ESL Pro League: Standings Provide No Surprises After Two Weeks

by Steven Cropley

When you think of North American Counter-Strike, there are a few teams you expect to be at the top and so far in season five of the ESL Pro League, these teams have not disappointed. With only six of the teams located in the region in the WWG CSGO Team Rankings top 25, four of those teams sit atop the standings. No. 2, 9, 10, 19 in SK Gaming, Cloud9, OpTic Gaming, and Team Liquid currently lead in the ESL Pro League. One team missing from this list that is expected to make a surge as it has already faced SK Gaming is No. 11 Immortals.

(Photo: Dreamhack)

SK Gaming's new roster featuring Joao "felps" Vasconcellos has gotten off to a solid 6-0 start, matched only by Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert's Cloud9. Outside of its Brazilian brothers in Immortals, SK has faced two unranked teams in compLexity and Rush, not the most competitive of teams as they sit at 10 and 13 respectively in the standings. Cloud9 sits in a similar boat, having played Rush, Winterfox, and No. 21 Renegades, leaving much more for the boys in blue to prove. The team will get that chance in its next two series where it will take on Immortals and OpTic Gaming.

OpTic and Liquid both sit at 5-1. The start of the season for both teams is connected as a player swap was created following the departure of Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz from the green wall. The in-game leader joined the ranks of Liquid who released Spencer "Hiko" Martin who was in turn brought into the OpTic lineup as a stand-in for the time being. OpTic's one loss came to Immortals on Cobblestone, although the team managed to bounce back for a win over the Brazilian side on Overpass. Liquid took its loss to a less notable opponent in the fresh NRG team. Facing three unranked opponents, Liquid was given ample cushion to work things out with its new in-game leader. Liquid took down Misfits 2-0 before splitting with NRG, losing the first map in overtime. To be fair, Wilton "zews" Prado, the team's coach, was acting as its fifth player due to Jacob "Pimp" Winneche being in Denmark.