With groups A & B now over, it's a good time to recap the progress so far of the 8 teams that have already had their matches come and go.
Group A featured Vitality, Astralis, Evil Geniuses & Liquid, with Astralis vs Evil Geniuses being the starting match. Despite Evil Geniuses putting up a greater fight than most likely expected after their poor performances as of late, Astralis took the match relatively stress-free, going 16:11, 16:10 for a 2:0 match. Vitality went up against Liquid later in the day, which was a tough one for both sides, before Vitality took the ball and ran with it for 16:6, 8:16 & 16:11, 2-1 in their favor. This gave us a lower branch match between Evil Geniuses & Liquid, where Liquid fought hard for another 2-0 loss for the Geniuses. Later on, Astralis lost against a heavy-hitting ZywOo and shox on the side of Vitality, a match which also went 2-0. This of course sets up the Group Final for Group A, a grudge match against Astralis & Vitality. Once again, the match was hard fought with another 2:1 scoreline, and another win for... Vitality! This means for Group A, Vitality & Astralis go to the Fall Finals, whilst Evil Geniuses and Liquid drip down to the Fall Showdown.
A few days later, Group B woke up and chose violence. G2 & MIBR were the first to shoot it out, where, as many predicted, MIBR were outmatched on nearly all aspects, losing 16-11, 16-7, and another 2-0 scoreline was created. BIG & NIP also decided the best way was a quick way, for another match going 2-0 the way of NIP, with BIG struggling to outmatch the force of REZ, who amassed 55 kills across the 2 maps, where the best for BIG was tabseN with a mere 29 comparatively. Next up was the lower bracket match of MIBR & BIG, where MIBR were once again left scratching their heads as tactic after tactic failed to work and move the mountain of BIG, going for another quick match of 16-4, 16-9, and another 2-0 score, which is become quite the common occurrence! Next up, the upper final between NIP & G2. In our first 2:1 match of Group B, after fierce battles and a tit-for-tat struggle in map 2, NIP took down G2 after 7:16, 16:14, 16:9. In the lower tier, G2 & BIG now faced off for the prized spot in the Group Final, which also brought us our first & only overtime match for Group B, here BIG managed to tear down G2's defenses, although they certainly worked hard for it. In the Group Final, NIP & BIG locked horns in what is perhaps the most thrilling match to watch of the tournament so far, and with 14:16, 16:13 & 16:5. NIP came out on top, and certainly worked hard in the first few maps, before BIGs engine ran out of fuel towards the end. This means that NIP & BIG go through to the Fall Finals directly, and G2 & MIBR go to the Fall Showdown to try and earn a place one final time.
There's now a day of rest, before Group C get into action, kicking off with Natus Vincere vs OG, Friday at 14:30 UTC.