Some might argue that Group D of ESL Pro League Season 16 will be the most straightforward and unexciting of the four, but the truth is that there are plenty of excellent teams competing in it. Team Liquid have been on the rise recently and Cloud9, or at least their roster, has been great for the past two years.
All of the other teams in this group are also worth watching. Their stories are at a critical point where the only two options are excellence and failure.
Eternal Fire are none other than the former BIG roster. Evil Geniuses have made some roster changes recently and everyone wants to know if their transformation was for better or worse.
FURIA Esports have finally changed a player this year, and now they’re looking to prove themselves in their new form. And Movistar Riders, after being eliminated from the race for IEM Rio Major, need to regain their confidence. And their fans need to regain their confidence in them. Right now, their miraculous top four result at IEM Cologne looks like a distant memory and a fluke.
We're almost ready to kick off Group D of the #ESLProLeague Season 16!
Check out the full schedule for the week, there are some bangers coming up 🔥
Which teams will be able to take the final playoffs spots? 👀 pic.twitter.com/JFfBaxhR6o
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) September 20, 2022
The group’s favorites
The favorites in group D of ESL Pro League S16 are obviously Liquid, Cloud9, and FURIA. But their playoffs spots are certainly not guaranteed. The other three competitors have the potential to cause at least one upset, and FURIA look the most vulnerable of the favorites.
In Liquid’s case, the situation is a bit unclear. Now that Damian “daps” Steele has become the team’s coach, everyone’s wondering who the fifth player will be. Perhaps daps himself for a while, but that can’t go on forever. Liquid are currently ranked third globally, so everyone has high expectations from them once more.
Cloud9 are known to be a great team, they haven’t made any changes to their roster in a long time, but we have not seen them achieve anything significant since IEM Dallas. That tournament happened at the start of June and that was more than 100 days ago.
The CS:GO community has been wondering recently: does Vladislav “nafany” Gorshkov still know how to play the game? After all, at the more recent IEM Cologne, his team finished 9th-12th. That’s not a very good result and C9 need to remedy their reputation as soon as possible.
A good result at ESL Pro League Season 16 would be great for their morale. A bad one might set them up for a big failure in the regional qualifiers for IEM Rio Major. Less than two weeks are left until then and every team needs to prepare for them.