Natus Vincere and Movistar Riders are assured of berths in the Playoff Stage after they won their Group A matches Friday at the Intel Extreme Masters Season XVII in Cologne, Germany.
NaVi swept Ninjas in Pyjamas 2-0 and Movistar Riders outlasted Team Vitality 2-1 to reach the upper-bracket final of Group A. They’ll face off Sunday, with the winner earning an automatic pass into the Playoff semifinals and the loser settling for a quarterfinal start.
Also Friday, MOUZ and G2 Esports stayed alive with Group A lower-bracket victories, while FaZe Clan and Astralis earned sweeps in Group B action.
Sixteen teams reached the Group Stage at the $1 million IEM Cologne event, split into two groups of eight. From there, six teams will qualify for the Playoff Stage with the grand final set for July 17.
The Group Stage features two double-elimination brackets, where all matches are best-of-three. Group winners will advance to the semifinals of the Playoff Stage and the second- and third-place finishers will move to the playoff quarterfinals.
NaVi routed NiP by taking Overpass 16-3 and Nuke 16-7. Ukrainian Viktor “sdy” Orudzhev led NaVi with 44 kills and teammate and countryman Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev had 41 kills; both players posted plus-22 kills-to-death differentials.
Riders opened their match with a 16-4 beatdown on Mirage, but Vitality returned the favor with a 16-3 pasting on Vertigo. Riders took the decisive map, Nuke, 16-12.
Alejandro “mopoz” Fernandez-Quejo Cano led the all-Spanish winning side with 49 kills on a plus-5 K-D, while Alvaro “SunPayus” Garcia added 47 kills on a plus-13. Vitality’s Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut of France led all players with 54 kills and a plus-15.
In the lower bracket of Group A, MOUZ eliminated Heroic and G2 knocked out ENCE. MOUZ beat Heroic 16-13 on Vertigo and 16-10 on Nuke, with Germany’s Jon “JDC” de Castro putting up 47 kills and a plus-14.
G2 defeated ENCE 16-13 on Dust II and 16-8 on Ancient, Nikola ‘NiKo’ Kovac of Bosnia and Herzegovina paced the winners with 53 kills and a plus-21.
In Group B, FaZe Clan got by 00 Nation with a 16-13 victory on Ancient and a 16-10 triumph on Inferno. Three players had at least 38 kills for FaZe, led by Canadian Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken’s 41.
The all-Danish Astralis squad beat FURIA Esports 16-8 on Nuke and 16-13 on Mirage. Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke of Astralis led all players with 54 kills and a plus-21.
The Group Stage continues Saturday with six matches:
–Team Vitality vs. MOUZ (Group A: lower bracket, Round 2)
–Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. G2 Esports (Group A: lower bracket, Round 2)
–FaZe Clan vs. Team Spirit (Group B: upper bracket, Round 2)
–Cloud9 vs. Astralis (Group B: upper bracket, Round 2)
–00 Nation vs. Team Liquid (Group B: lower bracket, Round 1)
–Outsiders vs. FURIA Esports (Group B: lower bracket, Round 1)
Intel Extreme Masters Season XVII – Cologne prize pool and points distribution:
1. $400,000, 3,200 BLAST Premier points
2. $180,000, 1,600 BLAST Premier points
3-4. $80,000, 1,000 BLAST Premier points
5-6. $40,000, 300 BLAST Premier points
7-8. $24,000, 300 BLAST Premier points
9-12. $16,000, no BLAST Premier points
13-16. $10,000, no BLAST Premier points — Heroic, ENCE, TBD
17-20. $4,500, no BLAST Premier points — Sprout, BIG, Imperial Esports, TYLOO
21-24. $2,500, no BLAST Premier points — paiN Gaming, Complexity Gaming, ORDER, MIBR
–Field Level Media