BIG, Natus Vincere, FaZe win Group C openers in ESL Pro League

BIG and Natus Vincere swept to wins while FaZe Clan also prevailed Friday as Group C play began in the ESL Pro League Season 14.

BIG topped Evil Geniuses 2-0, and Natus Vincere downed Fnatic 2-0. FaZe edge mousesports 2-1.

The 24-team, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive league is broken into four groups for the round-robin opening round. The winner of each group advances to the playoff quarterfinals, while the second- and third-place teams in each group qualify for the playoffs’ Round of 12.

All matches are best-of-three until the playoff final on Sept. 12, which will be best-of-five. The championship team will earn $175,000 from a $750,000 prize pool. The runner-up will receive $60,000.

The first two groups already concluded their round robins. Heroic won Group A, with Team Vitality and ENCE claiming second and third, respectively. In Group B, the top three, in order, were OG, forZe and Complexity Gaming.

On Friday, BIG beat Evil Geniuses 16-9 on Nuke, 16-8 on Dust II. Germany’s Johannes “tabseN” Wodarz led BIG with 59 kills and a plus-19 kill-death differential. The United States’ Vincent “Brehze” Cayonte logged 36 kills and a minus-1 K-D different for Evil Geniuses.

Natus Vincere beat Fnatic 22-19 in double overtime on Overpass, then won 16-12 on Nuke. Ukraine’s Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev registered 75 kills and a plus-33 K-D differential for Natus Vincere. Sweden’s Ludvig “Brollan” Brolin notched 55 kills and a plus-6 K-D differential for Fnatic.

FaZe opened with a 16-14 victory on Overpass before mousesports took Ancient 16-7. On the decisive third map, Inferno, FaZe won 16-8. Latvia’s Helvijs “broky” Saukants produced 59 kills and a plus-14 K-D differential for FaZe. Estonia’s Robin “ropz” Kool amassed 64 kills and a plus-19 K-D differential for mousesports.

Three Group C matches are scheduled for Saturday:
–BIG vs. Fnatic
–Natus Vincere vs. mousesports
–FaZe Clan vs. Evil Geniuses

ESL Pro League Season 14 standings, prize pool:
1st — TBD — $175,000
2nd — TBD — $60,000
3rd-4th — TBD — $30,000
5th-8th — TBD — $13,750
9th-12th — TBD — $10,000
13th-16th — Astralis, Virtus.pro, TBD — $7,000
17th-20th — Team Spirit, Sinners Esports, TBD — $5,000
21st-24th — Bad News Bears, G2 Esports, TBD — $3,000
Note: Astralis ($10,000), Virtus.pro ($10,000), Spirit ($5,000) and Sinners ($5,000) also earned bonuses for group-stage wins.

Group C standings (record, differential, points)
1. BIG, 1-0, +15
2. Natus Vincere, 1-0, +7
3. FaZe Clan, 1-0, +1
4. mousesports, 0-1, -1
5. Fnatic, 0-1, -7
6. Evil Geniuses, 0-1, -15

–Field Level Media

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