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Esports: ESL Pro League Saturday matches

It is becoming clear which teams could progress to the knockout stages from Group D in season 16 of Counter Strike: Global Offensive's ESL Pro League.

Only two matches in and there are three teams yet to lose - Cloud9, FURIA and Team Liquid - and three teams yet to win - Eternal Fire, Movistar Riders and Evil Geniuses.

The matches continue to come thick and fast and the teams are again in action on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Once Group D is concluded we will know the full line-up of 12 teams heading to the ESL Pro League knockout stages with the likes of Fnatic, Natus Vincere and FaZe Clan already through from the earlier groups.

The winners of the current season of the ESL Pro League, which continues with the playoff stage next Tuesday, will take home $175,000 in prize money and will automatically qualify for both the BLAST World Final 2022 and the IEM Katowice 2023.

Movistar should have too much for Evil Geniuses

WhatMovistar Riders vs Evil Geniuses
When11.30am, Saturday 24th September 2022
How to watchESL Youtube / Twitch channel / bet365's Live Streaming platform
OddsMovistar Riders -188, Evil Geniuses +138

Following their run to the semi-finals of the IEM Cologne in July and their rise to fifth in the HLTV world CS:GO rankings, Movistar Riders came into the latest season of the ESL Pro League in high spirits.

However, those spirits have been dampened by defeats in each of their first two matches.

They put up a fight against Team Liquid in an opening 2-1 defeat but on matchday two in Group D, they were completely rolled over by FURIA, who took the first map Ancient 16-3 and the second Nuke 16-13.

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The Riders made a seriously slow start to that first map, trailing 15-0 at half time, but they can at least draw confidence from the fact their opponents on Saturday - Evil Geniuses - have also made a poor start to the season.

Evil Geniuses lost each of their first two games in Group D 2-0 against Cloud9 and Team Liquid and they were also uninspiring in their recent BLAST Premier Fall Groups campaign, losing all three of their matches against Ninjas In Pyjamas, BIG and FaZe Clan.

They arguably look worse than Spanish counterparts Movistar Riders, who are worth a bet at -188 to pick up a win.

Red-hot Liquid can show their class

WhatTeam Liquid vs Eternal Fire
When15.00pm, Saturday 24th September 2022
How to watchESL Youtube / Twitch channel / bet365's Live Streaming platform
OddsTeam Liquid -400, Eternal Fire +275

Team Liquid are not messing about in the latest season of the ESL Pro League, having opened with wins over Movistar Riders and Evil Geniuses in their first two matches, dropping only one map in the process.

Particularly adept on Mirage and Vertigo, red-hot Liquid are third in the HLTV world CS:GO rankings and are on a four-match winning streak in all competitions after matchday two, following their fine performance in the BLAST Premier Fall Groups 2022.

They look like genuine contenders for the title in season 16 of the ESL Pro League and it is no surprise to see them rated -400 to get the better of Eternal Fire, who have a 0-2 record after two matches with a differential standing at -23.

Liquid can assert their superiority in this one and are worth a bet at -1.5 on the match handicap at -110 or -8.5 on the round handicap at -120.

Crunch clash could go the distance

WhatCloud9 vs FURIA
When18.30pm, Saturday 24th September 2022
How to watchESL Youtube / Twitch channel / bet365's Live Streaming platform
OddsCloud9 -250, FURIA +175

With victories in each of their first two matches against Evil Geniuses and Eternal Fire, Cloud9 have been setting the tone in Group D but FURIA will represent a challenge on matchday four.

The Brazilians won their opening match of the group stage 2-1 against Eternal Fire but dropping a map in that contest clearly acted as a wake-up call and they turned on the style in their second match against Movistar Riders, winning the first half of map one Ancient 15-0.

Kaike "KSCERATO" Cerato was their star of the show in that specific half, recording 19 kills and only two deaths, and they have the firepower to unsettle Cloud9.

FURIA, who are 13th in the HLTV world CS:GO rankings, made the top four of the IEM Dallas and season 15 of the ESL Pro League earlier in the year and they even beat Cloud9 2-0 in the former.

But Cloud9 too are going from strength to strength and it is hard to side with either team so a bet on over 2.5 maps at -110 could be the way to go in this high-profile encounter.

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