In this edition of CS:GO Staff Picks, we made several bold statements about the ESL ESEA Pro League Finals and gave some predictions on how the tournament will play out.
ESEA Pro League Champions
Jacob Juillet - Prediction: Fnatic
Team SoloMid’s extended breaks from competition will catch up with them as Fnatic will be able to break their losing streak.
Paul Park - Prediction: Team SoloMid
The Danes make their return to their first offline event since the Fragbite Masters Season 4 Finals and it should be a glorious return. The team has avoided offline events on purpose due to personal responsibilities and I look at their time away from the game as a plus. The lineup should be roaring to get back into the fray of competition and it should motivate them to perform. Although their online results have been mixed, their offline record has been spectacular, especially against Fnatic, and they have proven time and time again that they can consistently beat the Swedes in a BoX series.
Melissa Angilletta - Prediction: Fnatic
It’s hard to pick against Team SoloMid who is well-known for having Fnatic’s number, but Fnatic individually have been outperforming TSM. Although it’s hard to determine what TSM strategically has in store, Fnatic’s success is as safe as it can be as player-to-player, they are arguably even better than TSM.
Jacob - Prediction: olofmeister
He has been the best player in the world for the last few months and the only other real option at the moment is device, but when comparing the two, olof has been slightly better overall.
Paul - Prediction: device
Undoubtedly the team’s best statistical player, device is as consistent as they come. In the Fragbite Masters Season 4 Finals, device ended the tournament with the highest kill-death differential of +50, while the second closest member on the team was dupreeh with a +0. TSM is deep, meaning anyone on the roster can step up, but device is the one member that does not go through fluctuations in play, always at/near the top fraggers list in any event. When (if) TSM win this tournament, device will once again, be atop the statistical charts.
Melissa - Prediction: device
As an important member of the team, device’s play in the last three months is nearly flawless. Although on paper, Device trails olofmeister, Device is capable of putting out the same performance. Because these players are so similar in skill, a head-to-head matchup between these players is going to be reliant on how the rest of their team performs.
Jacob - Prediction: device
device plays a huge part in TSM’s raw firepower and his performance will entirely determine whether or not the Danes will continue their reign over Fnatic and the rest of the Counter-Strike scene this weekend.
Paul - Prediction: dupreeh
TSM in my mind, have three key members for success - Kerrigan with the strategical knowledge and strong in-game leadership, device with his consistent ability to put up huge numbers, and dupreeh with his ability to catch teams off guard with his aggressive and unpredictable movements. When dupreeh is able to get into aggressive positions and start using his raw skill to take off heads and catch his opponents off guard, TSM is extremely scary. On the other hand, if he gets shut down and gives up early kills in key rounds, it could be disastrous for TSM. dupreeh is a true double edged sword.
Melissa - Prediction: Happy
Happy is an important factor when determining Team EnVyUs’s success. Not only is he shot calling for the team, but in the last three months, he has also been carrying the team with his skill.
Jacob - Prediction: Virtus.pro
Based off their poor showing at Gfinity last weekend, it is likely that Virtus.pro goes out earlier than they would like. Of course, they should still be fine against all of the North American teams in their group, but their first match against a fellow European could quickly go the wrong way.
Paul - Prediction: Virtus.pro
Virtus.pro’s performance in the Gfinity Summer Masters I left the team vulnerable to an early exit from the tournament. The poles did not look very strong throughout the tournament and now, their group includes the top two performing North American teams from the ESL ESEA Pro League regular season. A single upset via Cloud9 or Luminosity could spell trouble for Virus.pro.
Melissa - Prediction: Cloud9
Although Cloud9 has been dominating ESL ESEA NA and has a place in the hearts of many North American fans who believe in their success, last weekend’s Gfinity Summer Masters I solidified the huge difference in skill between the European and North American teams. Although many believe in C9, their chances of making top four against the four elite European teams are slim, even in a Bo1.
Jacob - Prediction: Cloud9
I would feel like a cheat picking any of the Europeans, and Cloud9 is likely the only North American that has a chance to come out alive against the Europeans, not to mention their close meeting with Team EnVyUs last weekend being a dry run for their opener in ESL. People always say you learn more from your losses, right?
Paul - Prediction: Cloud9
This North American squad went to London over the past weekend to compete in the Gfinity Summer Masters I and while they got knocked out rather quickly in the tournament, they did manage to take a map off EnVyUs in the first round. The French once again stand as their opponents on Day 1, but this time around, Cloud9 have knowledge at their disposal. If they utilize what they learned from Gfinity to start the day off with a win, momentum might just carry them into the playoffs.
Melissa - Prediction: EnVyUs
Although Fnatic and TSM are undeniably the top two teams at the event, EnVyUs has the potential to make it to the finals. Their performance as a team is impressive, and with careful planning, they can make it to the top.
Jacob - Prediction: Fnatic vs Counter Logic Gaming
CLG is known to play an extremely scrappy and skill based style, which, when matched up against one of the most talented rosters in the world, will likely end in tragedy.
Paul - Prediction: Fnatic vs Counter Logic Gaming
Arguably, the best Counter-Strike team of this generation will go up against a team that barely limped into the finals due to technicalities. There should probably be a content warning that comes before this match goes live. Luckily for viewers, it won’t last long.
Melissa - Prediction: Fnatic vs Counter Logic Gaming
Counter Logic Gaming is in a rough spot in the tournament as they have been performing below the other North American teams in ESL NA and now they have to confront Fnatic in the first game of the event.
Top Two of the Tournament
- Team SoloMid
- Team SoloMid
- Team SoloMid