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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Liquid break NAVI’s streak to advance to IEM Katowice semis, Virtus.pro to playoffs over FURIA

Liquid have advanced to the semi-finals of IEM Katowice after beating Natus Vincere in a nail-biting three map series, which put the CIS-based side in the quarter-finals, while Virtus.pro have rounded out the playoffs teams list with a 2-0 victory against FURIA.

After picking Inferno against Natus Vincere in their previous two encounters with varying results, Liquid decided to opt for Overpass this time and reaped the benefits as they secured a narrow victory in only their second time playing the map with Gabriel “⁠FalleN⁠” Toledo.

Liquid put together a solid offense in large part thanks to impact plays from Keith “⁠NAF⁠” Markovic, which helped the North American side turn a 0-4 start into a 10-5 half. The Canadian went on to add a couple of more multikills in the second half to break NAVI’s run while Jonathan “⁠EliGE⁠” Jablonowski and FalleN ran rampant in defense of the A bombsite, which eventually made the difference as Liquid came out on top 16-14.

Liquid outlasted NAVI after double overtime on Inferno

Natus Vincere were too much to handle on Dust2 for Liquid, the only map Aleksandr “⁠s1mple⁠” Kostyliev & co. have a perfect record on this year with a 5-0 balance following a one-sided affair with the FalleN-led team. The North American side struggled for momentum as NAVI denied them a chance at consecutive rounds every step of the way, locking down an 11-4 Terrorist half before closing it in quick fashion on the defense thanks to a second-round forcebuy win.

Inferno was left to decide the victor and despite the early stages looking headed towards a comfortable Liquid triumph, it was all but easy for the North American side in the end. Their 14-10 lead on the CT side wasn’t enough to bring the series to a close in regulation, with Natus Vincere finding gaps in B over and over to force overtime, where after two sets Liquid brought it home on the back of some clutch play from EliGE, NAF, and Michael “⁠Grim⁠” Wince.

Meanwhile, the B stream showcased a back-and-forth battle between Virtus.pro and FURIA in Group B’s lower bracket final, which also began on Overpass and had the CIS team come out on top 16-14 as they denied the Brazilian squad a comeback from 13-7 despite Kaike “⁠KSCERATO⁠” Cerato‘s best efforts to overturn the result.

Fired up from the first map, Mareks “⁠YEKINDAR⁠” Gaļinskis was a force to be reckoned with on the second, Mirage, leading from the frontlines with 11 multikills to spearhead VP’s climb from a 1-8 deficit, rendering KSCERATO‘s heroic performance all in vain again.

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Virtus.pro see off Vitality, FURIA eliminate FaZe in IEM Katowice

Virtus.pro and FURIA are through to Group B’s lower bracket final in IEM Katowice following victories over Vitality and FaZe, respectively. The CIS team put in a solid performance to move past the current world No.3, who looked a bit off-colour and spent most of the series on the back foot, although credit still must be given to them as they came back from 15-8 down on Inferno before losing the game in overtime.

After previously moving past NIP, Virtus.pro will now look to complete their lower bracket run against the scary FURIA, who were firing on all cylinders in the two map victories over FaZe, showing no signs of discomfort with their newest addition as they outplayed and outclassed their opponents.

Vitality came out the stronger side on Inferno and gained a foothold in the game early on after keeping Virtus.pro from stringing rounds together. But after that slow start, the CIS team took control of proceedings and had Vitality against the ropes for the remainder of the half, which ended with five rounds separating the two sides.

Virtus.pro took down Vitality in a match between two top-five sides

More misery was to come for the French team, who won the pistol round but failed to convert the second round, with the scoreline blooming to a 14-6 lead. The CIS side hit map point shortly afterwards but could not close out the map as Vitality took control of the game and forced overtime. The momentum was now very much with the French side, but Virtus.pro kept their composure and wrapped up the game after winning two rounds in each half, with Timur “⁠buster⁠” Tulepov delivering the finishing blow with a 1v2 clutch inside B.

Dzhami “⁠Jame⁠” Ali was the main instigator as Virtus.pro shut out the Vitality offence for large portions of the first half on Overpass, although they had just a narrow 8-7 lead heading into the break after the Frenchmen came alive towards the end of their T side. Mareks “⁠YEKINDAR⁠” Gaļinskis kicked Virtus.pro further into the lead with three quick frags in the following pistol round, with the team using that momentum to carve out a 13-7 lead. With no room for error, Vitality tightened up and brought the deficit to a solitary round, but VP were unwilling to let a comeback happen and put the match to rest.

FaZe established an early lead on Mirage, but they lost their grip on the game after FURIA brought out a double AWP setup, Paytyn “⁠junior⁠” Johnson and Andrei “⁠arT⁠” Piovezan combining for 31 frags in the half as the Brazilian team raced to a 10-5 lead. The international team hit back in the following pistol round, but then they were caught off-guard as Kaike “⁠KSCERATO⁠” Cerato picked up a spectacular trio of frags to turn the tide back in favour of FURIA, who ran away with the game.

