NAVI Reigns Supreme In Group D – EPL Season 15 Breakdown
Crack out the fireworks, Counter-Strike fans, ESL Pro League Season 15 is starting to heat up. With the group stage finished, now it’s time for the main stage celebration. Group D has finally rounded up with NAVI, Heroic, and Astralis advancing into the playoff bracket. What has their road looked like and where next could we see them?
To no one’s surprise, Natus Vincere (NAVI) lead Group D with a staggering 5-0 record and a +76 map differential. What’s there to say that hasn’t already been said? Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev is the best to touch the game and consistently reminds us of that fact. His team is the best in the world and they perform to that degree each and every time they walk out on stage. The odds-on favourite to win the event only dropped a single map to the Danish wonder boys in Astralis, who had quite an impressive showing.
Benjamin “blameF” Bremer leapt off the page for Astralis as the spearhead on their 16-14 nail biter on Nuke. Leading the map overall with a 1.50 HLTV.org rating is already impressive but then you see blameF’s numbers and really unpack what that means. 32 kills, a +14 kill to death differential, 106 average damage done per round (ADR) and even going positive in his first kill differential with a +3, blameF was a big reason Astralis came out ahead bruising the giants in NAVI.
He continued to be a large factor for the Danes as the event continued. In their following match against Complexity, blameF dropped a staggering 70 kills, a +17 kill to death differential, a 93.5 ADR and a 1.39 rating–across the three map series as a whole. However, the only other team to challenge them as NAVI did, was Heroic.
Advancing as a second seed in Group D is no small feat. With NAVI and Astralis as well as some strong competition hailing from North America, what Heroic did here puts respect on their moniker. While there isn’t much to add once you see the map scores from their routing of AGO, it is important to note that the entire team was cloaked in green differentials, as they should. René “TeSeS” Madsen led the team with an impressive +19 as well Martin “stavn” Lund came in with a respectable +5.
Yet what stands as most interesting is how they fared against their Danish neighbors in Astralis. Through three nail bitingly close maps, stavn led the team with an incredible showing, dropping 91 kills, a +22 kill to death differential, 96 ADR, and a 1.36 HLTV.org rating. That kind of stunning performance is something to keep an eye on as the ESL Pro League Season 15 heads into their playoff bracket.
Advancing with the first seed, NAVI awaits the winner of FaZe Clan and the former Gambit Esports squad under the name “Players”. While both Heroic and Astralis have to battle through the Round of 12. Pair off with some North American hopefuls, it’s hard not to tap Heroic as the favourite in their match against Team Liquid and Astralis looks to be in top form as they head into their match against Entropic.
On April 10th, the ESL Pro League will crown a new champion and someone will book their ticket to the BLAST World Final this year.
Who’ve you got your money on?
Images via Valve