I’ll throw my hat into the ring on this now – this is possibly the best season of LetsPlayLive Pro League we have seen since CyberGamer was still alive and kicking out of a warehouse in southern Adelaide.
When you have the return of tier one teams, the bolstering of rosters looking to crack into the top end of the scene and the mix of strong tier 2 LPL fans have long known we could be looking at the best tournament we have seen from the kiwi TO in a very long while.
Let’s have a look at all 12 teams competing for their share of the $10,000 prize pool in the third season of LPL Pro League in 2020
Simply put, the current iteration of Avant Gaming’s CS:GO division is arguably the best in the organization’s history.
Multiple 2nd places behind the doyen of AU:CS (also known as the Renegades) and strong form against ORDER and the Chiefs over the past few months leave them in very good stead for this new assignment.
While they have been liable to an upset in the past, the consistency we have seen from them since the addition of HUGHMUNGUS last month (officially) seems like the last piece in the puzzle for this AV line, who will almost definitely be there or thereabouts at season’s end.
Chiefs Esports Club
For a team that was dangerously close from falling out of the top 4, the Chiefs have been able to rally back well over the past month since the coming of age of Vexite.
While collapsing out of Perfect World Oceania League is a bit of a setback to their recent run, the Chiefs have fired back hard. They are currently undefeated in MDL as of writing with wins against teams including (but not limited to) VERTEX, Paradox, and Ground Zero, who they face once again here.
It bodes well for them heading into this season of LPL (the first one for the Chiefs as an org since the start of 2019) where they line up as one of the favorites to take out the league.
Ground Zero enters this LPL season as a team stuck in the lurch. A team that can make a case for being close to Tier 1 on their day, but capable of some truly shocking results when they hit their floor.
And unfortunately for the Western Australian org, they have been lying on that floor over the past few months.
A quick glance at the HLTV results over the past three months tells the grim tale, not having won a Bo3 since July and struggling against many of the same opponents they face off against here.
And while scorelines only tell part of the story, a run of form like this over an extended period of time during which they have made a two-man roster swap that has failed to bear any strong results leaves this team on a knife’s edge going into this season. Especially now with the announcement of coach HudzM leaving the organisation on Sunday afternoon.
Now that the blade has dropped on one of them, it’s time for the rest of GZ to rise from there nosedive before it drops on them as well.
The Rooster lineup has always been a bit of a quirk to me. Able to punch well above their weight one day, but then making a sudden move back to an old flame seeming on a whim the next
A team abounds with firepower and skill, but never being able to have the depth needed to play out an extended series against teams above them.
While drama has hounded this team many times before, they have seemed to finally put the monkey on their shoulder back into its cage and start to rise higher than they ever have.
Upsets over Avant and Order in a Bo5 and Bo3 respectively, and strong performances over Paradox and GZ put last season’s champions not necessarily as favorites to go back to back, but as a strong dark horse candidate, ready to pick up the pieces if the teams above break down spectacularly.
If this was a normal season of LPL-P, Paradox would come into this as second-favorites behind their grand final vanquishers in Rooster for this season.
But this isn’t a regular season.
While able to pull off upsets like their counterparts from last season, they have an extreme rise in difficulty just to make it back to the grand final this time around.
Still, something they have proven is that they are a very consistent team with only two or three upset losses against their report card.
They should lob somewhere in the top 4, but just like Rooster, they can go further if others falter.
MAKO – It’s been nice to see a team like Mako make their way up the grades. A team where the core has stuck together for a long while, they have made their way from LPL: Evolutiuon up to the top of the LPL pyramid with possibly even more room to grow. Don’t think they will get to the pointy end but could make a deep enough run to crack into the money.
TEAM FENRIR – The least experienced team here, Fenrir makes the jump up to Pro after a nice enough campaign in Evolutiuon last season finishing 4th behind Bantz. They looked outclassed with this group of teams however and should be looking to gain from the experience.
ORGLESS (?) – Still in at the moment but only two players on the LPL page and no one on the Liquidpedia roster. All signs point to them being doubtful to start, but we will update you if anything changes
ROOSTER 2 (aka Come to Brazil) – Hard to say where this roster is at the moment. They have been good without winning with close games against GZ and the original Rooster, but it is hard to see them making a deep run here with only ‘good, but not good enough’ against the same teams.
UPDATE: There’s been a late change for the line-up, with bibiahn being brought into the roster for smooth_criminal22 on Tuesday night.
VERTEX – Another team that has been mixing their form as of late, Vertex has been ok with a very close battle with the Chiefs where they took them to 4xOT in MDL, but have struggled against the likes of Rooster and Paradox in the same league. They do have every chance to turn their form around, but they look up against it.
DOWNFALL – I think it’s safe to say that the run these boys had in the Perfect World Oceania League was one well above expectations. Picking up 4th place is already an immense effort given how close the 2nd tier can get in this region, but to do it when their only truly bad series was against the Renegades is quite the achievement.
Also, add in the fact that they took out both GZ and Mako during the RMR event and a competitive series Vs Order, their form heading into this LPL: Pro season reads surprisingly well and places them with yet another chance at cracking into the top 4 in easier company.
EX-BLESSED ESPORTS – This is a roster that could spruik a result if they fire on all cylinders. The former Blessed lineup has enough experience and fire-power to make a run into the money, but they do need to build on their recent performance to have that chance.
Outside of Avant and Chiefs, this sets up to be quite a competitive edition of LPL: Pro.
Multiple teams are coming in with good form and strong showings in other Leagues and events, especially with teams like Downfall and Mako performing well above expectations as of late. They should prove quite the challenge to GZ, Paradox and Rooster who look likely to fight out the final paying positions.
But most would agree that the best two teams heading into LPL-PRO Season 3 would have to be the Chiefs and Avant.
The Chiefs have found a second wind as of late and they are quickly catching back up to the rest of the tier one squads, but it does seem that AV have the edge at the moment.
As I said before, this is possibly the best Avant lineup we have seen, and they will go very close to take out first place over their eleven competitors. They might be the chalk, but they’re my early pick.
Tune in on Wednesday to watch Rooster 2 take on Downfall at 7.30pm AEST to get this season underway on the LPL CS:GO Twitch channel.