Gambit Esports and Team Vitality notched wins Thursday to advance to the upper-bracket final of the $1 million BLAST Premier World Final in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Gambit routed Team Liquid on their third map for a 2-1 semifinal victory, while Vitality swept G2 Esports 2-0.
Gambit and Vitality will face off Saturday, with the winner clinching a spot in the grand final.
Eight teams are competing in a double-elimination bracket for the season-ending championship. All matches are best-of-three, and the winning team will receive $500,000.
There was little to separate Gambit and Liquid after Gambit won 16-14 on Inferno and Liquid took Vertigo 16-13. But Gambit crushed their opponents with a 16-2 victory on Overpass to advance.
Russians Vladislav “nafany” Gorshkov and Sergey “Ax1Le” Rykhtorov posted 23 kills and 22 kills, respectively, on the decisive map. Both players finished the match with 63 kills, and countryman Dmitry “sh1ro” Sokolov had a game-high plus-27 kills-to-deaths differential with 58 kills.
Keith “NAF” Markovic of Canada led Team Liquid with 48 kills.
The all-French Team Vitality defeated G2 16-10 on Nuke and 16-13 on Mirage.
Dan “apex” Madesclaire recorded 44 kills and a plus-11 for Vitality, while Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut had 42 kills and a plus-12. For G2, Francois “AmaNEk” Delaunay of France posted 43 kills and a plus-7.
Also Thursday, Astralis eliminated Ninjas in Pyjamas with a 2-1 win in the lower bracket.
Astralis took the first map, 16-8 on Inferno, before NiP responded with a close 16-14 win on Mirage. On the decisive third map, Nuke, Astralis rallied from down 14-8 to force overtime and went on to win it, 19-16.
Benjamin “blameF” Bremer carried the all-Danish Astralis squad with 79 kills and a shining plus-27 K-D differential. Hampus “hampus” Poser of Sweden led NiP with 62 kills.
The tournament continues Friday with two matches:
G2 Esports vs. Natus Vincere, lower-bracket round 2
Team Liquid vs. Astralis, lower-bracket round 2
BLAST Premier World Final prize pool:
1. $500,000 — TBD
2. $250,000 — TBD
3. $120,000 — TBD
4. $50,000 — TBD
5-6. $25,000 — TBD
7-8. $15,000 — Heroic, Ninjas in Pyjamas
–Field Level Media