Over a month of CS with one of the best groups on the earth, and we check out our favorites to make an affect. Listed below are our Eight Groups to Watch at ESL Professional League 16.
Like every sport, Counter-Strike: World Offensive has its tales. There are tales of rivalries, betrayals, upsets, comebacks, ascents, downfalls, profitable streaks — you identify it. These tales mix to make CS:GO the success story that it’s, and what has cemented its standing as such greater than anything is the near-mythical tournaments. These are occasions that you must see to consider, they usually have elevated the sport into the topmost echelon of esports.
The depth of the sport, large prizes, and insane crowds that collect to look at top-level tournaments have made the sport what it’s right now. It ought to come as no shock that a few of these tournaments are so well-liked and so very storied that they’re nearly like film franchises in their very own proper. One such match is the ESL Professional League.
With Season 16 of the fabled match developing, CS:GO lovers are overestimated about their groups’ probabilities of lifting the trophy. No fewer than 24 groups shall be participating, with 12 shifting on to the playoffs. On condition that the match is simply weeks away now, we needed to level out the eight groups we consider will make the quarter-finals — and why.
1. Natus Vincere
Powered by its charming however lethal AWPer Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostilev, the CIS facet has been making headlines for the higher a part of two years now — together with the one they created by profitable Professional League 14. There’s not a lot to be stated about Na’ Vi’s 4 core members that haven’t already been stated. Nevertheless, the crew is presently nonetheless attempting to get again to their barely older, extra rock-solid selves with newcomer Viktor “sdy” Orudzhev.
The Ukrainian facet shocked everybody once they recruited the previous Group Spirit participant. Whereas sdy hasn’t precisely been stellar, he has a minimum of not been a whole letdown, enjoying an honest position in his facet reaching the Grand Last of the Cologne Main. However, it stays to be seen whether or not the crew can proceed to carry out nicely and fill the void left behind by Kiril “Boombl4” Mikhailov.
2. FaZe Clan
Unquestionably the most well liked crew on the market proper now, FaZe simply can’t appear to cease profitable. After years of swaying between terrible performances and coming tantalizingly near main prizes solely to falter on the final second, the crew of transatlantic megastars appears to lastly have discovered its groove.
It’s unattainable to select one of the best participant from the form of expertise FaZe brings. It was already a crew of superstars when the celebs aligned to land them Estonian rifler Robin “ropz” Kool, but it surely was this alteration that appears to have remodeled the crew from sleeping giants to world-beaters. It can take a very particular effort to stop the defending champions from safeguarding their crown.
As soon as nearly the obvious inclusion and the crew with arguably essentially the most followers, Astralis is a far cry from what their indelible legacy would recommend them to be. If something, they’ve basically switched locations with FaZe Clan when it comes to efficiency. Gone are the glory days of all-Danish domination.
It’s not as if the expertise isn’t there, although. The crew has often been displaying what it’s able to, however has developed a extreme drawback with regard to closing video games. However, with Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth considerably coming again into kind, Astralis can upset one of the best of groups supplied Benjamin “blameF” Bremer and Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke pop off.
4. Group Liquid
One of the crucial unlucky groups on the market, Liquid has seen each shade of the CS:GO spectrum. The crew has gone from being a hair’s breadth away from profitable a significant to struggling to stay aggressive within the comparatively low-key North American scene.
That being stated, the arrival of Joshua “oSee” Ohm has made the crew considerably stronger. If they’ll recruit a stable fifth participant, the pressure of nature that’s Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski will most likely take them to a couple titles with sheer willpower. This will likely come as a shock inclusion to many, however we consider this squad has super potential.
5. FURIA Esports
When Vinicius “VINI” Figueiredo left to hitch Brazilian superteam Imperial, many individuals thought Furia would turn into a shadow of their previous selves. Incoming participant Rafael “saffee” Costa, although, appears to have injected a brand new sense of intent into the crew.
There’s nonetheless lots of refining that Furia should do if they’re to create any main shockwaves within the CS scene, regardless of possessing the firepower to take action. Their predominant drawback appears to be consistency and the shortage of self-discipline that appears to plague the overwhelming majority of South American squads in nearly each sport or sport. Many individuals may fancy Vitality or G2 over them, however there’s no denying their potential.
One of many longest-running squads within the scene proper now, Cloud9 has been by means of thick and skinny. Their now-beloved roster has garnered a robust fanbase within the CIS area. Though they haven’t just lately tasted anyplace close to the form of success they loved within the pandemic-induced on-line period of CS, the crew however has been bettering on LAN.
If Dmitriy “sh1ro” Sokolov can get his previous kind again, the crew can nonetheless attain the dizzying heights of top-level match finals. Abai “HObbit” Hasenov is an especially succesful fragging In-Sport Chief (IGL), and his presence within the squad makes it an ever-present risk to any facet. Plus, it’s onerous to not love a passionate squad of close-knit gamers, and Cloud9
7. Movistar Riders
Talking of passionate squads with close-knit gamers, there hasn’t been a higher Cinderella story in CS:GO than that of Movistar Riders since Cloud9’s miraculous main win. The Spanish underdogs gained thousands and thousands of hearts with their unimaginable run eventually months’ IEM Cologne, the place they made it to the Semi-final.
Few count on them to repeat their feat at this occasion, however a crew with a lot expertise and the prospect is difficult to maintain down — particularly since they’ve additionally garnered top-level LAN expertise. Though the squad itself is fantastically balanced, their star participant is undoubtedly Alvaro “SunPayus” Garcia. If you happen to like thrilling CS from hungry younger squads stuffed with promise, look no additional.
The German giants have a horrible behavior of choking in greater tournaments, however we have now a intestine feeling that they may simply make it far this time round. The boys at Berlin Worldwide Gaming are brimming with expertise, however have a historical past of dropping the plot at important moments.
If the crew fulfills our prophecy, it can nearly actually be spurred on by star sniper Florian “syrsoN” Rische and IGL Johannes “tabseN” Wodarz. BIG has been stumbling for too lengthy, and we predict that the time is ripe for some “massive” modifications of their outcomes.
CS is a sport that depends closely on momentum and the shape on a given day, so these predictions are not at all concrete. Nevertheless, that’s a part of the great thing about the sport, and as admirers, we are able to however watch in awe because the masters go about their fascinating commerce.