ESL Pro League Season 13 will be the third installment of the series to be played online due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Heading into the tournament, we have all of the world’s best CS:GO teams participating.
With the dust of IEM Katowice 2021 finally settled, some teams will be desperate to improve upon their poor form, while others will try to prove that their performance at the tournament was not just a fluke.
Either way, there are a couple of interesting storylines heading into ESL Pro League Season 13 that are worth taking into consideration, so stick with us for this tournament coverage.
Watch ESL Pro League Season 13 Live!
ESL Pro League Season 13 Format
A total of twenty-four teams spread into four groups who will battle it out for a spot in the playoffs, an ever bigger slice of the total $750,000 prize pool that will be spread amongst all of the participants. With a running time of over a month, we are in store for a lot of CS:GO action on a daily basis.
Participating teams will battle it out for not just the massive prize pool, but a healthy number of points in both the ESL Pro Tour and the BLAST Series Premier. The eventual winners of the tournament will book themselves a direct ticket to the BLAST Premier: Global Final 2021 that will be held in December.
With each respective group giving teams a span of five days of play to shine, there will be ample opportunities for both upsets and make-ups, so expect a lot of them.
ESL Pro League Season 13 Predictions
As previously stated, all the teams are divided into four groups. While some others are seemingly more stacked than others, we will cover each group one by one, interpreting some of the biggest storylines and analyzing the different matchups featured in our official ESL Pro League Season 13 Predictions.
Group A Predictions
ESL Pro League Season 13’s Group A is the most lightly stacked of all groups in the tournament. Without the likes of Astralis or Natus Vincere, it looks like it’s Complexity’s and BIG’s time to shine.
BIG has had a rough past couple of months as they’ve found themselves out of the top five for the first time since August of last year. The German team has mostly been hot and cold since the beginning of the year, as their first-place finish at BLAST Premier Spring Groups was overshadowed by an early exit at IEM Katowice. This could be the last train for BIG, seeing as a bad result could translate into certain roster changes that are evidently becoming more than needed if the German team wants to reclaim their past glory.
Complexity on the other hand has been on a steady rise under the leadership of blameF, emerging as a real contender in early 2021. Another team that could easily trade blows with the two is Heroic. Although the Danish squad has been more absent than not lately, an influx of fresh blood in the form of refresh and sjuush, who have replaced nico and b0RUP, means they should still not be underestimated.
Another team that went through a roster update was OG. The team has officially benched NBK, with Heroic’s nico standing in for the event in his absence. OG has seemingly plateaued as a team with its roster, and changes were needed if the team wants to progress further.
FunPlus Phoenix and Renegades are looking like the odd teams at the moment. Although FunPlus’ international roster produced a massive result by winning Snow Sweet Snow #1 (defeating IEM Katowice winners Gambit in the Grand Finals), they are still unproven on the big stage. Renegades on the other hand is still breaking through on the international scene, and will still need to make their bones before being viewed as a big threat.
Our Prediction for Group A:
Group B Predictions
Group B on the other hand is looking more even than its predecessor, apart from Vitality looking like the absolute favorites.
All eyes are on Team Vitality as the French side tries to overcome its early exit at Katowice. Vitality’s success leans heavily on ZywOo, although apEX did have a resurgence after returning to the active roster. Ultimately, Vitality is looking like an apex predator in Group B as no team can challenge them currently when they’re playing their best Counter-Strike.
Following in close second are Vitality’s archrivals G2 Esports. G2 made a monumental move as they replaced struggling superstar AWPer kennyS. For better or worse, JaCkz is back in their starting lineup while NiKo will be taking over as a hybrid AWPer/Rifler. Although partially in shambles, the raw firepower G2 has is the only thing that comes close to Vitality.
Ninjas in Pyjamas and FaZe Clan follow closely after, as both teams have been surging as of late. Although both teams failed to make it out of Groups at Katowice, their recent results have put them on equal footing with the struggling G2 Esports. Twistzz and karrigan have been a breath of fresh air for a FaZe side that has been mostly counted out since the departure of NiKo.
mousesports and ENCE round out our Group A standings, as both teams are currently a step below the others. Mousesports is still adjusting to life after the departures of karrigan and ChrisJ, while ENCE have spent most of their time battling it out (and losing) against Tier 2 teams.
