NIP and Liquid have qualified for IEM Katowice after winning their upper bracket quarter-final series against Virtus.pro and OG, respectively. Meanwhile, Renegades defeated TeamOne in the first round of the lower bracket, eliminating the Brazilians from the Play-In stage.
NIP scrapped a win on Overpass as Nicolas “Plopski” Gonzalez Zamora put up a stellar performance, (37-21 KD, 1.89 rating and 133 ADR). Virtus.pro were off to a good start on Dust2 and won the first six rounds, but the Swedes reacted on time and lost the first half by a minimal margin. NIP chained four together to kick off their T side, putting pressure on the CIS side, who would win only three rounds before Hampus “hampus” Poser‘s side managed to close the game.
Meanwhile, in the other match for a spot in the main event, Liquid breezed past OG on Mirage thanks to a nearly-flawless CT side that saw them rack up 12 rounds. Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen‘s men would tie the series after a convincing Overpass display as they shut out the North American offence with a resolute defensive performance. The series was decided after a hard-fought match on Nuke, where Liquid denied a late comeback attempt from OG.
In the elimination match, TeamOne thrashed the Australians on Inferno off the back of a great collective display. Renegades took revenge on Mirage and steamrolled the Brazilians as Simon “Sico” Williams and Alistair “aliStair” Johnston combined for 43 kills. Renegades looked set for a victory on Overpass as they went 15-11 up, but then TeamOne won a key round with a scrappy buy and gained momentum to push the game to overtime. The Brazilians went on to take the lead, but Renegades kept their composure and won three rounds in a row to stay alive in the tournament.