ESL Pro League Season 12 Europe group stage comes to an end
The eight surviving ESL Pro League Season 12 Europe teams will now battle it out in a double-elimination best-of-three bracket which will conclude in a best-of-five grand final.
The $450,000 ESL Pro League Season 12 Europe is advancing to the playoffs after 19 days of round-robin play, with half of the 16 original teams now out of the running and the remaining eight preparing for bracket play.
Heroic beat OG in two maps in the most crucial Group A bout of the last match day as the Danes will now proceed to the playoffs, while OG will have to watch from the sidelines. The group is topped by Natus Vincere, who finished with a 6-1 record going down only to ENCE, and beat an already eliminated G2 2-0 in their last fixture before the playoffs.
The other two final Group A matches featured BIG and ENCE on one side, playing for seeding in the next stage of the tournament, and AGO and GODSENT on the other, with both teams no longer in the running to make the playoffs. The former ended up with BIG edging out the Finns in a three-map series to finish second in the group, bouncing back from their group stage exit at ESL One Cologne, while the latter saw GODSENT beat their Polish rivals in as many maps, both teams ending their run with six points.
The second crucial match of the final day pitted mousesports and Vitality, who were playing for the last Group B spot in the playoffs. The series started off with the European squad getting ahead on their pick, Nuke, before closing the series out on Vertigo, leaving the Frenchmen in their wake. Finn "karrigan" Andersen and company, who have been struggling with group stage exits for the larger part of 2020, are now poised to once again hit bracket play.
A Swedish derby was played in the last match day, which fnatic took 2-0 against a NiP missing their AWPer Tim "nawwk" Jonasson, who took medical leave earlier this week, but the series was not transcendental as both teams were already out of playoff contention.
Complexity and Astralis, the Group A leaders, played FaZe and Spirit in their last fixtures. Astralis made quick work of Spirit to hold onto the Group B lead with 18 points while Complexity, with 15, played their three-map series out.
Being the only team to have beaten Astralis, Benjamin "blameF" Bremer and company were in control of their fate, but they were unable to best FaZe, whose Pro Leage run was cut short after five straight losses four days ago, thus having to ultimately settle for second place in the group.
The ESL Pro League Season 12 Europe playoff upper bracket quarter-final match ups are:
Action will resume on Tuesday, September 29, with the first round of the upper bracket. The playoffs will then run daily until the best-of-five grand final on Sunday, October 4.