ESL Pro League Season 18 groups set
28 out of 32 teams at the one-month-long event are now known and divided into four groups.
ESL has announced the group distribution and invites for the upcoming 18th season of ESL Pro League, which is set to be played from August 30 to October 1. The groups have been seeded and drawn using the team's ESL World Ranking, with the four remaining qualified teams receiving the lowest seed in each group.
The newest season of EPL will be played in the same expanded format of 32 teams, who will battle it out across four groups of eight featuring a triple elimination format for a place in the 16-team playoffs.
Group A is headlined by BLAST.tv Paris Major champions Vitality, who have recently removed Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen in favor of Shahar "flameZ" Shushan, and their grand final opponents in Paris, GamerLegion. FURIA, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and Astralis accompany the aforementioned duo as three more new-look teams in the top 20, with Movistar Riders and Grayhound rounding out the current Group A teams.
Heroic are the top seed in Group B and are joined by ENCE as another top-five team in the world rankings. They will be met by MOUZ, Monte, and BIG, who are also among the teams making moves in the current offseason. Two teams from the Americas, MIBR and Evil Geniuses, complete the group.
Group C's top dogs are FaZe and Natus Vincere, with the latter set to start the second half of the year with an overhauled European roster. Apeks and fnatic round out the European contingent of the group, with a variety of teams from all over the world joining them — Imperial, Rare Atom, and ATK.
The final group of the tournament features three top 10 teams in G2, Cloud9, and Liquid, as well as Virtus.pro, who qualified for EPL S18 due to their recent win at ESL Challenger Katowice 2023. Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski's Complexity are also in Group D alongside 9INE and Lynn Vision.
The remaining four slots will be given to teams that qualify through the three regional qualifiers, with the slot distribution looking as follows: