Fnatic moves atop Group B in ESL Pro League Europe

Fnatic edged forZe 2-1 on Monday to gain sole possession of first place in Group B during the opening phase of the ESL Pro League Season 11’s European competition.

In the other Monday action, all in Group B, North swept BIG 2-0, and Natus Vincere came from behind to beat Complexity Gaming 2-1.

The ESL Pro League Season 11 was due to be held in Malta, with 24 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams set to compete for a $750,000 prize pool, but it was moved online due to the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, the field was split into a European event with 18 total teams and a separate North American event with six teams.

The playoffs, which were to have six teams competing in Denver, also were canceled, leaving the European and North American events to crown separate champions. The North American field will begin play March 26, but the European tournament started March 16.

In the European event, the top team from each group will advance to the six-team second stage, and the second- and third-place finishers in each group will square off for places in the second stage.

The winner of the second stage clinches a spot in the best-of-five grand final. The second- and third-place teams from the second stage will meet in a semifinal match. All matches except for the grand final are best-of-three.

The European champion will earn $75,000 of a $531,000 prize pool, and the North American winner will receive $75,000 of a $219,000 prize pool.

On Monday, Fnatic improved to 3-1 by downing forZe. After Fnatic captured Nuke 16-14, forZe took Mirage 16-7. Fnatic won the decision map, Dust II, 16-12.

North got past BIG 16-11 on Inferno, then 22-20 in two overtimes on Vertigo.

Complexity Gaming opened with a 16-14 win over Natus Vincere on Inferno, but Na’Vi rallied to win Dust II 16-8, then Nuke 16-12.

The results leave forZe, BIG, North and Na’Vi all tied for second at 2-2, just behind Fnatic. Complexity are in last place at 1-3.

Groups A and B will both finish their Stage 1 play on Tuesday. Group C will start Thursday and run through April 3.

ESL Pro League Season 11 European standings, through Monday:
Group A
T1. Team Vitality, 3-1
T1. Ninjas in Pyjamas, 3-1
T1. Astralis, 3-1
4. Team Spirit, 2-2
5. GODSENT, 1-3
6. ENCE, 0-4

Group B
1. Fnatic, 3-1
T2. forZe, 2-2
T2. North, 2-2
T2. BIG, 2-2
T2. Natus Vincere, 2-2
6. Complexity Gaming, 1-3

Group C
T1. FaZe Clan
T1. G2 Esports
T1. mousesports
T1. OG
T1. Virtus.pro

–Field Level Media

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