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ESL Pro League Season 12 NA - Preview

Evil Geniuses will look to keep things rolling after winning ESL One Cologne, but they will face tough competition from the likes of Liquid and FURIA. We break down the format, the teams and give you some betting tips in our preview of ESL Pro League North America.

Valentin Gustafsson
Freelance Esports Writer
1st Sep, 2020·☕️ 6 min read
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Evil Geniuses will look to keep things rolling after winning ESL One Cologne, but they will face tough competition from the likes of Liquid and FURIA. We break down the format, the teams and give you some betting tips in our preview of ESL Pro League North America.

Competition Information

The North American division of ESL Pro League will feature eight teams who will compete for a $225,000 prize pool. 

The regular season will feature a round-robin group stage. All matches will be best-of-three, and the teams will play each other once. The top two teams at the end of the group stage will advance to the upper-bracket, with the next two teams starting their playoff journey in the lower-bracket.

The playoffs will feature a double-elimination bracket, with best-of-threes for all the matches, except for the final which will be a best-of-five with a one map advantage for the team coming through the upper-bracket.

These are the participants for the 12th season of ESL Pro League NA:

  • 🇧🇷 FURIA
  • 🇺🇸 Liquid
  • 🇺🇸 Evil Geniuses
  • 🇺🇸 Triumph
  • 🇦🇺 100 Thieves
  • 🇺🇸 Gen.G
  • 🇺🇸 Chaos
  • 🇺🇸 Cloud9

ESL Pro League NA will kick-off September 2, and will run through September 28.

The Current Season

Note: All stats are from online play in 2020.

Evil Geniuses

Evil Geniuses
Record: 52 / 1 / 30
Most Played Map: Inferno (85.7%)
Best Map: Inferno (85.7%)
Worst Map: Vertigo (40.0%)

Evil Geniuses are playing excellent CS at the moment, having won both cs_summit 6 and BLAST Premier Spring Americas Finals before the break, and now ESL One Cologne, as well. Their impressive unbeaten spree against FURIA has remained intact, and they still appear to have a strong mental edge against Liquid. With their current form, it is hard to argue against EG being the favourites to win this event.

Team Liquid

Team Liquid
Record: 15 / 0 / 8
Most Played Map: Inferno (66.7%)
Best Map: Vertigo (100.0%)
Worst Map: Nuke (25.0%)

Team Liquid have now played two tournaments together with Grim, who joined the team at the beginning of August, making the finals at both DreamHack Open Summer and ESL One Cologne. Both Evil Geniuses and FURIA have proven to be too difficult to handle, but they have been making quick work of the lesser teams in the region. The one who has struggled the most individually since the change is Stewie2k, while Twistzz has elevated his game significantly. When Liquid are playing well, they look incredibly good, but it seems like they still need a bit more time to overcome the likes of FURIA and Evil Geniuses. Will this be three times the charm for Liquid?

FURIA

FURIA
Record: 63 / 0 / 36
Most Played Map: Inferno (60.7%)
Best Map: Mirage (88.2%)
Worst Map: Nuke (47.1%)

FURIA continue to struggle with Evil Geniuses, but when they don’t have to face them, they tend to win the whole thing. This team has looked so impressive at times this year, especially when arT gets going on the T side, but it also needs to be said that they have shown signs of weakness against some of the lesser teams in the region.

Cloud9

Cloud9
Record: 79 / 0 / 51
Most Played Map: Train (60.9%)
Best Map: Overpass (85.7%)
Worst Map: Mirage (0.0%)

Cloud9 have struggled even against the likes of Chaos and Gen.G, but with Chaos losing steel, there is a slight chance that they can compete for a playoff spot. As mentioned, they are strategically sound and have the best utility usage in the region, but skill-wise it is hard for them to measure up against the likes of Liquid, Evil Geniuses and FURIA.

Triumph

Triumph
Record: 2 / 0 / 8
Most Played Map: Inferno (0.0%)
Best Map: Dust2 (100.0%)
Worst Map: Inferno (0.0%)

Triumph have bombed out with zero wins in two straight tournaments since losing Grim, and it is clear that they don’t quite measure up to the best teams in the region now when they have lost Grim. moose is a solid addition to this team, and penny has shown signs of promise, but it is hard to expect much from them at this point. A massive underdog against the rest of the field.

Chaos

Chaos
Record: 57 / 1 / 26
Most Played Map: Inferno (45.0%)
Best Map: Train (91.7%)
Worst Map: Inferno (45.0%)

Chaos have just announced that steel will be leaving the team in favour of a content creation role. This is a huge loss for the team, in my opinion. steel was not only the in-game leader for this team, but his impact for the team was quite impressive considering that he was also calling. They decided to pick up the Mexican player MarkE, who is an upgrade in terms of firepower, but there is no doubt that steel’s calling will be sorely missed. 

100 Thieves

100 Thieves
Record: 29 / 1 / 32
Most Played Map: Vertigo (53.8%)
Best Map: Dust2 (60.0%)
Worst Map: Nuke (23.1%)

100 Thieves are coming off a 5th-6th place finish at ESL One Cologne, losing games to FURIA and Chaos. There is no denying that 100 Thieves have the pedigree to ruffle the feathers of some of these top teams, but it is very questionable if they have what it takes to go all the way in a tournament like this. It may not be soon until a roster move could be on the cards, and a player like dexter from Renegades must be very tempting to recruit to their ranks.

Gen.G

Gen.G
Record: 41 / 1 / 44
Most Played Map: Inferno (45.5%)
Best Map: Mirage (64.3%)
Worst Map: Overpass (0.0%)

Gen.G have shown some serious upset potential, but they are just below the top tier teams in the region (FURIA, Liquid, Evil Geniuses). They showed at cs_summit 6 before the break that they can beat these teams, but the question is if they really have what it takes to win against these teams in a BO5 scenario in a potential final. 

Betting Tips

It is very hard to go against Evil Geniuses with their current form. Their edge against FURIA is inevitable, and they have gotten the better of Liquid for a while now. I do think it is only a matter of time before Liquid wins a tournament since they are consistently making finals. Their roster just has too much skill not to peak at some point. The dark horse that I like the most are Gen.G. In terms of underdogs, I like Gen.G the most. Make sure to read our daily betting tips, as well.

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