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Natus Vincere win Group D at ESL Pro League; playoffs finalized

Sep 29, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Fans react during the Overwatch League Grand Finals e-sports event between the Vancouver Titans and San Francisco Shock at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

In a battle of unbeatens, Natus Vincere swept Heroic 2-0 on the final day of group-stage play Sunday to take first place in Group D at the ESL Pro League Season 15 in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Natus Vincere was one of two teams to finish 5-0 in the Group Stage — joining Movistar Riders of Group C — and the victory earned them t a bye into the quarterfinals of the playoff bracket, which was finalized Sunday.

Heroic and Astralis finished in second and third, respectively, in Group D to advance to the bracket’s round of 12. Astralis beat Complexity Gaming 2-1 on Sunday to finish 3-2, edging out AGO, which finished 2-3 after a 2-0 sweep of Evil Geniuses.

The 24-team Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event was divided into four round-robin groups in the opening stage. The winners from each group advanced to the quarterfinals while second- and third-place teams advanced to the round of 12. All matches are best-of-three until the best-of-five grand final on April 10.

Ninjas in Pyjamas took Group A, going 4-1 in five matches, while FURIA Esports (4-1) clinched the top spot in Group B. Movistar Riders (5-0) claimed Group C.

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.

Na’Vi had little trouble with Heroic as they notched victories of 16-7 on Overpass and 16-5 on Mirage. Russia’s Denis “electroNic” Sharipov led Na’Vi with 39 kills and a plus-12 kills-to-deaths differential, Ukraine’s Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev had 37 kills and a game-high plus-14 K-D and fellow Ukrainian Valeriy “b1t” Vakhovskiy chipped in 36 kills with a plus-13.

Astralis dropped its first map to Complexity, 16-13 on Dust II, before rallying with a 16-10 win on Nuke and a 16-14 squeaker on Ancient. Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke led the all-Danish Astralis squad with 72 kills while teammate Benjamin “blameF” Bremer had 70 kills and a game-high plus-17 differential. Justin “FaNg” Coakley of Canada had 71 kills for Complexity.

AGO, comprised of all Polish players, topped Evil Geniuses 16-11 on both Dust II and Inferno, keeping EG winless for the event. Maciej “F1KU” Miklas led AGO with 61 kills and a remarkable plus-31 K-D.

Round of 12 action begins Tuesday with two matches:
–Fnatic vs. ENCE
–FaZe Clan vs. Players

ESL Pro League Season 15 Group D final standings, with win-loss record and point differential:
1. Natus Vincere, 5-0, +76
2. Heroic, 4-1, +27
3. Astralis, 3-2, +15
4. AGO, 2-3, -36
5. Complexity Gaming, 1-4, -18
6. Evil Geniuses, 0-5, -64

–Field Level Media