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With Valorant Champions 2022 wrapped up, our focus is now shifted to all the other major esports tournaments that are taking place around the world. No, we did not forget about CS:GO at all which is why today we’re covering ESL Pro League Season 16. Group C has now finally been wrapped up, so let’s take a look at who’s qualified for the ESL Pro League playoffs!

ESL Pro League Group C

5 days was all it took to wrap up the entire action of Group C. As expected, there was no lack of action as the group composed of both top dogs as well as underdogs.

Who qualified?

MOUZ topped the leaderboard of Group C winning 4 out of their 5 matches. Their only loss came against Astralis who even failed to qualify. Since they’re in 1st place, they have directly qualified for the quarterfinals. Heroic and Complexity are the other two teams joining MOUZ at the playoffs. However, they have only advanced to the round of 12 and not the quarterfinals yet.

Agony for Astralis

For the 4-time Major winning Danish team, this was a tournament they’d love to forget. Astralis could not replicate even an inch of the performance they had portrayed in the years of 2018 and 2019.

Astralis started the tournament off on the wrong foot losing 1-2 to Complexity on day 1 of Group C at ESL. A 2-0 clean win against table-toppers MOUZ revived hopes but quickly withered away losing 1-2 to HEET. There was some hope of qualifying as they won against ENCE the next day but a loss to Heroic sent them back home. Their loss to HEET surely cost them a spot at the playoffs which is even more sad considering that HEET finished at the very bottom.

Even worse news for Astralis is that k0nfig suffered a complicated ankle fracture, the organization announced on social media today. Coming off the bench, their reserve, Mikkel “MistR” Thomsen, will be included in the main roster. MistR will be in the main squad for the upcoming RMR.

Cologne has witnessed the best teams from across the world clash to win the Masters. With the competition at its final stages, few remain to become a victor. We now finally have our first pair of semi-finalists with Astralis facing NAVI today.

Team Astralis

Astralis has always been one of the most fierce teams in the Counter-Strike world. The pride of Denmark- Astralis has picked up multiple titles, the last notable one being the BLAST Pro Series: Global Final 2019. While 2018 and 2019 served as their prime years, Astralis is still a force to be reckoned with. They surely have proved so with their current run at IEM Cologne 2022.

Astralis Roster

  • Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander (IGL)
  • Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth
  • Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke
  • Benjamin “blameF” Bremer
  • Asger “farlig” Jensen
  • Martin “trace” Heldt

Astralis team overview | HLTV.org

Astralis’ Run at IEM Cologne 2022

Astralis was one of the 16 Play-In teams that made it thanks to their ESL World Ranking. Following a Bo3 format, the first opponents to face Astralis at the lower bracket were Complexity and BIG. Both Complexity and the winners of the 2022 Roobet Cup lost to the Danish squad. Placed in Group B, Astralis faced some big, big names of the Counter-Strike scene. In round 1 of the upper bracket, Astralis clean sweeped FURIA Esports. They went on to do the same to Cloud9 in round 2 of the upper bracket. Their first loss came against FaZe Clan in the following round. While FaZe directly proceeded to the semi-finals of the competition, Astralis faced MOUZ (formerly known as mousesports) in the quarter-finals.

Astralis vs MOUZ

MOUZ was not at all expected to make it this far at IEM Cologne 2022. But they did. They beat the likes of Heroic, Team Vitality and Ninjas in Pyjamas to name a few. With new recruits torzsi and JDC, MOUZ gave Astralis a run for their money. MOUZ started off strong winning their pick of Mirage 16-8. Astralis took Nuke as their first pick and they leveled the series 1-1 winning 16-9. Ancient was the decider and Astralis just clinched it 16-12 ending what can be considered as a dream run for MOUZ. While Astralis have done a good job at taking care of Mouz, their biggest challenge yet awaits- NAVI.

Natus Vincere

NAVI has proven many times in recent years that they will destroy anyone that comes their way. Before we look into what may be in store for us, here’s how NAVI is lining up this Major:

  • Denis “electroNic” Sharipov
  • Oleksandr “s1mple”Kostyliev
  • Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy
  • Valerii “b1t” Vakhovskyi
  • Viktor “sdy” Orudzhev

Astralis vs. NAVI Preview

 

Astralis vs. Natus Vincere will be taking place at 19:30 ALMT today. It will be streamed live on Twitch right from Cologne. Since 2020, the teams have faced each other a total of 11 times. Astralis has only won thrice out of those 11 matches. NAVI has a win rate of 70% in the last 30 days while Astralis has won 62% of their matches. So, the odds are heavily in favor of Natus Vincere.