Betting on the ESL Pro League Season 19 Playoffs: Favorites & Players to Watch

Published: May 7, 2024

After two weeks of relentless entertainment and exhilarating Counter-Strike 2 action, the ESL Pro League Season 19 field has been cut in half, with 16 teams still in contention to hoist the trophy in Malta. Read our ESL Pro League Season 19 Playoffs breakdown to get to know the competition, interesting storylines, and favorites to win the tournament.

ESL Pro League S19 Playoff Bracket

Due to the sheer number of teams taking part in the EPL S19 playoffs, the bracket is made up of five rounds. Teams that placed third or fourth in their respective groups will take the stage first in the opening round of the playoffs. The winners of those games then face off against the teams that finished second in their groups in the second round. Group winners make their playoffs debut in the quarter-finals, where they take on previous round’s victors.

ESL Pro League Playoffs Bracket
Credit: ESL

Playoff seeding was made up  with tournament results coupled with the latest ESL rankings. Some parts of the draw ended up being more condensed than others. That is especially apparent when looking at the stacked bottom part of the bracket where three of the four teams are FaZe (Major finalists), NAVI (Major Champions), and Vitality (Major semi-finalists).

ESL Pro League Season 19 Bracket Favorites

MOUZ

MOUZ continue their group stage dominance in 2024, again not dropping a single map on their way to the playoffs. Confident wins over Bad News Kangaroos, GamerLegion, and Liquid granted them an instant quarter-final berth.

Since they are the defending ESL Pro League Champions, it would be the perfect tournament to finally break through their mental barrier in the playoffs and lift their maiden CS2 trophy in front of the Maltese fans.

MOUZ ESL Pro League
Credit: ESL

Astralis

The new-look Astralis under Nicolai “device” Reedtz’s leadership has been an absolute revelation in the last couple of tournaments, placing in the top four at IEM Chengdu and guaranteeing at least a top-eight finish at ESL Pro League Season 19.

With more and more reps against top-level opposition, the Danes are quickly improving and reaching a consistently high level of play. If they manage to win an S-tier tournament this early in their life cycle, then it bodes very well for the future of this roster.

FaZe

FaZe are yet to miss a CS2 Grand Final so they have to be among the favorites, even though their group stage performance was not without hiccups. The international roster came off second best in another bout against Astralis, with a rivalry of sorts forming between the two teams.

The PGL CS2 Major Copenhagen finalists have a tough road ahead of them if they are to make it to the ESL Pro League S19 Grand Final, with NAVI and Vitality standing in their way. Running the gauntlet on the most stacked part of the playoff bracket would be an amazing feat, even for the mighty FaZe. If they do it, they will easily be considered as the best CS2 team heading into summer.

ESL Pro League S19 Playoffs
Credit: ESL

Players to Watch in the EPL S19 Playoffs

ZywOo (Vitality)

After a disappointing performance at the first CS2 Major, Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut wanted to remind everybody that he is the best CS2 player in the world, and in the ESL Pro League S19 group stage, he did just that.

The Frenchman averaged a ludicrous 1.72 rating over six maps of play, showing no mercy to his powerless opponents. There’s very little chance he will keep up this level of performance in the playoffs, but if he does, then Vitality have the ESL Pro League trophy virtually in the bag.

b1t (NAVI)

Although Valeriy “b1t” Vakhovskiy wasn’t the main driving force behind NAVI’s recent Major victory, the Ukrainian rifler seems to be slowly getting back to his best, as evidenced by his EPL S19 group stage performance.

The 21-year-old’s impact and sharp shooting allowed his team to get past FlyQuest and BIG with ease, while his incredible efforts weren’t enough to overcome Complexity in Group D’s upper final. Let’s hope b1t continues his return to the upper echelons of Counter-Strike rifling beyond just this tournament.

INS (FlyQuest)

Australian CS, and FlyQuest in particular, is going through a resurgence at the moment, with Joshua “INS” Potter firmly at the tip of the spear. After years of farming in the Oceanic region, the aggressive rifler finally managed to transfer his skills to games against top-level opposition.

While making the ESL Pro League S19 playoffs is already a huge achievement for FlyQuest, the Aussies will fancy themselves to cause a few more upsets under the Maltese sunshine. The only way they can do that is with INS continuing to deliver the goods on the server no matter the opponent.

Bruno Sobieraj

Since: September 16, 2023

My name is Bruno and my love for Counter-Strike was sparked when the Polish Virtus.pro was plowing through opponents from 2014 to 2018. Since then, I’ve been dreaming of working in esports and here I am.

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