Fnatic rallied to defeat Apeks in the Mid Bracket semifinal to qualify out of Group C at the ESL Pro League Season 18 event in Malta.
Apeks dropped to the lower bracket semifinal, where it will play 9z team on Sunday. 9z swept M80 in the lower bracket quarters to advance.
In other action Saturday, 5yclone advanced with a 2-1 win over Imperial Esports.
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.
On Saturday, Fnatic dropped the opening map to Apeks, 16-5 on Vertigo. But Fnatic responded with a 16-10 win on Inferno and 16-13 on Ancient. Fredrik “roeJ” Jorgensen led Fnatic with 51 kills but no player on Fnatic finished on the plus side of the kills-to-deaths differential.
5yclone opened with a 16-14 win on Nuke. But Imperial took the second map on Anubis, 16-6. 5cylone clinched with a 16-10 win on Overpass. Jingxiang “Mercury” Wang led 5yclone with 62 kills and a plus-12 K-D differential.
9z Team swept M80, 16-14 on Nuke and 16-13 on Inferno.
Group C concludes Sunday with three matches:
Apeks vs. 9z Team (Lower Bracket Semifinal)
5yclone vs. TBD (Lower Bracket Final)
FaZe Clan vs. Natus Vincere (Upper Bracket Final)
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, Imperial Esports
29-32. $4,000 — ORKS, Rooster, M80
–Field Level Media