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The action at IEM Rio continues on Monday
  1. Esports

Esports: ESL Pro League knockout match previews

With the group stage of the latest season of Counter Strike: Global Offensive's ESL Pro League all done and dusted, the playoffs get underway with the round of 12 on Tuesday.

From the final section - Group D - Cloud9, FURIA and Team Liquid qualified and it is time for the remaining sides to battle it out for a share of the $835,000 prize pool.

While each of the group winners have progressed directly to the quarter-final stage, the other eight sides begin the playoffs with the round of 12.

On Tuesday, the first of these matches will take place between Group A runners-up Fnatic and Team Liquid, who squeezed through in third in Group D. The winner of the tie will face Group C winners MOUZ in the quarter-finals.

After that, Group B runners-up FaZe Clan lock horns with a Complexity Gaming side who defied expectations to make the top three in Group C. Whoever wins that contest will set up a quarter-final clash with Cloud9.

There is a lot at stake in season 16 of the ESL Pro League with the overall winners not only set to scoop $175,000 but they will also make the final of this year's BLAST World Final and earn a spot in next year's IEM Katowice.

It is sure to be an engrossing few days of action as the CS:GO season reaches its climax.

Fnatic can put up a fight against strong Team Liquid

WhatTeam Liquid vs Fnatic, ESL Pro League
WhereSalini Resort, Malta
When09.30, Tuesday September 27th 2022
How to watchESL YouTube / Twitch channels
OddsTeam Liquid -187, Fnatic +138

North American outfit Team Liquid left it late to book their place in the playoffs of season 16 of the ESL Pro League, securing third spot in Group D after an impressive 2-0 win against Cloud9.

That was Cloud9's only defeat in the group phase and Team Liquid showed their class in the match as Mareks "YEKINDAR" Galinskis put in a fine performance with 41 kills registered on Overpass.

Team Liquid finished with an identical record - three wins and two defeats - to Group A side Fnatic in the group phase and there could be little to separate the sides in the round of 12.

Fnatic's 3-2 record helped them to a second-place finish in Group A, above big hitters such as Natus Vincere and Ninjas In Pyjamas.

Team Liquid really came into their own in the BLAST Premier Fall Groups last month, finishing among the top three to make the Fall Finals, and they are third in HLTV's world CS:GO rankings.

It is therefore no surprise to see them rated -187 to get the better of Fnatic but their opponents have put up a fight in Malta so far and this could be a close contest.

With that in mind, over 2.5 maps could be a decent bet at -110, while over 68.5 total rounds also makes an appeal at -120.

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FaZe Clan should be far too hot for Complexity to handle

WhatComplexity vs FaZe Clan, ESL Pro League
WhereSalini Resort, Malta
When13:00, Tuesday September 27th 2022
How to watchESL YouTube / Twitch channels
OddsComplexity +550, FaZe Clan -1000

The unpredictability of the ESL Pro League was clear to see in Group C in season 16 as Complexity Gaming secured a top-three berth ahead of more established sides such as Astralis and ENCE.

Currently 19th in the HLTV CS:GO world rankings, Complexity came into this event having lost three of their four games at the BLAST Premier Fall Groups and were not really considered major contenders for a knockout berth.

But a 2-0 defeat of ENCE in their final group game confirmed the unlikely and they now face a monumental challenge in the round of 12.

FaZe Clan had to settle for second-best in Group B behind red-hot G2 Esports but they still finished with a 4-1 record and are largely considered the best team in CS:GO right now.

FaZe Clan are +300 to win the latest season of the ESL Pro League, so they should have few issues navigating a way past Complexity Gaming, even if their opponents do have a penchant for upsetting the odds.

The Clan claimed the SteelSeries Nova Invitational title only last month and in July they were crowned IEM Cologne winners, so they are going particularly well right now and the best betting approach could be to back them to win 2-0 at -175 or at -10.5 on the rounds handicap at -125.

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