Team Spirit and Natus Vincere claimed the final two playoff spots with victories on Thursday during Stage 3 of the $50,000 WePlay! Clutch Island online event.
Spirit swept ESPADA 2-0 in the Group A decider match, and Na’Vi did the same to Gambit Youngsters in Group B. Both winners advanced to the upper bracket of the double-elimination playoffs, which run from Friday to Sunday.
Spirit will battle Group B winner Virtus.pro, and Na’Vi will face Group A winner Nemiga Gaming. Nemiga were the only team to reach the playoffs from Stage 1, with ESPADA and Gambit falling just short.
The event began last week with 13 teams, five of which — Hard Legion Esports, Virtus.pro, Winstrike Team, Spirit and Na’Vi — headed straight to Stage 3, which featured eight teams split into two groups playing in double-elimination brackets.
All matches throughout the tournament are best-of-three, with the champion claiming $15,000 and 2,000 Regional Major Rankings points.
Spirit jumped all over ESPADA in a dominant performance, taking a 12-1 lead to start both maps en route to winning Nuke 16-5 and Overpass 16-7. Four of their five players finished with a positive kill-death differential, led by Artem “iDISBALANCE” Egorov of Russia at plus-13.
Na’Vi had to work harder for their victory, which was keyed by a first-map rally. Gambit jumped out to a 13-6 lead on Inferno before Na’Vi came roaring back to tie it and force overtime, ultimately prevailing 19-16. They kept the momentum rolling into the second map on Train, taking a 13-4 lead and winning 16-8.
Only two Na’Vi players finished with a positive K-D differential, with Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev of Ukraine at plus-13 and Denis “electronic” Sharipov of Russia at plus-11.
In addition to the playoff bracket, three additional matches will be played over the weekend to determine final placement. Syman Gaming will face HellRaisers in the 10th-place match on Friday, Winstrike will battle Hard Legion for seventh place on Saturday and ESPADA and Gambit will jockey for fifth place on Sunday.
WePlay! Clutch Island prize pool ($USD, Regional Major Ranking points):
9. 0, 1,000 — forZe
12-13. 0, 0 — Moscow Five Academy, CR4ZY
—Field Level Media