| 5. April 2021

ESL Pro League Season 13 Play-In Preview

ESL Pro League Season 13 only has 6 teams left in the race and the next 7 matches will determine the winner. The champion receives $175,000 in prizes, so we should expect some hyped battles this weekend. So far, it’s been a wild event and most of the favorites are already out. Let’s take a look at what happened so far and then I’ll analyze the upcoming Play-In match-ups.

ESL Pro League Season 13 Group Stage Results

The Group Stage of the tournament was divided into 4 groups of 6. The winners, from A to D, were Heroic, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Gambit Esports, and Astralis. The important teams that didn’t survive this stage were OG, BIG, Team Vitality, FaZe Clan, and Evil Geniuses. I won’t mention Fnatic and mousesports because they weren’t expected to make it anyway.

Thanks to these results, Heroic, NiP, Gambit, and Astralis will meet in the Play-In Stage to determine who will start in the Semifinals and who will start in the Quarterfinals of the Playoffs of ESL Pro League Season 13. Heroic will fight against NiP while Gambit will need to beat Astralis.

The Play-In Stage of ESL Pro League Season 13 will take place on April 8th.

Playoffs Results

So far, the 2nd and 3rd place teams from every group competed in the Playoffs. And after the Round of 12 and the Round of 8, only 2 of them are left. These two competitors are FURIA Esports and Complexity. So Team Liquid, G2 Esports, Natus Vincere, and are no longer in the race.

Play-In Match-Ups

The two matches of the Play-In Stage will be the following:

Heroic vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas

Heroic is currently ranked 12th globally while NiP is ranked 11th. However, Heroic finished the Group Stage with 5 consecutive wins, defeating Complexity Gaming in the process. And Complexity Gaming went on to beat both Natus Vincere and in the Playoffs. Based on this fact, I think it’s quite obvious that Heroic is the stronger competitor. They may not win with a score of 2 – 0, but they should win with a score of 2 – 1.

Gambit Esports vs. Astralis

Gambit won 14 of their last 15 matches but Astralis defeated them back in December. Based on everything we’ve seen in recent months and at ESL Pro League Season 13, I think that Gambit is slightly favored to win this dispute. In terms of their global ranking, they’re just one position below their Danish rivals. So it’s quite irrelevant to think of this match in these terms. The most important criterion is the current form. And in that department, Gambit is significantly stronger.


Photo credit: IEM|Stephanie-Lieske