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Astralis clinch playoff berth at ESL Pro League Season 18

Nov 5, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; Fans do the wave between games of the League of Legends World Championships between T1 and DRX at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Astralis won their mid-bracket semifinal match to qualify for the playoffs at the ESL Pro League Season 18 in Malta.

Astralis defeated FURIA Esports 2-0 in Group A, knocking FURIA down into a lower-bracket semifinal match against Grayhound Gaming, who survived by defeating ORKS 2-1 on Saturday.

In the day’s other match, GamerLegion eliminated Ninjas in Pyjamas 2-1 in their lower-bracket semifinal. GamerLegion heads to Sunday’s lower-bracket final, where it is awaiting the winner of the FURIA-Grayhound match.

The $850,000 event features 32 teams broken up into four groups of eight. Group stage winners advance to the quarterfinals; runners-up advance to the Round of 12 as the high seeds; third-place teams in each group advance to the Round of 16 as the high seeds; and fourth-place teams advance to the Round of 16 as the low seeds.

The group stage is triple-elimination with upper, middle and lower brackets. All matches are best-of-three until the grand final, which is best-of-five.

The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament runs through Oct. 1. The winner earns $200,000 and qualifies to the 2024 IEM Katowice event and the 2023 BLAST World Final.

Astralis defeated FURIA 16-7 on Overpass and 16-13 on Nuke. Benjamin “blameF” Bremer led the all-Danish Astralis squad with 42 kills and a plus-19 kills-to-deaths differential. Kaike “KSCERATO” Cerato had 39 kills and a plus-5 ratio for the all-Brazilian FURIA team.

ORKS took the first map, Mirage, 16-12, but the all-Australian Grayhound squad came back with wins on Nuke (16-10) and Ancient (19-15) to claim the match. Declan “Vexite” Portelli led the winners with 67 kills and Alistair “aliStair” Johnston had a plus-7 K-D differential. Poland’s Arek “Vegi” Nawojski finished with 67 kills, while countryman Lukasz “mwlky” Pachucki led in differential with a plus-13 for ORKS.

GamerLegion also needed a comeback to advance, losing the first map, Ancient, 16-6 to the Ninjas. But a 16-14 victory on Overpass and a 16-10 win on Inferno clinched the match for the Legion. Sebastian “volt” Malos of Romania led the winners with 53 kills and a plus-5 differential. Sweden’s Fredrik “REZ” Sterner paced the Ninjas with 66 kills and a plus-22.

Group A action continues Sunday with three matches:
–Team Vitality vs. Movistar Riders (upper-bracket final)
–FURIA Esports vs. Grayhound Gaming (lower-bracket semifinal)
–GamerLegion vs. FURIA-Grayhound winner (lower-bracket final)

ESL Pro League Season 18 prize pool:
1. $200,000, 3,000 BLAST Premier points — TBD
2. $90,000, 2,000 BLAST points — TBD
3-4. $50,000, 1,200 points — TBD
5-8. $35,000, 500 points — TBD
9-12. $25,000 — TBD
13-16. $20,000 — TBD
17-20. $15,000 –TBD
21-28. $8,000 — TBD, TBD, TBD, TBD, TBD, TBD, TBD, Ninjas in Pyjamas
29-32. $4,000 — TBD, TBD, TBD, ORKS

–Field Level Media