After five days of action and 20 BO3 matches played, the group stage of the StarLadder CIS RMR has been concluded. Gambit and Natus Vincere took the top two spots in group A and advanced to the playoffs, while Spirit and K23 did the same in group B.
forZe and Entropiq, who finished third in their respective groups, will face off in the fifth-place decider where 1500 RMR points are on the line, while the teams finishing 6-10th leave the event with only cash prizes.
Ax1Le continues to deliver for Gambit, averaging a 1.27 rating in groups
Group A was a two-horse race between the No. 1 and No. 2 team in the world, Gambit and Natus Vincere. Both sides went flawless in the first three matches of the round-robin group, with their head-to-head deciding the seeding heading into the playoffs. For the third series in a row, Gambit took the win in the derby, with their star duo Dmitry “sh1ro” Sokolov and Sergey “Ax1Le” Rykhtorov topping the charts.
Akuma, the squad that shocked the world in the previous Regional Major Ranking tournament by taking down Natus Vincere and Virtus.pro after which they were subject to cheating accusations, failed to play up to the same level in the StarLadder CIS RMR. Dmitriy “SENSEi” Shvorak and co. lost all four matches at the event, posting a -65 round difference and picking up just one map in the process.
Group B was topped by Spirit convincingly as Leonid “chopper” Vishnyakov and co. went 4-0 to advance to playoffs as Nikolay “mir” Bityukov averaged an event-high 1.36 rating. The second spot, however, was up in the air until the end, as before of the final round of matches, there was a four-way tie between K23, Entropiq, Virtus.pro, and 100PG. Ultimately, Dauren “AdreN” Kystaubayev‘s team came out on top, with a little help from Entropiq who took down Virtus.pro.
Virtus.pro‘s early elimination spells danger for the world’s No. 6 as they leave the event empty-handed. Either forZe or Entropiq will overtake them in the ranking when the event is concluded, which will see Dzhami “Jame” Ali‘s squad fall out of the top 5 spots that give slots at the PGL Stockholm Major, and leave their Virtus.pro‘s Major hopes depending on their performance in the final RMR tournament.
The double-elimination playoffs will start off with the following matches on Friday:
16:00 Gambit vs. K23
19:00 Natus Vincere vs. Spirit
The playoffs will be played out using a BO3 format, barring the grand final which will take place as a BO5 with a map advantage for the team coming from the upper bracket. The fifth-place decider will be held on Saturday:
13:00 forZe vs. Entropiq