Cloud9 and G2 Esports each completed a sweep on Wednesday in the upper-bracket quarterfinals of Group D at the ESL Pro League Season 18 event in Malta.
Cloud9 blanked Eternal Fire 2-0, while G2 downed Lynn Vision Gaming 2-0.
The other Group D winners on Wednesday were Complexity Gaming, who beat 9INE 2-1, and Virtus.pro, who edged Team Liquid 2-1.
Wednesday’s four losers were relegated to the mid bracket.
The $850,000 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event features 32 teams broken up into four groups of eight. Group-stage winners advance to the quarterfinals; runners-up advance to the Round of 12 as the high seeds; third-place teams advance to the Round of 16 as the high seeds; and fourth-place teams advance to the Round of 16 as the low seeds.
The group stage is triple elimination with upper, middle and lower brackets. All matches are best-of-three until the grand final, which is best-of-five.
The tournament runs through Oct. 1. The winner earns $200,000 and qualifies for the 2024 IEM Katowice event and the 2023 BLAST World Final.
On Wednesday, Cloud9 won 16-11 on Vertigo and 16-12 on Overpass. Russian Sergey “Ax1Le” Rykhtorov led the winning side with a match-high 52 kills to go along with a plus-19 kills-deaths differential. All five of Eternal Fire’s members had negative K-D ratios.
G2 Esports opened with a 19-16 overtime victory on Anubis before cruising to a 16-5 triumph on Inferno. G2’s Rasmus “HooXi” Nielsen of Denmark led all players with 49 kills and a plus-14 K-D differential.
After Complexity took Anubis 16-11, 9INE prevailed 16-12 on Vertigo to level the match. Complexity clinched by prevailing 16-13 on Ancient, getting a huge boost from Norwegian Hakon “hallzerk” Fjaerli, who racked up 75 kills for the match.
Dzhami “Jame” Ali posted 67 kills and a plus-22 K-D differential for the all-Russian Virtus.pro squad, which sandwiched wins on Inferno (16-11) and Anubis (16-14) around a 19-17 overtime setback on Mirage to get past Liquid.
Group D action continues Thursday with four matches:
–Cloud9 vs. Complexity Gaming (upper-bracket semifinals)
–Virtus.pro vs. G2 Esports (upper-bracket semifinals)
–Eternal Fire vs. 9INE (mid-bracket Round 1)
–Team Liquid vs. Lynn Vision Gaming (mid-bracket Round 1)
ESL Pro League Season 18 prize pool
1. $200,000, 3,000 BLAST Premier points — TBD
2. $90,000, 2,000 BLAST points — TBD
3-4. $50,000, 1,200 points — TBD
5-8. $35,000, 500 points — TBD
9-12. $25,000 — TBD
13-16. $20,000 — TBD
17-20. $15,000 — Gamer Legion, MIBR, 5yclone, TBD
21-28. $8,000 — Ninjas in Pyjamas, Grayhound Gaming, Heroic, Evil Geniuses, Imperial Esports, Apeks, two teams TBD
29-32. $4,000 — ORKS, Rooster, M80, TBD
–Field Level Media