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Credit: ESL



Group D of the ESL Pro League has been pretty rough for the American teams thus far. Both Complexity and Evil Geniuses lost their two opening series of the group, meaning they now sit at the bottom of the table.

Complexity’s match against NAVI today could be their last chance to qualify.

The roster, built around the region’s most promising prospects, should have already had a win under their belt. But AGO surprised them yesterday, severely hampering their chances of reaching playoffs.

A match against NAVI should, on paper, be the most complex challenge in the group, but this isn’t the usual Natus Vincere.

Marathonmen

Image: BLAST Premier

NAVI has been through it all in the past month. From in-game leader Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhailov being sidelined with COVID (twice!) to their home country being invaded.

The organization has been very outspoken about the Russian invasion of Ukraine but has made it very clear that it will keep competing.

Heading into EPL with academy player Daniil “headtr1ck” Valitov mustering the ranks, the CIS squad has shown that no matter what life throws at them, they will still kick ass.

Evil Geniuses was brushed aside with relative ease. So was AGO. On one map, at least. The 71-round record-breaking marathon on Mirage was an oddity, a small bump in the road.

NAVI can all but secure a spot in the playoffs if they win today, as 9 points have been the threshold for teams to qualify thus far.

Last chance

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The ESL Pro League was the significant objective leading into the Major cycle for Complexity. As they had to forfeit IEM Katowice due to a COVID outbreak in the roster, it was the only opportunity to play on LAN for the players before the RMR kicks off.

But thus far, it’s been a disappointing event.

The opening loss against Heroic can be excused, but yesterday’s result against AGO was painful.

CoL should have always won Ancient and has no viable excuses for the Vertigo map.

Unfortunately, this means that the squad is now facing elimination and can’t afford to drop a single match.

An upset against NAVI could put them back on track, but despite all the circumstances seems unlikely.

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While Josse van Dessel covers a variety of topics ranging from FIFA esports competitions to professional chess matches, his greatest emphasis is on the world of Counter-Strike, where he covers the title's biggest events and its latest roster moves. Josse also covers local market news in his native Netherlands.