It hasn’t even been two weeks since ESL would transfer OpTic Gaming to the ESEA Premier. However, ESL would find a replacement for them in no time. In OpTic’s place, MIBR will be taking their slot as the twelfth team in the Counter-Strike ESL Pro League in North America.
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) September 13, 2018
The league administration would decide to give MIBR the vacant slot due to the fact their roster consists of former Pro League players. Last season, the former SK roster would place sixth with Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo, Marcelo “coldzera” David, and Fernando “fer” Alvarenga. However, Jake “Stewie2k” Yip and Tarik “tarik” Celik would place fourth in the North American Pro League. Together, they form a formidable combination of firepower and experience. These factors would have the admins at ESL decide that they are good candidates for the slot.
Meanwhile, OpTic is dropping down from the slot after requesting a move to Europe. OpTic Gaming has just recently acquired a full Danish lineup. Therefore, it is understandable that the players would want to compete in Europe as well. However, they will need to fight their way to the big stage. There aren’t any vacant spots in the European ESL Pro League, so OpTic will need to regain their spot by performing in the Mountain Dew League. If they are able to perform sufficiently, they will be moving up into the European ESL Pro League come the relegation period.
Meanwhile, MIBR will be joining the likes of Team Liquid, NRG Esports, Cloud9 and compLexity Gaming in the ESL Pro League for Season Eight. However, this will not be a cakewalk as many people predict. As the FACEIT London Major shows, many North American teams are surprisingly good this year. For example, compLexity Gaming came into the Major as an underdog amongst the best. As we can see, compLexity went 3-1 in the Challenger Stage and they have yet to lose in the Legends Stage. They have beat multiple top-tier teams like BIG, Fnatic and G2 Esports. This long-standing North American organization is truly improving and will be a challenge come the Pro League.
Not to mention, Team Liquid, who many consider the best team in North America. They are actually one of the favored teams to reach the Major Finals this year, and for good reason. Liquid is on a five-game winning streak through the Major, and look like a powerhouse. Their fiery trio of Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski, Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken and Keith “NAF” Markovic provide more than enough firepower. Meanwhile, their in-game leader, Nicholas “nitr0” Cannella, gives the team experience and much-needed veteran leadership. They honestly look better than MIBR at the moment.
All in all, the ESL Pro League should give MIBR a great place to play and develop their skills as a team. Remember, this full team is still pretty fresh, especially with the new addition of head coach Janko “YNk” Paunović. With time, this team can become an even greater team than they are today. The ESL Pro League can provide them with a great challenge moving forward.
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Born and raised in Toronto. Sometimes a writer. Sometimes a creative director. Sometimes bored. Catch me with hundreds of unplayed games in my Steam library.