Our Predictions for Group B:
2.Ninjas in Pyjamas
Prediction: Team Vitality to win Group
Betting Site: GG.bet
Group C Predictions
Group C is the most even of all the groups in the tournament and features a whole lot of teams that still have a lot to prove. Natus Vincere are the heavy favorites, while IEM Katowice winners Gambit Esports will try to show the world that their victory in Poland was not just a one-off. Interestingly, the group features three Brazillian teams, although chances are that only one at best will make it to the Playoffs.
Natus Vincere is yet another team whose results fall on the shoulders of their star player, in this case, that being s1mple. Na’Vi has emerged as arguably the best team in the world coming into 2021. An early exit to eventual tournament winnings Gambit Esports can’t erase the sheer dominance both Na’Vi and s1mple have shown us time and time again, as the CIS squad will look to make short work out of Group C.
Gambit Esports has been one of the biggest surprises of 2021. Their victory at IEM Katowice sent echoes through the CS:GO landscape, marking that CIS Counter-Strike is here to stay. The team’s main AWPer sh1ro has been a true revelation, and a good showing here will propel the IEM Katowice MVP to unseen heights.
Cloud 9’s Goliath roster on the other hand has been a huge disappointment. The record-breaking additions have field to justify their cost, as Cloud 9 has yet to finish in the top three in any major tournament they’ve attended. New addition Xeppaa had a solid showing at Katowice, but the roster has been largely underwhelming as a whole.
Out of the three Brazillian teams here, FURIA is by far the strongest. FURIA’s endless aggression has failed to make the impact it had last year as more and more teams learn how to deal with it. Despite that, the Brazillians have still managed to secure a top-eight finish in every tournament they’ve attended.
Rounding out the group are Team One and MIBR. MIBR’s newest incarnation edges out Team One, but just barely. Both teams failed to make it out of the IEM Katowice Play-Ins, and stand next to no chance of making it out of Group C as they look completely outclassed by the rest.
Our Predictions for Group C:
1. Natus Vincere
2. Gambit Esports
Prediction: Na’Vi to win Group
Betting Site: GG.bet
Group D Predictions
Rounding out our ESL Pro League Season 13 Predictions we have arguably the most stacked group in the tournament. While Astralis fights to reclaim their number one spot in the world, Virtus Pro and Team Liquid will look to deal an even more severe blow to the struggling Danes.
It has not been a good year for Astralis, quite literally. After finishing as the runners-up at the BLAST Premier Global Finals, the Danes hit a massive slump. Astralis will look to forget their last two tournaments, with the embarassing loss to Team Spirit still lingering in everyone’s mind. Despite their shortcomings, Astralis is, for the time being, still up there with Na’Vi in the CS:GO ecosystem.
Virtus Pro’s climb up thorught the CS:GO rankings has been nothing short of monumental. VP has looked like a well-oiled machine, with four tournament victories in the past six months standing as a testament to their strength. The team definitely had a bad day during the Katowice Grand Finals, but still put up a respectful performance. One thing is for certain though, Virtus Pro is here to stay.
Another team that left many scratching their heads was Team Liquid. The acquistion of FalleN has proved to be just what Liquid needed, as North America’s finest are looking poised to break through as a top five CS:GO team in the world. Team Liquid should not be counted out by any means, although the odds are not in their favor (4.6 to win the group to be exact by GG.bet).
Evil Geniuses and Fnatic follow suit, but are a step below the rest. EG in particular has emerged as a respectable squad that can duke it out with the world’s very best. Fnatic’s newest acquistion Jackinho has been impressive, but the whole team has been rather underwhelming as a whole.
Finally we have Endpoint. Although a tier 2 team at best, Endpoint have been the bottom feeders in every major event they have attended. Compared to the rest? No chance.
Our Predictions for Group D:
Prediction: Virtus Pro to win Group
Betting Site: GG.bet