FaZe Clan rallied for a dramatic win, and Astralis also prevailed Wednesday, both teams advancing to the upper-bracket final in the ESL One: Road to Rio - Europe tournament.
FaZe overtook Ninjas in Pyjamas for a 2-1 win, claiming the second map in triple overtime and the decisive third map in overtime.
Astralis’ win was far more straightforward, a 2-0 sweep of G2 Esports.
FaZe and Astralis will face off Friday, with the winner advancing to Sunday’s grand final.
The ESL One: Rio Major, a $2 million Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event, was originally scheduled to be held May 11-24 in Rio de Janeiro, but it was pushed back to Nov. 9-22 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The regional qualifying events for North America, South America, Oceania and Asia have concluded. Play in the Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States regions runs through Sunday.
The teams are competing for a total of $255,000 in the online tournaments, as well as for Regional Major Ranking points to be applied toward berths at the ESL One: Rio Major.
The European event began with 16 teams divided into two groups for round-robin play consisting of best-of-three matches. The top two finishers from each group advanced to the upper bracket of a double-elimination playoff, with the third- and fourth-place finishers advancing to the lower bracket.
All playoff matches are best-of-three prior to the grand final. The title match will be best-of-five, with the team emerging from the upper bracket starting with a one-map advantage.
The European champion will receive 500 Pro Tour points and 1,600 Regional Major Rankings points, plus $33,000 of the $115,000 prize pool. The runner-up will get 350 Pro Tour points, 1,500 RMR points and $21,500.
On Wednesday, NiP opened with a 16-9 win on Overpass, then led FaZe 9-6 at halftime on Mirage. FaZe forced overtime at 15-15, and the teams went to a second OT at 18-18 and a third at 21-21 before FaZe finally won 25-22.
NiP again led 9-6 at halftime on the third map, Train, before FaZe leveled the score 15-15. FaZe wound up with a 19-16 overtime win.
Bosnia’s Nikola “NiKo” Kovac paced FaZe with 87 kills and a plus-13 kill-death differential. Sweden’s Nicolas “Plopski” Gonzalez Zamora was the top player for NiP with 86 kills and a plus-15 kill-death differential.
Astralis rolled past G2, winning 16-13 on Vertigo and 16-7 on Overpass, behind 52 kills and a plus-27 kill-death differential from Denmark’s Nicolai “device” Reedtz. Bosnia’s Nemanja “huNter-“ Kovac, a cousin of NiKo, led G2 with 34 kills and a minus-6 kill-death differential.
The two Wednesday losers will compete in lower-bracket, second-round matches on Thursday. NiP will oppose Team Vitality, and G2 will meet Team Heretics. The winners of those matches will square off on Friday for the right to meet the FaZe-Astralis loser in the lower-backer final on Saturday.
The seventh-place match between GODSENT and North is also scheduled for Saturday. The fifth-place match, involving the two Thursday losers, will be held Sunday along with the grand final.
ESL One: Road to Rio - Europe prize pool, with prize money and Regional Major Ranking points:
1. $33,000, 1,600 points
2. $21,500, 1,500 points
3. $14,000, 1,400 points
4. $10,000, 1,300 points
5. $7,500, 1,200 points
6. $6,500, 1,100 points
7. $6,000, 1,000 points
8. $5,000, 900 points
9. $3,250, 800 points — ENCE
10. $2,500, 700 points — Copenhagen Flames
11. $2,250, 600 points — Movistar Riders
12. $1,500, 500 points — Fnatic
13-14. $1,000, 350 points — Complexity Gaming, mousesports
15-16. no prize money, 150 points — c0ntact Gaming, Dignitas
—Field Level Media