G2 came back from a map down to beat FunPlus Phoenix 2-1 in IEM Summer and book a place in the playoff stage ahead of Sunday’s Group A upper bracket final against Vitality. nexa‘s charges were worthy winners in the series – which could have ended in just two maps if it wasn’t for an otherworldly performance from Pavle “Maden” Bošković on Ancient -, continuing their good run of form after finishing Flashpoint 3 in third place and easing past Extra Salt in the opening round of the tournament.
G2 were helpless to stop Maden on Ancient as the Montenegrin player produced a career-best 2.15 rating (42-19 KD-D, 154 ADR) to inspire FPX to an impressive victory, their second on this map after they beat Astralis 16-7 earlier on Thursday.
G2 hit back on Dust2, a 29-round affair despite FPX’s slow start, before completing the comeback with a dominant performance on Inferno, with Nemanja “huNter-” Kovač leading his team in rating on both maps (1.45 and 1.55).
Meanwhile, Astralis bounced back from their opening loss to FPX with a 2-0 victory over Extra Salt, who join Sprout in exiting IEM Summer after the first day of play. The North American side made a promising start full of impetus, racing to a 7-1 lead on Vertigo, but then lost steam and ceded control to the Danes despite a lively performance from Josh “oSee” Ohm (1.58 rating, 114 ADR).
Astralis kept the pressure on and picked Extra Salt‘s defence apart during the early stages of Nuke for a 7-0 lead. The North Americans finished the half down by five and still managed to put some rounds together after the break, but they never really looked like threatening their opponents, who ran out comfortable winners to set up an exciting clash against Gambit on Friday.