It's time for Group C's time in the spotlight at ESL Pro League Season 17, as we look forward to more world-class Counter-Strike:Global Offensive action at the Upper Bracket Quarterfinals on March 8.
ESL Pro League Season 17: Group C Upper Bracket Quarterfinals schedule and betting odds
We're racing through the Group Stage, with the action over on Group A and B having now come to a close. Eight teams have now qualified for the Playoffs - Cloud9, Outsiders, G2 Esports and Fnatic from Group A, and Heroic, MOUZ, FURIA Esports and Movistar Riders from Group B.
And just four Group C teams will be joining them - and so it's all to play for as we look forward to the next round of the ESL Pro League Season 17 Group Stage!
The CS:GO Group C action will kick off at 15:00 GMT on March 8, when FaZe Clan will be going up against Rooster.
FaZe Clan (1.05) vs Rooster (7.50)
FaZe Clan needs no introduction - the team had an unbelievably strong 2022 season, emerging victorious time and time again in tournaments throughout the year. Just a few of their 2022 highlights include victories at IEM Katowice, PGL Major Antwerp and IEM Cologne. 2023 has been more of a mixed bag so far, however, with a 1st-3rd place result at BLAST Premier: Spring Groups 2023 being somewhat undermined by a disappointing 7th - 8th placement at IEM Katowice. The team will need to prove that they're still on top form - and so all eyes will be on them as they take the stage on March 8.
Rooster are unlikely to present much of a challenge to FaZe Clan, however. The Australian team has limited experience at tournaments of this level, and indeed rarely competes internationally. Still, Rooster earned the right to compete in ESL Pro League Season 17 through their second-place result at the Oceanic Conference, so may be able to surprise CS:GO fans in their debut match.
FaZe Clan are strongly favoured to win here, with odds of 1.05 vs Rooster's 7.50.
That's not the only match taking place at 15:00 GMT either. While FaZe Clan dukes it out with Rooster, fans will also be treated to a match between paiN Gaming and Ninjas in Pyjamas.
paiN Gaming (3.80) vs Ninjas in Pyjamas (1.22)
paiN Gaming have hardly had the most compelling 2023 season so far, after ranking in joint-last place at IEM Katowice, sitting in 21st-24th place. The team also just recently fell short of qualifying for IEM Rio 2023, after coming in third place at the North American Qualifier. Despite these challenges, this marks the first time paiN Gaming is competing at an ESL Pro League, and as such will be under pressure to make a good impression.
Ninjas in Pyjamas similarly have a lot to prove, after a troubled start to the year. Despite some impressive performances in 2022, the team has arguably struggled so far in 2023 - with rankings of 10th - 12th at BLAST Premier: Spring Groups and 13th - 16th at IEM Katowice. The team's roster has seen some significant change this year too - Hampus "hampus" Poser is currently away on medical leave, with former Astralis player Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke taking his place.
The odds are in Ninjas in Pyjamas' favour here, at 1.22 vs paiN Gaming's 3.80.
The next pair of Group C matches are due to take place at 18:30 GMT, one of which will see Grayhound Gaming competing against Team Vitality.
Grayhound Gaming (7.50) vs Team Vitality (1.05)
Grayhound Gaming earned their right to compete in ESL Pro League Season 17 through their 1st-place victory at the Oceanic Conference, alongside Rooster in second place. It was a promising result for the team, who otherwise have struggled at international tournaments - having most recently bombed out of IEM Katowice 2023 with a ranking of 21st - 24th place. Time will tell if they'll be able to improve on their troubled record at international tournaments, but early signs aren't looking good for their Season 17 debut.
After all, Grayhound are facing steep competition in Team Vitality. The team has had a promising start to the 2023 season, kicking off the year with a 1st-3rd place result at BLAST Premier: Spring Groups 2023, before a respectable 5th - 6th place at IEM Katowice. What's impressive, however, is Vitality's ESL Pro League Season 16 record, which they finished in a spectacular 1st place after defeating Team Liquid in the Grand Final. Expectations are therefore running high for their performance this year, as one of the favourite teams of the tournament.
The odds are clearly in Team Vitaltiy's favour here, at 1.05 vs Grayhound Gaming's 7.50.
And finally, the second Group C Quarterfinal match at 18:30 GMT will see OG going head-to-head with 00 Nation.
OG's 2023 record has been something of a mixed bag so far. They kicked off the year with a fairly disappointing 7th - 9th placement at BLAST Premier: Spring Groups 2023, a starting fall from grace given that they were crowned the champions of the 2022 edition of the event. Meanwhile, their 9th - 12th placement at IEM Katowice was hardly inspiring, though admittedly it was an improvement on their 2022 Katowice record, where they placed in 13th - 16th place. Still, the team has been capable of some impressive performances at recent tournaments, having closed out the 2022 season with a 3rd - 4th at the BLAST Premier World Final - so all hope is not yet lost for their ESL Pro League Season 17 performance.
And regardless of OG's recent struggles, they're arguably in a good position as they get ready to face off against 00 Nation. While the Brazilian team has had some success in their home country, their international tournament record leaves much to be desired. 00 Nation hasn't competed in any major tournaments so far this year, having spent much of the 2023 season attempting to qualify for IEM Rio and the BLAST.tv Paris Major. Their last effort on the international stage took place at the IEM Rio Major in 2022, where they ended in joint-last position at 23rd-24th place, alongside Imperial Esports.
OG are therefore the favourites to win here, with odds of 1.13 vs 00 Nation's 5.00.
Group C is about to take the stage - so which team are you supporting? Whoever you choose to back, make sure you follow along with each game via our upcoming match schedule and remember to sign up now to claim your free 100% bonus!