ESL Pro League Season 9 first tier finalists confirmed
Late last night Team Astralis secured the last of the top four European spots at the upcoming ESL Pro League Season Finals. They would have topped Group D regardless of the result in their final match versus BIG, it took the Danes three hard fought maps and a broken streak on Inferno to get there. The questions regarding the form of the #1 seed quickly follow as they failed to reach the final at BLAST Miami, and are now struggling to cleanly close maps versus “weaker” opponents.
We have to give credit where credit is due, BIG rallied from deficits on two out of three maps last night to contest Astralis. They even brought a 7-2 deficit to overtime on Inferno and ultimately broke the 19 game consecutive win streak of the Danes. All is not lost for BIG as they still have a chance to battle through the gauntlet in the secondary group stage and make their way to the finals.
On the other side of the big lake it was team DETONA that managed to clutch the fourth and last of the top seed spots from NA. Opposing them were team Denial which is not having the best showing in Season 9 having lost all matches and resting at a round difference of -45.
With this last two matches finishing early this morning, eight teams are now guaranteed spots at the ESL Pro League Finals in Montpellier, France.
- Team Liquid
They are now waiting on six more teams, four (EU) and two (NA) teams from the secondary group stage to join them, as well as the top two teams from ESL Pro League Asia.
If we go down the prediction path, there is good odds teams Natus Vincere, Fnatic, Hellraisers and BIG will be joining from the EU, and mibr, Isurus from the NA circuit. The Asia teams are too hard to call but it might come down to TYLOO and Grayhound finishing up the list of finalists.
Many of the contenders for the last eight spots of the EPL Finals are now heading to Sydney, Australia for IEM Sydney 2019. It will provide a good opportunity for us to measure the current form of various regional teams when facing each other.
May to gods of AUG look down kindly upon these contenders.