We are approaching the equator of the ESL Pro League Season 15 group stage. The teams of subgroup B very soon will complete their battles, therefore, it's time to get acquainted with the members of the next group. The list of participants is not rich in high-profile organizations, but at least one team is of great interest - Players (Gambit Esports). The rivals of the guys for reaching the playoffs will be: Team Liquid, GODSENT, BIG, Movistar Riders, Party Astronauts. The fights will take place from March 23 to March 27. Let’s get acquainted with all the squads.
Players (Gambit Esports)
Geopolitical events force Gambit, like Virtus.pro, to adapt to modern realities. The organization didn’t go against the players and allowed the Russian esportsmen to compete under the neutral tag (Players). Later it got reported that the roster was put up for transfer and is now in search of a new “home”. Konstantin groove Pikiner decided to leave the position of CEO of Gambit Esports and focus entirely on his coaching career, so presumably, he is on the transfer along with the players. Which organization will buy out the team remains to be seen, but fans dream of resurrecting Cloud9 or FlipSid3 Tactics. Probably Jason Lake (head of Complexity) is extremely disappointed since he didn’t wait a couple of months for such a roster. No one doubts that any buyer will immediately have the world's top 5 team in their assets. Let's get back to the tournament. It’s not worth assuming favorites in the league in advance, since we have already clarified it twice on the examples of fnatic, ENCE, Furia. Therefore, even in such a group, talking about 5 wins for Players is a risky move. On paper, the team is the undisputed favorite. There is no close team comparable in terms of the level of play. Everything rests on the emotional component in the situation voiced above. As an example, Outsiders (Virtus.pro) demonstrated that it’s possible to escape from the world's problems; the players were just doing their job. But here the younger guys are gathered; their main problem is psychological immaturity. Gambit has stumbled more than once under pressure in big matches, and now the pressure indicator is going through the roof. Let's hope that the players will break the opinions of the naysayers with their coordinated play and attract buyers as much as possible. Losing such an original and young team on the pro-scene is unprofitable for anyone.
The North American organization was extremely unlucky with draws in two tournaments earlier. This time, fate was kind. The new roster of the "liquid" ones demonstrated a good game, rebuffed formidable opponents, but lost due to a slight lack of teamwork. Just take a look at who Team Liquid had to play against at BLAST Premier Spring Groups and IEM Katowice 2022 - FaZe Clan, Natus Vincere and G2 Esports. We recall that these are the three strongest teams at the moment in the world. The team only won once against Compexity, but only lost to them at the RMR Qualifier in North America. By the way, the selection was successful for the "liquid" ones. Team captain Nick nitr0 Cannella noted that he is having difficulty returning his skill to CS:GO, he has to relearn basic things, but he is pleased with the process. In his opinion the main thing for the team now is the help of teammates in adapting to the only European, pro-scene veteran Richard shox Papillon. The Frenchman is the only one who communicates in a non-native language, so the attitude towards him is the most reverent, despite the fact that he is the oldest in age. The fights against the top teams instilled confidence in the fans and management, because the team didn’t look like a “whipping boy”. ESL Pro League Season 15 is a chance for Team Liquid to show their potential and return to leading roles in the global CS:GO.
The organization has shown a very disappointing start to 2022. They failed absolutely everywhere, despite the high position in the HLTV rating. The team dropped from the 13th line to 23rd, didn’t qualify for the RMR tournament, and failed in Katowice. Out of 7 fights, the Brazilians won only two and lost to not the most eminent opponents. Their perspective is hazy, and the readiness leaves much to be desired. This tournament looks like the last chance for the squad, otherwise an immediate disband will follow. Frankly speaking, there is no faith in success, even with the presence of eminent TACO and HEN1. GODSENT is a contender for the last place in the group.
The German team stumbled slightly in Katowice, losing to fnatic and Astralis, but they should not be discounted. Of the 20 matches in 2022, the team scored 12 in the asset. Of the top 10, the German team lost to everyone except Astralis, the Danes were defeated twice. BIG is still completely relying on Dust II, rookie FaveN is progressing, syrsoN is in the top 10 snipers in the world, and captain tabseN has been consistently good for several years. The Germans always look like a strong middle player who beats the organization of the second tier without any problems, but cannot take a step up to the top zone. The players were selected for the European RMR, now the winning streak has 4 "Victories" in a row. BIG, however, has every opportunity to take first place in the group. Let's see if the team will confirm our words.
Having flashed at the last major, the Spanish grabbed the chance to replace at the Play-in IEM Katowice 2022, but, unfortunately, they beat only MIBR. The team is in a giant slump, having already dropped to 34th in the world rankings, losing 20 positions. Like GODSENT, they will miss the upcoming PGL Major Antwerp after failing at the RMR qualifiers. The team left a more attractive gaming impression in 2022 than their fellow sufferers from Brazil. We rate Movistar Riders higher than GODSENT, but this doesn’t mean that the probability of the Spaniards going further is high. Most likely, the team will compete for the 4th-5th line and will ruffle the nerves of the leaders of the subgroup several times.
You might think that this is another member of the club who “came to just participate”, where Sprout and Looking for Org are already located, but this judgment is false. Before us is the winner of the North American qualifiers for the RMR tournament PGL Major Antwerp. In 2022, the team has a 23-3 record. Yes, their opponents are tier-2-4 teams, but such a winning streak is impressive. At a minimum, an achievement in the selection puts the organization above GODSENT. Of the well-known rivals, the team defeated the new Evil Geniuses. ESL Pro League Season for Party Astronauts is a presentation for the European scene. That's who you should expect surprises from and who can be called the "dark horse" of the tournament. Such a selection of opponents allows the team to demonstrate their best sides, and maybe even show ambitions for reaching the playoffs. We advise you to keep a close eye on the new leader of the North American region.
Half of the group stage matches are coming to an end, the playoffs are coming soon, in which several surprise teams have already been selected. We are waiting for the replenishment of the participants!