ENCE was forced to go the distance but pulled out a 2-1 victory over BIG on Sunday to win the upper-bracket final of Group B at the ESL Pro League Season 18 in Malta.
Both teams are heading to the playoff stage, as is Monte, who beat MIBR 2-0 on Sunday to earn the fourth and final Group B berth via the lower bracket. MIBR had defeated Evil Geniuses 2-1 to reach the lower-bracket final.
The $850,000 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 in each group 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 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament runs through Oct. 1. The winner earns $200,000 and qualifies for the 2024 IEM Katowice event and the 2023 BLAST World Final.
ENCE opened Sunday’s upper-bracket final with a 16-9 win on Ancient, but BIG rebounded to even the match, taking Anubis 16-14. In the decisive third game, ENCE prevailed 16-11 on Vertigo. Alvaro “SunPayus” Garcia of Spain was the star for the winners, posting 84 kills and a plus-37 differential.
In the lower-bracket final, Monte swept its way to victory with a 16-6 win on Vertigo and a 16-3 triumph on Anubis. Ukrainian teammates Viktor “sdy” Orudzhev (40 kills, plus-22 differential) and Volodymyr “Woro2k” Veletniuk (40 kills, plus-21 differential) led the way for Monte.
To reach the final, MIBR cruised to a 16-1 win on Ancient, dropped Mirage 22-20, then bounced back to edge Evil Geniuses 25-22 on Nuke. Rafael “saffee” Costa of Brazil carried the load for MIBR, finishing with 83 kills and a plus-24 differential.
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, TBD
21-28. $8,000 — Ninjas in Pyjamas, Grayhound Gaming, Heroic, Evil Geniuses, TBD
29-32. $4,000 — ORKS, Rooster, TBD
–Field Level Media