ESL Pro League Season 14 Semifinals Preview

The Quarterfinals matches of ESL Pro League Season 14 are over and we’re about to enter the Semifinals. Both... Radu M. | 11. September 2021

The Quarterfinals matches of ESL Pro League Season 14 are over and we’re about to enter the Semifinals. Both matches look very interesting and the matchups guarantee that either OG or Vitality will play in the Grand Final, which hasn’t happened in a long time. At the same time, Na’Vi looks to be on its way to winning the Intel Grand Slam, which comes with a reward of $1 million. But to do that, they will need to defeat Heroic in its next match and then win the Grand Final.

ESL Pro League Season 14 Quarterfinals Results

The Quarterfinals of ESL Pro League Season 14 ended with 3 upsets and one demolition.

Natus Vincere versus ENCE

Exactly as it was predicted, ENCE’s victory against Astralis meant nothing against s1mple’s team. The CIS squad won the first map with a score of 16 – 2 and the second map with a score of 16 – 5. The whole battle ended very quickly.

This should absolutely terrify the other competitors. If s1mple continues to play like this, Na’Vi is guaranteed to win the tournament. And what’s even worse, he wasn’t even the star of the show. His teammate, electronic, had a rating 2.0 of 1.54 with 41 kills and just 22 deaths. In fact, his entire roster played incredibly well. Each member averaged more than 30 kills in total and a rating 2.0 of at least 1.35.

Heroic versus Team Liquid

For the first time in the last 6 months, Liquid looked capable of beating a world-class team. Stewie2K and his crew won the first map and 7 – 8 at half-time on the second map. But Heroic managed to dominate the CT-side on Nuke and eventually won with the same score with which it had lost on Overpass: 16 – 12.

The third map was Inferno. Liquid had a win rate of 100% on it (5 W – 0 L) prior to meeting Heroic, while the Danes had a win rate of 75% (3 W – 1). As expected, the battle went into extra time. And unfortunately for the NA squad, Heroic won with a score of 19 – 16, crushing their dream to finally play in another Semifinal at a big event.

It remains to be seen how much longer will FalleN survive on this roster. The Brazilian AWPer joined the team at the start of January this year, but so far he hasn’t delivered the results that Liquid is probably looking for. For the former number 1 team in the world, playing an entire season without competing in a single Grand Final at an important competition is simply unacceptable.

FalleN’s rating 2.0 in the match against Heroic was 0.73. Sure, he’s the IGL and needs to focus on strategy more than technique. But still, having a -25 overall K/D score when everyone on his team had at least a score of 0 is quite unsatisfactory. No doubt, the upcoming PGL Major will determine his fate. Liquid needs to participate and get a top 4 result. Otherwise it’s pretty much game over for FalleN. His role demands that he delivers better results.

OG versus NiP

NiP started this match with a close victory on Overpass (19 – 15), followed by a strong first half on Mirage (8 – 7). But from that point on, the match was OG’s. It’s not clear what changed all of a sudden but everyone on the team started to make a lof of mistakes after that. The second map ended with a score of 16 – 12, while the 3rd (Dust II) was a complete disaster for the Swedes: 16 – 4.

LNZ had a rough match, just as expected. His overall score was -21. But the bigger disappointment was the superstar of the team, device. It’s not yet clear whether the roster has communication issues or if the less experienced members, such as LNZ, are dragging everyone else down. But so far, the transfer of device has not paid off.

The player cost a small fortune and everyone expected Semifinals and Grandfinals all the way to the Major. It’s been 5 months since his transfer and NiP has not had a single Grand Final participation at an important event. The best they managed to do was 4th place at BLAST Premier Finals, where there were just 8 teams in the race.

Gambit versus Vitality

This was by far the biggest upset of the Quarterfinals of ESL Pro League Season 14. Gambit entered the tournament as the 2nd best team in the world and had a great Group Stage: 4 W – 1 L, in a group with Liquid, NiP, and FURIA. But in this match, Vitality just proved to be stronger, even though it’s only ranked 9th and has had a poor season up until this point.

nafany had a bad game and his overall score was -23. His teammate, sh1ro, played much better and finished with 52 kills and 34 deaths. On Vitality, the hero was once again ZywOo, whose rating 2.0 was 1.48. The sole reason why the French squad won the match was him. Everyone else had a mediocre performance.

ESL Pro League Season 14 Semifinals Predictions

In the Semifinals of ESL Pro League Season 14, Na’Vi will face Heroic while Vitality will play against OG. Based on everything we’ve seen so far, Na’Vi should dismantle Heroic while OG should win against Vitality, even if they need 3 maps to do it.


Photo credit: IEM|Helena-Kristiansson