The pools for the finals of the ninth season of the ESL Pro League have been drawn. The 16 participating teams, including teams such as Team Liquid, FaZe Clan and Fnatic, have been split into two double-elimination groups that will begin on June 18th. Let’s take a look at both groups and see which teams are the likely candidates to qualify for the playoffs that take place at the Sud de France Arena in Montpellier.
The winners of each group will advance to the semi-finals of the playoffs, while the teams that finish in second and third will be placed into the first playoff round. The eventual winner will take home the majority share of the $600,000 prize pool and a point towards the second season of the Intel Grand Slam. Currently Team Liquid are leading the way with two tournament wins to their name.
Headlining group A are the Danes of Astralis, who have recently dropped to second in the world rankings for the first time in several weeks. Joining them are Fnatic, NRG, G2, Grayhound, Cloud9, Heroic and the Brazilian side of DETONA.
Looking at the group, Astralis are the heavy favourites to take the top spot and book their place in the playoffs while Fnatic and NRG look to cause the upset and give the second-best team in the world a run for their money.
Top 3 Prediction:
1st - Astralis2nd - Fnatic3rd - NRG
Astralis will want to reclaim their number 1 spot in the world rankings
Group B looks to be a closer contest that group A. Current number one roster Team Liquid have been drawn alongside FaZe Clan and North who are both situated comfortably in the world’s top ten teams. TyLoo, Mousesports, Luminosity and MIBR who will be intent on rebounding with a strong performance after falling in the group stage at ECS Season 7 finals in London
As the top team in the world, it’s difficult not to place Liquid as the favourites to walk away with first place in the group. As for second and third place, it could be a much closer battle with FaZe Clan showing signs of improvement at ECS and North also performing well.
In my opinion, MIBR are the underdog team to keep an eye on. After their disappointing exit from ECS, they’re heading into the season finals with a point to prove and making the playoffs over the likes of FaZe and North will be the perfect way to bounce back after a poor result.
Top 3 Predictions:
1st - Team Liquid2nd - North3rd - FaZe Clan
Team Liquid won DreamHack Dallas 2019
Which teams do you see making it out of the groups? Who have you got taking home the trophy at the end of the tournament? Tweet us!
Written ByJon Nicholson@MrJonno_95