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Vitality, Movistar Riders reach group final at ESL Pro League 18

A backlit keyboard is part of the gear online video game streamer Jordan Woodruff uses in his Gilbert home.

Jordan Woodruff
Credit: Nick Oza/The Republic via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Team Vitality will meet Movistar Riders in the Group A upper-bracket final after each team won its semifinal match at the ESL Pro League Season 18 on Thursday in Malta.

Vitality clobbered Ninjas in Pyjamas 2-0, and Movistar Riders earned a pair of close victories over GamerLegion for a 2-0 sweep of their own.

Group A action also saw Astralis sweep ORKS and FURIA Esports sweep Grayhound Gaming in the first round of the mid bracket.

The $850,000 event features 32 teams broken up into four groups of eight. Group stage winners advance to the quarterfinals; runners-up advance to the Round of 12 as the high seeds; third-place teams in each group advance to the Round of 16 as the high seeds; and fourth-place teams advance to the Round of 16 as the low seeds.

The group stage is triple-elimination with upper, middle and lower brackets. All matches are best-of-three until the grand final, which is best-of-five.

The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament runs through Oct. 1. The winner earns $200,000 and qualifies to the 2024 IEM Katowice event and the 2023 BLAST World Final.

On Thursday, Vitality blasted Ninjas 16-3 on Mirage before finishing the job 16-9 on Nuke. Lotan “Spinx” Giladi of Israel starred for Vitality with 50 kills and a plus-23 kills-to-deaths differential.

Movistar Riders defeated GamerLegion 16-12 on Anubis and pulled out a 19-16 overtime win on Ancient. Portugal’s Tiago “JUST” Moura led all players with 52 kills (plus-10 K-D), and his Riders teammate Alejandro “alex” Masanet of Spain had 50 kills on a plus-13.

Astralis cruised past ORKS 16-5 on Nuke and 16-6 on Overpass. Benjamin “blameF” Bremer guided the all-Danish Astralis roster with 47 kills and a plus-27.

FURIA, an all-Brazilian squad, beat Grayhound 16-6 on Ancient and 16-8 on Vertigo. Kaike “KSCERATO” Cerato had 43 kills and a plus-21 in leading FURIA.

Group A action continues Thursday with two matches:
–GamerLegion vs. Astralis (mid bracket quarterfinal)
–Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. FURIA Esports (mid bracket quarterfinal)

ESL Pro League Season 18 prize pool:
1. $200,000, 3,000 BLAST Premier points — TBD
2. $90,000, 2,000 BLAST points — TBD
3-4. $50,000, 1,200 points — TBD
5-8. $35,000, 500 points — TBD
9-12. $25,000 — TBD
13-16. $20,000 — TBD
17-20. $15,000 –TBD
21-28. $8,000 — TBD
29-32. $4,000 — TBD

–Field Level Media