Marking out a player from each team in ESL Pro League 17’s Group B to excel in the Group Stage
As we did before with Group A teams, we’re picking out one player from each side in Group B of ESL Pro League Season 17 and predicting that they will be spectacularly successful at the event — if only in the Group Stage and within the means of their team. While reality might be far from what we predict, we’ll be basing our forecasts on statistics, probability and instinct rather than absolutely blind guesswork. If you’re planning to put money on the line for this tournament, this article might just turn out to be useful.
Heroic: Martin “stavn” Lund
- HLTV Rating: 1.12
- Impact Rating: 1.14
- Kill/Assist/Survived/Traded: 70.9%
- Average Damage/Round: 81.1
One of the integral cogs that make up Heroic, stavn has come a long way since his humble beginnings. The Dane announced his presence to the world by winning ESL Pro League S13, and has since then also netted a BLAST Fall Final as well as runner-up medals at both the Intel Extreme Masters Rio Major and IEM Katowice. With such results under his belt at the age of just 20, the baby-faced assassin of CSGO clearly has a long and successful career ahead, and we have him topping the charts for Heroic at this event.
Movistar Riders: Alejandro “alex” Masanet
- HLTV Rating: 1.03
- Impact Rating: 1.07
- Kill/Assist/Survived/Traded: 71.2%
- Average Damage/Round: 76.5
It’s not easy to be part of a failing, deteriorating team, but some people are just stuck in such an unfortunate position. Movistar are long past the supposed prime they reached in the middle of last year, and they have a long climb back to become relevant again. This might be alex’s last S-Tier event for a long time, and we hope for his sake that he can make the best of it and either start a journey upwards with his team or catch the eyes of a recruiter from some other, more solid squad.
BIG: Johannes “tabseN” Wodarz
- HLTV Rating: 1.05
- Impact Rating: 1.22
- Kill/Assist/Survived/Traded: 69.5%
- Average Damage/Round: 84.4
The 27-year-old has been playing for quite a while, and after 6 years on BIG, is one of the few players on the scene to have stuck with one team for so long. A beast with the rifle on a good day, he usually forms a fantastic partnership with his partner-in-crime Florian “syrsoN” Rische. Unfortunately, syrsoN is absent from the team at this point in time, and tabseN will have to lead his underperforming team into harm’s way to hopefully reach the Playoffs. While his basic rating is barely okay, his impact rating and ADR are both excellent.
Complexity: Håkon ”hallzerk” Fjærli
- HLTV Rating: 1.10
- Impact Rating: 1.13
- Kill/Assist/Survived/Traded: 70.0%
- Average Damage/Round: 73.3
One of the players that have taken COL from being a struggling Tier 2 side to regularly giving Tier 1 teams a run for their money, hallzerk caught the eyes of the American organization from his days on the former Dignitas squad. The Norwegian has improved greatly since then, maturing into an excellent AWPer who is known for providing moments of brilliance that have COL fans dreaming. While his stats aren’t exactly exemplary, it should be remembered that his teammates aren’t exactly stellar.
Imperial Esports: Vinicius “VINI” Figueiredo
- HLTV Rating: 1.04
- Impact Rating: 1.02
- Kill/Assist/Survived/Traded: 70.5%
- Average Damage/Round: 73.4
One could easily argue that Jhonatan “JOTA” Willian and Marcelo “chelo” Cespedes are better choices for this list than VINI, but the skinny youngster has a lot more top-level experience. VINI might not be the player now that he once was, but we still believe that he has the greatest skill ceiling on that team at this moment in time. The 23-year-old has a lot to prove, and this might be the event where he does it.
FURIA Esports: Kaike “KSCERATO” Cerato
- HLTV Rating: 1.19
- Impact Rating: 1.10
- Kill/Assist/Survived/Traded: 75.0%
- Average Damage/Round: 79.5
VINI’s former partner in crime, KSCERATO has been in excellent shape at different points of the last year. While the most FURIA achieved was a 3rd-4th place finish at the IEM Rio Major, it’s been the feeling for a while that the team is primed to win some silverware. They have all the skill, and their only real problem seems to be temperament. KSCERATO seems to be their most level-headed player, and if he can lead from the front as we expect him to, anything can happen. The Brazilian has the highest base rating on this list, so that’s a start.
SAW: Michel “ewjerkz” Pinto
- HLTV Rating: 1.14
- Impact Rating: 1.21
- Kill/Assist/Survived/Traded: 72.6%
- Average Damage/Round: 82.1
Little is known about this Portuguese wonderkid. He definitely has good potential, but his stats might be a little inflated on account of the fact that he mostly plays against lower-tier opposition. Not to take anything away from him, though. He has been integral in SAW’s rise from the lower levels of European CSGO to a Group Stage berth at an S-Tier event. This is his best chance to show what he can do, and we believe we’ll see good things from the youngster as long as he can control his nerves on such a stage.
MOUZ: David ”frozen” Čerňanský
- HLTV Rating: 1.12
- Impact Rating: 1.18
- Kill/Assist/Survived/Traded: 73.0%
- Average Damage/Round: 82.8
Speaking of potent youngsters, there are few better in Europe right now than frozen. A consistent player who can frag out with the best of them, frozen has been one of the key players responsible for MOUZ’s own climb out of the rut they were left in during the pandemic. He has a great chemistry with his teammates, and together they have already achieved some exemplary feats. It’s hard to pick one player out of that group, but we went with frozen based on gut instinct.
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