Team Vitality rally, advance to Group Stage at IEM Cologne

Team Vitality used a reverse sweep to win Wednesday, one of four teams to advance to the Group Stage at the Intel Extreme Masters Season XVII in Cologne, Germany.

Astralis, 00 Nation and MOUZ also won on the final day of the Play-in Stage in Round 2 of the Lower Bracket to punch their tickets to the Group Stage, which begins Thursday.

Those four join Heroic, Team Spirit, Outsiders and Movistar Riders, who advanced Tuesday. Eight other teams automatically advanced to the Group Stage.

Sixteen teams remain, competing in the $1 million IEM Cologne event, split into two groups of eight. From there, six teams will qualify for the Playoff Stage with the grand final set for July 17.

Team Vitality dropped the opening map to Sprout, 22-20 in overtime on Vertigo. Vitality then trailed 4-1 in the second map before rallying for a 16-11 win on Dust II. Vitality then trailed again, 6-1 in the third map before pulling out a 16-10 win on Overpass to clinch it.

Denmark’s Emil “Magisk” Reif led Vitality with 74 kills and a plus-18 kills-to-deaths differential. Countryman Victor “Staehr” Staehr was the star of the day for Sprout, recording a match-high 79 kills and a plus-20 K-D differential.

Astralis defeated BIG to advance, opening with a 16-14 win on Nuke. BIG won on Dust II 16-13 to set up the clincher, which Astralis took 16-11 on Overpass. Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke led the all-Dane side with 74 kills and a plus-15 K-D differential. Karim “Krimbo” Moussa led the Germans with 65 kills and a plus-12.

00 Nation rolled into the Group Stage with matching 16-12 wins (Ancient, Overpass) over Imperial. Santino “try” Rigal of Argentina led 00 Nation with 47 kills and a plus-19 differential.

MOUZ rolled past TYLOO, winning 16-7 on Overpass and 16-11 on Ancient. Adam “torzsi” Torzas of Hungary led MOUZ with 40 kills and a plus-15.

Earlier Wednesday, Imperial Esports eliminated ORDER 2-1 and TYLOO ousted MIBR 2-1 in Lower Bracket Round 1 action.

The Group Stage begins Thursday with six matches:
Natus Vincere vs. MOUZ (Group A)
Heroic vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas (Group A)
G2 Esports vs. Movistar Riders (Group A)
Team Vitality vs. ENCE (Group A)
Team Spirit vs. Team Liquid (Group B)
Cloud9 vs. Outsiders (Group B)

Intel Extreme Masters Season XVII – Cologne prize pool and points distribution
1. $400,000, 3,200 BLAST Premier points
2. $180,000, 1,600 BLAST Premier points
3-4. $80,000, 1,000 BLAST Premier points
5-6. $40,000, 300 BLAST Premier points
7-8. $24,000, 300 BLAST Premier points
9-12. $16,000, no BLAST Premier points
13-16. $10,000, no BLAST Premier points
17-20. $4,500, no BLAST Premier points – Sprout, BIG, Imperial Esports, TYLOO
21-24. $2,500, no BLAST Premier points — paiN Gaming, Complexity Gaming, ORDER, MIBR

–Field Level Media

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