As you may already know, ESL Pro League’s 18th season is about to begin, and we should be set for an exciting first week of the tournament. Here we’ll discuss the matches in the Opening Round and their importance, and give some insight into what can happen today. Ready? Let’s dive right in!
The matches today will be from the Opening Round, one that can make or destroy a team’s campaign for the rest of the competition – and we’ll see why that is, shortly.
The bottom 4 teams in the bracket will play against each other at 14:00 (GMT). Here’s how the matches were organized.
This series will be pretty interesting, that’s for sure. We say that because Furia has been inching their way in getting the new roster to perform. The first matches after Fallen and chelo were brought in were quite a disaster, but their performance on Pinnacle Cup V (2nd place) has shed some light on what we can expect from Furia.
Movistar Riders on the other hand have not been in good shape this season. Out of the last 15 matches played, the team has won 5. Is that enough to put our money on the line for Furia? We wouldn’t go that far.
Just like Furia and Movistar Riders, Grayhound has not been performing too well in recent games. The team has won 7 out of the last 15 matches played.
In turn, GamerLegion boasts the complete opposite. Out of the last 15 matches played, the team came out victorious in 10. Due to that, GamerLegion can definitely be viewed as a favorite here.
At 17:30 (GMT) we’ll see how the matches between the top 4 teams in the bracket play out. Here’s what we think about the two matchups.
There’s not much we can say here other than that ORKS is a clear underdog for this faceoff. With Vitality’s rise to the Top 1 position in the world, this should be an easy task for Zyw0o and his teammates. Despite that, we’re unsure how Dupreeh’s recent benching will affect their performance in this tournament. So, we wouldn’t form any opinions before seeing what they’ll make out of this Opening Round.
In terms of recent games played (not against each other), Astralis has the upper hand on NIP by having won 9 out of the last 15 matches, while Ninjas in Pyjamas won only 7 out of those 15. In fact, a duel between the two went down on the 31st of July at IEM Cologne 2023 – a series where Astralis hammered a clean 2x0 on NIP.
The Opening Round is one of the most important phases in a competition that has a Double-elimination bracket system for its first matches. That’s the case because the teams that lose this first match will drop to the Lower Brackets, which offers a bumpier path to the title when compared to the Upper Bracket’s path.Unfortunately, that’s it for today. But if you want to follow ESL Pro League 18 up close with post-match reviews and much more, be sure to head back here at Strafe.com!
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