Yesterday, the last ever CSGO Pro League FInal took place with MOUZ and NAVI going head to head in a best of 5. Both teams played very well throughout their time in the tournament. However, they took very different paths to make it to the final. NAVI dominated in the group stage and quickly qualified for the quarter-final where they beat Eternal Fire 2-0. They then went on to face Monte in the Semis with another 2-0 win. This set expectations high for the finals… but MOUZ had a different plan.
MOUZ Group Stages
In the group stages, MOUZ started with a 2-1 loss against MIBR. This put them in the Mid Bracket of Group B giving them another chance at the Playoffs. This is where the team rallied together and began one of the greatest runs in Pro League we’ve ever seen.
The first match against Evil Geniuses was very close despite the 2-0 win. This put them in a match against HEROIC who are currently seeded 4th in the ESL rankings, where they again won 2-0. The final match MOUZ had to play in the Mid Bracket was against MIBR. This was the original team that beat them in the main group bracket. Again, MOUZ went on to beat MIBR 2-0, getting their revenge and going on to the Playoffs in the round of 16.
MOUZ playoff run
MOUZ entered the playoff in the Round of 16 alongside other teams who qualified through the Mid and Lower Brackets. A 2-0 win against FURIA Esports set them in good stead for the rest of the tournament. Although MOUZ is seeded above FURIA in the ESL rankings, they are still a formidable opponent with some of the best players in the world.
Unfortunately, this was the end of the “easy” matches for MOUZ as every team they faced from here onwards was seeded above them with FaZe Clan up next in the Round of 12. With players like Ropz, Broky, and Karrigan, FaZe were expected to dominate MOUZ in a quick sweep, However, MOUZ came out the gates swinging with a 10-16 win in the first match and a 5-16 stomp in the second.
In the quarter and Semifinals, MOUZ had to face the #2 and #3 seed teams with G2 Esports and ENCE. MOUZ went on to beat both teams 2-1 in a tough bout. In both of these series’ they won the first match giving them a confidence boost to take on these titans in a best of 3.
MOUZ final against NAVI
NAVI is one of the top teams in the league. Although seeded 7th, players like S1mple, Aleksib, and JL boast a strong presence in any match. Despite all the odds in favor of NAVI, MOUZ didn’t lose a match with a 3-0 win in a best of 5.
The first match on Inferno was close, but MOUZ was able to pick up a lot of rounds on CT, allowing the team to test the waters when on the T side. The second match was a similar story. MOUZ picked up 11 rounds on CT meaning they only had to get 5 when it came to the T side. Unfortunately, NAVI didn’t really stand a chance here as it only took a few rounds to break their economy and pick up some easy wins.
Finally, map 3 on Mirage went to overtime where MOUZ won 19-15 and didn’t drop a round in overtime. We can’t wait to see what MOUZ has in store for us in the future. With their success in Season 18, the organization has a chance to jump to the top.
With the release of Counter-Strike 2 mid-playoffs, it was unclear as to how ESL would proceed. Initially, the community believed they may make a switch to the new game and finish Season 18 on CS2. However, there were numerous issues with competitive integrity and match scoring that would’ve made it difficult for teams to compete.
As of now, we are waiting for Season 19 of the ESL Pro League, and the next Major is set for March 2024 at PGL Copenhagen.