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Movistar Riders, Liquid up to 2-0 at ESL Pro League

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

Movistar Riders and Team Liquid improved to 2-0 in Group C play during Thursday’s action at the ESL Pro League Season 15 in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Riders outlasted Players in three maps for its second consecutive 2-1 victory to open the group stage. Liquid swept GODSENT and BIG swept Party Astronauts, 2-0.

The 24-team Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event is divided into four round-robin groups in the opening stage. The winners from each group will advance to the quarterfinals while second- and third-place teams advance to the Round of 12.

All matches are best-of-three until the best-of-five final on April 10. Ninjas in Pyjamas took Group A, going 4-1 in five matches, while last week FURIA Esports clinched the top spot in Group B. Groups C and D will be contested over the next two weeks.

The winner of the $823,000 event earns $175,000 and entry to the BLAST World Final 2022. That team will also garner 1,300 Pro Tour points.

Riders squeezed out a 16-14 win over Players on Inferno to open their match, but Players struck back with a 16-7 win on Mirage. Riders decided it with a 16-9 triumph on Ancient.

Alejandro “mopoz” Fernandez-Quejo Cano led the all-Spanish Riders squad with 63 kills and a plus-10 kills-to-deaths differential. Russian Dmitry “sh1ro” Sokolov posted a plus-26 with 63 kills for Players, while Kazakh teammate Abay “HObbit” Khasenov had a game-high 66 kills.

Liquid breezed past GODSENT with victories of 16-4 on Ancient and 16-6 on Dust II. American Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski led all players with 49 kills, while his teammate and countryman Josh “oSee” Ohm finished plus-27 with 41 kills.

BIG, composed of all German players, notched its first win in Group C by beating Party Astronauts 16-9 on Overpass and 16-10 on Dust II. Johannes “tabseN” Wodarz had game highs of 53 kills and a plus-22.

Group C play continues Friday with three matches:
BIG vs. Players
Team Liquid vs. Movistar Riders
Party Astronauts vs. GODSENT

Group C standings, with win-loss record and point differential:
T1. Team Liquid, 2-0, +31
T1. Movistar Riders, 2-0, +9
T3. Players, 1-1, +22
T3. BIG, 1-1, +4
T5. GODSENT, 0-2, -31
T5. Party Astronauts, 0-2, -35

–Field Level Media