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| 1. April 2021

ESL Pro League Season 13 Playoffs Preview

ESL Pro League Season 13 is about to enter the Playoffs Stage. Just 12 of the initial 24 teams are left in the race and the stakes are high. The winner will get $175,000 and 1300 Pro Tour points as prizes, which means that teams like Gambit and Heroic will fight hard to be the champions of yet another CS:GO event.

ESL Pro League Season 13 Group Stage Results

The Group Stage had numerous surprises.

Group A

In Group A, OG and BIG missed the boat while Heroic, Complexity, and FunPlus Phoenix qualified for the next stage. And while it isn’t surprising that a team like Heroic (currently ranked 12th globally) survived this group, it is surprising that they finished 1st with 5 consecutive wins.

The complete results in this group were the following:

  • 1st place: Heroic: 5 W – 0 L
  • 2nd place: Complexity Gaming: 3 W – 2 L
  • 3rd place: FunPlus Phoenix: 3 W – 2 L
  • 4th place: OG: 2 W – 3 L
  • 5th place: Renegades: 1 W – 4 L
  • 6th place: BIG: 1 W – 4 L

Group B

This was the most shocking group of ESL Pro League Season 13. The teams that were expected to qualify were Vitality, FaZe, and G2. Instead, the winners were NiP, ENCE, and G2. It’s hard to understand how this happened but there you have it.

  • 1st place: NiP: 4 W – 1 L
  • 2nd place: ENCE: 3 W – 2 L
  • 3rd place: G2 Esports: 3 W – 2 L
  • 4th place: Team Vitality: 2 W – 3 L
  • 5th place: FaZe Clan: 2 W – 3 L
  • 6th place: mousesports: 1 W – 4 L

Group C

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In Group C, Gambit proved that their IEM Masters XV World Championship title wasn’t a fluke and that they are a genuinely strong team. The CIS competitor finished the Group Stage with 5 consecutive victories, defeating formidable opponents like Na’Vi and FURIA in the process.

  • 1st place: Gambit Esports: 5 W – 0 L
  • 2nd place: FURIA Esports: 3 W – 2 L
  • 3rd place: Natus Vincere: 3 W – 2 L
  • 4th place: MIBR: 2 W – 3 L
  • 5th place: Cloud9: 2 W – 3 L
  • 6th place: Team One: 0 W – 5 L

Group D

This group went according to plan, if we accept the fact that Fnatic and Evil Geniuses are completely out of shape at the moment. As most people expected, Astralis won the race. And they would have won with 5 consecutive wins. But EG miraculously beat them in their first match before losing the next 4.

  • 1st place: Astralis: 4 W – 1 L
  • 2nd place: Team Liquid: 4 W – 1 L
  • 3rd place: Virtus.pro: 3 W – 2 L
  • 4th place: Endpoint: 2 W – 3 L
  • 5th place: Fnatic: 1 W – 4 L
  • 6th place: Evil Geniuses: 1 W – 4 L

Playoffs Preview

The Playoffs of ESL Pro League Season 13 are scheduled to take place between April 2nd – 11th. The winners of the 4 groups will start in the Quarterfinals and Semifinals, based on the Play-In results. Initially, the remaining 8 teams will need to play in the Round of 12 and then the Round of 8 to determine who will compete against them. And speaking of the Round of 12, here’s a brief look at the first 4 matches of the Playoffs.

FURIA Esports vs. FunPlus Phoenix

This should be an easy match for FURIA, although we must keep in mind that FunPlus Phoenix is only Asian in name. The roster itself is European and some of the players are former mousesports members. Still, the fact that 4 of FURIA’s players plus the coach have been competing as a unit since 2018 is guaranteed to give the South American squad a big advantage in this dispute.

Team Liquid vs. G2 Esports

This one’s going to be tough for both sides. Team Liquid only lost to Astralis in Group D, while G2 Esports defeated NiP, Vitality, and FaZe in Group B. Overall, I think that G2 is stronger at this point in time. But the match could easily go either way. The last time these two competitors met was more than a year ago. So the fact that G2 won that match is no longer relevant. I’m eager to see this won and assess the odds of winning at 45% – 55% in favor of G2.

Complexity vs. Natus Vincere

Complexity will test Na’Vi’s in this match quite severely. And while it is true that s1mple’s team is currently ranked 1st globally, Complexity is a top 10 team as well. For some reason, I felt that Na’Vi lost their hunger to win while watching the Group Stage of ESL Pro League Season 13. The team lost to Gambit and FURIA and struggled overall, even against the weaker competitors. Still, if s1mple or electronic play their usual game, Na’Vi should win this one. The most likely score here is 1 – 2.

Virtus.pro vs. ENCE

VP is currently ranked 4th globally, so at least on paper they are much stronger than ENCE. Since December 2020, the CIS team played in the Grand Final of 4 important tournaments and won 3 of them. Normally, VP’s odds of winning this match would be huge. But ENCE looked a bit strong during the Group Stage. Their victory against mousesports may not be relevant, but the fact that they managed to beat G2 does make me a bit worried for Virtus.pro. Overall, this match should end with a score of 2 – 1 in favor of the CIS team.