This article is part of our CS:GO series.
Four grueling groups are over so it's time to head to the ESL Pro League playoffs! Everything is left to play for after some shocks in the group stage sent some of the world's best into difficult matchups. Here's a look at some players to target and fade in the ESL Pro League playoffs.
Players to Target
ZywOo had questions swirling around his spot in the Vitality team, specifically could he really get this team over the hump? With the addition of Spinx to take some of the pressure off of ZywOo and force teams to do more than just shut him down he's shown why he's been named the best player in the world twice. ZywOo currently boasts a 1.45 rating and a +113 differential in ESL Pro League. Anything short of an utter collapse from ZywOo and the MVP award will be his.
NiKo has yet another new in-game leader for Pro League and he's back to looking like one of the top players in the world. NiKo and G2 did well throughout the group stage and look to be among the favorites in the knockout stage. With a 1.29 rating he sits atop the riflers remaining in the tournament and should have the chance to produce some monstrous numbers if G2 can show they are able to take on the best teams in the world.
sh1ro is the best sniper in almost any matchup, with the exception of ZywOo, but I'm not quite sure if ZywOo is a human or a robot, so sh1ro can have a pass there. Cloud9's sniper has a 1.28 rating and +68 differential in Pro League despite a tough group, but one that Cloud9 topped. With all five members of Cloud9 firing on all cylinders it's likely that sh1ro will be given the freedom of the map, something he's thrived with historically. Cloud9 did drop the final match of their group, but they were clearly testing different maps for playoffs, and should still be considered tournament favorites.
Players to Fade
oSee was looking like a true stud AWPer from North America coming into Pro League and now he's not even guaranteed to have the AWP in every map. With YEKINDAR taking over the big green gun more often than not, as well as NAF and EliGe, it's hard to see where oSee will get his value. If he's put back on the sniper there's a chance he becomes a premier talent once more but with a 0.90 rating and a -30 differential oSee currently finds himself rated down with the in-game leaders.
Speaking of in-game leaders, dexter's awful form isn't going anywhere. The in-game leader for MOUZ has led his team back into the semifinals of Pro League, a ridiculous showing for a new-look roster already. Despite all of that they do open as minor underdogs against Team Liquid, though that likely wouldn't impact dexter either way. The rifler simply doesn't produce the stats on the server needed to compete with the top teams in the world. MOUZ might make a deep run but it's hard to trust dexter in any fantasy lineups.
As brilliant as ZywOo and Spinx have been, dupreeh has been struggling. The superstar rifler of Vitality currently sits with a 0.96 rating and -5 differential, not a horrible stat line for an entry fragger, but not a stat line worth targeting for fantasy purposes. The Danish veteran faces stiff competition in the knockout stage and while he could be on the way to another ESL Pro League title, he likely won't be leading any fantasy charges. If dupreeh's role were to shift into his more passive play style of previous years he would immediately become a more enticing fantasy target.
Stats courtesy of HLTV.org