ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals Recap
One of the biggest events in 2019 for Counter-Strike has come to an end this past weekend, with some incredibly unlikely outcomes. 16 teams made their way to Odense, Denmark for the ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals where they battled it out for their share of the $600,000 prize pool. In many peoples terms, this was the final major event of the year despite both the Blast Pro Series Global Final and Epicenter 2019 taking place before Christmas with $500,000 prize pools.
ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals Format
Group Stage: December 3rd – 5th, 2019
- Two double-elimination formats (GSL) Groups
- Each group has eight teams
- The group stage is seeded based on Regular Season Placements
- The initial matches are Bo1
- All following matches are Bo3
- The top three teams from each group advance to the Playoffs.
- Group stage winners advance to the Semifinals
- Group stage runners-up advance to the Quarterfinals as the High Seeds
- The group stage 3rd place teams advance to the Quarterfinals as the Low Seeds
Playoffs: December 6th – 8th, 2019
- Single-elimination bracket
- The Quarterfinals & Semifinals are Bo3
- The Grand Final is Bo5
- Natus Vincere (NaVi),
- FaZe Clan,
- 100 Thieves,
- Evil Geniuses
- G2 Esports,
- Sharks Esports,
- Mousesports (Mouz),
- Team Liquid
Group Stage Recap
This was deemed the group with the most fluctuation in regards to who would advance to playoffs. With every team, maybe with the exception of Heroic, having the capability to beat anyone in the group on any given day.
The upper bracket didn’t hold many surprises. Both NaVi and Evil Geniuses had convincing wins to make their way to the playoff match where they battled it out for 1st seed. The series went back and forth with NaVi eventually coming out on top 3-1. FaZe Clan suffered an early defeat to MiBR which made their tournament a living hell. They scrapped past Tyloo with a 2-1 win but then fell short against 100 Thieves.
Fnatic had a rough opening game against Evil Geniuses, losing 16-3 and that sent them to the loser bracket. Very tightly contested victories over Heroic and MiBR found them facing 100 Thieves for the final playoff spot. The series started as expected with a tough battle that ended 16-13 in Fnatics favour but after this Fnatic ran away with the series. A 2-0 win for Fnatic secured their spot in playoffs, and eliminated 100 Thieves.
Despite both Liquid and Astralis being in this group, I think overall it was deeded the easier of the two. Liquid and Astralis performed as expected, both suffered a map loss in their second series but would eventually clash in the playoff spot for 1st seed in the group.
The other opening games held no surprises with G2 defeating Sharks and Mouz picking up the win against ATK. North failed to impressive yet again by getting eliminated by ATK, meaning once again they didn’t win a single map at the event. ATK kept the surprises coming with a 2-1 victory over G2. With Mouz defeating Renegades 2-1, it meant Mouz and ATK would battle it out for the final playoff spot available to Group B.
Liquid found themselves up 1-0 but the momentum quickly swung in Astralis’ favour, meaning Astralis won 2-1 and topped the group. Mouz ended up with a very comfortable win against ATK for the final play-off spot.
With only a couple of minor surprises during group stage, there wasn’t too many surprises expected going into the two quarterfinals, but things soon changed. Liquid and Fnatic battled it out first, but it seemed like Liquid didn’t turn up at all. Fnatic pulled off 16-11 and 16-8 wins to secure the series 2-0 and advance.
A similar took place over in the quarterfinal between Evil Geniuses and Mouz. Mouz found themselves up 1-0 after demolishing EG on Train but a tight overtime victory brought EG back into the series. EG obviously had no momentum swing from the overtime victory and they lost 16-0 on Nuke, throwing the series away and allowing Mouz to advance.
The final four were set. NaVi and Fnatic would battle it out in the first semi-final with Astralis taking on Mouz in the other. The day kicked off with NaVi vs. Fnatic and this was the one semi-final that everyone thought was up in the air. Both NaVi and Fnatic are in rebuilding processes, however Fnatic have seen more success recently. This carried over into the series. Fnatic found themselves 1-0 down but pulled off the reverse sweep to advance to the grand final.
With Astralis looking like obvious winners against Mouz on their home soil, many expected a quick 2-0 win to come their way. However, Mouz had a different idea and after a double overtime map of Train, took a 1-0 lead. Astralis fought back on Overpass to tie things up with a 16-9 win. It looked like it was over for Mouz on Dust II as Astralis had a 14-8 lead but Mouz pulled off an incredible comeback to upset the Danes and send them home.
The Grand Final
There was hype around the grand final but it was unlikely going to live up to the incredible storyline of Mouz making the comeback against Astralis the prior day. The series was a best of 5, something that isn’t as popular anymore in major CS events, but it was nice to see.
With that being said, only 3 maps were needed to crown the ESL Pro League Season 10 Champions. The map scores were as follows:
All going in favour of Mouz. Despite the 3-0 scoreline, each map was rather competitive and it wasn’t a complete blowout like we have seen in the past. Congratulations to Mousesports (Mouz) on winning the event.