Team Liquid cruised their way Saturday to a berth in the Round of 4 at the BLAST Premier Fall Showdown, while Cloud9 had to pull off several comebacks to earn a semifinal spot.
Two days after a 2-1 come-from-behind win over MAD Lions in the Round of 8, Liquid defeated MIBR 2-0 by virtue of rathereasy wins on each map.
Meanwhile, Cloud9 recovered after a blown lead in their opening map against Complexity Gaming to win 2-1, forging their own thrilling rallies on each of the match's final two maps.
The $150,000 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event opened Tuesday with 16 teams in a single-elimination bracket. The clubs that emerge from the top and bottom halves of the bracket will earn berths in the $425,000 BLAST Premier Fall Finals, scheduled for Dec. 8-13.
The top two teams in the Fall Showdown will each receive $25,000 and 1,500 BLAST Premier Circuit points.
Liquid showed dominance at the start of both victorious maps in winning 16-11 on Nuke and 16-2 on Dust II, jumping out to 13-2 leads by the midpoint of each. Liquid forged a balanced attack with all five players notching between 32 and 39 kills (Michael "Grim" Wince with the team high) and each finishing with a positive kills-to-deaths differential. Canada's Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken led the way at plus-15.
Leonardo "leo_drk" Oliveira scored best for MIBR's all-Brazilian lineup with 33 kills and a minus-5 differential.
On the other side of the bracket, Cloud9 fought off a furious challenge from Complexity, which stormed back from a 10-5 deficit to win the opening map 16-13 on Nuke. Complexity rode that momentum to a 5-1 lead on the second map on Mirage before Cloud9 won 15 of the final 18 points for a stunning 16-8 win. With the match even, Complexity built a 10-5 lead on Dust II only to watch Cloud9 storm back again for a 16-14 triumph to advance.
Alex "ALEX" McMeekin of the United Kingdom took top honors for Cloud9 with a match-best 66 kills and plus-9 K-D differential. Complexity was paced by Denmark's Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke with a team-high 64 kills, while Bulgarian teammate Valentin "poizon" Vasilev posted a plus-4 differential.
Round of 4 competition continues on Sunday when Team Liquid take on FURIA Esports and Cloud9 square off with mousesports. Both Round of 4 winners will qualify for the Fall Finals.
BLAST Premier Fall Showdown prize pool and BLAST Premier Circuit points distribution:
1-2. $25,000, 1,500 points
3-4. $15,000, 750 points
5-8. MIBR, Complexity Gaming, Virtus.pro, Heroic -- $10,000, 375 points
9-16. Isurus, Team Spirit, FaZe Clan, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Sprout, GODSENT, MAD Lions, Endpoint -- $3,750, no points
--Field Level Media