Four days into the competition, and the teams have been halved, 4 teams remain, and 4 matches separate them between potentially winning the $500,000 grand prize!
Right from the start, the tournament has been full of surprises with the first match seeing Liquid hammer out the tournament favorites of NAVI from the upper bracket immediately. Day one also saw the less surprising beating of Heroic by Gambit.
Shifting over to day 2, with star AWPer 'device' out of action, NIP collapsed to G2 after a fiercely fought battle. Next was a surprise 2-0 loss by Astralis to French favorites Vitality, a match where Astralis got just 10 rounds overall to Vitality's 32. The day ended with Natus booting out Heroic from the tournament after both had fallen to the lower bracket early on.
Let's move forwards again to day 3, with another 3 games. Vitality were able to kick down G2 to the lower bracket with a 2-0 win. Next to fall to the lower brackets were Liquid after a close 2-1 battle with Gambit and the day ended with an elimination fight, between Astralis & NIP. Across 3 maps, Inferno (8-16), Mirage (16-14) & Nuke (16-19), NIP were told to stand at the front and scream taxi until one turned up to take them home.
Lastly, we come up to the present, day 4, which finished around 30 minutes ago. Having sent NIP packing yesterday, Astralis were looking on form, or so they thought. After just two maps, Dust2 (9-16) & Mirage (13-16) Liquid showed no mercy and dominated the entire match, taking Astralis back to Denmark. Another elimination match saw an initially close match between Natus & G2 fight across Nuke (16-14) & Inferno (19-22), until G2's tactics ran thin and their attack crumbled and their defense failed to put a single round on the CT side, losing Mirage and the match 16-4.
This means for Heroic, NIP, G2 & Astralis, the dream is over for 2021. However for NIP & Heroic, they receive $15,000 for coming in the 7th-8th place, and Astralis & G2 will take home $25,000 for 5th & 6th. From here on out, all teams still competing will leave with a minimum of $50,000 for 4th place, and a gob stopping $500,000 for the winner!
The upcoming matches left are as follows, times are in GMT, and all matches are best of 3;
Saturday, 18th December
- 1530 - Gambit vs Vitality
- 1830 - Liquid vs Natus Vincere
Sunday, 19th December
- 1330 - Consolidated Final
- 1730 - Grand Final