Welcome to the second part preview of the upcoming ESL Pro League S11. In this part, we will focus on the remaining 12 teams. If you'd like to know about the format of Pro League or the other teams, be sure to visit our ESL Pro League 2020 Preview Part 1.
On paper, the recent performance of Astralis doesn't look that bad. They secured a 3rd-4th finish at IEM Katowice, which was, of course, a very stacked event. On the other hand, BLAST Premier was a total let down. But it's important to understand in what manner these losses occurred. For starters, in BLAST Premier they lost two bo3's to Complexity and a reformed Na'Vi squad. But since it's the first tournament of the year, we can still look past that. At IEM Katowice 2019, everything was looking good for Astralis, up until the semifinal. Here, even though their opponents Na'Vi played stellar Counter-Strike, the Danes seemed lost. Even if the team individuals didn't hit their shots, they should still have landed their smokes and have had the basic teamwork down. But nothing went their way and rightfully, they got demolished 16-5 on two maps.
Losing in that manner is incredibly frustrating. They are still the best team in the world, clinging on to the number 1 spot. Let's not forget what this team is capable of - championships and trophies. We expect Astralis to regain their strength after such a frustrating start to the year and make it out of the groups of ESL Pro League. Can they achieve even more? Absolutely. But due to their recent form, we wouldn't be surprised if they lose a map or a series in their group stage.
What's there to say about ENCE that hasn't been said already. It comes down to regurgitating the same narratives. Kicking out AleksiB was a wrong move, suNny doesn't hold up to the level he was at mousesports and allu's leadership is something left to be desired. Even AleksiB mentioned that his former team uses 70% of the tactic he had developed. What's also frustrating is that the young talent Sergej has been mediocre since AleksiB left the squad.
As of now, there's no redeemable feature about this team. From event to event they're finishing last. They are dropping maps and series to opponents you couldn't have thought about six months ago. If there's a place for ENCE, it will probably be dead-last in the groups.
Still, if they bring back their IEM Katowice 2019 game, they could prove profitable when it comes to ESL Pro League S11 Betting.
Credit where credit is due. FaZe has stopped its downwards spiral in the rankings as they've reached their lowest low by becoming #21 in the world. Now they've had more time to practice and adequately implement coldzera. Not only that, broky has been given a new role in this team, and his performance has also improved significantly. Just in BLAST Premier we witnessed what a well-oiled FaZe clan can accomplish. Decisive victories against teams like Liquid and NiP. Even though they didn't secure playoffs in Katowice 2020, they had to play Na'vi twice and was the only team, alongside Fnatic, to have a competitive series against the team from CIS.
Without a doubt, this is the best FaZe we've seen in recent months. As heartbreaking as the loss was in Katowice, they should have no issues powering through the group stages of Pro League.
Another great story of a team turning the corner. Adding Golden was the best move they could've made. In comparison to Xizt, Golden brings more structure into the team. Not only that, but it's fair to call Golden, one of the best fragging IGL's at this point in the game. The impact he had was unbelievable. He could make entry; he could hold bombsites and still call strategies. The best part is, he wasn't alone in this endeavour as his teammates also performed. Even if Flush had a poor tournament, being the lowest-rated player in Fnatic at 0.94, there's something this new Fnatic has uncovered – consistency.
Fnatic has become a staple name in the top echelon of Counter-Strike. The playing field of ESL Pro League S11 will be tough, but this team should strive for nothing less than playoffs. Depending on their opponents, they might even be in a position to top their group. If you're betting on CS:GO, keep a close eye of Fnatic.
Now, this is a project few expected to succeed. In the span of a few months, they came from losing to two stand-ins at cs_summit to fighting on the big stage of IEM Katowice. How did this team improve so rapidly? For starters, just like for many other organisations, they have now had enough time to practice properly. With practice, they've changed up the roles, and nexa has yet again embraced the role of IGL. Under his leadership, the team successfully beat OG and 100 Thieves in BLAST Premier. At IEM Katowice 2020, they demolished the very same 100 Thieves without giving them more than five rounds in a bo3. All tournament long this team looked solid. KennyS found his new form and the weakest player JaCkZ has been stepping up in crucial situations. All seems to be going well in the G2 camp.
Reaching the finals in Katowice was an excellent achievement for this team, but we still yet to seem to perform in a consistent manner. Hopes and expectations are high for this team coming into EPL, and they're looking competent to perform at ESL Pro League S11.
Mousesports had a good start this year. They played in the GG.Bet Ice Challenge and won the final against Na'Vi 3-1. All was looking well in the mousesports camp. Even the favourites Astralis believed, that the next best team to win Katowice 2020 had to be mousesports. But the story goes like this. Mousesports were halted at the upper bracket quarterfinals by G2 Esports. For a spot in the playoffs, they took a hard hit against 100 Thieves. Mousesports made many mistakes in their last map of the game which ended up costing them the tournament.
