The final group of the ESL Pro League Season 15 is, on paper, stacked. In the upcoming week, we will see ten former Major winners enter the server, with the reigning champions NAVI being the favorites to top the group.
Evil Geniuses and Astralis will kick off their campaign with a clash between former Major winners on the opening day.
The old Cloud9 core against the remnants of the Astralis era, both searching for their best form.
Stars of the past
Evil Geniuses put all their chips on the players that brought NA their only Major during the off-season thus far.
They singed Jake "stewie2K" Yip from Liquid, plucked William "RUSH" Wierzba off the sidelines, and lured Timothy "autimatic" Ta back from competing in VALORANT.
Thus far, EG's bet hasn't paid off. They didn't win a single match in BLAST Spring Groups and needed two tries to make it out of the PGL Antwerp NA RMR.
The main culprits for this lack of form are the 'old' EG players.
While the new signees are holding their own individually, Vincent "Brehze" Cayonte and Tsvetelin "cerq" Dimitrov have simultaneously entered a slump.
The duo has the firepower deserving of a spot on a top team but hasn't been able to show it on the new roster.
While it's still too early to call for roster changes, a player can't stay in a slump for long before the audience turns on them.
A shiny, new AWPer
Could this be the one?
Has Astralis finally found the 'new' dev1ce?
Asger "Farlig" Jensen, Astralis' new signee, now has the honor to be arguably the most scrutinized player in Denmark.
Farlig is still relatively young but has been around for a while. The 23-year-old made his debut with Copenhagen Flames in 2018 and has played with the former Godsent and FPX roster over the past two years.
Now, he has to fill the gap left by one of the best AWPers to enter the server.
Statistically, Farlig does not look like an exceptionally gifted player. But his new in-game leader Lukas "Gla1ve" Rossander, has proven that he can take an AWPer to the next level.
The most critical part will be to make Farlig feel comfortable. As I did in this article, he will be called the next dev1ce and held in the highest regard.
If Astralis make him feel at ease and just let him focus on his game, he should be able to build the confidence needed to shut those voices.