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ESL Pro League Season 15: Astralis, Liquid advance to quarterfinals

Team Liquid (ENCE) and Astralis (FaZe) both won in the Round of 12 playoffs on Wednesday, progressing to the ESL Pro League Season 15 quarterfinals in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Astralis stayed alive in a thrilling three-map triumph over Entropiq, while Liquid cruised past Heroic 2-0. Heroic and Entropiq were knocked out of the tournament, while Liquid will face Group A champion Ninjas in Pyjamas and Astralis will face Group B winner FURIA Esports in the next round.

Liquid, who finished second in Group B, cruised to a 16-5 victory on Overpass before finishing Fnatic off with a 16-12 victory on Nuke. Liquid’s Lotan “Spinx” Giladi led the team with 52 kills and a plus-28 kills-to-deaths difference. For Liquid, all five players of the team received positive K-Ds.

Midway through the first map 9-6 on Ancient, Liquid, the third-place finisher in Group C with a 3-2 record, trailed Heroic, the second-place team in Group D with a 4-1 record. Liquid, on the other hand, won the next 15 points, first taking 10 in a row to take the first map 16-9. Team Liquid then won the first five games on Vertigo to advance 16-10.

With 46 kills, American Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski led Liquid, while Josh “oSee” Ohm of the United States had the best kills-to-deaths differential in the match.

Astralis, who finished third in Group D with a 3-2 record, fell behind 12-7 in their first match against Entropiq, who finished second in Group A with a 4-1 record, before rallying for a 16-14 victory against Nuke. After blowing an early lead on Vertigo, Astralis forced the map into overtime, only to lose 19-15 to tie the game. On Overpass, Astralis led 12-5 in the pivotal third map, but a 9-1 Entropiq run handed them a 14-13 lead. Astralis, on the other hand, scored the remaining three points to advance.

With match-highs in kills (82) and K/D differential, Benjamin “blameF” Bremer shone for the all-Danish Astralis squad (plus-22). In the first round, the 24-team Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament was split into four round-robin groups. Each group’s winners progressed to the quarterfinals, while the teams who finished second and third moved to the round of 12. Until the best-of-five grand final on April 10, all matches are best-of-three.

The winner of the $823,000 event receives $175,000 in addition to a spot in the BLAST World Final in 2022. A total of 1,300 Pro Tour points will be awarded to that squad.

Thursday’s quarterfinal action continues with two matches:

Team Liquid vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas

ENCE vs. Movistar Riders

ESL Pro League Season 15 prize pool:

1 TBD — $175,000, 2,800 BLAST Premier points

2 TBD — $70,000, 1,400 BLAST Premier points

3-4 TBD — $35,000, 875 BLAST Premier points

5-8 TBD — $17,500, 262. 5 BLAST Premier points

9-12 Players, Heroic, Entropiq — $32,000; Fnatic — $27,000

13-16 MOUZ, Team Vitality, BIG, AGO — $19,000

17-18 G2 Esports, Outsiders — $17,500

19-20 GODSENT, Complexity Gaming — $12,500

21-24 LookingForOrg, Sprout, Party Astronauts, Evil Geniuses — $6,000

Teams received $5,000 extra for each Group Stage victory, allowing some teams to earn more than others that finished in a tie.