ESL Pro League S18, Group C: NaVi, Faze, fnatic and 9Z to the playoffs!
The ESL Pro League Season 18 has been nothing short of exhilarating, and Group C did not disappoint. With the conclusion of this group, four teams have earned their spot in the playoffs of this $850,000 competition. In this article, we recap the thrilling moments and outcomes of Group C, featuring Natus Vincere, FaZe Clan, fnatic, and 9z.
Natus Vincere's dominance over FaZe
Natus Vincere, led by Aleksi "Aleksib" Virolainen, secured their spot in the quarter-finals with a resounding 2-0 victory over FaZe Clan. Their dominance was most evident on Anubis, where Valeriy "b1t" Vakhovskiy's incredible performance left FaZe stunned. With an 18-5 K-D and a remarkable 2.14 rating, b1t led NAVI to a dominant 16-4 win. This display of utter dominance on the T side was a testament to NAVI's strength.
On Nuke, the battle was more closely contested, with Mihai "iM" Ivan stepping up for NAVI. After a shaky start, NAVI found themselves trailing at 13-9, but a remarkable 3v5 recovery led by Aleksib and Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev turned the tide. NAVI clinched the map 16-13 and secured their place in the playoffs, proving their mettle in this high-stakes showdown.
Fnatic's reverse sweep over apeks
Fnatic secured their playoff spot by orchestrating a dramatic reverse sweep against Apeks. Despite a shaky start with a 5-16 loss on Vertigo, fnatic bounced back with conviction. Christopher "dexter" Nong's squad displayed resilience and tactical prowess, securing wins on Inferno (16-10) and Ancient (16-13).
While the victory was well-earned, fnatic's underperformance on the scoreboard was notable, with Fredrik "roeJ" Jørgensen and William "mezii" Merriman posting even ratings. However, the trio of Joakim "jkaem" Myrbostad, Aleksandar "CacaNito" Kjulukoski, and Tim "nawwk" Jonasson delivered strong performances for Apeks, despite conceding defeat.
9z Team's Last Chance Triumph
In a remarkable turnaround, 9z Team claimed the final playoff spot in Group C after a thrilling journey through the Last Chance Stage. Despite early setbacks, including losses to FaZe and Imperial, 9z Team fought back with determination. Their resilience shone through in the decider match against 5yclone.
SEGUIMOS HACIENDO HISTORIA.— 9z Team (@9zTeam) September 17, 2023
Con otro comeback, estamos en los playoffs de la #ESLProLeague.
🇧🇷 @tgefps #TodoVioleta 💜 pic.twitter.com/GRKjcXt3Js
David "dav1deuS" Tapia Maldonado played a pivotal role in their victory, amassing 56 kills and an impressive 1.30 rating. The South American team rebounded from a challenging Overpass match (6-16) and secured wins on Inferno (16-8) and Nuke (16-6) to punch their ticket to the playoffs. Their journey from the brink of elimination to a playoff berth is a testament to their tenacity.
ESL Pro League S18 - Qualified teams for the playoffs
As Group C concludes, here's the current list of playoff participants:
Round of 16:
Round of 12:
The action continues as Group D kicks off next on Wednesday, September 20th, featuring heavyweights like G2, Cloud9, Virtus.pro, and Team Liquid. Stay tuned for more intense CS:GO action in ESL Pro League Season 18!
Featured image credits: ESL