ESL Pro League Season 11 Preview

Post 13.3.2020

ESL Pro League Season 11 begins on Monday the 16th of March! This time the boys are staying in Finland and playing the Group Stage from the ENCE office.

ESL made the decision to move the Group Stage phase online due to the danger posed by COVID-19, so we sat down with Twista to get his general thoughts before the tournament. He thinks playing online won’t hinder the team’s performance, as they are feeling good about their online matches. However it’s unfortunate to miss out on the momentum and atmosphere a LAN setting could provide.

The format in this tournament differs from the usual CS:GO competitions. It’s played in a round-robin format, where all teams will face each other, with every match being a Bo3. Each team has only one Bo3 series per day. Twista says the team is extremely excited to get to play with a format that allows them to prepare and focus on one match per day. It’s especially good after a streak of unsatisfactory results since the team gets to go through each match properly before and after playing, he adds. Usually, when playing multiple opponents in a day, you have to make compromises that might have a negative effect on the gameplay.

According to Twista, the bad results of the recent tournaments have forced them to find new solutions and reconsider their gameplay. They switched around the positions of the players, which has affected their playstyles, but the players are feeling natural in their current roles. We haven’t seen major changes in results yet, but there hasn’t been a lot of time between tournaments to prepare. The overall gameplay seems to be heading into a positive direction regardless. 

Our preparation has also included close work with Mia Stellberg, a sports psychologist. Mia and the players have had conversations and encouraged them to talk about everything and anything. No one should be afraid of how their thoughts and feelings will be received by others, Twista wraps up.

There are 4 different Groups in this stage of the tournament. We ended up in Group A, which fulfilled the team’s wish to play against Astralis. It’s good to face one of the best teams right away to see how our gameplay works. Besides Astralis, other teams in our group are; GODSENT, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Team Spirit and Team Vitality.

With this format, we’re able to prepare against each of these teams better. We see all our opponents as equal threats and we need to keep our game consistently good to grab some wins

Slaava “Twista” Räsänen


Group Stage:

  • Four single round-robin format groups
  • Each group has six teams
  • All matches are Bo3
  • Group winners proceed to the Play-In for seeding
  • Group 2nd & 3rd place teams advance to the Round of 12


  • Two Single-Elimination matches
  • Both matches are Bo3
  • Winning teams advance to the Semifinals
  • Losing teams advance to the Quarterfinals