ESL One New York 2019: Every team's chances rated

Aaaaaand we're back. ESL One New York 2019 is here and it's first top-tier non-BLAST event since the rebirth of Astralis.

It features some true titans of the game, four of the world's top ten teams (by HLTV), with some new look rosters that are looking to prove their worth.

The ESL One New York 2019 schedule starts on Thursday, September 26th and ends on Sunday, September 29th.

I'll break it down group by group, give some thoughts on how the group stage will pan out, and cross my fingers that this tournament features fewer surprise results than the Starladder Major, which is likely with all BO3s before the BO5 grand final.

If you like the look of Waldo's ESL One New York predictions, you can make your own at Luckbox - every new account starts with $5


So let's get to it. (ESL CS:GO World Rankings used in NY, so they are listed in parentheses).

Group A

Initial Matchups:

Team Liquid (1)

Thoughts: Here's where the road to redemption begins for the team that wanted nothing more in this world than the Starladder Major to cement their legacy as the best ever. Home soil, potential for their arch nemesis in the grand final to meet them? I know the CS community is excited as I am for that potential. First things first, avoiding an upset by eUnited that would be far worse than losing to Sharks Esports last week.

ENCE (5)

Thoughts: I still don't understand the roster changes. I was unimpressed at BLAST Pro Series Moscow, and I don't have extremely high expectations for the Finns at this event either. Time will tell if the addition of Miikka "suNny" Kemppi is what this side needs to be Major contenders, or if breaking up the team dynamic that worked well before will be the downfall of this roster.

G2 Esports (7)

Thoughts: There are few things less surprising in this world than French CS:GO teams shuffling their players around with each other. G2 will find themselves against elite competition with Fabien "kioShiMa" Fiey as a stand in for the recently departed Richard "shox" Papillon. There's still a ton of talent on this team, but I think the French would be wise to be on upset alert.

eUnited (Unranked)

Thoughts: This is a team that is expected to bomb out of this event quickly. And if they were on the other side of the bracket in Group B, I would be more inclined to agree. But G2 was shaky before the changes and ENCE looked pretty awful in Moscow. I don't think they'll take Liquid out of the gate, but I also don't think they're guaranteed to leave the Big Apple winless. Time to see if Ryan "freakazoid" Abadir can flex on the competition as he steps straight into the spotlight after being signed to play alongside his brother.


Group B

Initial Matchups:

Astralis (2)

Thoughts: If the Danes want that world number one spot back, they're going to need to take it from Liquid on their turf. A dominant showing in Berlin asserted that the stars of the scene were right to take their mental health time and produced the results they needed to to justify their time off on the biggest stage in CS. Here's to hoping that if we get a Liquid/Astralis matchup again that the NA side keep it closer.

NRG Esports (4)

Thoughts: NRG are surging. Coming off of arguably their strongest performance ever at the Berlin Starladder Major, they're looking to beat Liquid to being the second (mostly) NA side to hoist a major title. They've proven capable of beating even the best, by 2-0ing the eventually major champions in the New Legends stage. This is a world beating team at its peak, and ESL One New York 2019 could be the signature win that they're looking for to start their campaign.

FaZe Clan (9)

Thoughts: FaZe did not surprise me one bit by underperforming at the major. I genuinely was not surprised by any of their results and thought that their matches were representative of their abilities as a unit compared to their opponents. If you were surprised, you haven't been paying attention lately. Helvijs "broky" Saukants will be trialing in New York, an 18-year-old Latvian last seen playing for Epsilon. FaZe could lean on their stars, or they could fall flat. But I honestly would not be surprised to see them as the 0-2 team in this group after being knocked down by NRG in the first round.

OpTic Gaming (26)

Thoughts: OpTic is quietly among the world's best teams on Vertigo. But I don't think that that's a well kept secret at this point, so many teams will probably respect ban it, or are good enough to beat anyone, aka their Danish bretheren. That being said, I respect Mathias "MSL" Lauridsen tremendously as one of the world's most underrated IGLs and expect that he'll have his troops ready to put up a fight, even against the defending major champions in the first round tilt.


Waldo's ESL One New York 2019 predictions


2-0: Team Liquid
2-1: ENCE
1-2: eUnited
0-2: G2 Esports


2-0: Astralis
2-1: NRG Esports
1-2: OpTic Gaming
0-2: FaZe Clan


Pictures: Copyright ESL / Helena Kristiansson / Carlton Beener