What Are Evil Geniuses Chances At ESL Pro League Season 15?
Natus Vincere, Heroic, Astralis, Complexity, and AGO all stand between Evil Geniuses’ fresh-faced roster and a spot at the BLAST World Final. Can these plucky underdogs battle through the group of death or will the weight of prestige become too difficult to bear?
Group D is a difficult task for any team when you add the context of their world rankings. AGO and Complexity may settle on the same tier or within reach of Evil Geniuses but past that are some incredibly dominant teams. However, how do the other opponents fare within these last few months? Are there some other notable teams Evil Geniuses can prey upon?
Not much needs to be said about Astralis. The Danish super squad is synonymous with success and sits firmly within the top ten ranked teams in the world per HLTV.org’s rankings. Going 3-2 in their last 5, their opponents easily are within a different caliber then most they face in during the upcoming ESL Pro League. With narrow losses to G2 and FURIA and wins over the likes of fnatic, ENCE, and BIG, Astralis are not at the championship caliber that many remember them to be, but they are still a difficult match regardless.
Boasting a 57% win rate within the last 3 months, Heroic is on a tear right now. 4-1 in their last five, Heroic has only dropped a set to fellow top 10 teams FaZe Clan at IEM Katowice to place 3-4th. As a likely favourite to make it out of the group, Astralis seems like an easier battle in their current state than to place a bet on EG being able to bruise a team that’s run through the likes of OG, Vitality, and Virtus.pro.
And hailing as the number 1 ranked team in all of Counter-Strike at the moment is Natus Vincere. 4-1 in their last few outings, dropping the likes of FaZe Clan, FURIA, ENCE and NIP, Natus Vincere are not just group favourites but are among the shortlist of teams that are safe bets to win the event entirely.
So what do Evil Geniuses have going for them? Per HLTV.org’s statistics, William “RUSH” Wierzba and Timothy “autimatic” Ta have seen some notable individual improvements since the team coalesced this past January. These two weapons together and the team playing up to their potential, referencing the old Cloud9 core here, they have the potential to make some dents in some championship caliber teams. That alone is impressive for a team strung together within the last few months.
When it comes down to brass tax, their ESL Pro League chances come down to some dire straits. They need wins over AGO and Complexity Gaming because past those two teams they’re battling some of the best in the world. However, results here are not everything. Landing maps wins against the likes of Astralis and maybe even Heroic would not only be proof of concept as EG moves into the North American side of the PGL Regional Major Rankings, but it would also prove to be a tailwind for a team destined for the podium.
For Evil Geniuses squad that is looking for some confidence after only being together for months, expect a loose and scrappy version of EG to come out swinging at ESL Pro League Season 15. Who knows, maybe that’s enough of a catalyst to flip a few results on their heads?
Images via Valve and ESL.