EPL S14 groups drawn: Astralis, Heroic, Vitality kick-off group A
Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut's team and the two Danish sides will be among the first teams back from the break, playing on August 16-20.
ESL announced the draw for ESL Pro League Season 14 on Monday, revealing the four groups for the $750,000 tournament and the dates on which each will be played.
Unlike the last event before the break, IEM Cologne, Pro League won't be played on LAN. The organizer noted "different conditions" and a lack of government support as reasons for not having the month-long event played in a studio environment.
With only three teams advancing to the playoffs from each group, Spirit, ENCE, and Bad News Bears will be hoping to upset the big names of group A — Astralis, Heroic, and Vitality — in order to reach the bracket play on August 16-20.
Group B is slated for August 21-26 and features two international squads, G2 and OG, as well as now majorly-Danish Complexity who will debut their new lineup after signing a new player and coach. That trio won't able to count on a victory against Virtus.pro, who looked reinvigorated at IEM Cologne, while underdogs Renegades and Sinners will be looking to complicate things further.
Read more: Complexity sign es3tag
Organizations with quite an impressive Counter-Strike history filled up group C, headlined by current world No. 1 Natus Vincere. Aside from them, FaZe, BIG, and mousesports will be aiming to claim playoff spots in the group scheduled for August 27-31, while Evil Geniuses and fnatic hope to improve on bleak 2021 records.
Finally, Gambit headline group D where they will face NIP, as well as three NA-based teams in Liquid, FURIA, and TeamOne on September 1-5. One of five CIS side at the event, Entropiq, shouldn't be overlooked either as they will try to make the most out of their appearance at Pro League after months as a stable top-20 team.
ESL Pro League Season 14 group schedule:
August 16-20: Group A
August 21-26: Group B
August 27-31: Group C
September 1-5: Group D