Right after Group A concludes, Group B will fill up the broadcasting hours over on the EPL channel. G2, Complexity, OG, and more will be in the running for three playoffs spots. G2 may me the favorites on paper, but is that the case in reality?
We saw quite a few upsets in Group A. Following the summer break, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, these teams have to get back into the groove. Unfortunately, the current ESL Pro League Season isn’t taking place offline either, which means that we’re back to the same online environment we’ve had prior to IEM Cologne.
COMPLEXITY FIELD STAND-IN
Finally, Complexity secure a top-tier fifth man, but bad luck strikes them again: Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke has broken his hand during a particularly unfortunate fall. Four to six weeks of rest and therapy are now upon him. In the meantime, Niels Christian “NaToSaphiX” Sillassen will swing the mouse for Complexity, giving them at least a fighting chance. But this is obviously a big disappointment and will hinder the overall team development. Patrick “es3tag” Hansen is new to the roster and won’t be able to kick things off the way he or any other player had imagined.
So the team’s chances won’t be that great. Sure, the Top 3 may be a realistic goal, but they’ll have to defend this placement against some strong teams. On top of that, this temporary roster move will create perfect conditions for other teams to upset them.
The full #ESLProLeague Season 14 groups schedule! ⤵️
ℹ️ The order of the matches on the 4th day of every group is decided by the results in the group up until that point!
Get ready for August 16th with the restart of the CS calendar! 💥 pic.twitter.com/fJFPwCkkpq
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) August 5, 2021
VIRTUS.PRO TRYING TO BREAK THROUGH AGAIN
Unlike Gambit, who managed to stay at the top after IEM Katowice 2021, Virtus.pro haven’t managed to get back up. They might be part of the Top 5, but every opponent in EPL Group B might be dangerous for them.
The management has already teased roster changes should the team fail to qualify for the upcoming Major tournament. So the players are under an increased pressure to perform and live up to expectations.
Sinners Esports enter the group as underdogs and will likely struggle more than the rest to keep up. It took Tomáš “oskar” Šťastný long enough to get back to the bigger leagues, but ESL Pro League might actually be an outlier here. Prior to the summer break, they only managed to beat a few better teams, but they rarely face Top 10 talent. Their dominance over the Tier 3 scene won’t help them that much here.
ARE OG FINALLY WARMED UP?
Even after setting their new lineup in stone and winning a Spring Sweet Spring event, OG are far from being stable. This showed during IEM Cologne, which they left way too early on. Now, it stands to question whether they’re ready for the fight. Nobody should expect them to place ahead of G2 Esports. But the Top 3 should be a fair goal and something we can expect out of the roster.
But with all these shaky performances that OG have put up lately, a team like forZe might just as well steal an upset win. Just like Sinners, the Russians lack experience with top tier teams, but they’re known for their upset potential.
G2 ESPORTS WANT FIRST PLACE
Nikola “NiKo” Kovač and his team are entering the tournament expecting to win at least their group. This is totally justified. After all, they made a strong second place at IEM Cologne. Natus Vincere were the better team that day, but they’re all the way in Group C. So G2 are the favorites on paper. No team can match them in terms of achievements over the past few months.
But unfortunately, we know this G2 all too well. Consistency isn’t their strong suit. It’s common to see them enter the Top 4 in one tournament and then bomb out in the Group Stage of the next one. So there is no guarantee that they’ll place ahead of Complexity or OG. If they manage to retain their level from Cologne, they should still have the biggest shot at victory in EPL Group B.
The matches will commence soon. ESL Pro League doesn’t miss a beat and with the exception of one break day, we viewers will be dragged along for the action at a steady pace. The fight for the three playoffs spots will be close and tense.