ESL Pro League S16 group A results

Group A of ESL Pro League S16 is finally over and the results are far from what we imagined.... Radu M. | 4. September 2022

Group A of ESL Pro League S16 is finally over and the results are far from what we imagined. However, the best teams still managed to qualify for the playoffs.

In particular, Natus Vincere survived the group despite losing their last three matches and will need to seriously reconsider their strategy if they want to qualify for the IEM Rio Major.

Results and impressions

Group A of ESL Pro League Season 16 started well for Natus Vincere and Team Vitality. Both teams won their first two matches and looked like nothing could stop them. In Vitality’s case, the statistics proved to be 100% correct. In fact, the French team did even better than expected, finishing the group with five consecutive victories.

Vitality were the only competitor that impressed in this group. It seems that the roster composed of French and Danish players has reached complete fluency and will soon become one of the world’s best.

Another competitor that did well in group A was Fnatic. We haven’t seen Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansson and his crew play this well in a long time. They finished the group with a record of 3 W – 2 L, defeating Endpoint, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and Team Spirit but losing against Natus Vincere and Vitality.

The two teams that everyone expected to do well and played poorly were Na’Vi and NiP. In Na’Vi’s case, we still don’t understand what happened. Just days ago, they were unbeatable. Now they struggle to win even against much weaker opponents.

It’s a complete mystery that will require serious thought on the part of Andrii “B1ad3” Horodenskyi. The problem is clearly not Viktor “sdy” Orudzhev. And it’s hard to put the blame on any one given player.

The issue seems to be that Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev is no longer performing at superhuman levels and the team’s strategies are getting read quite easily by the other competitors. Na’Vi have reached a point where they need to reinvent themselves again. When you’re at the top for such a long time, everyone studies you.

As we can imagine, any world-class coach who spends dozens of hours watching a team’s replays will eventually figure out how that team plays. To remain at the top, any competitor, no matter how skilled, needs to be able to frequently change its approach and employ new tactics.

Otherwise, it’s very easy for other teams to prepare traps, knowing for certain that you’ll fall in them.

With only four weeks left until the European RMRs for IEM Rio Major, Na’Vi need to find solutions fast. Because their success is no longer a certainty.

Header: ESL