Season two of the ESL ESEA Pro League kicked off last week with the first set of matches. With the second match week beginning today at 19:00 CEST, let’s take a closer look at the finished matches, the standings and the upcoming games.
Ninjas in Pyjamas - 3-0
The Ninjas seemed to have the same mindset for the Pro League as they did coming into the ESL ESEA Pro League Dubai Invitational.
They opened the Pro League taking on winners of the Dubai Invitational Team EnVyUs on Train. With their newfound style, the Swedes managed to take a rather convincing win over the French powerhouse, finishing with a 16-8 score.
Up next, NiP had to face the newest addition to the Pro League SK Gaming on Inferno. With SK being the new team, the Ninjas had little trouble brute forcing their way into a 16-9 win, never letting SK gain any traction.
The last opponent NiP had to face was reigning major champion Fnatic on Cache. Fnatic lacked their full roster and used Dennis as a stand-in, and the Ninjas abused this opportunity to take a close win - 16-13 - over their Swedish counterparts.
Fnatic - 3-1
The reigning major champions started their Pro League season after a somewhat disappointing run at the Dubai Invitational, having to play four matches in week one.
First off they took on mousesports on Inferno. Flusha maintained his form, which he showed in the major, throughout the Dubai Invitational, and transferred this over to the Pro League matches. The Swedes took a relatively easy win over mousesports, earning a 16-8 victory.
Up next, they took on their Swedish counterpart NiP on Cache. With Dennis as a stand-in for KRIMZ, they had a tough time. After a decent T-side, they were unable to keep momentum in their favor, losing the match 13-16.
The match after that loss was against HellRaisers on Dust 2. Dennis stepped up to the plate and put on a rock-solid performance against the refreshed HellRaisers roster. With reasonably little effort, the Swedes took the game 16-9.
Their final opponent was Team SoloMid on Train. Where others had succeeded in not giving olofmeister any room, TSM failed to do so. This gave olofmeister the opportunity to take a run with the game and secure his team a convincing 16-9 victory.
Natus Vincere - 2-0
With past tournaments not ending well for NaVi, they opened their Pro League season with decent results.
SK Gaming was to be faced first on Cache. A match that ended in a 16-11 for Na’Vi in reality felt more like a 16-14, with the Na’Vi squad managing to clutch out a number of rounds despite their opponents putting up a real fight.
Immediately after the first match, they had to face mousesports on Inferno. With mousesports replacing Spiidi in favour of NiKo, they seemed to have a hard time executing their strats - Na’Vi managed to take a convincing win home with a 16-5 score.
mousesports - 2-2
mousesports had just changed their roster, deciding to part ways with Spiidi and take on their gamescom stand-in NiKo.
With NiKo in their ranks, they took off against Na’Vi on Inferno. However, with the new roster came new problems. Whereas mouz had had an upward trend before, they now seemed to be suffering from lacking executes and teamwork, losing 5-16.
Their next opponents were Fnatic on Inferno. NiKo showed why teams would want to pick him up but the rest of mouz seemed to fall behind when faced with the Swedish powerhouse, ending the game with a 8-16 loss.
They then had to face HellRaisers on Cobblestone, but an all-around good team performance secured them a 16-11 victory.
Lastly, they returned to Inferno once more to face SK Gaming. Despite strong individual performances from the Danish squad, mouz was able to put down their foot and take the match 16-11 - the third time turned out to be the charm.
Team SoloMid - 1-1
With a loss in the grand finals of the Dubai Invitational, TSM got a fresh start in the ESL ESEA Pro League, and with only two matches in the first week.
They started off against SK Gaming on Dust 2. With their home turf map being the playground, they took the game in hand and seized a quick 16-4 win.
Next up, they had to face off against Fnatic on Train, but the inability to shut down Olofmeister lost TSM momentum. With their momentum gone, the Danes were unable to put up a good T-side and lost 9-16.
Team EnVyUs - 1-1
With disappointing results during the Dubai Invitational behind them, the French powerhouse had little time to rest before going into the Pro League kick off.
NiP was up first on Train. After being kicked out by the Swedes during the Dubai Invitational, the French squad was ready for revenge. Revenge didn’t come, however, with Happy and his team succumbing to the same high-pressure style as before and losing 8-16 in disappointing fashion.
In their second match, they had to face their French counterparts Titan on Mirage. Happy and kioShiMa showed that their form hadn’t dropped during the Dubai Invitational and put up a solid performance, resulting in EnVy taking home a 16-8 victory.
Titan - 0-1
Titan showed some good form during the Dubai Invitational despite big losses, but they now had to transfer that to the Pro League.
Titan had only match planned - versus EnVy on Mirage. The Titan roster got outclassed across nearly the whole board and didn’t manage to give EnVy a real run for their money - the French squad lost 8-16.
SK Gaming - 0-4
The new kids on the block had recently changed their roster - swapping BERRY for k0nfig - and were dropped into week one with a lot of tough matches ahead of them.
First off, they took on Natus Vincere on Cache. CadiaN put up an absolutely stunning performance, coming very close to clutching impressive rounds. Unfortunately, luck ultimately wasn’t on the side of the Danes, and they lost 11-16.
Next up was their Danish counterpart TSM on Dust 2. The difference in experience and team cohesion became clear after a couple of rounds. SK was unable to put a dent into TSM’s confidence and momentum and a 4-16 loss for SK was the result.
