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ESL Pro League Season 14 Groups, playoff details, and more

Earlier this week ESL announced the groups for their next event, Pro League Season 14, and also revamped the format for the playoffs that will take place once the group stage is concluded. EPL Season 14 will be held online and will contain 24 teams, which includes 18 teams from the EU, 5 from North America, and 1 from the Oceanic region.

The teams have been divided into groups of 6, where they will play each team once, and at the end, the top 3 will move on to the playoffs.

THE GROUPS

GROUP A: 16-20 August

Teams: Heroic, Astralis, Team Vitality, Team Spirit, ENCE, Bad News Bears

Two Danish powerhouses will go toe to toe to find the best placing in group A, as Vitality will look to reignite the spark they had from 2020. Mathieu ‘ZywOo’ Herbaut’s performances haven’t dwindled but a couple of roster changes and going back to a 5 man squad have affected them heavily in 2021.

Team Spirit and Ence can both give the top teams a run for their money, with Spirit having performed well at IEM Cologne, and ENCE looking to bounce back after completely revitalizing their roster from the dream IEM Katowice 2019 run, with Aleksi ‘allu’ Jalli being the last to part ways in early May. Bad News Bears have been performing well regionally and can play spoiler to a lot of teams in group A.

GROUP B: 21-26 August

Teams: G2 Esports, Virtus Pro, Complexity, OG, Renegades, Sinners Esports

The only strong contender from Group B seems to be G2, showing promise at IEM Cologne too. VP will again look to break into the top 10 after an average performance at Cologne. OG and Renegades will meet up again, and OG will look for revenge as they lost to the Aussies in a shock upset at the IEM Cologne play-ins and couldn’t even make it to the main event.

Eyes will be on Complexity as well after the parted ways with Will “RUSH” Wierzba and added Patrick ‘es3tag’ Hansen to the roster. Famed from his Astralis days, they will have high hopes for him. Finally, after being away from competitive CSGO for almost 3 years, Tomas ‘oskar’ Stastny returns to the spotlight with Sinners esports after they won ESEA premier season 37

GROUP C: 27-31 August

Teams: Natus Vincere, Faze Clan, BIG, Mouseports, Evil Geniuses, Fnatic

Headed by NAVI, group C contains some pretty big names, with pedigree. Invincibles at IEM Cologne, NAVI have their work cut out for them as they face, BIG, Faze, and Mouseports all of whom have been looking hot to trot. EG will look to prove their NA supremacy, after adding Damian ‘Daps’ Steele as a coach.

Fnatic will be the biggest underdog coming in, having removed two of their long-standing pillars in the form of ‘JW’ and ‘Golden’. The two new additions are yet to be announced, but reports suggest it may be ex-Cloud 9 UK duo ‘ALEX’ and ‘mezii’, but whether they are true, remains to be seen.

GROUP D: 1-5 September

Teams: Gambit esports, Ninjas In Pyajamas, Furia esports, Team Liquid, Entropiq, Team One

Group D is stacked from top to bottom, with top teams from every region. World #1 for the last 2 months, Gambit will be looking to once again get back to the top as they go up against Ninjas in Pyjamas who have had their own woes since Nicolai ‘dev1ce’ Reedtz was added, having failed to find a suitable fifth member. Team Liquid and Furia represent NA and continue their rivalry in season 14, after dismal performances in Cologne.

Liquid should be looking for a semi-final berth at least if they want to prove to the world that they still have what it takes. Entropiq has looked good in the CIS scene and can surely play spoiler along with ESEA Premier S37 NA winners, Team One.

THE NEW PLAYOFF FORMAT

ESL also announced that they will do away with the playoff format followed until Season 13, and will use an updated system. The Play-in stage that was played between the group winners for a semi-final sport straightaway has been removed, as it was deemed too advantageous for the winners.

In the new format, all the group winners will be guaranteed a quarter-final berth and the round of 12 will be played by the 2nd and 3rd placed team from the groups, with the winner moving on to the quarters.

ESL Pro League Season 14 kicks off on August 16 when the player break ends and will conclude in the second week of September with a prize pool of $750,000.

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