An underwhelming result for the team, but it's not as bad as one might think. Ropz continued to play stellar Counter-Strike and finished the event as the third highest-rated player. This feels like more of a slip-up by mousesports rather than a trend for the nearby future.
It has been an incredible tournament for Na'vi. They've shown signs of improvements with Perfecto. But no one could've anticipated this level of play. They had a difficult journey through the group stages and barely closed out the last map in the lower bracket game against FaZe. But in the playoffs, it was a whole new Na'vi. From the quarterfinals onwards, s1mple & co put up a ridiculous performance. He would make entry, his sniping was incredible, and he could even clutch in the late rounds. Not to mention the numerous Reddit worthy plays he pulled-off in those matches. But it wasn't just him; it was electronic, it was Boombl4, and it was flamie stepping up as well. When every single individual could win their aim duals, they had 14-1 halves against their opposition.
IEM Katowice was an excellent tournament for Na'vi. After such an impressive run, confidence will be oozing from these players. In terms of individuals, they seem to have the scariest rosters out there. The betting odds are in their favour at ESL Pro League S11.
The Ninjas have two critical pieces in their puzzle; Plopski and nawwk. These are the two players that seem to have the most amount of impact on the server. The problem is, even if these individuals perform, it doesn't always result in a win for NiP. Maybe there's too much space given for the new guys, and that's why the older guys lag behind.
Overall, NiP just seems to be a mediocre team. They've shown that they have good individuals in their team, but that doesn't seem to be enough for them to win series. Now that THREAT has come into the coaching position; maybe he will make the necessary improvements. But we wouldn't get our hopes up for this team to make it out of the groups.
Vitality has had a bumpy start in 2020. Not a good showing at BLAST Premier as they lost to both Na'Vi and Complexity. At Katowice 2020, they had to face the Ninjas, which was a successful win. But then they went on to lose to Astralis and the reformed FaZe clan. The news doesn't stop there as IGL Alex is pondering to leave the team. If that is indeed the case, they will not only lose leadership but an impactful player as well.
This is not a good situation for Vitality. If Vitality end up losing their IGL, they don't have any suitable replacements. This means shox might have to take that mantle and that could really screw with the system they have at play. Because of this and their recent showings, it's fair to assume that Vitality will struggle through the initial group stages. Even if they somehow to make it out of ESL Pro League S11 groups, there will be much better opponents in the playoffs to deal with the Frenchmen. ESL Pro League S11 betting on Vitality could prove tricky, but also profitable.
It's unthinkable how North got rid of MSL after their win at Dreamhack Masters Stockholm 2018. Since then he has been cast to the wayside, working with Optic in his most recent endeavour. MSL must've had a smile on his face when the North organisation contacted him to return. Now MSL is back and so far it's not a good outlook. They've played in the two most recent Dreamhack Open Championships. In Leipzig they got bested by the other Danish teams Mad Lions and Heroic. But that was just the first tournament for the team. A month later they went to Anaheim where the result improved as now they lost in the semifinals in a close game against Gen.G.
It's a cool revenge story for MSL to return back to North. But novelty aside, it's just so hard to look at this project. Still, the same names like Kjaearbye, aizy and gade are lingering around this team.
There haven't been any changes as of yet, so it seems this team will compete in ESL Pro League S11 with the current roster. If that is indeed the case, we can see practically all the teams being capable of beating this lineup on any given day. Look the other way when you see North if you're planning on betting on ESL Pro League S11.
At the end of 2019 and at the start of 2020 ForZe looked good for their level. They went to Epicenter and won against their old rivals Virtus.Pro. Afterwards, they won a bo3 series against EG. Heading into the start of the year they acquire victories in online cs against Winstrike, CR4ZY and Heroic. All is looking well in their camp. But external factors, like Na'vi trying to purchase Fl1t and Fl1t "refusing the offer" must've had had the impact. At Dreamhack Open Anaheim, they finish dead last with L's against North and Endpoint. In the WESG Russian qualifiers, they couldn't even beat Team Spirit.
After such devastating losses, the team simply can not be in a good mental state. If they even fail in the CIS closed qualifiers that could be another catastrophic hit from which, we don't think the team recovers. As for the ESL Pro League S11, they don't spark any confidence or any upset potential anymore.
We haven't seen much of Heroic, but they've been pretty consistently lingering in the top 20 – top 15 margins of Counter-Strike. With that said, their recent performances reflect the level they are at. They can beat the ForZe's of the world, Sprout's and North's. But once they have to go up against someone better, they seem to crumble.
Again, this is one of the placeholder teams. With the level of competition, it will be incredibly difficult to secure the playoffs.
This event will undoubtedly be one of the best CS:GO events we'll see this year. If you are looking to make a buck while enjoying the spectacle by ESL, be sure to check out our ESL Pro League Betting Odds page.