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Na’Vi Favored to Win ESL Pro League Season 14

ESL Pro League Season 14

Counter-Strike action is set to return after a brief player break and we kick things off with the game’s biggest league, the ESL Pro League.

Returning for its 14th season, the EPL is set to pit 24 of the best CS:GO teams in the world against one another in a lengthy league format. This season, however, the stakes are higher than ever, with $750,000, ESL Pro Tour points and a spot at the Blast Premier World Finals on the line.

We’re definitely in for some amazing Counter-Strike and a swarm of games to wager on, so let’s take a look at the event in more detail.

Who’s Playing at ESL Pro League Season 14?

As mentioned, we’ll see 24 different teams at the event, featuring the best of the best from Europe, North and South America, and Oceania. With so many participants, there’s a good shot you’ll see your favorite team, and of course all the favorites like Na’Vi, Gambit, G2, Heroic and others will be participating.

The event itself will kick off with four groups of six, which are played out in a round-robin format. This means each team plays all of the others in their group once, and the top three teams with the most wins advance to the playoffs.

Meanwhile, the playoffs are played in a single-elimination format, so one loss means elimination. As such, every game in the playoffs stage will be vital as everyone’s tournament lives are on the line.

Odds to Win ESL Pro League Season 14
Ninjas In Pyjamas+1400
Evil Geniuses+3000
Bad News Bears+12200
Team One+25400

Odds as of August 11 at Betway

How Will the Player Break Impact ESL Pro League?

One of the biggest talking points going into the Pro League is the player break. Teams have been away from official competition for around a month, which will no doubt have an impact on their performance.

However, the question is: What kind of impact? Will teams and players be out of shape, or has one month been enough for them to reinvigorate and come up with whole new tactics?

There are also roster moves to consider. Fnatic enters with practically a whole new lineup, while Evil Geniuses made a key roster move, benching Stanislaw. Really, it’s tough to predict what will happen, but there are no doubt still a few key teams to watch regardless.

Natus Vincere Looks to Maintain No. 1 Spot

The team that everyone has to keep an eye on is Na’Vi. They enter the event as favorites, as well as the No. 1-ranked team on the HLTV world rankings.

Na’Vi also comes in hot off two event wins, StarLadder CIS and IEM Cologne. The Russian squad finally managed to overcome regional rival Gambit in July and these two trophies elevated them to the top spot.

However, with their impressive ranking also comes a target. Everyone will be gunning to take down Na’Vi now and, with a month’s break, teams will no doubt have come up with strategies tailored specifically to their gameplay. It will be interesting to see how the favorites fare in the Pro League.

Can Gambit Bounce Back to Continue Stellar Year?

Another key team to watch is Gambit. They’ve been the stars of CS:GO so far in 2021, taking home six trophies in as many months and generally dominating the competition.

They did, however, slow down just before the player break. Na’Vi finally managed to take them down at StarLadder, and IEM Cologne was full of holes, with the team eventually falling to both G2 and FaZe.

Considering their recent results, it is possible that the break is exactly what Gambit needed to regroup. They were competing non-stop since the start of the year and as one of the most inexperienced sides, it could have been weighing on them.

The ESL Pro League will likely show us what we can expect from Gambit for the rest of the year – a return to winning ways or the start of a decline.