Skip to content
en-gb GO TO bet365 Sports
  1. More Sports & News
  2. Esports

Esports: Wednesday ESL Pro League preview

One of the biggest tournaments of the Counter Strike: Global Offensive circuit, ESL Pro League Season 17 kicks off on Wednesday.

There will be 32 teams vying for the crown and a share of the $850,000 prize pool in Malta, and the landscape is more competitive than ever.

G2 are well-fancied after their win at IEM Katowice, but Heroic, FaZe and Natus Vincere will all be desperate for revenge against them.

WhatMIBR v Fnatic, ESL Pro League Season 17
WhenWednesday 22nd February, 2023
How to watchYouTube, Twitch
OddsMIBR 10/3, Fnatic 1/5

The first match of the tournament sees South America clash with Europe as MIBR square off against Fnatic and, as the odds suggest, Europe has a sizeable advantage.

These two sides squared off at IEM Katowice earlier this month and it was Fnatic who came out comfortably on top, winning the series 2-0 (16-9, 16-11). Fnatic were touted as a darkhorse for the playoffs in Poland but did not make them, losing to Complexity in disappointing fashion.

They have had time to mull over any mistakes made at that tournament, however, and the world’s ninth-best side should have no problem dispatching an MIBR side who have had little time to rest up.

The Brazilians made the Americas RMR for the Paris Major with a 3-1 record, defeating Evil Geniuses, Detonate and Take Flyte on the way. That loss to Complexity might look okay in the context of Fnatic’s defeat to them, but the game was ultimately not close after the first map.

WhatCloud9 v Evil Geniuses, ESL Pro League Season 17
WhenWednesday 22nd February, 2023
How to watchYouTube, Twitch
OddsCloud9 1/9, Evil Geniuses 5/1

Continuing the theme of David versus Goliath, Cloud9 take on Evil Geniuses in what is more than likely to be another one-sided affair.

There is some hope for Evil Geniuses, however, as this new-look Cloud9 squad performed massively below expectations at IEM Katowice, being eliminated in 13-16th place after back-to-back defeats to Natus Vincere and IHC.

That was not the true form of the Russian squad, who have been mainstays in the world’s top 10, but it does put an asterisk next to their name as they come up against an unpredictable Evil Geniuses.

Related Esports News

Esports: Monday LPL Spring match previews

The Americans looked to have turned a corner when they caused an almighty upset by defeating Heroic at BLAST Premier Spring Groups, but they came back down to earth with a crash, losing five matches on the bounce, including back-to-back defeats at IEM Katowice.

Remarkably, Evil Geniuses failed to qualify for the Paris Major North American RMR after a 2-0 defeat to TeamOne, and the fact they struggled as much as they did against domestic rivals suggests they have little hope of causing an upset here.

WhatG2 Esports v Eternal Fire, ESL Pro League Season 17
WhenWednesday 22nd February, 2023
How to watchYouTube, Twitch
OddsG2 Esports 1/20, Eternal Fire 19/2

G2 Esports are the team to beat in CS:GO at present and the world’s best team look to have a simple task as they start on their ESL Pro League journey.

The European powerhouse endured a nightmare 2022 up until the final tournament of the year, where they won the BLAST Premier World Finals without dropping a single map. Any talk of a “flash in the pan” performance was quickly dispelled at BLAST Premier Spring Groups, as they put away BIG and Natus Vincere (twice) without dropping a map.

In fact, G2 went on a 19-map winning sequence, which was only broken in the Grand Final of IEM Katowice, a game they ultimately won 3-1 without breaking sweat. G2 have looked infallible this year and their star-studded roster has no holes for Eternal Fire to exploit.

The Turkish roster do arrive in great heart having won CCT Central Europe Malta Finals last week, but the vast majority of the teams at that tournament are nowhere near the calibre of a team like G2.

Their qualification for the Paris Major European RMR would suggest they can upset a team or two at this tournament, but simply put, that upset will not come against G2.

Related Articles

bet365 uses cookies

We use cookies to deliver a better and more personalised service. For more information, see our Cookie Policy

New to bet365? Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets

Join Now

Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.