With the conclusion of Group A, we have our second set of teams ready to battle for the playoffs spots. G2 and VP are the favorites but can they fend off new-look Complexity and Oskar-led Sinners? [Image credits: Helena Kristiansson and ESL]
EPL Season 14 continues with Group B, where G2 & Virtus.Pro will have to fight off challengers in the new Complexity and OG. This group will also see the return of Oskar to top-tier CS after looking dominant in tier 2. Es3tag and Complexity will hope for a strong finish in this group to kick their new roster off in style.
EPL Season 14 Group B Teams:
G2's Missing Trophy
G2 have been one of the best teams of 2021, and have shown great consistency that the previous lineups never delivered. Yet they have always fallen short of lifting the trophy. Their best shot so far was at Flashpoint 3 where they lost close games to eventual finalists Mousesports and Ninjas In Pyjamas and ended up in the 3rd spot.
After being blown out in the finals of IEM Cologne, they need to continue their strong form and again aim to lift the trophy. In their group, they are by far the strongest team and should go through this stage without losing any games. Their biggest challenge will be playing against VP who has shown great grit and never go out without a fight. But luckily for G2 by the time they face the CIS team they should already be qualified for the playoffs.
Can Virtus.Pro make a deep run?
Virtus.Pro throughout 2021 has been a solid top 5 level team throughout the year. They have made the top 8 at every international event they have attended so far, with their only poor showing coming at the last CIS RMR event. They might not have the flashiest AWPer or the most consistent stars, but the thing that has made them so consistent is their grit. This team is notorious for just refusing to lose.
In so many of their games, they are able to make huge comebacks and win the game. They were the team that made the biggest comeback on Dust2 ever when they beat ENCE after a 15-3 deficit. With that said, they shouldn't need to make many comebacks in this group as they should be able to beat most teams here without much fuss. OG and Complexity should both be close series but they should be able to handle forZe and Sinners comfortably.
New Look Complexity
With their recent addition of Patrick "es3tag" Hansen and Coach Luis "peacemaker" Tadeu, Complexity has continued making moves to be a top team. But replacing Will "RUSH" Wierzba with another role player won't solve much when two of your stars aren't performing to their level. Justin "jks" Savage and Valentin "poizon" Vasilev have been underperforming regularly and that has cost them many matches despite Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke being in unbelievable form recently.
With a change in the coaching position, there is still hope that Benjamin "blameF" Breme's squad will be able to make the roster click but there could be further changes in order if the roster fails to qualify for the major. At this event, their game against OG will be a close affair and might end up determining which team makes it through the group as the 3rd seed.
OG will need a Miracle
OG with their new roster has been around the place where one would expect a team whose main star is Mateusz "mantuu" Wilczewski to be. They are a decent team that will generally beat teams below them and loses to the teams above them. That should continue at EPL as they will be battling Complexity for the third spot in the playoffs.
But without any superstar players that will give them guaranteed strong fragging, a team like Sinners might be able to knock them out of the playoffs race. They will need a carry performance from mantuu or valde to make it to the playoffs and an absolute miracle to do well in the playoffs.
Sinners: The return of Oskar
Once one of the greatest AWPers in the world, Tomáš "oskar" Šťastný disappeared into obscurity after his departure from Mousesports. After short stints in Sprout and Hellraisers, the Czech AWPer has finally found a long-term home in his domestic team. Sinners have been a strong performer in tier 2, and have a super-strong home map in Vertigo.
They managed to qualify to EPL Season 14 after winning ESEA Season 37 and have found themselves in a group B. Luckily for them most teams in Group B aren't the strongest fragging teams, so that should allow a team like Sinners to get some upsets but making playoffs, will be a tough ask.
ForZe given a Golden Opportunity
ForZe used to be the 3rd strongest CIS team for many years, but when the rising CIS tide took teams like VP, Gambit, and Spirit up to the top, forZe were left behind in tier 2. They have been playing in smaller cups and events but have generally underperformed at big events.
Their games in EPL will likely go down similarly, and unless more than one of the top teams completely capitulates, they shouldn't have any chance of making playoffs at this event.
I think OG is there for the taking, and Sinner should be able to place above them. But the playoffs team should be pretty set, with the major difference coming from how well Sinners can do against Complexity.