Spirit have advanced to the Group A upper bracket final of IEM Katowice, assuring themselves of a spot in the playoffs and continuing a dream run from the Play-In stage, having now defeated Cloud9, BIG, G2, and Heroic. They are set to face off against Astralis at 15:30 on Sunday, with the victor advancing directly to the semi-finals and the loser booking a quarter-final spot. Meanwhile, G2 saw to the elimination of BIG in a two-map series, and will next take on Evil Geniuses on Saturday at 19:00 as they look to continue their lower bracket run in Group A.
Abdul “degster” Gasanov and Leonid “chopper” Vishnyakov were the frontrunners for Spirit in an Inferno win over Heroic, a map where the Danish side found their defenses torn apart as Spirit took a 9-6 lead at the break. Casper “cadiaN” Møller and company briefly gained the upper hand in the second half, converting a pistol win into a string of four rounds, but were left out of sorts as Spirit put up a stalwart defense from there, dropping just two rounds en route to a 16-12 map win.
Spirit remained in control on Nuke, with Heroic unable to string together rounds until the end of the first half, leading to a 10-5 scoreline for the CIS side. It seemed as if Heroic would make good on a comeback effort in the second half as Nikolaj “niko” Kristensen helped keep the Danish team in the running, clawing back to a 14-13 scoreline, but Spirit claimed match point first before chopper closed out the map with a 1vs3 clutch, edging out a victory for his side.
G2 took an early lead on Inferno, securing a T side pistol victory and converting subsequent rounds for a 3-0 start. Florian “syrsoN” Rische helped to get BIG on the board, rotating around the map with his AWP and tearing apart G2‘s defaults, combining with a steadfast B hold from Nils “k1to” Gruhne as BIG took seven rounds in a row. A change of pace from Nemanja “nexa” Isaković‘s troops was what allowed them to finally crack through, rallying at the end of the half to edge out a one-round lead. Although BIG took three rounds of their own off the break, they were unable to contest G2‘s defensive setups once rifles were in hand, with Nikola “NiKo” Kovač and Nemanja “huNter-” Kovač leading their way in a 16-10 victory.
The situation seemed to take a grim turn for G2 on their pick of Mirage as their initial three-round lead quickly dwindled, and it was BIG who showcased a stellar defensive effort as syrsoN continued to wreak havoc, this time being joined by Johannes “tabseN” Wodarz for a 10-5 scoreline at halftime. However, G2‘s own CT side proved to be just as difficult to crack, with stellar fragging and information plays from NiKo proving pivotal in a nine-round spree for his side before they closed out the map shortly afterwards.