ESL Pro League Season 17 Group B Team Preview

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ESL Pro League Season 17 Group B Team Preview

Following a brilliant Group A,  we take a look at the second group of the tournament

With CSO at an all-time high — 11 years after its release following the release of a new update, the seminal shooter is where the hype is at right now. If you’ve been missing out on the games in ESL Pro League’s Group A, you’ve been losing out. The group offered plenty of excitement and top-tier CSGO, and we’re expecting Group B to deliver the same. Before the matches for Group B begin, here’s what we think of each team in that group.

ESL Pro League Season 17 Group B Teams

  • Heroic
  • Movistar Riders
  • BIG 
  • Complexity
  • Imperial Esports
  • FURIA Esports
  • SAW
  • MOUZ


  • Martin “stavn” Lund
  • Casper “cadiaN” Møller
  • René “TeSeS” Madsen
  • Rasmus “sjuush” Beck
  • Jakob “Jabbi” Nygaard

Knocked off their perch but still an extremely strong side, Heroic is waiting on the periphery of top-spot holders G2, and with the latter finally showing some cracks in their armor, the Danes might not have to bide their time for too long. A resolute and passionate team, Heroic’s players have incredible chemistry and teamwork, and although there’s no out-and-out star player on the team, that just seems to suit their style as their players take turns topping the server in any given game, and on any given map.

Although most people consider cadiaN to be the backbone of the team, he is only that as far as the morale and spirit goes. It’s impossible to state that the AWPers exploits, while many, are in any way more substantial than those of stavn, TeSeS, sjuush or Jabbi. The team works best when multiple players are firing on all cylinders, but for Heroic, that can literally be any two or three of the lot and they’d be fine. Facing an unsteady Movistar Riders in their first match, the Danes are by far the favorites to go not just past them, but deep into the tournament overall.

Movistar Riders

  • Alejandro ”mopoz” Fernández-Quejo Cano
  • Alejandro ”ALEX” Masanet Candela
  • Pere “sausol” Solsona Saumell 
  • David ”dav1g” Granado Bermudo
  • Antonio “Martinez” Martinez Sánchez

The Spanish side has fallen on hard times since their star AWPer Alvaro “SunPayus” Garcia left for ENCE. While it was widely suggested that he was just a part of the whole despite being the hardest hitter in most of their matches, it turned out that his teammates were a bit lost without him. Raúl “DeathZz” Jordán Nieto also left shortly afterwards, and the team is still picking up the pieces while also riding on the back of the success of their old lineup, which is actually why they’re at this competition.

As for its players, mopoz, ALEX and dav1g are all decent, but they seem to be lacking that extra flair that was provided by their former man on the Big Green, and with DeathZz also gone, the rest of that core has become weaker, and will need time to build up. Having their first match against one of the best teams in the world is far from ideal for that, but at this point, they’ll probably just be happy to be at the event as they might not get access to such a tournament for a while. 


  • Johannes ”tabseN” Wodarz 
  • Marcel “hyped” Köhn
  • Josef ”faveN” Baumann
  • Karim ”Krimbo” Moussa
  • Nils ”k1to” Gruhne

The German side has been struggling for a very long time, and we have written as such about them for so long that we’re starting to struggle to come up with new things to say. BIG undoubtedly have lots of talent, but they seem to fall short when it comes to big tournaments due to a mixture of nerves, a lack of good strategies, and that big game mentality that’s so important for such competitions.

With Florian “syrsoN” Rische out of action for the time being, it’ll be interesting to see how hyped performs at his first big LAN event. Apart from him, BIG will be glad to have tabseN back on the first team, and the fact that he has lots of experience playing alongside faveN, Krimbo and k1to will be the key to their success, should they be able to eke some out. Facing Complexity first up, BIG will fancy themselves as the two teams are pretty evenly matched, but the Germans have a higher pedigree.


  • Johnny ”JT” Theodosiou 
  • Justin ”FaNg” Coakley
  • Ricky ”floppy” Kemery
  • Michael ”Grim” Wince
  • Håkon ”hallzerk” Fjærli

American teams have a way of being extremely talented, but almost never being able to utilize that talent to the fullest. Complexity is no different. The team regularly punches above their weight, but can’t turn it into a habit for the life of them. Their five young players are overflowing with skill and talent, but they seem to lack the kind of leadership that takes a good team up and into greatness. 

