On 16.03. the ESL Pro League Season 11 starts. 24 of the best Counter-Strike teams will compete.
The ESL Pro League (EPL) goes into the 11th season. In the unbelievably strongly occupied league 24 teams fight for 750,000 US Dollar prize money. The starting signal is given on 16.03. In the first ten matchdays it is decided which teams from group A and B will advance.
The group at a glance:
– Astralis (Denmark)
– ENCE (Finland)
– GODSENT (Europe)
– Ninjas in pyjamas (Sweden)
– Sharks (Brazil)
– Vitality (France)
The six teams:
In Group A, Astralis is one of the favourites for the EPL. The Danes around team captain Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander lost their first place in the world ranking to Natus Vincere only a few days ago. Nevertheless, Astralis are considered the best team ever in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. In addition to four major victories, the boys spent an incredible 106 weeks in the top of the world rankings. The coming weeks will show whether they have become hungry again due to the loss of pole position and whether they want to fight their way back to the top.
The Finns of ENCE were still on the second place of the world ranking list in July 2019. Meanwhile the team slipped further and further down the ranking list. Currently they are on 21st place. Especially the departure of superstar “AleksiB” could not be absorbed that easily. But the team undoubtedly has what it takes to survive the group phase. To achieve this they have to show that they have found each other and that communication is working.
GODSENT is the only German representative at the EPL. Team captain Kevin “kRYSTAL” Amend and his colleagues were able to secure a place for the Major Qualifier last week. In the past weeks they fought their way up the world ranking list with good results. Currently they are in 17th place.
New times are dawning for the traditional Swedish team Ninjas in pyjamas after the departure of the two legends Patrik “F0rest” Lindberg and Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund. They are currently ranked 11th in the world ranking list and were recently able to secure a place in the qualifier for the Major in Rio. Especially newcomer Tim “nawwk” Jonasson brings fresh wind into the quintet and could be the X-factor to get through the group phase.
The Sharks from Brazil have been thrown into the proverbial Pro League shark pool and will enter the tournament as the absolute underdog. Nevertheless, the young team, currently ranked 127th in the world, should not be underestimated. Brazilian teams have always been able to spring surprises in the past. The country has an incredibly strong CS:GO scene and produces many talented young players who are willing and able to take on the biggest teams. But with the BO3 format, it will be a tough task for the Sharks to get through the group stage.
The Team Vitality with exceptional player Mathieu “ZywOo Herbaut had to reposition itself last week. Ingameleader Alex “Alex” McMeekin left the team and was replaced by the 17-year-old young talent Kévin “misutaaa” Rabier. The role of the ingameleader of the French team is now taken over by Dan “apEX” Madesclaire. Whether the new squad will be able to continue the strong performances of 2019, they must now prove. At the moment they can barely keep up with the 10th place in the world ranking, a strong performance at the EPL would bring them back to the top.
The first game of the EPL will take place on Monday, 16.03. at 14:25. ENCE and Sharks meet in a BO3.