Team Vitality became the fourth team to advance to the playoffs at Intel Extreme Masters XV — Beijing Online: Europe, and the final one from Group A, with a 2-0 sweep over MAD Lions on Thursday.
Vitality had to advance out of the lower bracket in the group after they were upended by FaZeClan in the upper bracket on Sunday. FazeClan and Complexity advanced to the playoffs out of the Group A upper bracket, while Natus Vincere already made it through the lower bracket.
Upper bracket play in Group B also got underway Thursday. Heroic earned a 2-0 sweep over North to remain in the upper bracket, while Ninjas in Pyjamas defeated G2 Esports 2-1.
The $150,000 European division of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament features 16 teams divided into two double-elimination groups. The top four teams from each group will advance to the single-elimination playoffs.
All group-stage and playoff matches are best-of-three except for the Nov. 22 final, which will be best-of-five. The champion will receive $60,000, 400 ESL Pro Tour points and a berth in the $500,000 IEM XV — Global Challenge, scheduled for Dec. 15-20 in Cologne, Germany.
Vitality dispatched MAD Lions with a 16-9 victory on Nuke and a 16-8 decision on Inferno. Richard “shox” Papillon had a plus-22 kill-death ratio, one of five Vitality players in positive territory. Nabil “Nivera” Benrlitom was at plus-10.
No MAD Lions player was in positive territory, with Frederik “acoR” Gyldstrand even at 33 kills and 33 deaths.
Heroic moved on in the upper bracket of Group B with a 16-12 victory over North on Overpass and a 16-13 decision on Nuke. Heroic’s Rene “TeSeS” Madsen had a plus-11 kill-death ratio.
NiP also moved on in Group B’s upper bracket with a deciding 16-4 victory on Train. NiP won 16-4 on Vertigo, before G2 Esports rebounded to win 16-13 on Mirage. Tim “nawwk” Jonasson led the winners with 56 kills and a plus-18 kill/death ratio.
Upper bracket play in Group B continues Friday with Astralis facing ENCE and BIG meeting mousesports.
The playoffs begin with the eight-team quarterfinals on Nov. 19 and 20.
Intel Extreme Masters XV — Beijing Online: Europe prize pool
9-12. $2,500 — Team Spirit, MAD Lions
13-16. $1,500 — OG, Fnatic
–Field Level Media