After almost a month of action at the ESL Pro League, we’re finally into the quarterfinals. There are two best-of-three series fixed for Thursday, with Cloud9 slated to take on Faze Clan and MOUZ up against Team Liquid.
Cloud9 and Mouz seeded directly into the quarters after topping their groups, while their opponents had to first make it through the Round of 12. Only two of these four teams will proceed through to the semi-finals, so let’s take a look at how they all shape up heading into this all-important contest.
Cloud9 vs Faze Clan
This mouth-watering contest features two of the strongest teams based on current form. While Faze have had a remarkable year where practically everything they’ve touched turned to gold, Cloud9’s story has been quite different. They’re a side that has had nothing but trouble befall them over the last 18 months but this is their chance to turn things around.
Predictions: Faze Clan to win
CSGO Odds: 1.82
Betting Site: Odds provided by GG.Bet
When: Thursday, September 29 – 19:00 CEST
Cloud9 were excellent in their group stage, ending with a record of four wins and just one loss at the end to Team Liquid. Granted, they weren’t exactly up against the world’s best in Group D but it was still a show of domination. Up until their series loss to Liquid in the last round, they’d achieved 2-0 cleansweeps over the rest of their opponents.
The all-Russian team, led by Kazakhstani IGL Abay ‘HObbit’ Khasenov have been in pretty good touch in the ESL, with 21-year-old Dmitry ‘sh1ro’ Sokolov especially in prime form. Over the last month he’s had an impact rating of 1.15 with 0.77 kills per round, and an overall rating of 1.28. Cloud9 haven’t participated in too many Majors this year, but they’re close enough to smell blood this time round.
Faze could’ve topped Group B, if not for their series loss to G2 in the penultimate round of matches. The 0-2 defeat was a tough pill to swallow for the world number one ranked side, but like all champion teams, Faze picked themselves up and carried on.
They closed out their group stage with a sweep over the beleaguered BIG, then doubled down on Complexity in the Round of 12. Faze were given quite a scare after losing the first map Overpass 9-16, and not nearly enough because they almost went down in Inferno too.
Eventually they edged ahead 14-16 despite the heroics of Michael ‘Grim’ Wince, and breathed a sigh of relief with the series leveled heading into Nuke. Håvard ‘rain’ Nygaard and Russel ‘Twistzz’ Van Dulken took the reins and they were able to secure a relatively easy 16-8 win to head into the quarters.
MOUZ vs Team Liquid
Currently standing at number five and three respectively on the HLTV rankings, both teams have been on a meteoric rise to the top this year. Both have inched closer and closer to securing their first major title, and it’s almost a pity that either one will have to be knocked out. It’s going to be a hard fought, highly entertaining contest featuring two top-tier teams.
CSGO Predictions: Team Liquid to win
Betting Site: Odds provided by GG.Bet
When: Thursday, September 29 – 15:30 CEST
MOUZ topped their group with a 4-1 record, and it was no mean feat either considering their competitors. They won their opening series against Heroic before going down 0-2 to Astralis.
After that they dominated, winning three series in a row against ENCE, Complexity and HEET. David ‘frozen’ Čerňanský has been in a league of his own this tournament, averaging an overall rating of 1.25.
The rifler has also maintained an impact rating of 1.28 and 0.76 kills per round. The closest they’ve come to a major title this year has been at the IEM Cologne, where they got as far as the quarters before being knocked out by Astralis.
Liquid seeded third in their group with a 3-2 record, with two losses against Furia and Eternal Fire. They closed out the round with a 2-0 sweep over Cloud9 and slotted into the Round of 12. Their opponents Complexity weren’t going to go quietly.
Liquid took the closely-contested Inferno 16-13, but went down in Overpass. nicoodoz was in prime form in the first couple of maps, and made life very difficult for Liquid. Mareks ‘YEKINDAR’ Gaļinskis was the hero to take Liquid through to the quarters in the final map Ancient, dealing 28 kills and 110.2 units of damage.