ESL Pro League playoff: Round 1 breakdown
The main event of EPL starts today.
The group stage of ESL Pro League has come to a close, and the playoff bracket has been set.
The first round of the main event starts today. There are eight teams to take part in the first matches of the playoff, and four squads will leave the event after the first round. Two first standoffs are to take place today, while two other clashes will be conducted tomorrow.
The first standoff of the stage is fnatic vs ENCE. The group stage wasn’t easy for fnatic. They didn’t manage to cope with NIP and Entropiq, beating LookingForOrg, G2, and MOUZ. The only team to stand out from this list are G2. However, this victory was predictable as G2 were playing with a stand-in while Aleksi "Aleksib" Virolainen, their IGL was recovering from COVID-19. On the other hand, ENCE showed outstanding performance in Group B, losing only to the group leader, FURIA. The Finnish team crushed FaZe, Outsiders, Vitality, and Sprout. The squad is still not consistent enough, as ENCE lost the map to Sprout, the weakest team in Group B. However, they have still shown better performance than fnatic and have a higher chance to win.
FaZe will face Players in the last clash of day 1. FaZe didn’t show their best performance. The team lost the form they had at IEM Katowice and nearly lost an opportunity to shine in the playoff. However, on the last day of Group B, FaZe returned to the game and defeated FURIA, who topped the group. However, their performance still doesn’t look stable. Players, on the contrary, lost only once to the leader of the group, Movistar Riders. On the other hand, the CIS team were seeded into the weakest group of the tournament and didn’t have any problems with getting a spot in the playoff. It is difficult to evaluate the level of performance of both teams.
The second day of the first round will start with the Entropiq vs Astralis standoff. Entropiq recovered from the failure at IEM Katowice and didn’t hesitate in Group A, losing to NIP only. In other standoffs, the CIS team showed confident and consistent performance. At the same time, Astralis weren’t as successful. They won three matches against weak teams, and even these clashes weren’t easy for the Danish teams. Astralis have problems with their performance, and Entropiq might use it in their favor.
The last match of the first round will be Heroic vs Liquid standoff. The clash looks predictable as Heroic were confident in the group stage till the last day of Group D. On this day, the Danish squad faced Natus Vincere and collapsed, being destroyed on two maps in a row. However, Liquid don’t look like a worthy opponents for Heroic. The American team haven’t found their game yet and didn’t show anything extraordinary in Group C.