The quarterfinals of ESL Pro League Season 16 have ended and the competition will move forward without its top two favorites. Both FaZe Clan and Natus Vincere have been eliminated and this creates a rare opportunity for the likes of G2 Esports, Team Vitality, and Team Liquid.
The matches ahead look absolutely epic and will probably end up creating a new pecking order in CS:GO. Until the end of the tournament, FaZe Clan and Natus Vincere will still be ranked first and second globally, but their time at the top of the hierarchy is about to expire.
With the exception of MOUZ versus Liquid, which ended with a relatively easy victory for the North American team, the quarterfinals were tough battles between competitors of similar strength.
Cloud9 needed three maps to beat FaZe Clan, G2 needed three maps to beat Na’Vi, and Vitality’s victory against Outsiders was harder than the score indicates. On the first map (Mirage), the score was 16-13, while on the second one (Dust II), it was 19-17. The match could have easily gone either way.
The most impressive teams of the playoffs so far have been Cloud9 and G2 Esports. Both of them had to defeat CS:GO giants to get to the semifinals, and will probably meet in the Grand Final if everything goes according to what the statistics indicate.
The two semifinals look very exciting. The first will be a battle between the best teams in North America, while the second one will be a battle between the best French teams in Europe.
Despite Liquid’s prowess, Cloud9 look stronger at the moment and will most likely win the match. The only thing that can save Liquid in the match against Cloud9 is a great individual performance. The most likely candidates are Keith “NAF” Markovic and Mareks “YEKINDAR” Galinskis. If one of them has a great day, Liquid can win. Otherwise they’ll get steamrolled.
The match between G2 and Vitality will be a great ordeal for both sides but G2 should win in the end. We’ve already seen them play against Natus Vincere and it’s clear that both Nikola “NiKo” Kovac and Ilya “m0NESY” Osipov have reached their final form. NiKo finished the match with 99.7 ADR, while m0NESY had a K-D score of +21.
Arguably, the best player on the server was Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev. But unfortunately for him, his team didn’t do anything to help him. Each of his teammates finished with a negative K-D score, while his was +24.