The likes of NaVi and FURIA are set to duke it out in ESL Pro League. We look at how the teams stack up in Group C.
With the first two groups out of the way, it is time to find out who makes it to the playoffs in Group C.
This group features a trio of Brazilian teams, namely MIBR, FURIA and Team One. The likes of FURIA and MIBR will look to bounce back after a less than stellar start to the year. The same can be said for Cloud9, who will play their fifth ever event since Xeppaa joined the roster in January. Rounding up the group are Natus Vincere and Gambit, two CIS teams who are in fine form after winning the BLAST Global Final and IEM Katowice, respectively.
The six teams will play through a round-robin group stage over five days, with best-of-threes for all matches. Three points are awarded for a win, and zero points for a loss. There will be no ties. On the last day of the group stage, they will play all matches at the same time to ensure that there is no foul play. Once the group stage has concluded, the top three teams will advance to the playoffs.
The participants in Group C are:
Group C kicks off today, March 19th, and runs through March 24th.
s1mple and his team kicked off the year in flying colours, winning the BLAST Global Final before they went on an undefeated run in the BLAST Premier Spring group stage. A disappointing showing at IEM Katowice followed, where they were largely overshadowed by their CIS counterparts, Gambit, Spirit and Virtus.pro. Gambit got the better of them in a 2-0 beat down at IEM Katowice, but Natus Vincere will get a chance at revenge against Gambit in this group. Perhaps their CIS competitors are more balanced from top to bottom, but one thing that they do not have is a player of s1mple’s calibre. The Ukrainian has posted a rating of 1.36 in all competitions to start the year, which is better than any other player in the Top 30.
Gambit have been the surprise of the year so far. The CIS side crushed the competition to win IEM Katowice, one of the most stacked events on the calendar. The question is, will they be able to continue that momentum or will they have a bit of a hangover? Personally, I think that they should have what it takes to get out of this group considering the competition.
The Cloud9 organisation splashed the cash on this international roster, but so far, they haven’t lived up to expectations. There has been no silverware in sight and recent losses to K23 and VOYVODA make me question if they have what it takes to beat out teams like Natus Vincere, FURIA and Gambit for a spot in the playoffs.
This MIBR roster has taken maps against some top-tier competition, but they haven’t been able to do much more than that so far. Truthfully, their map pool is a bit too limited for them to challenge the top dogs in Europe. This is the type of team that would have a lot more upset potential in a BO1 format, but in BO3s they will probably struggle. They should be able to get a win or two on the board in this group, but making playoffs is unlikely.
This will be FURIA’s second event with Junior, who they picked up from Triumph in January. Their first tournament with the American was IEM Katowice, where they defeated the likes of NiP and FaZe, but later fell to the CIS teams Natus Vincere and Virtus.pro. Personally, I am still doubtful of this team. Transitioning to English comms isn’t the easiest for a Brazilian roster, and losing HEN1 is a big hit to the team. With that said, they should be able to make it out of this group without too much of an issue.
The big underdog of this group is TeamOne. The Brazilian team has one of South America’s strongest aimers in the shape of malbsMd, but it is going to take a lot more than good aim to make it out of a group which includes FURIA, Gambit and Natus Vincere. They have only won one out of their last five games at the recent Pinnacle Cup, which doesn’t bode well for them as they will face off against far stronger competition in the ESL Pro League.
Personally, I think Natus Vincere and Gambit make it out of this group without too much of an issue. Teams like Natus Vincere and Gambit are prone to the occasional choke, but the competition just isn’t particularly strong in this group. FURIA should have what it takes to grab the last spot, although a team like Cloud9 could play spoiler. Check out the daily betting articles for more betting tips.