Mon, 25 Sep 2023

Apeks, Fnatic stay alive at ESL Pro League Season 18

Field Level Media
16 Sep 2023, 06:55 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports)

Apeks and Fnatic earned 2-0 sweeps on Friday to advance to the mid-bracket semifinal of Group C at the ESL Pro League Season 18 event in Malta.

Apeks squeaked past Imperial Esports on two close maps and Fnatic beat 5yclone. Imperial and 5yclone dropped into the lower-bracket semifinals as a result.

The $850,000 event features 32 teams broken up into four groups of eight. Group-stage winners advance to the quarterfinals; runners-up advance to the Round of 12 as the high seeds; third-place teams in each group advance to the Round of 16 as the high seeds; and fourth-place teams advance to the Round of 16 as the low seeds.

The group stage is triple-elimination with upper, middle and lower brackets. All matches are best-of-three until the grand final, which is best-of-five.

The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament runs through Oct. 1. The winner earns $200,000 and qualifies for the 2024 IEM Katowice event and the 2023 BLAST World Final.

On Friday, Apeks got past Imperial 16-14 on Overpass and 16-13 on Ancient. Joakim 'jkaem' Myrbostad of Norway (47 kills, plus-6 kills-to-deaths differential) and Martin 'STYKO' Styk of Slovakia (46 kills, plus-6 K-D) made the difference for Apeks in the even match. Brazil's Joao 'felps' Vasconcellos had 46 kills and a plus-6 K-D for Imperial.

Fnatic edged 5yclone 16-14 on Inferno before clinching the match with a 16-7 result on Vertigo. Frenchman Aurelien "afro" Drapier guided Fnatic with 42 kills and a plus-16. No one on 5yclone finished with a positive K-D; Yi "JamYoung" Yang of China led the team with 32 kills.

Group C action continues with three matches on Saturday:

--Apeks vs. Fnatic (mid-bracket semifinal)

--9z Team vs. M80 (lower-bracket quarterfinal)

--Imperial Esports vs. 5yclone (lower-bracket semifinal)

ESL Pro League Season 18 prize pool:

1. $200,000, 3,000 BLAST Premier points -- TBD

2. $90,000, 2,000 BLAST points -- TBD

3-4. $50,000, 1,200 points -- TBD

5-8. $35,000, 500 points -- TBD

9-12. $25,000 -- TBD

13-16. $20,000 -- TBD

17-20. $15,000 -- Gamer Legion, MIBR, TBD

21-28. $8,000 -- Ninjas in Pyjamas, Grayhound Gaming, Heroic, Evil Geniuses, TBD

29-32. $4,000 -- ORKS, Rooster, TBD

--Field Level Media

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