Astralis and Heroic seek to assert dominance in ESL Pro League Play-ins
ESL Pro League Season 13 is entering the home stretch. The tenured will take on the talented in Astralis vs Gambit, while Heroic brawls NiP to prove they are longer the second best team in Denmark. Winners are moving on to the semi-finals and the losers get to playing another series in the quarter finals.
Heroic VS NIP
Heroic look to be the favorite in the first matchup, having yet to lose a series so far in the tournament.
It will be interesting to see how NIP approaches map bans. Vertigo and Overpass, are statistically Heroic’s best maps. It also appears that the map pool is a large part of why Heroic are the favorite, with Dust 2 as their perma-ban. Train on the other hand, is where NIP look to get momentum in this series.
The two newcomers in sjuush and refrezh have been showing good form so far in this tournament. This will be their first time being this deep in a tournament of this caliber. If they can maintain their form in this matchup Heroic will be sitting pretty.
For NiP, nawwk on the AWP will be a large factor in this series. If he outperforms his counter in cadiaN, the Ninjas have a fighting chance. However, he (Nawwk) is up against a far more experienced player, who has been performing well on the AWP as of late. With a better understanding of the role, he will surely have the edge in this matchup. However, you can’t count out nawwk who popped off against Vitality and FaZe earlier in the tournament. Keep an eye on these two as keys to the match.
Having performed very consistently, Heroic looks to bring that better energy to this match against NIP. The loser of this match will play Complexity in the quarter final.
"I think that they're definitely one of the most exciting teams we have right now in the scene" – @YNk@heroicgg have been looking 🌶 in the #ESLProLeague group stage, earning themselves a slot in the Ro8 play-ins!
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) April 6, 2021
Astralis VS Gambit
Astralis are a slight favorite as they come into this series against the recently surging Gambit. Vertigo, Inferno and Dust 2 are the maps most likely to be played. Hopefully, we will see if Gambit really has what it takes to beat a strong tactical team on Vertigo. Back in Katowice, it was Virtus.pro that did the job for Gambit in eliminating Astralis. This time around they have to do it themselves. With both teams playing as well as they are, it will be fun to see who comes out ahead.
Sh1ro vs device may be one of the best AWP matchups we will see this tournament. With device somehow still able to play as well as he ever has, he still has a handful in the challenger sh1ro waiting for him. The reason device has the edge is simply the fact that he has been one of the best AWPers in the world for years now. Though he doesn’t often have the flash of S1mple, his positioning is unparalleled. On the flip-side, Sh1ro has recently been very impactful with his opening kill ratio; 75-25 in the last month
The two tactical minds of the team will have a large impact on how this plays out. After more than two years as the number one team in the world, it has been debated that gla1ve is the best in-game leader of all time. Hobbit, however, has never been anywhere close to the discussion. Where Hobbit has excelled lately is his fragging. If he can have another series like he did against Na’Vi earlier this tournament, it may not matter that he is not the best IGL on the server. It will be a massive test to see if Gambit can hold up to Astralis’ setups and executes once again.
The odds favor Astralis on this one across the board, but the good bet here would be to go for more then 2.5+ maps being played in total. It’s more then likely each team will hold their pick and it will all come down to a decider. You can expect a double up at most esports betting sites.
With these matches taking place Thursday and quarter finals and semi finals being played this weekend, all four of these teams will have a lot of Counter Strike to prepare for in the next few days.