FaZe bounced back from that disappointment with a strong defensive showing on Overpass, picking up 10 rounds in a one-sided half that witnessed a vintage performance by Håvard “⁠rain⁠” Nygaard (2.07 rating, 134 ADR). FURIA rallied back from a 12-5 deficit and enjoyed a spell of dominance, but FaZe picked themselves up in the closing stages and secured the victory to level the series. The final map, Train, was a complete blowout as FURIA ran rampant from the offset, dominating the European team thanks to stellar performances from Yuri “⁠yuurih⁠” Santos and KSCERATO, who combined for 46 frags to knock FaZe out of the tournament.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

NAVI beat FURIA to qualify for playoffs, G2 oust EG in IEM Katowice

Natus Vincere have secured a spot in the IEM Katowice playoffs after beating FURIA 2-0 to send the Brazilian side to Group B’s lower bracket, while G2 survived a tough series against Evil Geniuses to eliminate the North American side from the tournament in joint-ninth place.

Natus Vincere opened their series with a hard-earned victory on Mirage, where several key plays from Aleksandr “⁠s1mple⁠” Kostyliev made all the difference. The superstar’s three multi-kills gave his team an early advantage after a forcebuy back-and-forth that lasted for five rounds, which led to a 9-6 CT half.

s1mple & co. march on to Group B’s upper final unbeaten

NAVI extended their lead after sides switched with a pistol round win but struggled in the opening gunrounds, with FURIA equalizing the score at 12-12, before s1mple stepped up again with two triples to get NAVI out of the rut and close the map 16-13.

Nuke was a much simpler affair for Natus Vincere once they got ahead after another early blow-for-blow exchange in forcebuy rounds. With Deagles in hand in the tenth round, the Russian side managed to tilt the economy in their favor and stabilize, winning a few close scenarios to pick up another 9-6 half. FURIA secured the second pistol, but another forcebuy upset gave NAVI all the tools to close the series with ease at 16-8, 2-0.

Over in Group A’s lower bracket, G2 secured Train and Dust2 in narrow fashion against Evil Geniuses despite Vincent “⁠Brehze⁠” Cayonte‘s best efforts, as the American went 33-16 and 29-20 only to see his team lose both maps by the smallest of margins, 14-16 and 14-16.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

FURIA, NAVI advance through IEM Katowice Group B upper bracket

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.

arT destabilized NIP with 16 opening frags

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.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

junior to debut for FURIA in IEM Katowice

Paytyn “⁠junior⁠” Johnson will make his first appearance for FURIA in the main tournament of IEM Katowice, the team’s coach, Nicholas “⁠guerri⁠” Nogueira, confirmed on Friday in an interview with MGG Brasil.

The North American player was signed from Triumph precisely a month ago but had to sit out the team’s first two tournaments, BLAST Premier Global Final and cs_summit 7, due to passport issues. Lucas “⁠honda⁠” Cano, FURIA‘s sixth player, stepped in for junior in both competitions.

junior is on his way to Germany to link up with the team

According to guerri, junior started practicing with the team while he was still in North America. Using the English language to communicate, the coach acknowledged, has forced the team to “start from scratch”.

“Things are going well, better than I expected,” guerri said. “Everyone is getting out of their comfort zone. We renamed every spot on every map. It’s an ongoing process. It’s a step back, there are a lot of things happening. We are switching a player, we are using a new language to communicate, one that is not our native language.

“Sometimes, we tell junior something and he doesn’t understand or he speaks too fast and we don’t understand. We’re still adapting. I’m very happy, everyone is excited, everyone is studying and putting in the effort.”

FURIA are one of the first eight teams confirmed for IEM Katowice’s main tournament, which will run from February 18-21. The last eight teams in the showpiece competition will be determined by the Play-In Stage, kicking off Tuesday.

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OG, Heroic, FURIA through to quarter-finals at cs_summit 7

OG, Heroic, and FURIA have secured their berth in the bracket stage of cs_summit 7 after coming out on top of their respective groups’ deciding matches, against Dignitas, MIBR, and Cloud9.

The losing trio will get another shot at a spot in the single elimination playoffs as they’ll play in the last-chance matches, which are set to take place on Friday before the first quarter-final series, with Dignitas slated to go against NIP in a Swedish brawl and MIBR locking horns with Cloud9.

f0rest’s squad will face his former NiP teammates in the last-chance stage

All three deciding matches went the full distance. Dignitas made OG sweat in a nail-biting finish to their three-map series, which saw Aleksi “⁠Aleksib⁠” Virolainen‘s men win the deciding Dust2 in overtime. The new MIBR lineup took Heroic by surprise in another three-mapper, where the Danish side came back from a 1-7 deficit on Mirage to clinch their spot in the playoffs.

In the last match of Thursday, FURIA had Nicholas “⁠guerri⁠” Nogueira back in a full coaching role after his ESIC ban ended and went toe-to-toe with Cloud9 in a full best-of-three. The series saw the latter team’s newest addition, Erick “⁠Xeppaa⁠” Bach, carry his team to a win on Inferno, before a massive performance from Andrei “⁠arT⁠” Piovezan made the difference on Train as the Brazilians advanced.

The schedule for the rest of the $200,000 tournament looks as follows:

Friday, January 29
14:00