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MOUZ wins Group C at ESL Pro League 16; Heroic, Complexity advance

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A crowd full of Austin FC fans cheered for Austin FC's eMLS player, John Garcia, during the eMLS Cup tournament at the Moody Theater on March 13, 2022. The eMLS Cup is the championship tournament that determines which player is the best FIFA esports player in North America.Aem Sxsw Emls Cup 16
Credit: Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK

MOUZ defeated HEET 2-1 on Sunday and secured first place in Group C at ESL Pro League Season 16 in Malta.

MOUZ finished 4-1, along with Heroic, which beat Astralis 2-1 Sunday. MOUZ edged Heroic in map differential (+32 to +26) to win the tiebreaker for first.

Complexity Gaming defeated ENCE 2-0 to grab third place in the group (3-2) and join MOUZ and Heroic in advancing to the playoff stage.

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, B and C action have now been completed. Group D will be played from Wednesday through next Sunday, Sept. 25.

HEET beat MOUZ 19-16 in overtime on Ancient to pull ahead early, but MOUZ responded with a 16-12 victory on Inferno and a 16-9 win on Vertigo. David “frozen” Cernansky of Slovakia led MOUZ with 69 kills and a plus-16 kills-to-deaths differential. France’s Pierre “Ex3rcice” Bulinge led all players with 75 kills for HEET.

Heroic also fell behind on the first map as Astralis took Overpass 19-17 in overtime. Heroic fought back by winning 16-12 on Inferno and 16-13 on Nuke. In the battle between two all-Danish teams, Rasmus “sjuush” Beck (71 kills, plus-14) and Martin “stavn” Lund (71 kills, plus-9) guided Heroic, while Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke (70 kills) led Astralis.

Complexity edged ENCE 16-14 on Nuke and 16-11 on Overpass. American Michael “Grim” Wince scored 53 kills on a plus-17 K-D for Complexity, while Spain’s Alvaro “SunPayus” Garcia had 46 kills and a plus-8 for ENCE.

Group D action begins Wednesday with three matches:
–Cloud9 vs. Evil Geniuses
–Eternal Fire vs. FURIA Esports
–Team Liquid vs. Movistar Riders

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, 4-1, +32, 12 points
2. Heroic, 4-1, +26, 12 points
3. Complexity, 3-2, -4, 9 points
4. Astralis, 2-3, +14, 6 points
5. ENCE, 1-4, -25, 3 points
6. HEAT, 1-4, -43, 3 points

Group D
Cloud9
Movistar Riders
Team Liquid
FURIA Esports
Evil Geniuses
Eternal Fire

–Field Level Media