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MOUZ, Heroic stay knotted with wins at ESL Pro League 16

Jan 26, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Fans react as the Minnesota Rokkr battle the Toronto Ultra during the Call of Duty League Launch Weekend at The Armory. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

MOUZ and Heroic each pulled off three-map victories on Saturday to remain tied atop Group C with one day remaining in the stage at ESL Pro League Season 16 in Malta.

MOUZ (3-1) defeated Complexity Gaming (2-2) by a 2-1 score while Heroic (3-1) rallied for a reverse sweep, dropping HEET to 1-3 in a 2-1 decision. In the day’s other match, Astralis (2-2) dropped ENCE (1-3) in a 2-0 sweep.

The $835,000 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event features 24 teams vying for a $175,000 first prize and a berth in the BLAST Premier World Final. Only the Season 16 champion will clinch a spot in the $1 million Final set for Dec. 14-18 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The Pro League teams are divided into four groups for the initial round-robin phase. The four group champions will advance to the playoff quarterfinals, while the teams that come in second and third in each group will move on to the playoffs’ Round of 12.

All matches in the group stage and the playoffs are best-of-three until the best-of-five final on Oct. 2.

Groups A and B have been completed, with the final Group C action to be contested on Sunday, followed by Group D from Wednesday through next Sunday, Sept. 25.

MOUZ jumped ahead by exploding for a 13-2 lead on Overpass before holding on to take the map 16-11. MOUZ again snatched the quick edge, leading 8-0 on Ancient, before Complexity scored 16 of 20 points for a 16-12 victory to even the match. MOUZ took a 7-0 lead on Inferno, then cruised to a 16-7 win. David “frozen” Cernansky of Slovakia produced a match-best 72 kills and a plus-27 kills-to-deaths differential.

HEET stunned Heroic by claiming the opening map 16-11 on Vertigo, but Heroic charged back by scoring a 16-9 win on Overpass and a 16-12 triumph on Nuke to take the match. Rasmus “sjuush” Beck led a balanced attack by the all-Danish Heroic squad with 59 kills and a plus-16 K/D differential.

In the day’s only sweep, Astralis fought back from a 12-7 deficit on Mirage to win 16-13 for a 1-0 lead. Astralis then used a 12-1 surge to hold off ENCE for the win, courtesy of the 16-11 win on Dust II. Denmark’s Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke of Astralis topped all players with 47 kills and a plus-8 K/D ratio.

Group C action concludes Sunday with three matches:
–Heroic vs. Astralis
–ENCE vs. Complexity Gaming

ESL Pro League Season 16 group standings, with win-loss record, score differential and points:
Group A
1. Team Vitality, 5-0, +40, 15 points
2. Fnatic, 3-2, +36, 9 points
3. Natus Vincere, 3-2, +6, 6 points
4. Team Spirit, 2-3, -9, 6 points
5. Ninjas in Pyjamas, 2-3, -31, 6 points
6. Endpoint, 1-4, -42, 3 points

Group B
1. G2 Esports, 5-0, +73, 15 points
2. FaZe Clan, 4-1, +39, 12 points
3. Outsiders, 3-2, +27, 9 points
4. BIG, 2-3, +3, 6 points
5. MIBR, 1-4, -62, 3 points
6. FTW Esports, 0-5, -80, 0 points

Group C
1. MOUZ, 3-1, +24, 9 points
2. Heroic, 3-1, +19, 9 points
3. Complexity, 2-2, -11, 6 points
4. Astralis, 2-2, +19, 6 points
4. ENCE, 1-3, -18, 3 points
5. HEAT, 1-3, -33, 3 points

Group D
Movistar Riders
Team Liquid
FURIA Esports
Evil Geniuses
Eternal Fire

–Field Level Media