Which Team Will Take Advantage Of Team Liquid’s Absence At FiRe League 2023?

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After dominating FiRe League 2022, Team Liquid would have likely come into this year’s competition at the Nou Camp as bookmakers’ favorites. However, the team has run into issues recently for many external reasons. 

From visa issues that have stopped their new Russian players from being able to participate in leagues further afield to a whole host of personal, internal conflicts damaging the cohesion and nature of the team, there’s now a whole host of other teams hoping to take advantage of this disunity and get their hands on the $100,000 for the winner. This year’s FiRe league sees a few teams that could step up to the plate and end up at the top of the podium. 

The Rise Of Counter-Strike & FiRe League

Like many other eSports tournaments, FiRe League has brought in many fans and players due to the immense design quality of its featured game. Counter-Strike has continued to bring in incredible numbers, which is a far cry from the early 2010s when Call Of Duty dominated this genre, and it appeared as though it would be the case for a considerable period. Not only was Call Of Duty breaking all sorts of sales records, but many people chose it as their number one first-person shooter game. However, the emergence of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) completely changed the paradigm and trajectory of eSports. 

CS:GO was a free-to-download game, which was a successful blueprint that League Of Legends had already trialed three years earlier. By switching the model to a free-to-play game involving in-game purchases brought in millions more players looking to see what the game had to offer, exemplified by the burgeoning tournaments that quickly went from small halls to arenas within a few years. It has now got to such a position of strength that thousands of professional video game fans seek out the gambling odds on the latest tournaments to add some excitement to watching the tournament unfold. 

Bookmakers would have scoffed at this idea ten to fifteen years ago. But following the success of CS:GO and the now further success of Counter-Strike 2 (CS2), it appears the market hasn’t even reached its peak yet. Given that the tournaments bring in millions of audience members online sell out arenas, have prize money that ranges from six to eight figures, and have considerable gambling markets, now that the bookmakers have picked up on this popularity and responded accordingly. CS2 betting at Thunderpick covers tournaments and games, and it’s a key indicator of how big the eSports market is growing when prominent gambling companies can offer such a broad range of odds on CS2 tournaments and dozens of other eSports options. 

Teams That Could Win The Prize

With $100,000 on offer, FiRe League doesn’t have the same prize money as some of the other significant Counter-Strike events and wider eSports events set to occur later this year. Although this might have initially been a concern, the tournament’s popularity has shown that they don’t need the mega money to attract some of the top teams on the continent. Still, the locality of the tournament for European gamers and the iconic setting in one of Europe’s grandest and oldest cities are a couple of elements that are helping to fuel the hysteria around the tournament. 

There’s now immense competition for tournament organizers. Following the news that eSports will feature at the next modern Olympics, many people within the sector clearly understand that despite professional video gaming being the newest professional competition that has emerged into a multi-billion dollar sector, it’s not a fad. It’s not going to disappear anytime soon. Of the teams that have confirmed their attendance thus far, Imperial, Fnatic, and Virtus.pro are the teams to look out for. It will be challenging for any other teams to get their hands on the prize pool, and out of all of these teams, we’d say Virtus.pro will be the team to beat. 


Professional video gaming brings such interest because it is unpredictable. Some of the top teams in eSports have gone into tournaments as huge betting favorites and have crashed out in the opening stages. As more money flows into the top-level eSports competitions and the scope for talent continues casting out a net to nations from every corner of the globe, many analysts anticipate considerable growth for this market

FiRe League is in an intriguing position of being on the fringes of the world scene and a gatekeeper for European and South American players looking to break into the Counter-Strike tournaments with astonishing prize money, which stretches north of $40 million. The absence of Team Liquid, last year’s champions, will be welcome news to the teams in this year’s tournament, as they will undoubtedly start as favorites. Without their appearance, the door is open for a handful of teams to emerge victorious.


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Alex Richards, Site Manager
Alex Richards, Site Manager
A wrestling fan since the age of 3 and a gamer since even earlier Alex Richards brings lifelong experience and passion for both mediums to his writing. He aims to cover the Joshi wrestling scene and Irish wrestling scene better than anyone else and loves to analyze sales charts over at Last Word On Gaming
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