MOUZ, NaVi, Spirit round out Champions Stage field at IEM Rio

MOUZ, Natus Vincere and Team Spirit clinched the final three berths into the Champions Stage by winning their do-or-die Round 5 matches Tuesday to conclude the Legends Stage of the Intel Extreme Masters XVII Rio Major in Rio de Janeiro.

MOUZ beat ENCE 2-1, Natus Vincere swept BIG 2-0 and Spirit topped Team Liquid 2-1, eliminating ENCE, BIG and Liquid from the tournament.

The three winners joined Cloud9, FURIA Esports, Heroic, Outsiders and Fnatic in the Champions Stage, a single-elimination bracket starting Thursday.

The $1.25 million Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event began with 24 teams — 16 from Europe, six from the Americas and two from Asia-Pacific. Eight teams were seeded straight into the second round, called the Legends Stage. The other 16 teams competed in the Challengers Stage for the final eight berths in the Legends Stage

The Challenge Stage and the Legends Stage used the Swiss system, in which teams are reseeded after each round, with winners facing off in “high” matches the following round, and losers advancing to “low” matches. Early rounds consisted of a single map, while all elimination and advancement matches were best-of-three.

The eight-team Champions Stage, which will consist of single-elimination quarterfinals, semifinals and final, are set for Nov. 10-13. All matches will be best-of-three.

The winning team will earn $500,000, 4,000 BLAST Premier ranking points and automatic berths in the BLAST Premier World Final, scheduled for Dec. 14-18 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2023, set for Jan. 31-Feb. 12 in Poland.

MOUZ opened with a 16-5 rout on Ancient. ENCE responded by taking Nuke 16-8, but MOUZ clinched it with a 16-9 victory on Mirage. Slovakia’s David “frozen” Cernansky had a plus-16 kills-to-deaths differential with 50 kills. Australian teammate Christopher “dexter” Nong posted 64 kills with a plus-10 K-D.

NaVi took care of BIG, 16-12 on Mirage and 16-11 on Dust II. Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy of Russia led all players with 43 kills and a plus-16 K-D for NaVi.

Spirit started with a 16-10 result on Vertigo, but Liquid tied the match by winning 16-12 on Mirage. The deciding map was Ancient, where Spirit squeaked out a 16-13 victory. Spirit was led by Russian Boris “magixx” Vorobiev (59 kills, plus-7), Russian Pavel “s1ren” Ogloblin (59 kills, plus-5) and Ukrainian Igor “w0nderful” Zhdanov (53 kills, plus-10).

The Champions Stage begins Thursday with two quarterfinal matches:

–Cloud9 vs. MOUZ
–Outsiders vs. Fnatic

Intel Extreme Masters XVII Rio Major: Legends Stage standings
1. Cloud9 3-0 (advanced to Champions Stage)
2. FURIA Esports 3-0 (advanced to Champions Stage)
3. Heroic 3-1 (advanced to Champions Stage)
4. Outsiders 3-1 (advanced to Champions Stage)
5. Fnatic 3-1 (advanced to Champions Stage)
6. Team Spirit 3-2 (advanced to Champions Stage)
7. Natus Vincere 3-2 (advanced to Champions Stage)
8. MOUZ 3-2 (advanced to Champions Stage)
9. BIG 2-3 (eliminated)
10. Team Liquid 2-3 (eliminated)
11. ENCE 2-3 (eliminated)
12. Bad News Eagles 1-3 (eliminated)
13. Team Vitality 1-3 (eliminated)
14. Sprout 1-3 (eliminated)
15. Ninjas in Pyjamas 0-3 (eliminated)
16. FaZe Clan 0-3 (eliminated)

Intel Extreme Masters XVII Rio Major prize pool:
1. $500,000, 4,000 BLAST Premier points
2. $170,000, 2,000 BLAST Premier points
3-4. $80,000, 1,250 BLAST Premier points
5-8. $45,000, 500 BLAST Premier points
9-11. Team Liquid, BIG, ENCE — $20,000
12-14. Sprout, Team Vitality, Bad News Eagles — $20,000
15-16. FaZe Clan, Ninjas in Pyjamas — $20,000
17-19. 9z Team, Team GamerLegion, OG — $10,000
20-22. Evil Geniuses, Grayhound Gaming, IHC Esports — $10,000
23-24. Imperial Esports, 00 Nation — $10,000

–Field Level Media

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