This week, ESL Pro League began.
Group A, which consists of Entropiq, Fnatic, Mouz, G2, NIP, and “Looking for Org” began on Wednesday and continues through Sunday. It’s a group marred by Fnatic’s roster difficulties, with three substitutes holding places on their roster for the tournament.
After two days and two BO3s, NIP has claimed a surprisingly strong place in the group, while underdogs LFG and Entropiq have struggled.
The Ninjas are 2-for-2, with wins over Fnatic and Entropiq. They still haven’t faced off against the other top teams in the group like G2, but two wins are two wins and put them in a strong position.
Even more impressive is how well all five players are performing; the lowest average rating on the team right now is es3tag’s 1.15 while their best player so far is REZ with a 1.52.
Just behind NIP is a pile of 1-1 teams, with every team but NIP and LFG winning one game. Perhaps the most impressive of those is Mouz, who beat G2 0-2 on Thursday, although they did lose to Entropiq.
It’s good to see Bymas coming performing after missing IEM Katowice due to Covid, while teammate Torzsi put up probably the best round of the group so far with a 1v4 in the match against G2.
Fnatic, meanwhile, have continued to falter due at least in part to their roster situation. They lost a brutal 2-0 to NIP in which they failed to claim more than six rounds on either map and then lost the first map against LFG. They came back to win 2-1, but losing any map to the Australian team who are projected as last in the group is a bad sign.
The group still has three more days of play, giving all the teams a chance to succeed or fail. LFG could still make a miracle run, or NIP could still completely collapse. But for now, the Ninjas look stronger than they’ve looked in a bit and Fnatic looks like they need to sort out what their roster is supposed to do right now.