Natus Vincere and Team Liquid won Friday and moved on in the lower bracket of the $1 million BLAST Premier World Final in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Natus Vincere (NaVi) got past G2 Esports 2-1 while Liquid earned a 2-0 sweep of Astralis. G2 and Astralis were eliminated from the competition.
The two clubs will square off Saturday, with the winner advancing to the lower-bracket final to take on the loser of the upper-bracket final between Gambit Esports and Team Vitality.
NaVi, winners of last month’s Fall Finals, fell into the lower bracket after a surprise loss to Liquid in the opening round, so Saturday’s rematch will give NaVi an opportunity for revenge.
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.
NaVi beat G2 16-14 on Nuke, but G2 took the next map (Inferno) into overtime before pulling out a 22-19 win. The decisive map, Mirage, was far less close, with NaVi running away with a 16-4 victory.
Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev of Ukraine racked up 88 kills and a sparkling plus-32 kills-to-deaths differential for NaVi. Russians Denis “electronic” Sharipov and Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy added 60 and 55 kills, respectively. G2’s Nikola “NiKo” Kovac and Nemanja “huNter-” Kovac of Bosnia and Herzegovina had 64 kills apiece.
Liquid opened with a 16-9 victory over Astralis on Dust II before holding on 16-13 on Mirage.
All five Liquid players finished with positive differentials, led by Brazilian Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo’s plus-12 on 38 kills. Canadian Keith “NAF” Markovic posted a match-high 40 kills for Liquid. Benjamin “blameF” Bremer of Denmark carried Astralis with 39 kills.
The tournament continues Saturday with two matches:
Gambit Esports vs. Team Vitality, upper-bracket final
Natus Vincere vs. Team Liquid, lower-bracket round 3
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 — G2 Esports, Astralis
7-8. $15,000 — Heroic, Ninjas in Pyjamas
–Field Level Media