Sixteen of the best team in the Americas will duke it out for six spots in the finals in Denmark
The tenth season of ESL Pro League is about to get underway. Sixteen of the best team in the Americas will duke it out for six spots in the finals in Denmark. Read on as we break down the format as well as give some tips for fantasy.
The ESL Pro League is a league that takes place annually. Sixteen teams have qualified and will be competing for their spot in the LAN finals in Odense, Denmark. There are three divisions, one for each region. In this article, we will be previewing the Americas division.
The format was revamped last year year and now features a group stage instead of a league table. The sixteen teams have been split up into groups of four and will play each other in a best-of-three, round-robin format. There will be three groups for North America and one for South America.
The group winner will advance directly to the LAN finals, whereas the team finishing in second and third will advance to a second group stage. The teams finishing in fourth place in their respective groups will advance to a relegation tournament.
The second group stage will feature two groups of four and only the group winner will advance to the LAN finals.
Here is the format summarized:
The groups are as follows:
ESL Pro League kicks off October 8. The league will run continuously throughout the month, with the final games being played November 18.
Note: All statistics are from all competitions with the most current rosters. Stats may be skewed due to the limited sample size.
EliGE has been a difference maker for Liquid so far in 2019, leading his team to multiple titles. His aggressive style nets him a ton of kills and the proof is in the pudding as he leads his team with 0.78 kills/round since this lineup was formed. He has done so while putting up an impressive 1.20 K/D ratio with 0.14 assists/round, making him the team’s top fantasy scorer despite tough competition from the likes of Twistzz and NAF.
With coldzera leaving the team, fer had to be the one to step up to the plate and deliver big performances for the team. So far, he has definitely done so with an impressive 1.26 K/D ratio. During this stretch, fer has been completely dominant on MIBR in terms of fantasy scoring. If this continues, fer will be a must pick in fantasy.
Brehze may have been overlooked for years, but finally people have started to take notice of this brilliant player. He has gone from strength to strength and he was instrumental for EG when they took down Astralis to win ESL One New York. Brehze is the epitome of consistency and he will be an excellent pick in fantasy throughout the season.
jks has been a revelation for Renegades throughout the last year or so, playing a key part in the deep runs that Renegades has occasionally been able to make in major tournaments. jks has retained a high K/D ratio throughout the year while maintaining a high headshot accuracy to boot, making him an excellent option for fantasy.
autimatic has transitioned back into a rifling role after AWPing for Cloud9 for a while. The transition hasn’t been the smoothest, but in the long run it should benefit his fantasy numbers. There is no doubt that autimatic will have to be one of the top players of this Cloud9 side if they want to make a deep run this season, and he has proven that he has the quality to carry his team to victory.
blameF is an absolute unit, both in-game and in real life. The Great Dane has always had a skill set that is well suitable for fantasy, as he is a full-time rifler that rarely ends the game with a negative K/D ratio. In addition, the man just outputs a ton of damage on the server, which nets him a ton of assists as well.
FURIA have acquired HEN1 from Luminosity, putting arT into a rifling role. So far, it has been KSCERATO who appears to have benefitted from this the most. He was completely dominant for the team during DreamHack Masters Malmö, scoring excellent numbers throughout the tournament.
I bigged up meyern in my article for Season 9 of ESL Pro League, while he was playing for Isurus Gaming and he did not disappoint. The Argentinian ended the season with a K/D ratio of 1.24 with a headshot accuracy of 62.0% and a staggering 0.81 kills/round. Sure, some of these matches were against domestic competition but he was able to post solid numbers even against the likes of MIBR, Renegades and Complexity. His performance earned him a spot on Sharks gaming, and he will be a must-start in the Latin-American matchups in my opinion.
Since the North American and Latin American groups are separated, you’re going to have to pick some players from these lesser-known teams. The second-best team in the group is DETONA, and vsm is their top fantasy performer so far.
Here are some honorable mentions that could prove to be just as good, if not better, than the featured players above. If picking these players allows you to build a stronger overall roster, then they should most definitely be considered.
Of course, there are always going to be some players that might surprise and perform above expectations. These are some players that I think have shown the potential to do just that.
Six spots will be up for grabs for the Americas, as such you would expect the big names such as Team Liquid, EG and MIBR to qualify. The last three spots are more uncertain, but you would most definitely favor teams like FURIA and Renegades to make it out as many of the other teams have just undergone major roster changes.
The final spot will be for the Latin American region and I heavily favor Sharks to make it out. They have bolstered their roster big time by adding meyern and Luken to a roster that already included a solid Brazilian trio of exit, jnt and leo_druNky. They already have some big upsets on their resume with their new roster, beating the likes of Liquid and Cloud9 in BO3s. Despite rather short odds in their group stage matches, I think there could still be some value to be had there. Even if they were to falter against a team like DETONA, they will still be a dangerous upset team in the second group stage against the North American teams.