So Much Is On The Line With ESL Pro League
The CS:GO elite are gearing up for ESL Pro League, and we are ready for it. Season 14 will begin mid-August and will last for about a month. We’ve recently also gotten more info (grouping, to be precise) about the high-end event that will possibly also determine the winner of the infamous Intel Grand Slam aka the roster that will take home one million dollars and split them between the players.
What Hides Behind ESL Pro League
Intel Grand Slam is still going strong in the shadows of the main events. For all of you not aware of the big money race from the background: IGS is a prize of $1 million, rewarded to the first team who reaches a certain number of wins (four or six) inside a window of 10 consecutive S-Tier tournaments organized by ESL or DreamHack Masters.
There are two ways to get to the million: a team has to win four tournaments during a window of 10 if one of them is IEM World Championship, IEM Cologne, or an ESL/DreamHack CS:GO Major Championship. Otherwise, they have to win six events during a window of 10. The race was stale for some time, but Na’Vi has just recently woken up the beast.
After their win in Cologne in July, they are just a step away from winning that big prize. If they don’t, they still have two more chances after ESL Pro League until their window expires. Gambit are currently in the imaginary second place, with two wins under their belt and five more chances (at the time of writing) to reach their potential four wins (they were the winners of IEM WC in Katowice earlier this year). If, of course, Na’Vi don’t do it first.
Answers August Will Bring
So, what chances do Na’Vi have to do it right away, by taking ESL Pro League? It will start soon, and we might be ready, as mentioned, but the real question is how ready are the organizations and players fighting for the title(s) and prizes. Because there have been some interesting roster shuffles and some usual roster gossip.
We’ll watch 24 teams in total battle it out online from August 16th till September 12th for the prize pool of $750,000. This season was supposed to be played in Malta, however, and due to Covid numbers being on the rise again, it has been transferred online.
Alongside partnered teams that never change and include Natus Vincere, G2, Astralis, FaZe, NIP, Vitality, mousesports, Liquid, Complexity, Evil Geniuses, ENCE and fnatic, we’ll also watch seven invited teams who earned their spot through rankings: Gambit, Heroic, Virtus.pro, BIG, FURIA, Spirit and OG. The last five spots were filled via the ESEA Premier in three different leagues which included the following rosters: Etropiq and Sinners from Europe, TeamOne and Bad News Bears from NA and finally Renegades from Australia and New Zealand.
What They Are Up Against
The tournament will begin with four groups of six teams in a round-robin format. The top three teams from each group then move on to the playoffs, but the first from each group go directly to the quarterfinals, while second and third will battle it out in the Round of 12.
Na’Vi, who’ll certainly be under the spotlight, with IGS at stake, but also due to the fact they’re currently no. 1 in the world and have just won IEM Cologne, are placed in Group C with FaZe Clan, BIG, mousesports, Evil Geniuses and fnatic. That group is on the schedule from August 27th to August 31st.
Gambit will play after that, from September 1st to September 5th and have been placed in a Group D with NIP, FURIA, Team Liquid, Entropiq and Team One.
Needless to say, those aren’t the only teams worth mentioning, but with one million at stake, they will be the talk of the town. We’ll have to wait and see who’ll mess with their plans. Will it be NiKo and G2, or maybe Virtus.pro or Heroic (if they don’t lose their coach before that)? Who are your favourites? Let us know through social media, and in the meantime don’t forget to watch closely what happens on our Pick 6 and play for free.