By Pavo Jurkic
November 13, 2019
There are roughly three weeks until the start of the jubilar 10th ESL Pro League season, but a few tickets are still up for grabs. No worries, our ESL Pro League S10 qualifiers preview will bring you up to speed about the teams that are most likely to snatch them.
As far as the qualification system is concerned, all four regions still have tickets to decide. There’s eight of them remaining, four European and two American, with Asia and Oceania getting the last two.
The first portion of ESL Pro League S10 qualifiers is already done and dusted. Half the teams have already been eliminated, and eight best teams from the two central regions (Americans and Europe, four each) qualified straight to the Finals.
The second group stage kicks off soon with the last matches scheduled for November 18th, and this ESL Pro League S10 qualifiers preview is here to tell you all about it!
Our ESL Pro League S10 qualifiers preview is not done just yet! Team overviews, arguably the most exciting section, is coming right up, featuring the teams that are most likely to qualify for the Finals.
I’m sure we can all agree the European side of the deal is looking packed. Both groups sport stellar teams, but B is the tighter of the two. FaZe Clan, Fnatic, and Team Vitality. Currently, the 7th, the 5th, and the 3rd best CSGO team in the world… all in a single group. That’s going to be a tough one, huh?
Group A will be tricky, too, but the main favorites are relatively easy to notice. In-form NiP is the frontrunner here, with G2 following in their footsteps. However, the recently altered French team might have form issues and could be struggling to find their grasp against their challengers, North and BIG.
Ninjas in Pyjamas are back at it! The rise of Swedish CSGO, the surge of Nip and Fnatic, is something many CSGO fans craved for. And it’s finally here – NiP managed to string together several outstanding outings and are coming into the ESL Pro League S10 qualifiers with high hopes.
2nd place in Copenhagen on the latest BLAST Pro Series iteration, coupled with excellent outings on DH Masters Malmo and BPS Moscow, present this Nip team in a pretty good light. If it weren’t for Fnatic’s impressive run in the last few weeks, NiP would’ve been the No. 1 team in Sweden now.
But I’m sure f0rest and the boys won’t mind. I’m sure they already have their eyes set on qualifying for the Finals, especially after failing to do so last time out. Despite the fact group A won’t be nearly as competitive as group B, things could still get sticky, especially if the opening round loser fails to deliver on Thursday.
Moving on with our ESL Pro League S10 qualifiers preview, we have G2, a highly competitive French team that recently underwent drastic roster changes. Yep, a little over a month ago, nexa and huNter left CR4ZY and joined kennyS, JaCkz, and AmaNEk in G2. This move was met with divided opinions, and unsurprisingly considering the fact nexa and huNter had just one proper top-tier event to their tally.
On the bright side, G2’s form seems to be on an upward spiral. Nexa and huNter are finally syncing up with their teammates, meaning we can expect better things from them in London. The group is nicely poised, and if G2 can take down Nip in the opening round, I can see them sneaking through to the Finals after failing to qualify for Season 9 earlier this year.
One thing is certain – FaZe Clan is going to have a lot of work on their hands. As stated earlier, group B is sort of a death group with three top 7 sides fighting for their chance to compete on the ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals… and FaZe is right there in the middle of all the drama.
On paper, Fnatic and Vitality are the favorites here. Now, FaZe Clan is the “lowest” of the three, despite their recent BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen triumph in which Coldzera and the boys finally showed their true potential.
And that event ought to be what swings the odds in FaZe Clan’s favor. Out-of-form Vitality ought to crack in the opening match and FaZe should go two from two after HellRaisers. The third round (FaZe vs. Fnatic), from the looks of things, will be deciding who gets the top spot in the group.
Yep, in my books, in-form Swedes have better chances of qualifying for the ESL Pro League 10 Finals than one-man army Vitality. And that’s the main problem of Team Vitality for quite a while, relying too heavily on ZywOo. While the 19-year-old French fragger is still playing well, the team got accustomed to winning matches all thanks to ZywOo… and that’s just too much pressure for such a young lad.
Fnatic, on the other hand, finally snapped in the final piece of their roster puzzle and are looking to conquer the CSGO scene. And they’re on the right path, displaying excellent performances on StarSeries Season 8 and DreamHack Masters Malmo. Need I remind you; they won the latter and almost made it in Belek, Turkey.
The second-round matchups between Vitality and Fnatic is probably going to decide who goes through to the Finals. On one end, we have Fnatic with brilliant teamwork and impressive track record in the recent month or so. On the other end, we have Vitality that’s still relying too much on their star player. Yep, I’m sure you realize why I’m favoring the Swedes here…
The American side of the table is much more lenient. Yes, the quality of competing teams is on point, but it can’t be compared to the European narrative. Envy should take group A as they’re currently the third-best NA team, right behind the giants, Team Liquid and Evil Geniuses.
The recently formed 100 Thieves should cruise to group B victory. For the Aussies, qualifying for ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals is somewhat of an imperative, so they’re the frontrunners here. However, all three competing teams will have something to say going forward, with the young Brazilians, FURIA, leading the charge.
The arrival of ryann from Singularity marked a new era for Team Envy. A new era of their US roster, to be more precise. Ever since the switch from French to US roster, Team Envy seemed unimpressive. Yes, they had a few fine performances here and there, but it was nowhere near the kind of results fans expected. Not even karrigan could’ve helped their cause at the start of this year.
However, with ryann on board and Nifty finally getting a hold of his IGLing, Team Envy’s future looks bright. Coming into the second group stage, they’ll fancy their chances against ATK, DETONA, and Singularity. The luck of the draw favored them as they are (at least on paper) the most robust side in this group. Of course, that wouldn’t be the case if they were in group B.
As hinted above, 100 Thieves should be the team that qualifies from group B. The Aussies are having the time of their life. They had a great outing in Berlin where they reached their best-ever Major placement (semifinals) and performed well on StarSeries Season 8 and IEM XIV Beijing. They didn’t qualify for the last ESL Pro League Finals (Season 9), so jks and the fellas will want to improve their record this time around.
Not to mention the fact that the recent acquisition brings forth more pressure on the players. 100 Thieves are a prominent esports organization, and they have clear and cut expectations regarding the team’s performances. Like I mentioned earlier, qualification might be an imperative for 100 Thieves coming into this event, and knowing the experience the Aussie boys have, I reckon they’ll use that as an extra motivator.
That’s about it as far as the team overviews section of our ESL Pro League S10 qualifiers preview is concerned. Group B in both European and American qualifiers seem way too intense, so I reckon we’ll have a splendid course of action on our hands.
When it comes to Asia and Oceania ESL Pro League Season 10 qualifiers, two teams stand out as the likely Finals’ participants. In Asia, TYLOO needs to show its superiority against the likes of ALPHA Red, Invictus, and Lucid Dream. Grayhound, on the other hand, will fancy their chances against Avant, Chiefs, and ORDER, a group which they shouldn’t have too many issues qualifying from.
If you consider yourself an avid CSGO fan, then I’m sure you’ll be interested to see when the action starts. No worries, our event schedule has you covered, and it’s coming right up!
And finally, the last thing this ESL Pro League S10 qualifiers preview will cover is the schedule of both American and European qualifiers as well as the starting times of all second group stage matches in the two central regions!
Yep, this isn’t your typical double-elimination group stage with winners, elimination, and decider matches. As explained above, the second group stage of ESL Pro League S10 qualifiers brings forth the round-robin format, meaning we know all matchups before the tournament begins.
So, let’s dive right on into the European side of the deal!
Let’s not forget about the Americas…