(Photo credit: Nick Oza/The Republic via Imagn Content Services, LLC)
Virtus.pro sealed a playoff berth while Eternal Fire and Lynn Vision Gaming stayed alive on Saturday at the ESL Pro League Season 18 event in Saint Julian's, Malta.
In the mid-bracket semifinal, Virtus.pro rallied to beat Team Liquid 2-1 and wrap up third place in Group D. After Liquid opened with a 16-12 win on Inferno, Virtus.pro rebounded to capture Ancient 16-14 and Vertigo 16-6.
Dzhami "Jame" Ali led the all-Russian Virtus.pro side with 60 kills and a plus-26 kill-death differential. The United States' Josh "oSee" Ohm logged 52 kills and a plus-2 K-D differential for Liquid.
In the Group D lower-bracket semifinals, Eternal Fire eliminated Cloud9 2-0, prevailing 16-6 on Vertigo and 16-14 on Overpass.
Ali "Wicadia" Haydar Yalcin registered a team-high 53 kills for Eternal Fire's all-Turkish squad, while teammate Ismailcan "XANTARES" Dortkardes had a plus-16 K-D differential. Russia's Dmitry "sh1ro" Sokolov had 38 kills and a plus-8 K-D differential for Cloud9.
In the Group D lower-bracket quarterfinals, Lynn Vision Gaming squeaked past 9INE 2-1. Lynn Vision opened with a 16-10 victory on Anubis before 9INE replied with a 16-10 win on Vertigo. The decisive third map, Overpass, went to double overtime before Lynn Vision pulled out a 22-20 win.
Lizhi "Starry" Ye produced 68 kills and a plus-9 K-D differential for Lynn Vision's all-Chinese team. Olek "hades" Miskiewicz wound up with 77 kills and a plus-22 K-D differential for the all-Polish 9INE squad.
On Sunday, Team Liquid will take on Lynn Vision Gaming in a lower-bracket quarterfinal, with the winner advancing to oppose Eternal Fire. The victor in the latter match will head to the playoffs.
Meanwhile, first and second place in Group D will be determined when Complexity Gaming face G2 Esports.
The $850,000 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event began with 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.
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, Cloud9, one team TBD
29-32. $4,000 -- ORKS, Rooster, M80, 9INE
--Field Level Media