ESL Pro League season 14 group stage preview

After a brief however much-needed participant break, all eyes in CS:GO are shifting in direction of the subsequent main occasion, ESL Pro League season 14. Happening over practically a whole month, 24 groups will compete in a round-robin group stage consisting of 4 teams of six, with the highest three from every group advancing to a 12-team playoff. The highest workforce from every group will advance on to the quarterfinals.

The checklist of groups attending is a mixture between everlasting ESL accomplice groups, a number of the prime ranked groups on the ESL World Rankings, and prime groups from ESEA Premier. The groups had been introduced on July 23, with groups officially revealed on July 26. The teams won’t play over one another and can play so as starting on Aug. 16.

Right here’s a quick preview of every of the 4 teams at ESL Pro League season 14.

Group A (Aug. 16 to twenty)

  • Heroic
  • Astralis
  • Staff Vitality
  • Staff Spirit
  • ENCE
  • Unhealthy Information Bear
Picture through ESL

The 2 groups which have dominated Danish and worldwide CS:GO, Astralis and Heroic, spotlight the opening group of ESL Pro League. The reigning champions Heroic, who rose shortly to the highest of the sport throughout the on-line period, seemed just a little shaky of their first LAN look at IEM Cologne. However Pro League is the positioning of one in every of their best triumphs, capped off by a legendary championship-winning clutch from their leader cadiaN.

After a sluggish begin to the yr by which they misplaced their famous person AWPer dev1ce, Astralis excelled of their return to LAN, reaching the semifinals of Cologne. Bubzkji performed effectively in his LAN debut, and the famend core gamers confirmed up of their pure atmosphere: massive offline occasions. Now bolstered with a brand new younger sniper in Philip “⁠Fortunate⁠” Ewald, one thing workforce chief Lukas “⁠gla1ve⁠” Rossander said they needed this month, they wish to construct on such a formidable displaying.

Exterior of IEM Summer season, Vitality have been missing in relation to offering the world-class high quality of CS:GO their followers count on, and wish a scorching begin to group play. Staff Spirit are searching for their first massive worldwide occasion end result since IEM Katowice earlier this yr. Each ENCE and Unhealthy Information Bears may have a number of work to do to carve out a prime spot on this group.

Group B (Aug. 21 to 26)

  • G2 Esports
  • Virtus Pro
  • Complexity
  • OG
  • forZe (changing Renegades)
  • Sinners Esports
Picture through ESL

Whereas the inevitable loss to Natus Vincere in the finals had to sting, G2 had been one of many few groups to really thrive within the return to LANs at IEM Cologne. The French-Bosnian aspect delivered from their first collection in group stage, taking down Complexity, BIG, Gambit, and Astralis en path to the grand finals, on the shoulders of all-start performances and clutches from their star NiKo.

This wasn’t only a results of enjoying on LAN although; their type improved dramatically over the previous few months compared to NiKo’s first few months with G2. The swap again to on-line shouldn’t derail them, and the remainder of the group ought to be anxious.

Virtus Pro reached the grand finals of IEM Katowice in February and seemed like a top-five workforce globally however have fallen off since then, together with an abysmal end result on the StarLadder CIS RMR occasion. They made playoffs in Cologne however have to do higher, particularly regionally, earlier than the key in October. OG adopted up what was speculated to be a breakthrough grand finals run at IEM Summer season with a stinker in Cologne and have to rebound quickly.

That stinker came at the hands of Renegades, a welcome shock at Cologne for Australian followers. Sadly for these followers, they received’t be capable to see the workforce at Pro League after they were forced to withdraw to due to travel restrictions. Taking Renegades’ place is forZe, who at the moment are creeping their method up the CIS regional main rankings. Sinners Esports have traveled from ESEA Open in Europe all the best way up by means of Premier, sweeping AGO twice within the season 37 playoffs to achieve Pro League. With a number of query marks surrounding different groups, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Czech workforce steal a playoffs spot.

Group C (Aug. 27 to 31)

  • Natus Vincere
  • FaZe Clan
  • BIG
  • mousesports
  • Evil Geniuses
  • Fnatic
Picture through ESL

Something apart from a Na’Vi first-place end can be surprising. As of proper now they’re the world’s finest CS:GO workforce, led in no small half by the very best participant on the planet proper now, s1mple. Even by his personal unbelievable requirements, his efficiency was excellent, even record-breaking, and your entire workforce performed their half to perfections.

Now whereas G2’s efficiency on LAN was a continuation of excellent type, FaZe Clan’s run at Cologne was an surprising spark the roster completely wanted. A sluggish begin to the Twistzz-karrigan period acquired the increase it wanted with a formidable run by means of the play-in stage after which the decrease bracket of Group B, capped off with a defining win over Gambit in playoffs. Sure, they ran right into a buzzsaw in Na’Vi within the semis, however there was no stopping s1mple anyway. Let’s see if FaZe builds on their breakthrough.

Mousesports acquired a much-needed win at Flashpoint Three for the needs of main qualification and can look to enhance off an excellent, however not nice, Cologne run. Each BIG and Evil Geniuses are on the lookout for some extra constant outcomes, with the latter debuting new coach daps. Fnatic is in the middle of a rebuild and don’t actually have a full roster composed but, so expectations for them are low.

Group D (Sept. 1 to five)

  • Gambit
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas
  • Staff Liquid
  • Entropiq
  • Staff One
Picture through ESL

If there’s a workforce apart from Heroic that’s welcoming a return to on-line play, it’s in all probability Gambit. The CIS aspect has been electrical since successful IEM Katowice, including IEM Summer season, EPIC CIS League Spring, and BLAST Spring Finals trophies to their cupboard. However their LAN debut left a bitter style of their mouths, dropping in heartbreaking trend to G2 in teams, after which being upset by FaZe. Gambit’s wrath would possibly go away the remainder of the group unable to get up till September ends.

After their second place end at Flashpoint Three, NiP’s begin to the dev1ce period has been just a little sluggish. Of their final occasion previous to buying the Danish sniper star, nonetheless, they reached the semifinals of ESL Pro League season 13 after topping their group. They finally fell to Gambit in playoffs, however with dev1ce on their aspect, perhaps this time might be completely different.

In some way, all the Brazilian gamers ended up in a single single group, with each Brazilian groups FURIA and Staff One, in addition to Staff Liquid’s legendary sniper FalleN. All three groups lengthy with CIS sleeper Entropiq will doubtless need to duke it out with one another to assert the group’s third spot, and looking out on the present HLTV rankings, it’s actually a tossup with Liquid, FURIA, and Entropiq all close to different. This looks like a gaggle of demise, and everybody’s in for some robust matchups. | ESL Pro League season 14 group stage preview


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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