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ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals Preview

It is time for one of the most stacked tournaments of the year, as ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals is set to get underway in Odense, Denmark.

Valentin Gustafsson
Freelance Esports Writer
2nd Dec, 2019·☕️ 7 min read
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It is time for one of the most stacked tournaments of the year, as ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals is set to get underway in Odense, Denmark.

Competition Information

The regular season of ESL Pro League has come to its conclusion after two months of play. Most of the big names made it through to the finals, so we should be in for a good one. The tournament will take place in Odense, Denmark and will feature a $600,000 prize pool.

The format is the commonly used GSL format. All of the group stage matches will be best-of-three, with the exception being the opening matches which will be best-of-one.

Three teams will be advancing to the playoffs. The group stage winners will advance to the semi-finals, whereas the teams finishing in second and third place will advance to the quarter-finals.

The playoffs will be single elimination and will feature best-of-threes for all of the matches except for the final, which will be a best-of-five. The groups were seeded based on the regular season standings, and they are as follows:

Group A

  • 🇷🇺 Natus Vincere
  • 🇨🇳 TYLOO
  • 🇪🇺 FaZe
  • 🇧🇷 MIBR
  • 🇩🇰 Heroic
  • 🇦🇺 100 Thieves
  • 🇸🇪 fnatic
  • 🇺🇸 Evil Geniuses

Group B

  • 🇩🇰 Astralis
  • 🇦🇺 Grayhound
  • 🇫🇷 G2
  • 🇧🇷 Sharks
  • 🇪🇺 mouz
  • 🇺🇸 ATK
  • 🇩🇰 North
  • 🇺🇸 Team Liquid

The defending champions are Team Liquid who defeated surprise finalist G2 in Montpellier back in June.

The ESL Pro League Season 10 finals will start December 3 and will run for six days in total, with the final being played December 8.

The Current Season

Group A

This is a very competitive group, unlike Group B which is far more top-heavy. The weakest team in this group is TYLOO, but even they have had some success recently with convincing wins against MIBR and G2 at CAC 2019. Evil Geniuses and fnatic are probably the two strongest teams in the group, but they face each other in the first match which just further adds to the unpredictability of this group.

Natus Vincere (1.32) vs TYLOO (3.30)

This is an interesting match from a betting perspective. NaVi tend to struggle in opening matches, and they are facing a TYLOO side that has been playing quite well for once. To put things in perspective, NaVi’s total record for 2019 is 5 wins and 6 losses in opening matches, and they came in as the favorite in all six of their losses — one of which was against TYLOO’s lesser brother ViCi. There is some serious upset potential here due to the BO1 factor, and I would suggest taking the underdog or avoiding this one altogether.

FaZe (1.55) vs MIBR (2.35)

This is an interesting match between two teams that have undergone plenty of changes. MIBR are certainly a live dog in this one due to the BO1 factor, but I personally favor FaZe here as they have gradually improved with coldzera.

Heroic (2.25) vs 100 Thieves (1.60)

I have been bigging up Heroic for a while as a great upset team, but now we are starting to see odds that more accurately reflect their skill level. I still like Heroic’s chances at an upset, but 100 Thieves are a solid team that deserves to be favorites here.

fnatic (2.12) vs Evil Geniuses (1.67)

Evil Geniuses got the better of fnatic twice in BO3s the last time these two sides met, which was at StarSeries back in October. If this was a BO3 I would definitely lean in favor of EG, but with this being a BO1, I like fnatic’s chances at the longer number. The North American side has looked vulnerable lately and it might have something to do with just how much they have been traveling.

Group B

Due to how the seeding was done for this tournament, Group B has ended up being the weaker of the two. This one is very top-heavy, with Astralis and Liquid being clear favorites to make it out. mousesports, G2 and North will likely be the ones to duke it out for the last spot in the playoffs while ATK, Sharks and Grayhound will be coming in as big underdogs.

Astralis (1.08) vs Grayhound (6.80)

Astralis are massive favorites to win this opening match against Grayhound at odds of 1.08. Personally, I would never bet Astralis at this number in an opening BO1. Grayhound are actually a decent team on some of Astralis signature maps, such as Nuke, a map that they have beaten big teams such as Liquid and EG on before. Grayhound probably doesn’t win this matchup often enough to take them on the money line. But if we end up on a map like Nuke, I think a handicap bet on Grayhound could be in play.

G2 (1.28) vs Sharks (3.45)

Sharks are a team that I have flagged as having decent upset potential since picking up meyern and Luken back in September. The line on this match has moved quite a bit after Sharks were able to take Astralis to overtime at the ECS finals last week, but I still think there might be some value on Sharks in this match due to the BO1 factor, either as a straight bet on the money line or as a handicap.

mousesports (1.24) vs ATK (3.75)

mousesports finally have a big tournament win on the board after winning CAC 2019 last month. As such, mousesports are coming in as deserved favorites in this match against ATK. Just like with G2’s match against Sharks and Astralis’ match against Grayhound; I would opt to bet the underdog on the handicap here or simply skip this one. There is just too much volatility in these BO1 matches.

North (3.20) vs Liquid (1.32)

Team Liquid are coming off a deep run at the ECS Season 8 finals. North, on the other hand, have struggled for form ever since valde left the team. In fact, they are not even looking like the second-best team in Denmark as of late, after losses to both Heroic and Tricked. Despite this, you simply cannot rule out North in a BO1 like this. In fact, North was able to upset Liquid in the opening match at last season’s finals at odds of 3.00.

Betting Tips

This tournament has a very solid format, and top teams tend to come out on top here. Last season, Team Liquid won this event as the second favorite after Astralis. If you want to win this event, you’re going to need a very good map pool. Strong candidates include Astralis, EG, fnatic & Liquid and it is the latter that I would personally favor at current odds of 5.90. Liquid are looking very strong right now, and they find themselves in the easier of the two groups.

In terms of underdogs, there are three teams that stand out right away and two of them can be found in Group B. However, I would rather take them in the Top 2 market as they might not have what it takes to beat a team like Astralis or Liquid in a BO5 scenario.

mousesports (13.00 to make finals)

mousesports are coming off a big tournament win at CAC 2019 which might be just what the doctor ordered. They have enough skill to go up against the best teams in the world, and the competition for a spot in the playoffs isn’t as fierce in Group B. They had some success here last season, making it all the way to the semi-finals, so they have proven that they have what it takes to make a deep run at a tournament like this. Their main rivals for the last spot in the playoffs is North and G2, which brings me to the next candidate.

G2 (25.50 to make finals)

We saw G2 make finals here last season, and they arguably have a stronger roster this time around. Just like mousesports, G2 cannot go up against Astralis and Liquid in the playoffs until the semi-finals, which makes them a nice longshot play if you plan to take one of those teams in the outright market.

NaVi (16.50 to win, 8.10 to make finals or 9.10 to win Group A)

The last longshot play that I kind of like is NaVi. They haven’t looked great lately and I am still worried about how GuardiaN will pan out with this team. However, they are still a very strong team and s1mple is a player that can win games by himself. Their group is pretty competitive, but they do have a favorable side of the bracket with MIBR and FaZe in addition to a good first-round matchup against TYLOO. Worst case scenario, they would have to beat TYLOO, FaZe/MIBR and fnatic/EG to win their group, which is more than feasible. This makes them a decent play in the Group A outright market at odds of 9.10 in my opinion.