They now had to face NiP on Inferno. While SK put up a decent defense against the unmatched aggression NiP offered, the Danes were unable to execute onto bomb sites and lost the match 9-16.
Lastly, they faced mousesports on Inferno. The SK squad had some good individual performances in AcilioN and SandeN but were unable to show a similar defense to the one they put up against NiP. With their T-side not gaining momentum, the match was lost 11-16.
HellRaisers - 0-2
Dosia recently left the HellRaisers lineup, and this forced the team to implement changes.
They faced mousesports on Cobblestone. While ANGE1 managed to pull off a strong performance, his team didn’t catch up. With a lacking T-side from HellRaisers, mouz was able to take their CT momentum to the second half. HellRaisers lost the match 11-16.
Their second match was against Fnatic on Dust 2. With Fnatic utilizing a stand-in, there was opportunity for HellRaisers to upset the major champions. Things turned out differently, though. Unable to match the firepower of Fnatic, HellRaisers ultimately suffered a 9-16 loss.
compLexity Gaming - 3-1
compLexity opened up the NA side of the Pro League with back-to-back matches.
First they faced EnemyGG on Cache. With koosta top-fragging for EnemyGG, the coL lineup had sancz and autimatic respond in near-equal favour - compLexity took the match 16-14.
Next they faced Counter Logic Gaming on Overpass. With a convincing T-side, the coL squad carried over their momentum and shut down CLG during the second half, resulting in a convincing 16-10 victory.
Method was the third opponent for the week, and Mirage was the map. Despite an impressive run by sancz, coL was unable to close the gaps in the defense that Method abused. A valiant effort was put up during the second half, but the match ended in a 13-16 loss.
Last but not least, compLexity had to face Coast on Cobblestone in a close match where neither team seemed to hold much momentum. Eventually, a 16-14 win for coL proved to be the end result.
Counter Logic Gaming - 1-1
CLG opened up their Pro League season with a match against compLexity on Overpass. Unable to match the aggression that coL threw at them, CLG couldn’t manage to pull the win towards them. The end result was a 10-16 loss.
Up next, CLG faced Method on Inferno. Here CLG had time to regain their confidence, and convincingly took a 16-6 win over Method.
Team Liquid - 1-1
Team Liquid faced off against Conquest on Train. Unable to pull off executes, TL got shut down by Conquest during the first half. This trend mirrored itself in the second half, with TL only picking up a single round before losing 6-16.
The second match was against FOLLOWeSPORTS on Inferno. A landslide victory where the Canadians couldn’t bring a real performance to the table, TL won 16-4.
Method - 1-1
Method’s first match was against CLG on Inferno. JDM of CLG showed great form, top fragging and shutting down Method’s T-side. With their confidence broken, Method ended up losing 6-16.
Next up, Method faced compLexity on Mirage. Through a convincing first half, Method gained momentum which carried over into the second half. Despite a near comeback, Method closed out the match 16-13.
Conquest - 1-1
Conquest’s first match was against Team Liquid on Train. With an all-round strong team performance, Team Liquid was overrun easily. Conquest closed out the match with a 16-6 score.
The second match was against Team Coast on Cobblestone. Due to a disappointing first half where Conquest couldn’t put up a good amount of T-side wins, Coast was able to close out the game after conceding only four rounds in the second half. Final scoreline: 9-16.
Team Coast - 1-1
With back-to-back matches scheduled, Team Coast first took on Conquest on Cobblestone. Coast was able to maintain their defense throughout the first half and excelled in the second, only dropping four rounds before taking home a 16-9 win.
Immediately afterwards, Team Coast faced compLexity on Cobblestone. Even though they had already played a full match on the same map and despite stanislaw putting in a stunning performance, the coL lineup ended up being too strong, with Team Coast losing 14-16.
FOLLOWeSPORTS - 0-1
The match versus Team Liquid on Inferno went only one way - that of Team Liquid.
FOLLOWeSPORTS managed to get a few rounds in the first half, but this was not enough to convert the first half into a win during the second. The CT-side during the second half was quickly overrun by TL, resulting in FOLLOWeSPORTS losing 4-16.
EnemyGG - 0-1
EnemyGG opened up the Pro League in North America fighting against compLexity on Cache.
In a very close game where koosta dropped more than 30 frags, both teams showed great T-sides. The defense wasn’t great for either of the teams, but in the end coL managed to shut down just a few more assaults than Enemy, bringing them to a 14-16 loss.
Up next in the ESL ESEA Pro League
The entirety of week two will be taking place over a single day, and the games you shouldn’t miss are:
- Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. Fnatic - The Swedish clash. Fnatic is bound to be eager for revenge after losing to the Ninjas in week one. For NiP, the question remains as to whether their loose and carefree style can keep them running or if their opponents will manage to adapt to and control it.
- Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. Team SoloMid - With TSM coming into this matchup with a grand final loss over the weekend, it’s bound to have some good action. Train is a map on which TSM have bested many teams through very aggressive defenses, and it will be interesting to see how NiP will work around this.
- 3sUP vs. Luminosity Gaming - Having met each other a couple of times already and with Luminosity generally coming out on top, it’ll be interesting to see if 3sUP are capable of adjusting their playstyle to take a win home.
Any teams not mentioned above have not yet played matches this week. Don’t worry - they’ll soon be stepping up to the plate the upcoming weeks!
This week was the official kick off of the ESL ESEA Pro League, and we’ll be resuming with the next games today at 19:00 CEST so be sure to tune in here!