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CS:GO ESL Pro League Season 8 Preview


12 September 2018 14:52

Season 8 of the ESL Pro League is almost ready to get underway as some of the finest CS:GO teams battle it out in the tournament’s eighth installment. Sides are vying to secure a spot in December’s finals, so find out here who could be worth backing to emerge from the toughest of qualification routes.

What Is The Season 8 Format?

The season is divided into two regions, Europe and North America, with sides from both areas beginning their respective qualifying campaigns on Tuesday 8th October, finishing on 22nd November. Prize pools worth $105,000 and $87,000 are up for grabs. Teams will compete in an online round-robin league format, facing off in two consecutive, best-of-one matches.

There will be 14 CS:GO teams competing in the European section, with the top seven advancing to the finals. The top eleven outfits will continue to the next season, while those finishing in 12th and 13th will battle it out in the relegation playoffs and the side propping up the table will automatically be relegated to ESEA Premier.

The format is similar for the 12 North American outfits, but the repercussions for where teams finish vary with two fewer teams. The top six will progress through to the showpiece event towards the end of the year, with the top nine staying in contention next season. Those coming 10th and 11th will battle for survival, while the 12th-placed side must settle for a spot in ESEA Premier.

In both regions in Season 8, regulation winners will be awarded three points for a victory within 30 rounds of a map, and any maps that are extended beyond 30 rounds will see overtime winners receive two points and losers given one point. Both regions will be battling it out in the CS:GO Cache, Dust II, Inferno, Mirage, Nuke, Overpass and Train maps.

How Is The European Section Looking?

mousesports went all the way in the Season 7 European campaign, topping the 14-team league ladder after 18 victories and eight defeats in their 26-game campaign. The multi-national team then proceeded to the finals as one of the seven best teams, and they are one of 14 European teams looking for a similar outcome this time around:

  • AGO Esports
  • Astralis
  • BIG
  • FaZe Clan
  • Fnatic
  • G2 Eports
  • HellRaisers
  • Heroic
  • mousesports
  • Natus Vincere
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas
  • North
  • Space Soldiers
  • Windigo Gaming

Who Is Competing From North America?

North America’s Team Liquid came out on top in Season 7 following 20 victories and just two losses. NRG Esports took the runners-up spot with a 17-5 record and OpTic Gaming claimed 3rd place following a 14-8 finish. Despite OpTic’s withdrawal from Season 8 after a request to transfer to the European league, the top two teams from Season 7 are bound to be competing come the business end of the competition. The 12 North American teams looking to get through to the December finals are:

  • Cloud9
  • Ghost Gaming
  • Team Liquid
  • Luminosity Gaming
  • MIBR
  • NRG Esports
  • Renegades
  • Rogue
  • eUnited
  • ·compLexity Gaming
  • ex-SPlyce
  • To be confirmed. OpTic Gaming withdrew from the league, choosing to play in ESEA MDL Europe due to being based in Denmark.

The Story of Season 7

The Season 7 finals, held in May 2018, saw Europe’s Astralis hold the trophy aloft in the Verizon Theatre, Texas, taking home $250,000 of the $1 million prize pool on offer. Their all-Danish quintet of Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz, Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen, Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth, Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander and Emil "Magisk" Reif secured a 2-0 semi-final play-off victory over FaZe Clan, setting up an impressive 3-1 grand final victory over Team Liquid. They took a two-game lead in the Dust II and Nuke maps before being pegged back in Mirage. However, they secured the title with a 16-12 triumph in Inferno, and will be looking to win back-to-back titles in this campaign.

Who do you think will emerge from Season 8 and follow in the footsteps of Astralis? Could the Danes pull off what would be an historic back-to-back victory? Let us know your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter, and good luck to the competing teams.

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Updated on: 2018-09-12

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