Liquid, Astralis move into playoffs at IEM XV– Global Challenge
Astralis and Group Liquid both rebounded from previous losses to win their respective decider matches Friday and advance to the playoffs at the Intel Extreme Masters XV– Global Obstacle.
Astralis beat Group Vigor 2-1 in their Group A decider match, while Liquid blanked FURIA Esports 2-0 in their Group B match.
The $500,000 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event started with 8 groups split into two four-team groups completing in double-elimination brackets. The top 2 groups in each group will advance to a single-elimination playoff bracket.
The Global Challenge will include best-of-three matches until Sunday’s grand final, which will be best-of-five.
Liquid handled FURIA with a 16-14 win on Overpass followed by a 16-3 drubbing on Inferno.
Canada’s Russel “Tristzz” Van Dulken led Liquid with 42 kills and plus-20 kill-death differential, while fellow countryman Keith “NAF” Markovic added 40 kills and had a plus-14 differential. Vinicius “VINI” Figueiredo led FURIA’s all-Brazilian squad with 33 eliminates and a minus-7 differential. No FURIA player registered a favorable differential.
Astralis dealt with a harder battle vs. Vitality, which started with a 16-2 win on Nuke to take the early lead. But Astralis rallied back to win the 2nd map in double-overtime, winning 22-19 on Dust 2 prior to covering the success with a 16-5 triumph on Inferno.
Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen paced Astralis’ all-Danish team with 66 kills and plus-10 differential. Vitality’s Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut of France posted match-high numbers of 71 eliminates and a plus-25 differential.
In Saturday’s semifinals, Liquid will square off versus BIG, and Astralis will deal with Natus Vincere.
IEM XV– International Challenge reward swimming pool and BLAST Premier Circuit points circulation: