Review of the group stage of ESL Pro League Season 13

General information

The tournament ESL Pro League Season 13 started on 8 March and it will be over on 11 April. On the night from 29 to 30 March all the matches of the group stage ended and now we make a mini-summary. Half of teams have been seeded and have already finished participating in the championship. The other half provided themselves with a trip to the playoff, and some will have to go through a fight to start the final stage right at the semifinal.

Absolute domination

Heroic and Gambit Esports managed to show a great performance at the group stage. Those teams became the only contestant that had no loss at the group stage. Taking into account the number of the teams in the group stage, and this results is really outstanding. As a reminder, there were twenty-four rosters fighting for a chance to play at the playoff.

Heroic beat all their opponents in Group A. They could not oppose Complexity Gaming, FPX Esports, OG, Renegades, and BIG.

We would like to pay special attention to Gambit Esports. The team defeated all their opponents in Group C. There they managed to beat FURIA Esports, NAVI, MIBR, Cloud9, and Team One. Gambit Esports performed so well that the community reached the conclusion that the CIS region is “not rich only with NAVI”. Moreover, Gambit are not only raising spectators’ respect to the CIS division but also always beat the main favourite of the region NAVI. The team was in a great gaming shape. Besides, we can say that Gambit is at the peak of their shape.

Group A

These contestants faced an interesting course of events, and the spectators made different conclusions. Renegades, for example, performed with their new player aliStair unsuccessfully. He joined the Australians in the middle of February, three weeks prior to the start of the group stage of ESL Pro League Season 13. He replaced the former member of mousesports dexter. As a result, RNG managed to win only the fight with BIG and took fifth place in Group A. BIG and OG also came to a bad result. The latter signed the Danish player niko and he was unable to help the team to make it to the playoff, however, the held matches showed the players that he deserved the slot in the team, and the management changed Nikolaj Kristensen’s status: he went all way from a substitute player to a full member of the team. BIG disappointed all their fans although the expectations about them were not so high. Complexity Gaming and FPX Esports pleased their fans with the statistics of 3-2 and got placed 2nd-3rd in Group A which helped them to proceed to the playoff. There they will start with the first round unlike Heroic who made it to Play-In.

Group B

We could not describe the situation happening in Group B in any other way but a complete discrepancy from the expectations. Can you imagine that ZywOo and his teammates from Team Vitality will not be able to make it to the final stage whereas the Swedes from NiP will take first place and proceed to Play-In where they will fight for the start with the semifinal? We, for example, no. We are sure that our expectations were different from the outcome. By the way, ENCE and G2 Esports got second and third positions. On 21 January, ENCE had drastic changes in their roster. Then the lineup consisted only of allu and doto, and the vacant slots were taken by such players as Snappi, Spinx, and dycha. As we can see, a stable roster is not always a direct way to success. By the way, Mousesports showed the worst results. The team won once and had four failures. Taking into account that the team has recently welcomed the new captain dexter who replaced karrigan, this outcome could not be called unexpected.

FaZe Clan also made us upset. The team took on a good player, Twistzz, however, his debut in the roster of FaZe that was held at ESL Pro League Season 13, could not be called successful. The team beat ENCE and mousesports and left the championship with 17th-20th place.

NAVI cannot make it? MIBR will help!

The most interesting events must have happened in Group C which hosted battles for Natus Vincere. Born to Win approached the fifth day with not the greatest results and to make it to the playoff, they had to play well and hope for best. MIBR defeated them at the fight for a trip to the final stage. If C9 had won the battle between Cloud9 and MIBR, the players would have advanced to the playoff, but the conniving Boombl4 “managed to agree” with the representative of MIBR for the Brazilians to win and NAVI made it to the next stage. Kirill Mikhailov, who is in charge of the in-game coordination of NAVI, promised boltz to get a tattoo on his right arm with the nickname of the Brazilian if MIBR would help NAVI to proceed to the playoff, and Natus Vincere will win ESL Pro League Season 13 as a result. This was reported by the Brazilian player in his Twitter account attaching the screenshots of a chat with Boombl4. One of the two conditions is fulfilled, and now there is a little left to do. “Born to Win” just has to protect the honour of the tag and to ensure spectators that the Latin expression is not just a slogan, and to win ESL Pro League Season 13.

There were other similar cases. The owner of FURIA Esports said to one famous Brazilian professional poker player that he would get a tattoo of the logo of the team if FURIA beat Astralis on Nuke. At that moment that Danish had a series of over 30 won Nuke, so the likelihood of the Brazilians’ triumph was pretty low. The poker player and fan of FURIA Esports said that he would also make a significant action in case of triumph of the Brazilians. The players were motivated and shocked the spectators with their performance and defeated the Danish players on their favourite map. We do not know whether Boombl4 will get the tattoo in case of victory, but neither СЕО FURIA nor the poker players provided the spectators with reports about the job they did. It was likely to be confined to promises only and the Brazilians did not count on FURIA’s victory.

Disband9

Group C again stood out due to the fact that after MIBR's win over Cloud9 the latter announced their leave from CS:GO and the further disbandment of the team. The management plans to assemble a new roster in the shooting discipline, however, there are two important nuances. At first, the managers decided to focus only on the AMerican division. At second, the representatives of the organization told that they would resume the activity of Cloud9 in CS:GO after the end of the pandemic. Taking into account the current situation in the world, we are not going to see Cloud9 on the CS:GO stage soon.

We also can remember how much hype there was about Cloud9’s new roster and the expenses of over $6,000,000 on them. Es3tag, by the way, was worth $2,100,000 for the club and it was an absolute record for CS:GO. Therefore, we can reach several conclusions:

Group D

The fourth group is much or less predictable. As it had been expected, Astralis made it to the Play-In where they will be fighting for their start at the semifinal. Team Liquid with FalleN made it to the final stage. The same results were reached by the players from Virtus.pro who had three win at the group stage. Who could even think that Team Endpoint performed better than the Swedes from Fnatic. The latter could win only once. Evil Geniuses was unable to defeat the Swedes and took last place in the fourth group. It is a paradox but Evil Geniuses could defeat only Astralis with the score of 2-1. After that moment, the Danish players did not lose even once and became the best in their group whereas EG could not win and became the worst. This again proves that the first matches should never be trusted.

Intermediate results