ESPADA and forZe each went 2-0 on Tuesday to win their groups and advance to Stage 2 at the $50,000 WePlay! Clutch Island online event.
ESPADA beat HellRaisers and Nemiga Gaming to win Group A, and forZe downed CR4ZY and Gambit Youngsters to take Group B as the Regional Major Ranking Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament kicked off.
The event includes three stages and 13 teams, five of whom head straight to Stage 3. The eight teams in Stage 1 were split into two groups of four to play a double-elimination format.
Most of those matches were played Tuesday, with ESPADA and forZe advancing to Stage 2, and Moscow Five Academy and CR4ZY eliminated with two losses. On Wednesday, HellRaisers and Nemiga will battle for the last Stage 2 spot from Group A, and Syman Gaming and Gambit Youngsters will face off for the final Group B spot.
Stage 2 will feature another double-elimination format that will eliminate only one team. The other three teams will advance to Stage 3, which five teams — Hard Legion Esports, Team Spirit, Virtus.pro, Winstrike Team and Natus Vincere — reached via invite.
Stage 3 will feature another two-group, double-elimination group stage before a double-elimination playoff bracket. All matches throughout the tournament are best-of-three, with the champion claiming $15,000 and 2,000 RMR points.
On Tuesday, ESPADA snuck by HellRaisers in a very tight battle. ESPADA rallied from a 12-4 deficit to capture Train 16-14 before HellRaisers claimed Dust II 16-10. In the deciding map, the teams see-sawed all the way to quadruple overtime, where ESPADA survived 28-24.
In Group A’s other opening match, Nemiga rallied past Moscow Five, dropping Overpass 16-14 but winning Nuke 16-5 and Mirage 16-7. ESPADA then downed Nemiga 16-11 on Dust II and 16-7 on Nuke to win the group.
HellRaisers swept Moscow Five, 16-13 on Vertigo and 16-7 on Nuke, in the Group A elimination match.
In Group B, forZe dropped their opening map to CR4ZY, 16-11 on Train, but they fought back with victories of 16-10 on Inferno and 16-8 on Mirage. Gambit Youngsters swept Syman in Group B’s other opening match, 16-13 on Train and 16-7 on Overpass.
forZe then swept Gambit Youngsters, 16-11 on Inferno and 16-10 on Overpass, to clinch the group. Syman scraped by CR4ZY in the elimination match, sandwiching wins of 16-7 on Inferno and 16-13 on Train around a 16-10 defeat on Nuke.
After the HellRaisers-Nemiga and Syman-Gambit Youngsters elimination matches on Wednesday, Stage 2 will be played in its entirety on Thursday. Stage 3 will start next week, with the final set for June 28.
WePlay! Clutch Island prize pool ($USD, Regional Major Ranking points):
12-13th. 0, 0 — Moscow Five Academy, CR4ZY
—Field Level Media