The CSGO ESL Pro League Season 18 Playoffs are finally here! Only 16 teams remain with 4 teams already into the Quarterfinal stage. Over the next week, these teams will face on in best of 3 elimination matches to decide who is the best team in the league.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Season 18 playoffs…
Right now, there are 16 teams in the Playoffs with 8 teams competing in the round of 16. Although this may seem confusing, there are already 4 teams qualified for the round of 12 and another 4 in the Quarterfinals. The image below helps to illustrate this:
Here’s a full list of the qualified teams:
- Eternal Fire
- 9z Team
- Mouz Esports
- FURIA Esports
- Movistar Riders
- FaZe Clan
- Team Vitality
- Natus Vincere (NAVI)
- G2 Esports
As we can see, there are some household names here with NAVI, Team Vitality, and Fnatic. However, there are also a few names you may not recognise if you’re not deep in the CS:GO Esports scene.
9z Team has been performing very well with consecutive wins at B-Tier tournaments such as the CCT South America Series #8 and KaBuM! Legends. both taking place earlier this year in July. Unfortunately, when it comes to A-Tier tournaments, the team has had multiple Semi-Final finishes, narrowly losing out to Virtus.pro, FURIA Esports, and Team Spirit.
Movistar Riders is another team that performs very well at B-Tier tournaments, however, recently they have pulled through when it comes to top-end tournaments and majors with a win at ESL Challenger at DreamHack Melbourne 2023. We can’t wait to see who they face in the Round of 12.
At the moment, only 4 matches are decided in the Round of 16, this is due to the tournament structure immediately qualifying teams into the Round of 12 and Quarterfinals.
The matches currently scheduled are:
- Fnatic v Monte
- Astralis v Eternal Fire
- Virtus.pro v 9z Team
- MOUZ v FURIA Esports
If you want to watch these matches live, tune in to the ESL CSGO Twitch on September 26th, with the first match starting at 14:30 BST. Although the teams here are not necessarily the “best”, the path they have taken to get here is very interesting.
For example, Monte had to go head to head against HEROIC, a team seeded #4 in the CS:GO World Ranking. Similarly, MOUZ beat Evil Geniuses, HEROIC, and MIBR in their mid-bracket run to make it to the Round of 16.
Astralis is currently the highest-seeded team (#8) in the Round of 16. It’s likely we will see them progress into the Quarterfinals to play NAVI if they can beat Eternal Fire and BIG.
CSGO ESL Pro League: Top four teams
There are 2 ways to determine the top 4 teams currently competing in the Season 18 playoffs, however, no matter how you look at it, you will find the same teams at the top.
When can look at the top 4 teams that immediately qualified for the Quarterfinals, we find some absolute powerhouse organisations; Team Vitality, Natus Vincere, ENCE, and G2 Esports. If we compare this to the current seeding ladder, it becomes obvious as to why these 4 teams specifically made it to this point in the tournament.
When we look at the World Rankings, the top 4 teams currently remaining in the CSGO ESL Pro League have all made it to the playoffs. The only outlier here is NAVI. Everyone expected HEROIC to go much further in this tournament, however, S1mple and his team have dominated in the group stages to get to the playoffs.
We will have to wait and see who makes playoffs (final 4 teams) but it will be interesting to see if any of these 4 teams don’t make it through to the Semi-Finals.