ESL Pro League has been one of the most significant events in CS:GO for years. This prestigious tournament has not only showcased the finest talents in the game but has also given rise to unforgettable moments etched into the annals of esports history.
ESL Pro League has been a crucible of emotion, pushing players to their limits and giving fans indelible moments, from mind-blowing clutches to heart-stopping comebacks. This article takes readers on a trip down memory lane as we examine some of the most exciting ESL Pro League moments in the past.
Cloud9's Historic Victory
Cloud9 are famous for being the first North American team to win the CS:GO Major at ELEAGUE Major Boston 2018. But few mention that this organization was also the first NA team to triumph in an international S-tier event, which happened at ESL Pro League Season 4.
The journey to victory wasn’t difficult for Cloud9. They started with first place in ESL Pro League Season 4 - North America, losing just one BO1 out of 26. At the Finals, which took place in São Paulo, Brazil, Cloud9 started well, dropping just one map against SK Gaming again. The playoff stage performance was even more confident. There were dry victories versus OpTic and mousesports, and to top the event off, the 2:1 revenge against SK in the finals to lift the trophy.
Intel Grand Slam closures at ESL Pro League Seasons
The Intel Grand Slam is a competition to reward teams for winning numerous S-Tier events organized by ESL. The first team to win four events (the rules have changed slightly throughout the numerous seasons) during one season gets an extra $1,000,000 and a gold bar trophy. Three out of the four IGS campaigns were completed with ESL Pro League victories.
Nine teams were involved in the Intel Grand Slam Season 1 run, but Astralis were the first to get four wins. The Danish squad started with DreamHack Masters Marseille 2018, then won both ESL Pro League Season 7 and IEM Chicago, and closed the season by dropping just two maps at ESL Pro League Season 8.
NAVI were the sixth team to enter Intel Grand Slam Season 3 at IEM Katowice 2020, but after victories at DreamHack Masters Spring 2021 and IEM Cologne 2021, the Ukrainian/Russian side received their gold bars at ESL Pro League Season 14.
FaZe had just four rivals for Season 4 of the Intel Grand Slam, but none of them were able to win more than one event. Under Finn "karrigan" Andersen’s lead, the team started with IEM Katowice 2022 and ESL Pro League Season 15 victories. Then, FaZe defeated NAVI in the legendary final at Cologne. After that, FaZe had three poor showings in ESL events in a row before closing their IGS run at ESL Pro League Season 17.
cadiaN’s 1v4 clutch at the ESL Pro League Season 13 final
Heroic and Gambit were the only two teams to finish their groups with a 5-0 score, and after their sixth win in Play-In matches, both started their playoff journey from the semifinals. It was expected that the winner must have been decided in their BO5 face-to-face match. And that final was incredible: 19:17 (Inferno), 3:16 (Vertigo), 28:26 (Train), 10:16 (Overpass), and 16:6 at Mirage. The final ended with a fantastic 1v4 clutch from the Heroic leader Casper "cadiaN" Møller. This moment is considered one of the greatest moments in the history of CS:GO.
Movistar Riders 5-0 group run at ESL Pro League Season 15
Movistar Riders made their ESL Pro League debut in Season 15. The Spanish team were expected to be fairly uncompetitive and finish with an 0-5 score in the group stage, especially considering the level of the opponents. But Movistar Riders turned out to be the dark horse of the event, defeating every single team in their group:
2:1 vs GODSENT;
2:1 vs Players;
2:1 vs Liquid;
2:0 vs BIG;
2:1 vs. Party Astronauts.
The team fell short and lost in the quarterfinals to ENCE but that result wasn’t random. After ESL Pro League Season 15, the team took part in a couple of S-tier events, winning ESL Challenger Valencia 2022 and reaching the IEM Cologne 2022 semifinals.
ZywOo's MVP Performance at ESL Pro League Season 16
ESL Pro League Season 16 was the first big event for Vitality after Lotan "Spinx" Giladi’s arrival. The French organization was expected to experience a decline because of the roster change, but it went better than even the most hopeful could have expected. Vitality made a quick run to the final, where they defeated Liquid with a 3:2 score.
This result would not be possible without a fantastic performance from MVP-awarded Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut. The Frenchman finished the event with a rating of 1.42, 1.63 K/D, 0.91 KPR, 89.9 ADR, and 15 successful clutches. 1.42 is the highest rating for an MVP across all ESL Pro League events, the second highest being 1.35, held by Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev at ESL Pro League Season 14.