The conclusion of Season 7 of the ESL Pro League kicks off on May 14 in Dallas, Texas, featuring 16 teams competing for a share of the $750,000 prize pool. Who will manage to clinch the title? Read on for a detailed analysis of the tournament format and teams taking part.
Teams qualified for the event through their regional Pro Leagues. Seven teams qualified through the European division, six through the North American one, two through the Asia Pacific Region and one through the South American League. The seeds were determined by the team’s league placing’s and then split into two groups displayed below:
**Heroic replaced HellRaisers due to visa issues.
ESL Pro League Finals Betting: The format
The two groups are organised into two double-elimination brackets. The top three from each bracket qualifies for the playoffs. The winner of the upper bracket advances to the semi-finals, with the runners-up and third-placed teams advancing to the quarter-finals.
The first round of matches are all best-of-ones (BO1), with the rest being best-of-threes (BO3), followed by the best-of-five (BO5) Grand Final. The initial matches offer bettors a great chance to find some upset potential as BO1’s allow room for smaller teams to hit peak-form over one map and take down some of the prominent names in attendance.
As the event shifts to BO3’s, bettors should see consistency in the results, as teams exercise their ability over three maps. With Dust2 re-added into the CS:GO map pool, the meta has shifted towards teams that perform on this map.
Teams less comfortable on Dust2 are forced to ban it, exposing themselves to opponents picking their weaker maps. Bettors need to consider the map veto carefully as the tournament progresses.
The BO5 Grand Final favours teams with deep map pools. The majority of top teams have experienced playing BO5’s, understanding the mental strain endured. With the lesser teams not used to such an environment, they will struggle if they succeed in making it this far.
ESL Pro League Season 7 Finals odds: Analysing the favourites
FaZe (4.630*) showed up at IEM Sydney, lifting the trophy and proving what they are capable of achieving. Taking down Astralis in the final 3-0 was a phenomenal result. With their current five, they’ve never been defeated on Cache at a LAN event, despite playing it six times. They are strong on Overpass as well, currently having a 75 percent win rate on it. The primary maps they are looking to avoid is Nuke (0 percent win rate) and Overpass – only winning it once from three attempts.
Astralis (4.420*) were the team to beat before IEM Sydney and looked poised to secure the victory. They fell short, but are happy with their overall performance. They have raised their level since recruiting Magisk (1.15 kill-death (KD) rating for the previous three months on HLTV) and are looking strong with their map pool.
NiP have only played four maps with their current roster on LAN, making their map pool untested.
The removal of Cobblestone is a blessing in disguise for Astralis as they rarely played it. Sitting with win rates of over 80 percent on four of the maps, banning against the Danish seems almost impossible.
mousesports (7.230*) have been disrupting the European scene for months, thanks to their diverse and aggressive playstyle. The firepower they possess has led to some sharp online results, alongside respectable event finishes. The team feel they should’ve achieved more and are targeting victory in Texas.
To be successful in Texas, mousesports need to improve their map pool. Inferno, Cache and Overpass have been exceptionally weak and with an over-reliance on Mirage (72 percent win rate from 33 matches on LAN), they might struggle when it comes to the BO3 and potentially BO5 games.
Na’Vi (7.230*) looked to be in a desperate situation a few months prior, with players threatening to leave due to poor results. They have found a harmony amongst their group since, with results on a steady upwards trajectory. Their recent wins over mousesports, fnatic and Astralis are impressive. As they only have positive win rates on three out of seven maps on LAN, facing teams such as Astralis will be difficult.
Do any of the outsiders have a chance?
Ninjas in Pyjamas (7.230*) have looked impressive since the arrival of dennis (1.05 rating), with wins over mousesports and Astralis online demonstrating they have the firepower and experience to defeat anyone. NiP have proven they have what it takes to win and if the blend of young and old stars click at the right time, they are one to watch in Texas.
With their current five, FaZe have never been defeated on Cache at a LAN event, despite playing it six times.
NiP have only played four maps with their current roster on LAN, making their map pool untested. The amount of work they’ve put in will have a direct correlation to how deep into the tournament they succeed in reaching.
NRG (15.500*) have found a roster that works, with the introduction of Ethan seeming to be the final piece they were missing. IEM Sydney was their first LAN test and the team performed admirably. CeRq (5th highest rated player in CS:GO) is capable of dominating any side with his AWP and seeing him compete is fascinating. This team is capable of upsetting the top European sides when at their best.
SK Gaming (9.490*) have a lot to prove following their poor results since the acquisition of Stewie2k from Cloud9. The Brazilians announced that coldzera is taking over the in-game leading role from FalleN in an attempt to improve their fortunes.
SK Gaming’s bad run of form can be attributed to an alarming drop in SK’s map pool. Since recruiting Stewie2k, they have played four different maps on LAN, winning on just two of them. Their most popular map is Mirage, but out of four matches on this map, they were successful only once. The talent of this team is unquestionable, capable of taking down any side, will this be the event we see the new look SK live up to expectations?
*Odds subject to change