Astralis sweep, heading Group A teams to advance at IEM Worlds
World No. 2 Astralis swept their method into the 2nd round of Group A action Thursday, signing up with Evil Geniuses, Group Spirit and Brave ahead of time at the Intel Extreme Masters Season XV World Championship.
In Group B action, Group Vitality and Team Liquid both swept to advance to the upper bracketsecond round.
Astralis swept mousesports, publishing wins of 16-8 on Nuke and 16-12 on Inferno to advance. Astralis will meet EG, who swept Gambit Esports, 16-13 on Overpass and 16-10 on Inferno. Astralis and EG will play Friday. Gambit and mousesports will satisfy Friday in Round 1 of the lower bracket.
Astralis had 3 players with 40 or more kills. Nicolai “device” Reedtz led the Danes with 48 kills and a plus-22 kills-deaths differential.
EG was led by American Ethan “Ethan” Arnold with 49 kills and a plus-12 K-D differential.
Brave likewise took pleasure in a sweep as they defeated BIG 16-12 on Inferno and 16-14 on Nuke. Brave will play Group Spirit, which sandwiched a 16-14 win on Train and a 16-10 win on Inferno around a 16-8 loss to G2 Esports on Mirage. G2 and BIG will play Friday in lower bracket action.
Casper “cadiaN” Moller led Heroic with 49 kills and a plus-15 differential. Spirit had four gamers with a minimum of 52 eliminates in their marathon match. Viktor “sdy” Orudzhev paced the victors with 62 eliminates and a plus-15 differential.
In Group B, Vitality swept OG 16-11 on Dust II and 19-17 in overtime on Nuke. They’ll next play Liquid, who swept FaZe Clan 16-11 on Mirage and 16-6 on Nuke. Those groups will play Saturday as will OG and FaZe Clan in a lower bracket match.
Vigor was led by Richard “shox” Papillon with 61 kills and a gaudy plus-20 differential. In the best performance of the day, Brazilian Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo tape-recorded a plus-30 differential on 50 eliminates for Liquid.
The 24-team field is competing for a share of a $1 million dollar reward swimming pool, with the champion to earn $400,000 and 1,800 Pro Tour points and 3,200 Blast Premier points The runner-up will receive $180,000, 1,400 Pro Trip points and 1,600 Blast Premier points
The top 3 teams in each group advance to the playoffs, with the first-place teams getting byes to the semifinals on Feb. 27, The second-place teams in one group will deal with the third-place teams from the other group in the quarterfinals a day earlier.
All group-stage matches and playoff matches are best-of-three except for the grand final on Feb. 28, which will be best-of-five.
Intel Extreme Masters Season XV World Championship results, with cash prize, Pro Tour points and Blast Premier points
17-20. Cloud9, Renegades, Complexity, MIBR– $4,500, 60 Pro Trip points, no Blast Premier points.
21-24. Movistar Riders, Team One, Wisla Krakow, Fnatic– $2,500, no Pro Tour points, no Blast Premier points.