C9, Heroic, Movistar and Spirit into ESL Pro League S16 – Who’s favored?
With the latest invites being handed out to three teams, we finally have a full list of CSGO rosters that will compete in the ESL Pro League Season 16. The biggest league in Counter-Strike will commence on August 31st and it is going to last for four weeks before the grand finals.
Movistar Riders, C9 and Team Spirit handed invites
To be honest, we were surprised that Cloud9 did not decide to become a partner team of ESL Pro League. By signing the former Gambit roster, C9 have a solid chance of going all the way in this event. To be honest, it is logical that they are amongst the invited teams as they will definitely make things more competitive.
Furthermore, with the way Spirit played during PGL Major Antwerp 2022, they definitely deserved an invite to compete at ESL Pro League S16. However, they are dropping in form and that was proven at IEM Cologne where they were only able to win one match.
Last but not least, Movistar Riders is a team that you definitely did not expect to see on this list, right?
We have to give credit where credit is due, Movistar Riders are playing excellent Counter-Strike right now. During IEM Cologne 2022, they defeated G2, Vitality, and Liquid. They also lifted the trophy at ESL Challenger Valencia 2022. It is going to be interesting to see whether Movistar Riders can keep up their excellent run of form.
A Heroic saga is finally finished
In case you live under a rock, a total of 15 esports franchises entered the partnership with ESL in a deal that is rumored to be worth around 20,000,000€. Heroic was one of these teams. However, they had a lot of problems securing a spot for themselves despite being amongst the partner teams. Coach HUNDEN was accused of using a coaching bug, and the followup investigation and how Heroic handled all of it left much to be desired.
ESL took things easy and kept the partnership from going forward up until Season 16.
Given the fact that Heroic found their footing and they addressed the problems that they were faced with, they are coming into this event with high hopes. An early exit at IEM Cologne 2022 is something they will look to amend to make it up to their fans.
Who are the ESL Pro League Season 16 favorites?
As expected, two teams are topping the charts when it comes to title contenders for the upcoming ESL Pro League Season 16. Both Natus Vincere and FaZe Clan are a couple of steps above everyone else and it feels like these two teams will battle it out for the championship trophy.
From the newcomers, we have to expect Cloud9 and Movistar to show up into the new season in force. If you love a good underdog story, you do not want to miss out on the Riders. The other two (Spirit, Heroic) are honestly wildcards. They might beat up an underpefromer from the partner teams, but we dont really expect them to have an amazing season based on recent results.
We are entering the summer break, plenty of things may change once the players rest and bootcamp “in secret”.