FURIA overcame NIP 2-0 in Paytyn “junior” Johnson‘s first match with the team, while the CIS derby between Virtus.pro and Natus Vincere went the way of Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev and company with the same scoreline. The winners, FURIA and Natus Vincere, will face off in the Group B upper bracket, while the losers will play each other for survival in the lower bracket.
Virtus.pro set the pace on the attacking side of Dust2 by abusing mid splits and B executes, which Alexey “qikert” Golubev and company were able to exploit all the way to a comfortable 11-4, but Natus Vincere’s slow start didn’t stop them after the switch, when Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhailov and s1mple led the charge in a 12-round streak to snatch the map 16-11.
Virtus.pro had another early lead, this time on the CT side of Train, but Natus Vincere found a six round streak at the end of the half to turn the tides on their own map pick. Denis “electronic” Sharipov and company then kept their lead in the second half, going up 12-8, until a clutch by Timur “buster” Tulepov gave his team another lifeline. Virtus.pro tried to shift momentum, but unsuccessfully as NAVI closed the map and series out 16-9.
A strong early 5-0 lead by NIP on the attacking side of Overpass was met by an equally strong defense by FURIA after they managed to get their economy in order, as the Brazilian squad went on a tear winning a clean ten rounds to hit double digits before switching sides. NIP tried to hold their own on the CT side, but FURIA proved too much to handle and came out on top 16-12.
On Nuke NIP were first out of the gate on the CT side, but FURIA immediately took the reins of the map with Andrei “arT” Piovezan and Vinicius “VINI” Figueiredo both shining on the attack. Down 4-11 NIP weren’t able to make a dent on the score, as FURIA cleaned house to end the map 16-4 and secure the series to proceed through the upper bracket.