The initial plans of hosting ESL Pro League Season 12 on LAN fell through due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Now we will see a modified format that leads to one of the most prestigious Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournaments taking place in five separate divisions.
Despite the changed format, the upcoming event(s) will not leave any CS:GO fan unsatisfied. It will feature some of the best teams from their respective regions fight for the eternal glory that comes with winning the ESL Pro League title.
Today, we will look at two fixtures from the European division first starring Natus Vincere taking on GODSENT and BIG looking to put AGO into their place. The second is a clash between the Season 2 Intel Grand Slam champions Team Liquid and Chaos Esports Club.
Natus Vincere vs GODSENT – ESL Pro League Season 12 Europe
Tuesday, September 1, 14:00 CEST
The ESL Pro League Season 12: Europe will begin with a Group A clash between the unpredictable Natus Vincere and the ring-rusty GODSENT who play their first fixture after an almost two-month break. This will also mark the third time these two sides will meet this year, and the first time they will clash in an online environment.
After the players break, Natus Vincere attended ESL One Cologne, where they left a lot to be desired across the three matches they have played. NaVi won the opening match against mousesports (2-1) with a fairly impressive reverse sweep. However, it would not be fair to praise NaVi too much for that win since mouz have been dealing with some internal issues, and it clearly showed in their iffy performances.
As for NaVi’s remaining two games, they made little to no effort to impress. The Ukrainian side first lost to Complexity (0-2), who humiliated them with 16-8 on Dust II and 16-8 on Nuke. They followed that up with another less-than-inspiring performance against Ninjas in Pyjamas, who like Complexity had no real issues wining the series 2-0.
GODSENT has not played an official competitive match for nearly two months, meaning they will likely be rusty heading into this match. On a more positive note, GODSENT has no internal issues and should be entering this match with their heads held high since they put up a few impressive results before the break.
Given that NaVi looked like only a shadow of their former selves last week and the fact that they usually start most of their tournaments slow, we will trust GODSENT to start the new season with a W.
Prediction: GODSENT to win – 2.25 at Bet365
BIG vs AGO – ESL Pro League Season 12 Europe
Tuesday, September 1, 21:00 CEST
BIG are entering this match on the heels of two consecutive defeats at ESL One Cologne against their local rivals Sprout (12-16 on Mirage and 16-19 OT on Nuke) and the young and exciting Swedish roster Ninjas in Pyjamas (16-5 on vertigo, 26-28 OT on Nuke and 7-16 on Mirage).
Both of their losses were quite unfortunate, as BIG were somewhat unlucky in those crucial rounds that would net them the win. This becomes a much harder pill to swallow for the Germans since they were the main favorites to win the whole tournament.
Before the ESL One Cologne, BIG attended DreamHack Open Summer 2020 Europe, where they won the title without any real issues. While they did not face any top-tier opponents, they’re still arguably one of the world’s strongest teams right now. At the end of the day, BIG is ranked first in the global CS:GO rankings.
AGO managed quite a few impressive results not long ago, namely their title-winning run at SEA MDL Season 33 Europe Finals. They defeated Sprout (3-1) in the grand finals despite entering the match with a 0-1 deficit. Since then, however, AGO has cooled down significantly and suffered defeats against HAVU, Winstrike, and AGF, which are all second-tier teams and significantly weaker compared to BIG.
The last time AGO met with BIG, they won one map, but it’s hard to imagine they will manage the same feat this time. BIG has been playing significantly better as of late, and since they’re still a deserving #1 team in the world, they should have no issues coming away from this bout with a clean 2-0 win.
Prediction: BIG -1.50 Maps – 1.83 at Bet365
Team Liquid vs. Chaos – ESL Pro League Season 12 North America
Tuesday, September 1, 12:00 PDT
Team Liquid and Chaos last met just a couple of days ago during the ESL One Cologne 2020 North America, where Liquid secured a comfortable 2-0 win with 16-13 on Inferno and 16-8 on Mirage. As the final score suggests, the bout was very one-sided, and there are not many arguments to be made this fixture will play out any differently.
It’s also worth noting that Liquid started to perform much better since they acquired Michael “Grim” Wince, who impressed many people with his talents. In the second map against Chaos, he managed 23 frags and a fantastic 1.48 HLTV rating, and while he was not precisely the MVP of the game, his contributions are nothing to sneeze at.
The head-to-head results between Liquid and Chaos show 5-2 in favor of Liquid, but it’s worth noting that the only two maps. Chaos managed to win at the time when Liquid was struggling with their form and still fielded their old in-game leader Nick “nitr0” Cannella. A lot has changed since then, and if Liquid recent results are to go by, the reigning IGS champions should have a reasonably easy time producing a clean sheet this Tuesday. Bet on TL to win 2-0!
Prediction: Team Liquid -1.50 Maps – 1.90 at Bet365