Group A Starting with a Bang at ESL Pro League Season 18

The fourth event in the Intel Grand Slam Season 5 is officially underway with the start of the ESL Pro League Season 18. The eight teams making up Group A had their first round of play on Wednesday.

The four of the eight teams that are able to survive the triple elimination bracket will be seeded into the single elimination Playoff Bracket to battle it out for $200K and trips to IEM Katowice 2024 and BLAST Premier: World Final 2023. With the stakes so high, you won’t want to miss a second of the CS:GO action on YouTube and Twitch.

FURIA Esports vs. Greyhound

  • When: Thursday, August 31st – 6:30 AM ET
  • Odds: FURIA Esports (-400) vs. Greyhound (+285)

The first match of the next round sees FURIA Esports taking on Grayhound in the Group A Middle Bracket. FURIA Esports fell to Movistar Riders in a pretty sizable upset as they entered as -240 favorites. It appears that they may not be over the slump fans saw them in at IEM Cologne. Losing another match this early in the event would be an absolute embarrassment for the partner team.

Meanwhile, Grayhound can’t feel too bad for the performance they had against GamerLegion. Though they lost pretty handily in a 0-2 match, they still had their moments that should inspire anyone betting on this underdog.

Movistar Riders vs. GamerLegion

  • When: Thursday, August 31st – 10 AM ET
  • Odds: Movistar RIders (+130) vs. GamerLegion (-176)

The second match of the day will see the winners from the aforementioned matches as Movistar Riders and GamerLegion will meet each other in the Upper Bracket Semifinals.

Movistar Riders should be feeling great about their performance, pulling off an upset over a very good team regardless of recent performance. GamerLegion will definitely be seeing a step up in the level of competition when they take on Movistar Riders.

Their gameplay is going to need to step up with it if they want to show the same level of dominance in this next round.

Astralis vs. Orks Esports

  • When: Thursday, August 31st – 1:30 PM ET
  • Odds: Astralis (-1800) vs. Orks Esports (+900)

Astralis fell to Ninjas in Pyjamas in the first round of play in Group A in a one-sided upset. Though Atralis were able to make it to double digits in both games, they never were in a position where they controlled the game.

They’ll take on an Orks Esports squad that got absolutely decimated by Team Vitality in a match that was as one-sided as expected. Orks was unable to find more than seven rounds in either game against Team Vitality, making the betting line on this one very one-sided. If Orks were to find a way to pull out the victory, it would be one of the bigger upsets in CS:GO.

Team Vitality vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas

  • When: Thursday, August 31st – 1:30 PM ET
  • Odds: Team Vitality (-450) vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas (+300)

Team Vitality and Ninjas in Pyjamas will face off in the other Upper Bracket Semifinals after both teams were able to find strong wins in the opening round. Team Vitality still appears to be the team in Group A to beat after taking down Orks Esports in the most dominant fashion of the four winners.

However, Ninjas in Pyjamas is looking to create another upset scenario, and what better than taking down one of the favorites? How will Team Vitality respond to the step up in competition? Only time will tell.