Virtus.pro and Team Liquid recorded sweeps Thursday in the opening round of Group D action in the ESL Pro League Season 13 event.
Evil Geniuses also posted a 2-1 victory over Astralis.
Virtus.pro defeated Endpoint 16-9 on Inferno and 16-13 on Overpass. Dzhami “Jame” Ali of Russia posted 46 kills and a match-best plus-25 kills-death differential. Latvia’s Mareks “YEKINDAR” Galinskis led VP with 49 kills.
Liquid had their way with Fnatic, 16-11 on Overpass and 16-7 on Vertigo. Brazil’s Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo was magnificent for Team Liquid, posting match-highs in kills (45) and plus-19 K-D differential.
Evil Geniuses survived a dogfight with Astralis, winning 16-12 on Nuke before dropping the next map, 16-10 on Vertigo. But EG rebounded with a 16-7 win on Inferno. American Vincent “Brehze” Cayonte posted 65 kills and a plus-17 K-D differential for EG.
Nicolai “device” Reedtz led the all-Danish side with a plus-eight differential on 55 kills Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen had a team-high 57 kills.
The winner of the 24-team Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event will take home $175,000 of the $750,000 prize pool, plus 1,300 Pro Tour points and a berth in the $1 million BLAST Premier 2021 Global Final, scheduled for December. Second place is worth $60,000 and 1,000 points, with prize money and points going to the top 20 finishers.
The competition began March 8 with Group A, where Heroic finished 5-0 followed by Complexity Gaming (3-2) and FunPlus Phoenix (3-2).
Ninjas in Pyjamas finished Group B at 4-1, followed by Ence (3-2) and G2 Esports (3-2).
Gambit Esports finished Group C at 5-0, followed by Furia Esports (3-2) and Natus Vincere (3-2).
The group stage uses a round-robin format, with all matches best-of-three. The winners of each six-team group advance directly to the play-in for seeding in the quarterfinals or semifinals while the second- and third-place teams advance to the round of 12.
The play-in round will begin April 8 with a single-elimination bracket. Matches remain a best-of-three, with the winning teams advancing to the semifinals and the losing teams dropping to the quarterfinals.
In the playoffs, also a single-elimination bracket, the matches continue as a best-of-three until a best-of-five Grand Final on April 11.
Group D schedule for Friday:
Endpoint vs. Fnatic
Virtus.pro vs. Evil Geniuses
Astralis vs. Team Liquid
ESL Pro League Season 13 Group D standings:
1.Team Liquid, 1-0, +14
2.Virtus.pro, 1-0, +10
3. Evil Geniuses, 1-0, +7
4. Astralis, 0-1, -7
5. Endpoint, 0-1, -10
6. Fnatic, 0-1, -14
–Field Level Media