The recruitment of mullet, uh, hallzerk into the team has breathed fresh life into what was a stagnant, dying squad. Grim has also helped in that regard, with the 22-year-old, who was struggling for a long time on Team Liquid, regularly popping off for COL. FaNg and floppy have also improved greatly, and JT’s leadership has matured over the last few months. Although they’re the marginal underdogs for their first match, COL unquestionably have what it takes to beat BIG.

Imperial Esports

  • Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo 
  • Jhonatan “JOTA”  Wilian        
  • Ricardo “boltz” Prass
  • Vinicius “VINI” Figueiredo
  • Marcelo “chelo” Cespedes

The Brazilian squad has quite a few superstars, but can’t seem to click when it matters the most. Looking at their lineup, one would assume that they’d be ruling within their region if not beyond, but the last time they won anything that wasn’t a qualifier was a B-Tier tournament back in March 2022. Undoubtedly frustrated and booted from their local Major in last place, Imperial will be desperate to pull off a good result at this EPL.

FalleN is far from the mind-blowing AWPer he once was, but the aging patriarch of Brazilian CSGO can still rise up to the occasion from time to time.JOTA and chelo are decent, but apart from the occasional good performance, lack the incisiveness required on the big stage. Like FalleN, boltz has also been around for a while and is clearly showing his age. VINI is the shining beacon of the team, but his performances haven’t lived up to his reputation since coming over from FURIA, who are the favorites in Imperial’s first match — an exciting Brazilian derby.

FURIA Esports

  • Yuri “yuurih” Boian
  • Andrei “arT” Piovezan
  • Kaike “KSCERATO” Cerato
  • André “drop” Abreu
  • Rafael “saffee” Costa

Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. FURIA have an excellent crop of players who have all the talent in the world, but like every Brazilian team before and since the legendary Luminosity Gaming/SK Gaming squads, can’t make it work when things get dicey. A highly momentum-driven team, FURIA can squish even the toughest opponents on a good day, but struggle to make ends meet on others. 

The performances of both riflers drop and saffee as well as AWPer arT have been inconsistent at best, and they’ll have to step up if FURIA are to get anywhere at this tournament. KSCERATO has been in terrific patches of form, but he too tends to disappear in big matches. yuurih is somewhere in between, but either way, has that same common problem. Although FURIA should by all means be able to best Imperial and move forth, you can never really be sure with this team.


  • Tiago “JUST” Moura
  • Christopher “MUTiRiS” Fernandes
  • Ricardo “rmn” Oliveira
  • Michel “ewjerkz” Magalhães 
  • João “story” Vieira

A Portuguese side that has been skirting the top of third-tier teams and moving into the second for quite a while now, SAW is a potent side that might go places if they have regular exposure to top-level CSGO. They have a bit of an advantage in this group, considering how little their strategies and individual play styles are known, but that might not matter if they can’t strengthen their nerves against bigger teams. Last year was pretty big for them in both C and B-Tier tournaments, and they’ll be looking to take things further here.

As a team, SAW have one of the highest average ages on the scene, with two 30-year-olds and a 26-year-old combining forces with two youngsters to create something akin to last year’s Dignitas roster featuring Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg and Adam “friberg” Friberg. Mutiris is an experienced leader, and it will mostly be his strats combined with the youthful talents of story and ewjerkz that set the tone for this team. They will be up against the rather unpredictable MOUZ, so an upset might not be too far-fetched.


  • David ”frozen” Čerňanský 
  • Christopher “dexter” Nong
  • Ádám “torzsi” Torzsás
  • Jon “JDC” de Castro
  • Dorian “xertioN” Berman 

Over the last year, MOUZ players have proven that they have one of the highest skill ceilings in the entire pro scene, and while they have improved greatly, like many others on this list they still lack that killer instinct. The squad has been together for a while, and have achieved a few deep runs into important tournaments in that time, but high-level silverware still evades them, and might take a while yet to manifest.

Ever since dexter came into the squad, the team has transformed from their miserable lull following the start of the pandemic-induced online era. Whether it’s torzsi’s AWP, frozen’s anchoring or xertioN’s clutches, the team provides plenty of high-adrenaline highlight reel moments in almost every game. They should by all means be able to beat SAW, and doing so would be the first step in a potentially great tournament for the plucky youngsters.

Keep an eye on our site for regular recaps and plenty of other content over the course of EPL Season 17.

ESL Pro League Season 17 Group B Team Preview
The Old One
When he's not sighing at sub-standard teammates in Dota 2 and CS2, The Old One is writing about those two games (among other things). If you see his name around the site too many times for your liking, well, the guy just never stops writing. Yes, we've tried an intervention.