(Photo credit: Nick Oza/The Republic via Imagn Content Services, LLC)
G2 Esports rallied past Complexity Gaming 2-1 in the upper-bracket final of Group D to clinch first place in the group at the ESL Pro League Season 18 event on Sunday in Saint Julian's, Malta.
G2 and Complexity both qualified for the playoff stage, as did Eternal Fire, who beat Team Liquid 2-0 inthe lower-bracket final for Group D's fourth and final playoff qualification. Virtus.pro finished third in the group on Saturday to advance.
Team Liquid defeated Lynn Vision Gaming 2-0 in a lower-bracket semifinal contest Sunday before losing to Eternal Fire and being eliminated from the tournament.
The $850,000 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event began with 32 teams broken up into four groups of eight. Group-stage winners advanced to the quarterfinals; runners-up advanced to the Round of 12 as the high seeds; third-place teams advanced to the Round of 16 as the high seeds; and fourth-place teams advanced 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 Sunday, Complexity opened the upper-bracket final with a 16-8 win on Anubis, but G2 countered with a 19-16 overtime win on Inferno and a 16-4 rout on Ancient. Nikola "NiKo" Kovac of Bosnia and Herzegovina posted 70 kills and a plus-26 kills-to-deaths differential to power G2.
In the lower-bracket semis, Liquid squeaked out a 2-0 win over Lynn Vision, prevailing 19-17 in overtime on Anubis and 16-13 on Ancient. Keith "NAF" Markovic of Canada guided Liquid with 52 kills on a plus-12 K-D.
But in the lower-bracket final, they ran into the all-Turkish roster of Eternal Fire, who won 16-12 on Vertigo and 16-6 on Mirage. Ali "Wicadia" Haydar Yalcin had 48 kills on a plus-19 and Bugra "Calyx" Arkin added 43 kills on a plus-20 for Eternal Fire.
The playoffs begin Tuesday with four Round of 16 matches:
--Fnatic vs. Monte
--Astralis vs. Eternal Fire
--Virtus.pro vs. 9z Team
--MOUZ vs. FURIA Esports
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, Team Liquid
21-28. $8,000 -- Ninjas in Pyjamas, Grayhound Gaming, Heroic, Evil Geniuses, Imperial Esports, Apeks, Cloud9, Lynn Vision Gaming
29-32. $4,000 -- ORKS, Rooster, M80, 9INE
--Field Level Media