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Natus Vincere, ENCE reach semifinals at PGL Antwerp

Sportsnaut
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

Natus Vincere and ENCE won their Champions Stage quarterfinal matches Friday to round out the final four of the PGL Major Antwerp in Belgium.

Natus Vincere beat Heroic 2-1 to stay unbeaten in the major, while ENCE swept Copenhagen Flames 2-0. They joined Team Spirit and FaZe Clan in the semifinals, while Heroic and the Flames were eliminated.

Thursday marked the opening of the Champions Stage, an eight-team single-elimination bracket played on the heels of the Challenger Stage (May 9-12) and Legends Stage (May 14-17). The Swiss System format was used to determine which eight teams would advance in each prior stage. All matches in the first two stages were best-of-one except elimination and advancement matches, which were best-of-three.

Champions Stage seeding is based on final standings in the Legends Stage. Champions Stage matches are best-of-three until the grand final, which is best-of-five.

NaVi dropped its opening map 16-10 on Inferno, giving Heroic hope for an upset. But NaVi eked out a 16-14 in on Ancient to even the match and took the deciding map, Nuke, 16-8.

Denis “electroNic” Sharipov of Russia posted 75 kills and a plus-23 kills-to-deaths differential, both game highs, to guide NaVi. Martin “stavn” Lund led the all-Danish Heroic squad with 60 kills.

ENCE earned a 16-10 win on Vertigo and a 16-12 triumph on Nuke to beat Copenhagen.

Lotan “Spinx” Giladi of Israel had 50 kills and a plus-22 to carry ENCE. The Flames were led by Denmark’s Jakob “jabbi” Nygaard, who had 41 kills.

The Champions Stage continues Saturday with two best-of-three semifinal battles:
–Team Spirit vs. FaZe Clan
–ENCE vs. Natus Vincere

PGL Major Antwerp prize pool:
1. TBD — $500,000
2. TBD — $150,000
3-4. TBD — $70,000
5-8. FURIA Esports, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Copenhagen Flames, Heroic — $35,000
9-11. G2 Esports, Team Vitality, Imperial Esports — $8,750
12-14. BIG, Cloud9, Outsiders — $8,750
15-16. Bad News Eagles, Team Liquid — $8,750
17-19. forZe, Astralis, MIBR — no prize
20-22. Complexity, Eternal Fire, IHC Esports — no prize
23-24. 9z Team, Renegades — no prize

–Field Level Media