What Heroic Did at ESL Pro League Season 13 Was Absolutely Heroic

It’s hard to overstate the significance of this victory. Keep in mind that ESL Pro League Season 13 was... Radu M. | 12. April 2021

It’s hard to overstate the significance of this victory. Keep in mind that ESL Pro League Season 13 was not a small event. This was one of CS:GO’s most important tournaments for 2021 and the number of participants was 24. When you look at the teams, you immediately realize that this was practically the equivalent of a world championship.

ESL Pro League Season 13 Group Stage Results

The Group Stage of ESL Pro League Season 13 was divided into 4 groups of 6. Heroic had to play in Group A, arguably the easiest of the 4. So the fact that they won with 5 consecutive wins, although spectacular, did not raise that many alarms. At this point, the winners of the other groups, namely NiP, Gambit, and Astralis, were probably thinking about and preparing for other opponents. Because, let’s be serious, what can Heroic do to them? They’re only ranked 12th anyway! Right?

Oh, how wrong they were!

Playoffs Results

The Playoffs of ESL Pro League Season 13 started with two predictable results and two upsets. Personally, I didn’t think that Liquid was going to lose against G2 and they did. I also didn’t think that the number 1 team in the world, Natus Vincere, was going to lose against Complexity. But they got completely demolished by them.

In the other two matches of the Round of 12, Virtus.pro defeated ENCE while FURIA managed to beat FunPlus Phoenix after a very hard match in which they needed to make a comeback.

In the Round of 8, FURIA proved to be a very strong team and easily defeated G2 Esports. In the other match, Complexity looked like a form of kryptonite against the CIS region’s supermans and they took down Virtus.pro in 3 maps.

The Play-In Stage took place right after the Round of 8 and Heroic started to show promising signs by defeating NiP with a score of 2 – 0. In the other Play-In match, Gambit made Astralis look like a tier 2 team. Due to these two results, Heroic advanced directly to the Semifinals, just like Gambit.


In the Quarterfinals, FURIA put Astralis to shame. The first map ended with a score of 16 – 10 while the second one was one of the Danes’ biggest disasters in recent memory: 16 – 2.

In the second Quarterfinals match, NiP struggled against Complexity and actually lost the first map. But their determination served them well in the next two games. The whole crew is very young, which is probably one of the reasons why NiP managed to get such a deep run at ESL Pro League Season 13, even though their objective value is significantly lower than 3rd – 4th in the world.


In the first Semifinals match, Heroic looked scary. I can only imagine Gambit watching them and asking themselves: how are these guys beating FURA Esports, a team that crushed Astralis, without breaking a sweat?

The second Semifinals match started well for Gambit, who won on Inferno with a score of 16 – 5, but got complicated on the second map. Still, Gambit managed to avoid overtime at the limit, winning 16 – 14.

Grand Final

The Grand Final looked extremely interesting and the match proved to be totally worth watching. This did not go as planned for Gambit but at least the unofficially number 1 team in the world gave Heroic a run for their money.

The first map was very disputed and needed overtime rounds to conclude. Heroic won 19 – 17. The second map was a disaster for them. Gambit hit back and won with a score that would have demoralized any other team: 16 – 3. But Heroic didn’t seem to care. On the 3rd map, the score was once again tied, 15 – 15. And the overtime rounds lasted almost as much as the regular map itself. Ultimately, at the end of 54 rounds, Heroic won 28 – 26.

Then came the 4th map, Overpass. Things looked great for Heroic until the second half began. The final score was 16 – 10 in favor of Gambit. And what do you think happened next? Heroic got demoralized and lost to their stronger rival, right?

Wrong again. They absolutely crushed Gambit and won the map with a score of 16 – 6.

It remains to be seen if the Danes can continue to play like this in the coming months. So far, they’ve been very impressive with their new roster and this title at ESL Pro League Season 13 is probably the organization’s best result ever.


Photo credit: IEM|Bart-Oerbekke