G2, Heroic clinch byes into semis as IEM Katowice playoff field set

G2 Esports and Heroic were victorious in the upper-bracket finals of their respective groups Tuesday and clinched byes into the playoff semifinals at the Intel Extreme Masters event in Katowice, Poland.

They will be joined in the playoffs by Team Vitality, Team Liquid, Natus Vincere and Outsiders, all of whom qualified for the quarterfinals by placing second or third in their groups.

The $1 million Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament began last Wednesday with the 16-team, double-elimination play-in stage to determine the final eight spots in the group stage. First-round play-in matches consisted of a single map, while all other play-in matches were best-of-three.

Group play ran from Saturday through Tuesday, with two eight-team groups competing in a double-elimination format of best-of-three matches. The two group winners advanced to the semifinals of the single-elimination playoffs. The two group runners-up go to the playoff quarterfinals as high seeds, and the third-place teams from each group head to the playoff quarterfinals as low seeds.

The best-of-three quarterfinals are scheduled for Friday, and the best-of-three semifinals are set for Saturday. The winner of the best-of-five grand final on Sunday will earn $400,000 and a berth in the $1 million IEM Cologne event scheduled for July 25-Aug. 6 in Germany.

On Tuesday, G2 Esports swept Natus Vincere 2-0 in the Group A upper-bracket final, winning 16-8 on Inferno and 16-7 on Nuke. Ilya “m0NESY” Osipov of Russia had a game-high 42 kills for G2 on a whopping plus-23 kills-to-deaths differential.

In the group’s lower-bracket final, Team Liquid narrowly beat FaZe Clan 2-1. After dropping the opening map 16-14 on Inferno, Liquid won 16-11 on Overpass and 16-13 on Mirage. Josh “oSee” Ohm led the way for Liquid with 67 kills on a plus-15 K-D.

Heroic beat Team Vitality 2-0 in the Group B upper-bracket final, claiming a 16-7 win on Inferno and a 16-4 rout on Overpass. Rasmus “sjuush” Beck and Jakob “jabbi” Nygaard had matching lines of 40 kills and plus-16 differentials to lead the all-Danish Heroic squad.

Outsiders started its day with a 2-0 win over OG in the lower-bracket semifinals, winning 16-7 on Inferno and 16-12 on Overpass. Complexity Gaming joined them in the lower-bracket finals by beating Fnatic 2-1, sandwiching a 16-8 victory on Inferno and a 16-3 rout on Overpass around a 16-9 setback on Vertigo.

In the Group B lower-bracket final, Outsiders outlasted Complexity 2-1. Outsiders started with a 19-15 overtime win on Anubis, lost 16-13 on Overpass and bounced back to win 16-13 on the winner-take-all map, Inferno. Aleksandr “KaiR0N-” Anashkin of Russia led the victors with 67 kills and countryman Dzhami “Jame” Ali had a sparkling plus-21 K-D with 59 kills.

The action resumes Friday with the playoff quarterfinals:
–Team Vitality vs. Team Liquid
–Natus Vincere vs. Outsiders

Intel Extreme Masters Katowice prize pool:
1. $400,000, berth in IEM Cologne
2. $180,000
3-4. $80,000
5-6. $40,000
7-8. $24,000 — FaZe Clan, Complexity Gaming
9-12. $16,000 — IHC Esports, Team Spirit, Fnatic, OG
13-16. $10,000 — Cloud9, BIG, MOUZ, Ninjas in Pyjamas
17-20. $4,500 — ENCE, Sprout, MIBR, FURIA Esports
21-24. $2,500 — Permitta Esports, Evil Geniuses, Grayhound Gaming, paiN Gaming

–Field Level Media

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