Just a single match removed from an awful 2-0 loss against the Danish powerhouse, mouz’s in-game leader Finn “karrigan” Andersen took Astralis to their limits in a three-map romp.
But they can’t afford to celebrate for long. A rested and dangerous Fnatic team waits for them in the ESL Pro League grand finals.
Fnatic has been relaxing since scoring a 2-0 win against Natus Vincere. Even the oddsmakers can’t pin this one down. Betway’s expert analysis has Fnatic standing as very slight favorites at 1.80 to mouz’s 1.90.
As for the matchup, the teams couldn’t be closer in makeup to one another. Both have young stars in mousesports’ Robin “ropz” Kool and Fnatic’s Ludvig “Brollan” Brolin, both of whom can score for a quad-kill round without warning. These two players are the X-factors in Sunday’s grand final, and the match may come down to which of the young stars decides to show up. While Brollan has had moments of difficulty, ropz has seemed unstoppable for the entirety of EPL this season.
The stats, however, have them neck and neck, with Brollan trailing ropz by the smallest of margins. At 17 years old, the star is putting up serious numbers on a consistent basis, including a 54.6% headshot percentage and a 1.18 impact rating that takes into account multikill rounds, opening duel success rates, and clutches.
Ropz isn’t far ahead of Brollan, but he is ahead. With three more years under his belt, ropz’s comfort on the server is plain to see. If both of them show up in the best-of-five grand final, it will come down to each team’s supporting cast to put them over the edge and claim the win in the ESL Pro League finals.
The COVID-19 outbreak forced ESL to separate the regions for the finals, something that actually turned every EPL match into a barn burner.
Heading into the grand final, Fnatic clearly has an edge. While karrigan did make some truly brilliant plays against Astralis, that’s not his default state.
Jesper “JW” Wecksell, Robin “flusha” Rönnquist, and Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansson are more than capable of outclassing karrigan, Chris “ChrisJ” de Jong, and Özgür “woxic” Eker. mousesports’ catalyst will have to come from David “frozen” Čerňanský, another 17-year-old who is trying to find his form in competitive Counter-Strike.
He hasn’t played poorly by any means, but we’ve yet to see the carry performances from him that Brollan has treated viewers to.
Ultimately, this is a hard match to call, as Betway’s odds confirm. As mouz showed today, they’re capable of beating quite literally any team at any moment. But as they showed fans in their previous performances against both Astralis and Fnatic, they can also lose to the best teams before they know what hit them.
Don’t be afraid to wait to see the initial form of the teams to decide on a winner. It’s a best-of-five that could result in a long day of Counter-Strike. That said, picking against either team will be a losing proposition.
The grand finals of ESL Pro League’s eleventh season start tomorrow, Sunday, April 12 at 10:25 a.m. EDT.