The direct qualifier for ESL Pro League S15 just concluded, with top-rated AGO taking home the gold!
The Upper Bracket Struggles
The top 4 teams were in the same mini-bracket and the bottom 4 teams were in another mini-bracket. Team BLINK and Anonymo Esports beat Wisla Krakow and Sangal Esports respectively to reach the UB SF 1. AGO struggled a little against Sprout but reached the UB SF 2, where DBL Poney awaited them, having beaten Team LDLC.
In UB SF 1, Team BLINK and Anonymo Esports locked horns for the fiercest battle of the whole playoffs. The first map went to overtime where Anonymo managed to edge past BLINK. The second map was no easy affair either and Anonymo had to go to the 30th round to beat BLINK 2-0 overall.
In UB SF 2, AGO brushed off DBL Poney with ease, winning 16-5 and 16-6 to reach the UBF.
UBF witnessed the highest-ranked team (AGO) fight the lowest-ranked team (Anonymo) of the playoffs. And to our surprise, Anonymo put in a strong fight. In what would be the only UB match that did not end 2-0, Anonymo defeated AGO 16-14 on AGO”s own map pick. The match went to the third map, and Anonymo took it to overtime before AGO finally slayed them and reached the Grand Final.
The Lower Bracket Struggles
In LB R1, Wisla Krakow beat Sangal Esports and Team LDLC beat Sprout to reach LB R2. Wisla faced DBL Poney, the last match of the playoffs where the losers’ side would win a map. Expectedly, Wisla were the loser this time since DBL Poney were the second strongest team in the playoffs. On the other hand, LDLC faced Team BLINK, who comfortably defeated the French team.
In LB R3, BLINK and DBL Poney were the rivals, and the most in-form team of the Group Stages reined superior. BLINK had reached the LB Final, only to meet Anonymo again, the team that had sent them to the Lower Brackets in the first place.
It was a fierce battle the previous time, but Anonymo picked up this win with relative ease, as a strong favorite in BLINK bid their goodbyes.
MISTRZOWIE 38. SEZONU ESEA PREMIER 🏆
— x-kom AGO (@xkomago) October 17, 2021
The Grand Final
The Grand Final was another deja-vu type. A rematch between two teams who fought fiercely the first time but inauspiciously the second. Anonymo had been there. But this time, things didn’t turn out as good as it did against BLINK.
AGO and Anonymo locked horns in the GF, with AGO having a one-map default win for coming through the Upper Brackets.
The second map was Dust 2 where Anonymo fought hard to take it to overtime but lost the map there. The third map was a breeze for AGO, who defeated Anonymo 16-6 and put to rest the hopes of the lowest-seeded team.
The player with the highest rating is mhL from AGO. He and kRaSnaL replaced snatchie and rallen after the Group Stages and both played 9 maps. mhL averaged a rating of 1.33 and kRaSnaL averaged 1.26, which made him the second highest rated player of the tournament.
faveN from Sprout played well too but since his team crashed out very early in the Playoffs, his statistics are only based on Group Stages matches. Almost similar for rigoN from BLINK. Both of them averaged 1.23 and 1.22 ratings respectively.
DBL Poney’s Lucky was the player with the most MVPs, winning it twice for both the matches that DBL won. He is tied with mhL from AGO, who won it for AGO in the UB Final and the Grand Finals. Notable players like kRaSnaL, juanflataroo, and Snax all won one MVP award in the Playoffs.
AGO were a strong favorite and it was barely a surprise that they steamrolled their way to victory. It was still a highly interesting and fun tournament, though.
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) October 17, 2021
AGO have booked their place in ESL Pro League Season 15, alongside Party Astronauts from the NA region and LookingForOrg from the AU region. The rest of the qualified teams are Permanent Partner teams.
Anonymo Esports punched way above their weight and bravely qualified for ESEA S39 Premier as the second-placed team. More importantly, they have qualified for EPL S15 Conference, a tournament through which they can still qualify for the coveted ESL Pro League Season 15. It will be quite a treat to follow this team.
Team BLINK and Double Poney have qualified for ESEA S39 Premier as third and fourth-placed teams respectively.
Wisla Krakow, Team LDLC, Sangal Esports, Sprout, SAW, and Team GamerLegion have all qualified for ESEA S39 Premier too.
Enterprise Esports, Endpoint, Apeks, and Movistar Riders went into ESEA S38 Relegation, through which Movistar Riders qualified for ESEA S39 Premier. The rest went into ESEA S39 Advanced.
Lastly, Akuma and Skade went into ESEA S39 Advanced as well, being the last-placed teams of the tournament.