February was always going to be a busy month for the elite CS:GO teams. We’ve now reached the busiest period with two massive tournaments kicking off within the space of a few days.
We’ll begin by taking a look at the first of these big events, the ESL Pro League, which started Feb. 13 and runs through April 26.
ESL Pro League
This event has two qualifiers, North America and Europe, and the top six teams in each will earn a place in the finals. Dallas, Texas, plays host to those from May 14- 20.
In both qualifiers, all 26 teams compete in two consecutive best-of-one matches. The teams that win in regulation time receive three points; losing teams receive zero. However, if a match requires overtime, the winning team receives two points, and the losing team gets one.
The list of competitors for each of the qualifiers is as follows:
- compLexity Gaming
- Team Liquid
- Luminosity Gaming
- NRG Esports
- OpTic Gaming
- SK Gaming
- Team Dignitas
- Ghost Gaming
*The North American league only features 12 teams following Counter Logic Gaming and Misfits forfeiting their pro league licenses.
- FaZe Clan
- Team EnVyUs
- G2 Esports
- Team LDLC.com
- Ninjas in Pyjamas
- AGO Esports
- Natus Vincere
- Space Soldiers
Facebook will live-stream the action from these qualifying games, which take place between now and the end of April, with official broadcasts in English and Portuguese.
Betway is offering odds on all the games in the two qualifying competitions. Visit the site to get all the latest match betting, plus a special promotion to celebrate the start of the ESL Pro League Season 7.
Betway’s ESL Pro League S7 Leaderboard
Now through March 22, Betway is running a competition in conjunction with the ESL Pro League where players can win a number of prizes. These range from free bets up to a gaming session with Ninjas in Pyjamas’ “FOrest.”
Once opted in, players simply place bets on the tournament with Betway of a minimum stake of £5. Single or multiple bets are acceptable, but they must be odds of no shorter than 3/4 (1.75). Bonus bets are not allowed in the tournament.
Every winning bet earns Leaderboard points and incremental climbs up said board. Players finishing in the top 50 of the promotion win a number of prizes:
- 50th – 26th: a £20 Free Bet with Betway
- 25th – 11th: a £50 Free Bet with Betway
- 10th – 6th: a £100 Free Bet with Betway
- 5th – 3rd: a £150 Free Bet with Betway, plus a signed Ninjas in Pyjamas shirt
- Runner-up: £200 Free Bet with Betway plus a signed Ninjas in Pyjamas shirt, a signed NiP mousepad and Xtrfy Mem-Chanical Keyboard
- Winner: £200 Free Bet with Betway plus a signed Ninjas in Pyjamas shirt, a signed NiP mousepad and Xtrfy Mem-Chanical Keyboard plus a one-hour gaming session with Ninjas in Pyjamas’ FOrest.
StarLadder & i-League StarSeries Season 4
The fourth season of the StarLadder & iLeague StarSeries starts Feb. 17 and will run through Feb. 25. Held at the Cybersports Arena in Kiev, the tournament boasts a $300,000 prize pool.
The 16 participants are:
- Invited Teams – Astralis, Cloud9, FaZe Clan, Fnatic, G2 Esports, Gambit Esports, mousesports, Natus Vincere, SK Gaming, Virtus.pro
- European Qualifiers – HellRaisers, Heroic
- North American Qualifiers – Team Liquid, Renegades
- Asian Qualifiers – TyLoo, MVP PK
Tournament Structure – Group Stage & Playoffs
All matches in the Group Stage are best-of-three in a Swiss System format. At the end of the Group Stage, the top eight teams (who have all won a total of three matches) progress into the playoffs. Elimination awaits the bottom eight teams. They will earn between $2,500 and $6,000 depending on where they finish in the table.
The eight playoff teams then play through a standard knockout tournament from the quarterfinals onward to decide the winner. The best-of-three format continues throughout the playoffs.
The Draw for Round 1
The draw for the first round of games yielded some intriguing matchups:
- FaZe Clan vs. TyLoo
- G2 Esports vs. Renegades
- Cloud9 vs. Heroic
- SK Gaming vs. MVP.PK
- Mousesports vs. Virtus.pro
- Astralis vs. Team Liquid
- Natus Vincere vs. HellRaisers
- Fnatic vs. Gambit Esports
Other top esports bets for the next few days
In other CS:GO betting news, Betway is offering odds on qualifying for the EPICENTER tournament set to take place in March. There are three qualifiers taking place at the moment in South America, Europe, and North America, and the company is offering a wide range of betting on matches contested in this event.
League of Legends fans should also be aware that the Spring Series is reaching a crucial time in many different qualifiers across the world. Betway is also offering odds on the big matches taking place in the Korean, North American, and European qualifiers in particular.