ESL Pro League Season 16 started last week with Group A matches, and Group B will kick off this week. To reach the playoffs in Malta, six teams will play against each other in a single round-robin format with best-of-three matches. If you can make it to the top three, you will advance to the playoffs.
In Group A, we saw Team Vitality advance with five wins, Fnatic and Natus Vincere followed them while Ninjas in Pyjamas was eliminated before the playoffs. Group B will witness FaZe Clan, G2 Esports, BIG, Outsiders, MIBR and FTW Esports clash to secure a top three place. Let’s take a look at what is going to happen next.
EPL S16 Group B teams
FaZe Clan attends the ESL Pro League after winning a Major for the first time in their history this year with an international team, which is also a first. After a disappointing ending to 2021 which was dominated by NAVI, FaZe benched olofmeister and brought in ropz. Starting with IEM Katowice which they won with a stand-in, jks, FaZe has challenged Natus Vincere in 2022, and sat on the top of CS:GO esports.
G2 Esports tried to challenge Natus Vincere in 2021 but failed and ended up second or worse in most tournaments. In the end, they brought the superb wonderkid m0NESY, but he wasn’t enough to bring a victory to G2 in 2022 either. Before EPL, jks and HooXi joined, and the new roster looked good at BLAST Premier Fall Groups, although not perfect. They have the potential, and we will see if they can activate it at ESL Pro League.
|Also Read||Can G2 Esports succeed in ESL Pro League Season 16?|
Outsiders, formerly Virtus.pro, will attend EPL after having a disappointing result at IEM Cologne and against Movistar Riders at ESL Challengers. Ever since the conflicts in Ukraine, Outsiders couldn’t find their rhythm and they weren’t perfect before that either. Recently, buster and YEKINDAR were benched and replaced by n0rb3r7 and fame. These changes didn’t look like they affected Outsiders that much.
After taking the Roobet Cup out of the hands of FaZe Clan, BIG is coming to surprise us and even eclipse Outsiders and others. enkay J left the team, Krimbo joined on trial, k1to returned while tiziaN got benched: BIG had a busy year. Although they always looked like one of the weakest teams in the tournaments they attended, they managed to finish in high places numerous times.
MIBR will participate in Group B with their Brazilian roster, and although I would love to say something nice about them, we haven’t seen MIBR achieve much outside of the local and regional tournaments. They couldn’t catch up with the global level of CS:GO, and don’t stand much chance at EPL. The many roster changes they did this year didn’t seem to affect their performance either. We will see if HEN1 can.
Finally, the last team in the group: For The Win Esports. The Portuguese squad will attend after finding a slot through EPL Conference. Three of the players joined the team this year, and the remaining two joined in June 2021. They are a relatively new team, unlike the organization’s long history in the game. Just like MIBR, they are also successful in local tournaments, but EPL might be too tough for them.
ESL Pro League Group B predictions
In Group B, these are our expectations:
|2||G2 Esports||Round of 12|
|3||Outsiders||Round of 12|
|6||FTW Esports||Not qualified|
FaZe Clan are the most recent Major champions and honestly, the most stable team in the ESL Pro League right now. They are the clear candidate for the first place. They will be followed by G2 Esports, hopefully for their fans as G2 managed to go 0-5 in an EPL group stage not that long ago.
While it is hard to determine whether Outsiders is close to a victory or BIG, I consider Outsiders to be one step ahead. I wouldn’t be surprised if their game ends 2-1 with overtimes. Map picks might even decide the outcome in Outsiders vs BIG.
Obviously, MIBR is a better team than FTW Esports, but they are so behind in the global CS:GO scene right now, that I highly doubt if they can even take some maps away from the best teams in Group B. I would be happy to be proved wrong, as it’s always great to see Brazilian teams competing.
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ESL Pro League Group B schedule
Let’s take a look at Group B matches day by day:
Day One - September 7
FaZe Clan (1.02) vs FTW Esports (10.00) - 12:30 CEST
Outsiders (2.00) vs BIG (1.72) - 16:00 CEST
G2 Esports (1.17) vs MIBR (4.40) - 19:30 CEST
While FaZe Clan and G2 Esports start with an advantageous fixture, the same cannot be said about Outsiders and BIG. They will face the biggest challenge on their way to qualifying for the playoffs. The winner will obtain a big advantage and this game on the first day of the group could decide the fate of both teams. Although they look close, I think Outsiders should win that one.
Obviously, FaZe and G2 are clear favourites and they should start with a victory.
Day Two - September 8
Outsiders (1.08) vs FTW Esports (6.30) - 12:30 CEST
G2 Esports (1.48) vs BIG (2.50) - 16:00 CEST
FaZe Clan (1.15) vs MIBR (4.50) - 19:30 CEST
FaZe Clan will take on the Brazilian fire MIBR in the final match of the day, and it should be an easy one for FaZe while the hopes of the Brazilian representative will diminish each day. After facing the two group favourites in two days, MIBR's chances aren’t very high.
Outsiders will take on FTW Esports, and they should secure an easy victory too. BIG is the closest team to a surprise here, but if G2 Esports had some lessons after Fall Groups, they should take the victory.
Day Three - September 9
G2 Esports (1.04) vs FTW Esports (8.00) - 12:30 CEST
BIG (1.30) vs MIBR (3.20) - 16:00 CEST
FaZe Clan (1.40) vs Outsiders (2.70) - 19:30 CEST
MIBR’s first “winnable” one will be against BIG on day three. If they don’t let the probable losses on the first two days affect their mental status, they should be able to use the nationality boost and try to pull an upset against BIG. I highly doubt that though, as BIG will try to make it out of the group as well with a notably better team.
G2 will face FTW Esports, which looks like another easy cake for the strong team. If they don’t botch it like EPL Season 14-15 and finally make a good presence at the ESL Pro League, they should secure their third win against FTW. FaZe Clan will end the day against Outsiders, and should dominate the game. While FaZe looked well-organized in 2022, Outsiders looked the opposite way.
Day Four - September 10
BIG (1.06) vs FTW Esports (7.50) - 12:30 CEST
Outsiders (1.45) vs MIBR (2.50) - 16:00 CEST
FaZe Clan (1.52) vs G2 Esports (2.40) - 19:30 CEST
On day four, the group will slowly shape and we will know if there’s going to be chaos on the final day or not. However, FaZe vs G2 at the end of the day will probably decide the first place in Group B. FaZe has the upper hand with their performance in 2022 and with G2’s notoriously bad performances at EPLs.
BIG will take on FTW Esports as the favourite team, and although there is always a chance for FTW to surprise us all, you should be well aware that they will probably head back home without any wins. Outsiders will face MIBR, and the performances in the first three days might affect the result here. Outsiders are the favourite but do your research before the game.
Day Five - September 11
MIBR (1.28) vs FTW Esports (3.40) - 19:30 CEST
G2 Esports (1.40) vs Outsiders (2.80) - 19:30 CEST
FaZe Clan (1.50) vs BIG (2.40) - 19:30 CEST
All the matches will start at the same time on the final day of Group B. FaZe Clan and G2 Esports will enter the game as the favourite. However, especially if there is a chance for BIG and Outsiders on day five to advance to the playoffs, then they will fight hard. The game will be a single best-of-three, so don’t underestimate the underdogs.
MIBR will face their weakest opponent on the final day and should secure the victory. However, if they have already lost their chance of making it to the playoffs, FTW might take advantage of their position and secure a victory before the EPL ends for them.
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