The twists and turns of ESL Pro League S16’s group stage

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  • Isildur

    IsildurX

ESL PRO LEAGUE

After countless CS:GO matches and incredible plays, we now know which teams advanced to the playoffs of the ESL Pro League and who were left behind in the dust. There were many surprises along the way and we now have a much better idea of what to expect from these teams in the new season. Here are the biggest takeaways – keep a keen eye on these factors and you might just snatch a winning bet or two in the playoffs stage!

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The twists and turns of ESL Pro League S16’s group stage

After countless CS:GO matches and incredible plays, we now know which teams advanced to the playoffs of the ESL Pro League and who were left behind in the dust. There were many surprises along the way and we now have a much better idea of what to expect from these teams in the new season. Here are the biggest takeaways – keep a keen eye on these factors and you might just snatch a winning bet or two in the playoffs stage!

Bet on ESL Pro League Season 16 with Bitsler

Bitsler’s fan-focused betting platform allows seamless use of cryptocurrency assets to wager on the biggest esports events all around the world, ESL Pro League included. With in-play betting, cashout options, various markets and prop bets, and more features rolling out at all times, there’s no better place to take a punt on CS:GO esports than the site made by crypto enthusiasts for crypto enthusiasts. Check us out today!

NA CS is showing signs of life (no, really)

Whisper it, but the eternal meme of North American Counter-Strike may be showing real signs of life. Complexity and Team Liquid made it out of the groups and EG also managed to break their absolutely disgusting and horrendous and awful (insert further negative adjectives here) run of form in the competition where they finished with dead-last for three consecutive seasons, with two 0-5 scorelines. It’s still a long way to go for a region that was decimated by the emergence of Valorant (and the lack of good AWPing and IGLing talent), but the fact that they have multiple playoff representatives is a great thing to see. Complete European dominance can only take the esport so far.

Do Cloud9 count at this juncture? The org is obviously a worldwide presence with a huge fanbase, but they’ve abandoned North American talent and brought in Gambit’s CIS squad. Still, their 5-0 record shows that they haven’t lost a step since their last competitive event, which was ESL One Cologne. They will be one of the scarier teams to face in the playoffs.

s1mple, dev1ce and ZywOo: the best AWPers in the world are on different trajectories

Three top teams, three elite players, three unique stories. Even now, dev1ce continues to sit out competitive play, grinding away on FACEIT until his contract situation with NIP is resolved. The situation remains frustratingly opaque for fans around the world and the Ninjas clearly won’t be able to settle on a permanent pathway until the Danish elephant in the room is farmed out. Their early elimination here, a fifth-placed finish in Group A really makes one think what could have been had dev1ce fully committed himself to the project. Astralis await, surely? They also need the firepower upgrade.

It's a testament to s1mple’s excellence that his showings here are characterized as poor, considering how they’d be more than adequate for almost every other AWPer in the world. It has recently emerged that his hotel room was infested by mold, so perhaps that also explains his muted showings. Plus, you know, everything that’s going on in his homeland. Still, he needs to get back to his pristine self if this transitional NAVI side can challenge in the playoffs.

At least ZywOo is doing well again. The shy Frenchman wasn’t really comfortable in the international Vitality lineup last season, and his performances have suffered for it. No wonder the team rarely made a deep run in the knockout brackets of any notable tournaments. Now, with the Spinx pickup, they seem like a much more robust package, and the 5-0 group stage record may be a sign of much better things to come.

FaZe and G2 suggest this may be the season of international sides

For the longest time, no international team has managed to win a CS:GO Major. Earlier this year, FaZe Clan broke this trend and many others, racking up victory after victory in a stacked competition, shortly after NAVI were declared invincible by the commentariat.

G2’s early showings after their IGL swap also seem quite effective, and if you also throw the new-look Vitality in the mix (or Group C winners MOUZ, even), it’s not too much of a stretch to say that multiple squads with mixed nationalities can finally challenge for titles in CS:GO esports. It would certainly be a brave new world, one that could offer many different new possibilities to general managers when it comes to assembling a lineup for the org. The talent pool is infinitely larger and the potential for synergies is through the roof.

Though it is very difficult to effectively maintain communication protocols in high-level CS if English is your second language, more and more teams show now that it is more than possible to do so. The exodus of some North American player talent is clearly also helping in this regard.

Of the four direct quarterfinal spots, three were taken by international squads, which has to be a first in the ESL Pro League. With FaZe also lurking in the round of 12 and strong contenders to advance against Complexity, we might end up with four such teams in the playoffs in this 24-team elite tournament. In fact, ENCE were the only team of this ilk to have underperformed in Malta, but they did just lose their best player in the form of Spinx to Team Vitality, so perhaps this is an understandable setback.

ESL Pro League Season 16 playoffs: the bracket has taken shape

The playoffs stage begins on September 27. Here’s what the bracket will look like:

ESL Pro League Season 16 playoffs

The action continues to heat up and it’s less than a week to go until the tournament’s exciting conclusion: we at Bitsler will surely be watching!


The twists and turns of ESL Pro League S16’s group stage
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