Tournament featured an $850,000 total prize pool as well as many remarkable performances
Cologne/New York/Stockholm – The 15th season of ESL Pro League has ended as FaZe Clan secured the title, beating ENCE Esports 3-1 in the grand final. The tournament marks ESL Pro League’s return to in-person competitions since ESL Pro League Season 10 in Odense, Denmark, in 2019 and is the first season to feature the new Conference stage as part of the tournament.
Alex Inglot, Commissioner of the ESL Pro League, commented saying “Season 15 of the ESL Pro League marked yet another relentless month of top-tier CS:GO. I’m especially proud that the new EPL Conference stage is really showcasing how the path to pro is genuinely open to everyone, and indeed, I would like to commend Movistar Riders in particular for such a great run all the way to the quarter-finals of this last season. Congratulations as well to our two finalists, Louvre Agreement partners ENCE and FaZe, who both fought hard for their first ESL Pro League trophy and gave us a rollercoaster final Sunday.”
With the teams gathering in Düsseldorf, Germany, to battle it out for a share of the $850,000 total prize pool, fans worldwide tuned in via livestreams to cheer on their favorites. This global support ensured a peak CCU of 413,000* while also leading to more than 30 million* total hours watched during the five-week-long tournament.
Twenty-four teams entered the group stage portion of ESL Pro League on March 9, with four groups of six teams each. The top three teams of each group then made it through to the season’s final stage, with the number one team being seeded directly into the quarterfinals while the number two and three seeds had to compete in the Round of 12.
Natus Vincere and Movistar Riders undefeated in the group stage
The four weeks of group play saw some remarkable performances, and Ninjas in Pyjamas, FURIA Esports, Movistar Riders, and Natus Vincere all topped their groups. Natus Vincere was most notable among these, only dropping one map in their match against Astralis and securing five straight victories. The Spanish squad representing Movistar Riders was another team that made it through the group stage with five consecutive wins. They had qualified for ESL Pro League Season 15 through ESL Pro League Conference.
One team that surprisingly didn’t make it through to the playoffs was G2 Esports, the European team that, as recently as late February, made it to the Grand Final of Intel® Extreme Masters (IEM) Katowice 2022.
The playoffs begin
On April 5, the playoffs of EPL Season 15 commenced with the Round of 12. The IEM Katowice 2022 winners, FaZe Clan, beat Players, with the other teams making it through to the quarterfinals being Astralis, Team Liquid, and ENCE Esports. The Finland-based organization ENCE Esports may have turned into the season’s biggest surprise. They moved on to send both Movistar Riders and later Ninjas in Pyjamas out of the competition on their way to securing a grand final spot.
On the other half of the playoff bracket, we experienced how FaZe Clan just got better and better. The team didn’t drop a single map in their quarter and semifinals against Natus Vincere and FURIA Esports, claiming their grand final spot as the clear favorites.
An extraordinary Grand Final
As a result, the Season 15 Grand Final saw two teams enter the stage that had thus far never secured an ESL Pro League trophy. Both teams were evenly matched from the start as FaZe Clan started taking the first map, Vertigo, while ENCE Esports claimed their win of Overpass in overtime. Nevertheless, the IEM Katowice 2022 title holders managed also to secure Mirage and Dust 2 to finally raise the trophy and continue their recently started run as undisputed champions.
FaZe Clan on winning ESL Pro League Season 15: “The mountain we needed to climb for this event was immense given our slow start. We played extremely talented teams throughout the tournament and at any moment the results could have gone another way. The significance of winning 2 back-to-back events is very special for us. We now shift our focus to the Major and to defend our spot as the #1 team. We want to thank everyone for their continued support, especially our fans. Thank you! #FaZeUp!“
With the win, however, FaZe Clan can not only add another title to their name and claim the number one spot in the CS:GO World Ranking, but they are also guaranteed an invite to IEM Cologne 2022, taking place on July 5-17. Furthermore, having the IEM Katowice 2022 title already in their pocket, the team is leading the race in the fourth season of the Intel® Grand Slam and is well underway to claiming its $1 million cash prize.
The ESL Pro Tour continues
Next up in the ESL Pro Tour is the Challenger competition ESL Challenger League S41, on April 26-June 26, and the Masters tournament IEM Dallas 2022, on May 31-June 5. On June 16, ESL Pro League returns with ESL Pro League Season 16: Conference stage at DreamHack Summer. The group stages of the tournament will commence later this summer on August 31.
*According to ESCharts
Photos from ESL Pro League Season 15 can be acquired from the ESL Collection at ESPAT. The Collection is currently open for all and the photos can be acquired free of charge.
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