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Week four of the ESL ESEA Pro League: the rising force

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With a lot of other tournaments going on, this week of the ESL ESEA Pro League only contained a few matches. However, this week was also a big opportunity for Team SoloMid to continue their rise to the number one spot as well as a good warmup for the upcoming week, which will be filled to the brim with awesome matches.

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Team SoloMid - 3-0

The rising force of TSM is on the verge of snatching the number one ranking away from Fnatic, with this week of the ESL ESEA Pro League giving them more opportunities to solidify this potential change of guard.

They first met Titan on Overpass. With a CT start, the Danish side kicked off with aggression towards the middle area. This shut down anything Titan had cooked up and gave TSM an easy ride to a 10-5 first half. After a pistol round win, TSM quickly closed out the game with a 16-5 score.

Next up were the Ninjas in Pyjamas on Cobblestone. With an all-around solid performance from TSM they put up a decent first half, with only a few rounds lost due to unpredictable auto-sniper pickups by the Ninjas. TSM didn’t fell prey to the NiP’s signature aggression, however, with them closing out the game 16-10.

Lastly, Team Dignitas was met on Dust 2 - a landslide victory due to cajunb and device’s strong performances. A convincing CT side delivered TSM 13 rounds in the first half, which was quickly closed out for a 16-3 victory.

Team Dignitas - 2-1

Despite a decent position in the current leaderboards of the Pro League, Dignitas still has a lot of room to improve. With some difficult opponents scheduled, the Danish side would have to put themselves to the test once again.

mousesports was up first on Cobblestone. With Pimp and schneider on fire, Dignitas went into a back and forth slugfest. With neither team really in a position to grab the economic lead, the match went the full 30 rounds into overtime. However, Dignitas managed to keep their composure and close out the match with a 19-15 win.

Next up they faced off against HellRaisers on Train. With the strong defence from HR, Dignitas couldn’t pull off good executions, punching their way to five rounds in the first half. Dignitas quickly regained their momentum as they took off on the CT side, however, shutting down almost all that HellRaisers threw at them and taking the win home with a 16-12 victory.

The biggest challenge this week came in the form of Team SoloMid on Dust 2. With none of their players matching up to TSM this game, Dignitas was quickly shut down during the first half and were unable to gain any traction during the second half. A 3-16 loss was the result.

Titan - 1-1

With their newest addition settling in, the French squad is set to achieve great things.

With Fnatic at the ready on Train, Titan took off in this week’s matches. Their offensive tactics not packing the punch to drop Fnatic to their knees, Titan only scraped in five rounds during the first half. With ScreaM on the loose, the defense of the French squad managed to shut down Fnatic in more than equal fashion. Titan had to overcome getting aced and they rightfully did so, ultimately closing out the match 16-13.

Straight afterwards, they played Team SoloMid on Overpass. The offensive strategies Ex6TenZ is well-known for didn’t come to fruition this time around, with TSM shutting down the map unanswered. With only five rounds to the board in the first half, Titan took a 5-16 loss from TSM.

Fnatic - 1-1

The major titleholders appear to be in a slump, with performances varying and the individual players not at their peak.

The Swedish side first faced off against Titan on Train. With flusha and pronax back in their old positions, Fnatic put up a strong defence, shutting down most of the aggression without suffering too many casualties. In the second half, where JW single-handedly pulled a round to his side, Fnatic was unable to exert the pressure they needed for a win. With only three rounds picked up, JW and flusha were unable to clutch the 2v2 after plant and suffered the final blow, leaving their team with a 13-16 loss.

SK Gaming was up next on Cobblestone. With dennis standing in for pronax, Fnatic took off with a rocky start during their first half. Without the dominating platform play towards B from olofmeister, the Swedes only managed to pick up six rounds. During the second half, olofmeister picked up the pace and put up a strong defense alongside flusha. With the two superstars zoned in, Fnatic took the game 16-10.

Ninjas in Pyjamas - 0-1

The Ninjas continue their journey in the Pro League with varying results - teams are starting to adapt to the sheer aggression they’ve shown since the major.

Only Team SoloMid was to be played on Cobblestone. With a sloppy defense unable to match the freedom of play that TSM showed, the Ninjas had little chance during the first half. Despite a couple of crazy moments with the auto-sniper, NiP only took six rounds into the second half. The second half was even less fruitful, with NiP running into Xyp9x’s crosshairs more often than not. NiP lost the match 10-16.

HellRaisers - 0-1

With a lot of roster changes in the past weeks, HellRaisers will have to tune up their game.

Dignitas on Train was their only match this week. With trials STYKO and oskar in their ranks, HR pulled off a strong defense against the Danish side. HR grabbed a 10-5 first half, but with lmbt and kUcheR slacking behind in fragging they were unable to punch through on the T side. With Dignitas locking up the bomb sites, HellRaisers only grabbed two more rounds before succumbing with a 12-16 score.

SK Gaming - 0-1

Still without a win in the Pro League and playing without MODDII for this week’s match, SK is having a tough time.

They faced Fnatic on Cobblestone. With a relatively strong CT side, things were looking good for the Danish squad. They managed to keep some of  the key opponents at bay while securing their rounds and went into the second half with a 9-6 lead. Despite their good first half, however, SK was seemingly unable to penetrate the defense Fnatic had set up. With k0nfig falling behind,  the Danes only picked up a single round before losing the match 10-16.

Upcoming matches

With a super week coming up, here are some of the matches we think you shouldn’t miss this week:

  • Titan vs. Fnatic - After Titan took the win off the major winners last week, chances are the Swedish powerhouse is set to even up the score.
  • Titan vs. Natus Vincere - With both teams having taken wins off squads ranked above them recently, this match should help set the pace for both of them coming into the rest of the competition.
  • Team Liquid vs. Cloud9 G2A - With both teams having only suffered a single loss in the Pro League so far, they face off to solidify their top positions in the North American standings.
  • compLexity vs. Team Liquid - The other top three matchup that gives coL the opportunity to really start putting distance between them and the rest of the field.

That was the fourth week of the ESL ESEA Pro League! We’ll be resuming with the next games today, Tuesday the 13th of October, at 19:00 CEST - be sure to tune in here!

For all the latest news and updates, check out the league’s official website and follow ESL CS on Twitter and Facebook.