(Photo credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)
Complexity Gaming and G2 Esports advanced to the Group D upper-bracket final with wins Thursday at the ESL Pro League Season 18 event in Malta.
Complexity swept Cloud9 2-0 and G2 got by Virtus.pro 2-1, knocking those opponents into the mid bracket.
Meanwhile, Eternal Fire got by 9INE and Team Liquid topped Lynn Vision Gaming, both by 2-0 scores, to open mid-bracket play. The losing clubs dropped into the lower 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 Thursday, Complexity beat Cloud9 16-13 on Anubis and 16-6 on Ancient. Ricky 'floppy' Kemery of the U.S. racked up 49 kills and a plus-21 kills-to-deaths differential to lead Complexity.
G2 opened with a 16-6 win on Mirage before Virtus.pro fought back with a 16-10 result on Inferno. The final map was Ancient, where G2 cruised, 16-5. Ilya "m0NESY" Osipov of Russia powered G2 with 57 kills on a plus-22 K-D.
Eternal Fire beat 9INE in 19-15 in overtime on Anubis and 16-11 on Vertigo. The all-Turkish victors were led by Ozgur "woxic" Eker's 51 kills on a plus-16.
Liquid defeated Lynn Vision 16-9 on Anubis and 16-6 on Ancient. Bulgarian Aleks "Rainwaker" Petrov put up 46 kills on a plus-25 differential for Liquid.
Group D action continues Friday with two matches:
--Virtus.pro vs. Eternal Fire (mid-bracket quarterfinals)
--Cloud9 vs. Team Liquid (mid-bracket quarterfinals)
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