating in the qualifiers for tier-2 teams.

OG

A team that is similar to Complexity can qualify from the group but fail in the playoffs. Overall, OG has a similar history with Complexity. The European team has recently played only tier-2 tournaments and qualifications. But in this tournament there should be "dark horses" and in their group, both teams are perfect for this role.

Renegades

At IEM Cologne 2021, the team finished 16th. That was the end of their achievements on the tier-1 stage. Despite dominating their region (Oceania), the team constantly loses to European and American teams. Perhaps for the Australians, this tournament will be an excellent opportunity to prove that they are top-1 in their region for a reason and can play on a par with teams from stronger regions.

Sinners

The only thing we know about the Sinners is that they regularly play in tier-2 or 3 tournaments and don't appear on the tier-1 scene. Also, it includes multiple participants in the majors and the legend of the CS-scene - oskar. Without oskar, the team would not have pumped their skills to the level of the league, but you should not expect a sensation from the Czechs, since they have no experience of playing with such teams and the maximum they can do is to win one of the matches.

Group C

Natus Vincere

According to bookmakers, NaVi is the main favorite of the league and a contender for the championship this season. After the arrival of b1t, the team level of play has improved and now they can easily take tournament after tournament. 

FaZe

The main sensation of IEM Cologne 2021. FaZe is a team that no one believed in, but they were able to prove that they can play and win on the tier-1 scene. Will they be able to build on their success at ESL Pro League Season 14? Most likely yes, because thanks to the last tournament, they got the motivation to show their best game and results.

BIG

The German team that at the beginning of the pandemic held the top spot in the HLTV rankings for a while. Now BIG has dropped down to #8. The guys show themselves well at various tournaments and championships in the online format. In season 14, they have a chance to make the playoffs and even try to make it to the semifinals. 

mousesports

Another team that feels like a fish out of water online and has a good chance of making the playoffs. 2020 was not a great year for the mousesports. In 2019, they unexpectedly won the ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals, defeating Fnatic in the finals. The European team has every chance to repeat this success, but already in the online format. 

Evil Geniuses

We don't expect much from the Evil Geniuses, not even a little sensation. The North American team was practically unremarkable in the period from 2020 to 2021. Perhaps it's because of the pandemic since EG won two major tournaments before 2020 - ESL One New York 2019 and StarSeries i-League Season 8. Will Evil Geniuses make it to play-off? Hardly.

Fnatic

Most recently, Fnatic kicked JW and announced an international roster. Despite all the reshuffles, it is unlikely that the team has time to play well as a team and prepare for the tournament. The Swedish team is, albeit temporarily, an outsider, as it is still unknown what lineup they plan to play in the pro-league.

Group D

NiP

After one of the strongest snipers in the world - device - joined the team, NiP began to be listed as a favorite in many tournaments. In this league, except for Gambit, there are no serious competitors and the Swedish team can easily make it to the playoffs, and, if all goes well, to the semifinals. 

Liquid

Liquid was the strongest team in the North American region from 2018 to 2020 and even became Grand Slam champions. Today their level of play is far from ideal. In the Pro League, the situation is similar. The Liquid will get out of the group, but we can expect at most one more playoff win from them. 

TeamOne

The Brazilian team is on the 49th line in the world rankings. At the moment they have no chance in the group and, most likely, they will take the last place.

Entropiq

Since the beginning of 2021, the Russian team has been showing decent results online. For example, winning the European Development Championship 4 and the FunSpark ULTI 2021 Europe Regional Series 2. Entropiq has practically no chance to get out of the group, as they do not have enough experience playing with such teams. But maybe the team will beat one of the favorites like Gambit or Liquid. 

Gambit

Another major contender from the CIS region. In the last pro-league, Gambits lost in the grand final to Heroic with a close score of 3-2, finishing second. This year they have a great opportunity to rehabilitate themselves. Bookmakers predict that Gambit will face NaVi in the finals. 

FURIA

The Brazilian team, although not considered the main favorite, is the leading "dark horse" of the group, and the tournament as a whole. In 2020, they performed well at the DreamHack Masters Winter 2020 Europe, BLAST Premier Fall 2020 Showdown. In their region, the team won at IEM New York 2020 North America and ESL Pro League Season 12 North America. FURIA's results deteriorated slightly in early 2021, but the team has played well in recent tournaments - making the playoff stage in 90% of them. 

The 14th season of the ESL Pro League kicks off on August 16 and runs through mid-September online. The prize pool is $ 750,000 and a slot for BLAST Premier: World Final 2021.

Source: GetinPro Ru

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