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Sprout, ranked 42 in the world, will be facing French side, Heet, ranked 20 in the world, in the group stages of the ESL Challenger League Season 41 North America on 25 May, 2022, in a best of three match. The two will face each other in the opening match of Group D.
The two sides are quite familiar with each other’s game, having faced each other nine times so far. In those meetings, Heet has come out on top six times. Sprout has found the Frenchmen a difficult adversary, coming out on top only once so far.
Two matches also went into overtime. The two sides first met on 1 September, 2021, playing each other thrice on the day. Sprout recorded their only victory against Heet on the day but still fell short in two other meetings.
Their latest meeting was only last month, 21 April, 2022, in the PGL Major Antwerp 2022 Europe RMR B tournament, where Heet won comprehensively on the Dust 2 map with a score of 16-5. Heet head into this game on the back of a loss. Sprout will have a spring in their step after winning their last match against Cowano, ranked 82 in the world, of Germany.
Sprout go into this game as the clear underdogs and will be hoping for whatever good fortune they can get on their side. Sprout’s chances of winning this match will be a lot higher if one of the rounds takes place on Vertigo.
In their seven matches on Vertigo, Sprout have recorded a pretty good win rate of 86%. They have a win rate of 50% or under on all the other maps. This does not make for good reading against a strong opponent like Heet.
A match on the Overpass map might be interesting as Sprout haven’t played a match on this map and Heet have a fairly poor win rate here. In their 10 matches on this map, Heet have a win rate of just 30% here. They don’t have a win rate below 50% on any of the other maps but have yet to play a match on Mirage.
Sprout will be hoping that 23-year-old German, slaxz-, can carry them through this tie. In the last three months, slaxz- has averaged 0.70 kills per round, 0.62 deaths per round, a KAST of 69.9% and dealt 74 damage per round. He also has a highly impressive all-time K/D ratio of 1.14.
The French side, Heet, won’t be depending on any one member to get them through this tie. Their star-man, 25-year-old bobby’s, stats hardly strike fear in the opponent. He has an all-time K/D ratio of 0.99 and has averaged 0.68 kills per round, 0.68 deaths per round, a KAST of 68.8% and dealt 80.3 damage.
The members of this team are even on most stats in recent months, which highlights that they’re a real team. They’ve got a good record on four maps: 73% in 11 matches on Dust 2; 64% in 11 matches on Inferno, 75% in eight matches on Nuke and 60% on five matches in Ancient.
This is highly impressive and is the reason why they’re ranked in the top 20. They’ve had a patchy record in recent times, winning 50% of their last six matches and faltering on the last one to Falcons, ranked 63 in the world. They’ll be hoping to go on a little run now and this match seems like a good way to get that run going. They remain considerable favorites in this match.
K23, ranked 31 in the world, will be facing unranked side, Ex Mad Lions, in the group stages of the ESL Challenger League Season 41 North America on 25 May, 2022, in a best of three match. The two will face each other in the opening match of Group D.
The two sides have faced each other three times prior to this with K23 coming out on top twice and Ex Mad Lions coming out on top once. All three matches took place earlier in the year on 31, March, 2022, during the ESEA Advanced Season 40 Europe tournament.
The matches took place on three different maps: Mirage, Inferno, and Nuke; with K23 coming out on top in Mirage and Nuke. This gives K23 the edge heading into this match, who are getting a head of steam with two wins on the trot but this doesn’t compare to the run Ex Mad Lions are on, who are on a five-game winning streak.
K23’s win rate is 50% or above in every map bar Ancient, where they’ve got a win rate of 20% after contesting there in five matches. They’ve already lost to Ex Mad Lions on the Inferno map and the last thing they’ll want is a match on Ancient.
Ex Mad Lions have a better record on Ancient with a 56% win rate in nine matches. The other map they’ll likely want to avoid is Dust2 where Ex Mad Lions have a win rate of 83% and K23 don’t have won, having only played twice there.
K23’s star man is the 19-year-old Russian, fame. In the last three months, he has averaged 0.71 kills per round, 0.66 deaths per round, a KAST of 69.5% and dealt 76 damage per round. He also has an impressive all-time K/D ratio of 1.10 and headshot percentage of 57.6%.
K23 will also be buoyed by some of their recent victories. They defeated AGO, ranked 33 in the world, and Sinner, ranked 36 in the world, in their last two matches.
Ex Mad Lions will be pinning their hopes on 22-year-old Lithuanian, jL, who has an impressive all-time K/D ratio of 1.10 like K23’s fame but blows him out of the water in all the stats from the last three months.
jL’s averaged 0.77 kills per round, 0.65 deaths per round, a KAST of 70.9% and dealt 77.1 damage in the last three months. If K23 nullify jL’s threat, they’ll likely win this match but it won’t be easy. Ex Mad Lions are on an extremely hot run of form, winning their last five matches. It doesn’t matter if the opponent is weak or strong, that sort of momentum will definitely galvanize the squad.
In this run they’ve faced 00Propsects, ranked 106 in the world; Dream, unranked; Into the Breach, ranked 65 in the world; SKADE, ranked 28 in the world and Savage, ranked 127 in the world. They’ve had a mix of strong opponents and some lesser opponents and swathed them all.
However, they haven’t played a match in five weeks and it might take a while for them to get going. K23, on the other hand, had a tough match just last week. The rustiness heading into this match for Ex Mad Lions might be a little too much for them to handle. They’ll have to take the positives from their previous meeting with K23 and recent matches on the CS: GO circuit into this fight.
K23 will be well aware that Ex Mad Lions are no slouches but their recent record, head to head, freshness and ranking give them a considerable edge heading into this thrilling tie.
|ESL Challenger Europe 2022 Information
|Heet vs Sprout, K23 vs Ex-Mad Lions
|May 25 at 1.00 PM ET
|How to watch
|Official Twitch channel or HLTV
With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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