On Dec. 5, in Odense, Denmark, 12 of the best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams in the world will converge on the Sparekassen Fyn Arena to fight for $750,000 in the ESL Pro League Season 6 Finals.
For weeks, teams in Europe and North America have been playing online to qualify for this event. In the end, Fnatic, North, FaZe Clan, Astralis, Ninjas in Pyjamas and HellRaisers were the lucky ones from Europe, while OpTic Gaming, SK Gaming, Team Liquid, NRG Esports, Misfits and Luminosity Gaming proved to be the best in North America.
The 12 teams were sorted into two groups, Yellow and Red. In the Yellow Group, we have Fnatic, FaZe Clan, Astralis, Team Liquid, HellRaisers, and Luminosity Gaming. In Group Red, SK Gaming, OpTic Gaming, North, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Misfits, and NRG Esports will play to make it to the Playoffs.
The tournament format will make each team face every other team in their group in a bo1. The winners will get 3 points if they win in regular time, 2 points if it takes overtime for them to win, while the losers of the overtime match will get 1 point. When all of the matches are done, the top team from each group will advance to the Semifinals, while the #2 and #3 teams will advance to the Quarterfinals, where #2 seeds will play against the #3 seeds from the other group.
Okay, which teams are the best bets to make the Playoffs? In Group Yellow, Astralis and FaZe Clan are the overwhelming favorites, with Fnatic and Team Liquid likely to fight for the 3rd spot in the Playoffs. It’s hard to judge whether Fnatic or TL will make it. While Fnatic has been underperforming for a while now following Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer’s move to FaZe (and even before that, to be honest), Team Liquid has its own share of trouble after removing their IGL, Peter “stanislaw” Jarguz, replacing him with Lucas “steel” Lopez.
In Group Red, SK Gaming and North are definitely shoe-in for the Playoffs, while Ninjas in Pyjamas and OpTic Gaming should be fighting for the last spot. Ninjas in Pyjamas have been underperforming for a very long time but there has recently been a flash of hope when they won Intel Extreme Masters Oakland, defeating FaZe Clan in the Finals.
The rest of the teams participating in the event, HellRaisers, Luminosity Gaming, Misfits and NRG Esports have only a massive upset to look forward to. If the world made sense, they wouldn’t stand a chance against the other teams in their groups.