Natus Vincere and Virtus.pro came from behind to record tight victories Friday and move within one win of a place in the We Play! Clutch Island championship match.
Na’Vi edged Nemiga Gaming 2-1, dropping the first map before taking the second map in double overtime and the third map in overtime. Virtus.pro lost its opening map to Team Spirit but rallied for a 2-1 win.
Virtus.pro and Na’Vi will match up Saturday to determine one of the finalists while Nemiga and Spirit will square off Saturday in the losers bracket. The Nemiga-Spirit winner will face the Virtus.pro-Na’Vi loser on Sunday in a battle for the second spot in the final, which will be played later the same day.
The $50,000 online Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event began last week with 13 teams.
All matches throughout the tournament are best-of-three, with the champion claiming $15,000 and 2,000 Regional Major Rankings points.
The Friday action started with Nemiga jumping out to an 11-1 lead and holding on to beat Na’Vi 16-11 on Inferno.
Nemiga moved to the verge of advancing, grabbing a 15-11 edge on Dust II, but Na’Vi claimed the next four rounds to force overtime. Na’Vi eventually emerged with a 22-20 victory in double OT.
On the third map, Nuke, it was Nemiga’s turn to rally. Na’Vi led 8-0 and eventually had seven match points with a 15-8 edge, but Nemiga captured all seven, setting up overtime. However, Na’Vi finally claimed a 19-16 win.
Two Russians, Denis “electronic” Sharipov and Egor “flamie” Vasilev, each had 78 kills for Na’Vi, with flamie posting a team-best plus-17 kill-death differential. Another Russian, Nemiga’s Anton “speed4k” Titov, posted match-leading totals of 86 kills and a plus-27 KD differential.
Spirit erased an 11-8 deficit to beat Virtus.pro 16-13 on the first map, Dust II. Virtus.pro pulled level with a 16-9 win on Mirage. Spirit led 8-7 at halftime on the final map, Inferno, before Virtus.pro pulled away for a 16-10 victory.
Uzbekistan’s Sanjar “SANJI” Kuliev registered 72 kills and a plus-21 KD differential for Virtus.pro. Russia’s Artem “iDISBALANCE” Egorov logged 70 kills for Spirit, and he was the team’s only player with a positive KD differential, ending up at plus-23.
In addition to the playoff bracket, Syman Gaming swept HellRaisers 2-0 in the 10th-place match on Friday, taking Mirage 16-12 and Nuke 16-14.
Two additional matches will be played over the weekend to determine final placement. Winstrike will battle Hard Legion for seventh place on Saturday, and ESPADA and Gambit will jockey for fifth place on Sunday.
WePlay! Clutch Island prize pool ($USD, Regional Major Ranking points):
9. 0, 1,000 — forZe
10. 0, 875 — Syman Gaming
11. 0, 0 — HellRaisers
12-13. 0, 0 — Moscow Five Academy, CR4ZY
—Field Level Media