Over this week, the fourth season of ESL Pro League will come to a close, with the winner taking home $200,000. With some of the best teams in the world competing for the $600,000 prize pool in São Paulo, the stakes aren’t higher too often.
Due to the tournament’s schedule getting wrecked when Fnatic refused to compete in the tournament, probably due to the roster instability in the team, the broadcast featured more Group B matches than Group A. In Group B, teams faced off five times and only three matches took place in Group A. Events are likely to follow the same pattern in the following Group Stage days.
Ignoring that SNAFU, on the first day in Group A, OpTic Gaming played and crushed Team Liquid 16-2, which was actually somewhat surprising, EnVyUs upset the local Brazilians, Immortals 16-5, while mousesports also added onto the Liquid pain train by somewhat narrowly winning on Mirage, 16-12, despite looking to be on their way to a slaughter after the first half, where they were up 12-3 on CT side.
Up next, OpTic will try to keep their win streak going against Immortals, Liquid will try and recover from their disastrous first day performance against the French nV, while mouz will go up against OpTic. Going by the shaky logic of both team’s results against Liquid, OpTic should win, because while mousesports gave Liquid an opportunity to think about mounting a comeback, OpTic did no such thing.
Over in Group B, the day started with C9 eeking out a win against FaZe Clan on Dust2, with both teams getting close to the same amount of points on their wins when playing CT. C9 got 10, FaZe managed 9. The game ended with a score of 16-14 in C9’s favor. Next, Team Dignitas met NRG eSports on Mirage and absolutely demolished them 16-3. After that, NiP managed to slightly upset SK Gaming on Cobblestone, winning the whole match with the score of 16-10. Ninja’s CT side performance all but assured the win for the Swedes in front of SK’s Brazilian fans. It’s hard to catch up when the difference is 7 points, after all, unless you win pistol, the following anti-eco and never let go after that. After the upsetting match for the home crowd, C9 played and won against NRG, 16-9 on Cache. Finally, the last match of the day was between Team Dignitas and Ninjas in Pyjamas. The teams played Nuke, dominating their opponents on T side. Unfortunately for the Swedes, their Danish opponents did marginally better, winning their T side 12-3 to NiP’s 11-4.
Tomorrow, Group B matches will start with SK Gaming trying to repent in front of their home crowd against FaZe Clan. Then, NiP will play NRG, FaZe will try and stand against Dignitas’ aggression, and finally, SK will meet Cloud9. As you might have noticed, this day will have less games than Day One. The players and casters will probably be thankful for that, because the third day of the Group Stage will be an absolute slaughter in Group B, teams will have to play six games between all of them.