fnatic-NiP clash headlines Pro League play-in
The two Swedish rosters will be joined by FaZe, forZe, Vitality, and OG to determine which three teams will advance to the second group stage of ESL Pro League Season 11 Europe, where Natus Vincere, Astralis, and mousesports already await.
The first group stage of ESL Pro League Season 11 Europe saw Astralis claim the top spot in Group A with a 4-1 overall record, earning themselves a direct ticket to the second group stage. There, they are joined by the winners of Group B and C, Natus Vincere and mousesports, while the teams who placed second and third in each group will participate in a play-in to determine which three sides will join the aforementioned trio in the second group stage.
FaZe and forZe will be the first two teams to clash for a spot in the second stage, with Nikola "NiKo" Kovač and company taking on the Russian roster at 14:25 on Saturday. A Swedish derby between fnatic and NiP will then unfold at 18:00 , the first time the two teams have clashed since the quarter-finals of DreamHack Masters Malmö six months ago, where Maikil "Golden" Selim's men prevailed in a three-map series.
The final play-in match, which is scheduled for 22:00 , will see Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt up against his former squad Vitality for the first time since he joined OG, with the winner moving on to the second group stage.
The second group stage will play out in similar fashion to the first, with all six teams playing one another in a single best-of-three series as part of a round-robin group. The group winner will advance directly to the best-of-five grand finals, while the second and third place teams will play in a decider match to determine the other finalist.
The schedule for the three play-in series, which will play out on Saturday, looks as follows: