Virtus.pro and FaZe are through to the Group B lower-bracket semi-finals in IEM Katowice following victories over NIP and OG, respectively. The CIS team now await the loser of the match between Vitality and Liquid, while karrigan‘s troops will face either Natus Vincere or FURIA.
Virtus.pro won the three first rounds on Inferno, but NIP took the lead as soon as they could afford rifles. The Ninjas were displaying a solid defensive setup until Mareks “YEKINDAR” Gaļinskis managed to grab three kills on A in an eco-round and Timur “buster” Tulepov won an 1v2 clutch in the after-plant. The CIS team won three more rounds after that and switched to the CT side with a narrow 8-7 lead. Virtus.pro set the tone of the second half as they won four in a row, leaving the Ninjas in a tough spot. NIP broke the streak, but they could not take a stranglehold in the half as Dzhami “Jame” Ali‘s troops quickly wrapped up the map.
NIP came out strongly on Overpass and picked up a 5-0 lead on their T side, but then Virtus.pro tightened up to win the half by the slightest of margins. The CIS team improved after the side switch as they had correct reads all the time and won eight in a row to eliminate the Swedes from the tournament.
FaZe enjoyed a 6-1 lead on their CT side on Mirage until OG won four in a row off the back of a successful force-buy. FaZe managed to add three more to their tally before the end of the half, with Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken leading the charge with 21 frags. karrigan‘s side dismantled OG‘s defence in the second half, in which Helvijs “broky” Saukants posted a 2.85 rating (15-1 K-D, 152.5 ADR).
FaZe put on a dominant CT side on Dust2 as they strolled to a 7-0 lead. OG still managed to salvage their T side, bringing the deficit to three rounds before the break, but FaZe ran away with the game in the second half after preventing their opponents from stringing rounds together.