IEM Rio: Day three as it happened
Get the latest live updates from the last day of group play at IEM Rio.
— Check out our recap to catch up on day two
— Vitality eliminated FaZe after a masterful performance from Lotan "Spinx" Giladi
— OG sent fnatic packing after a convincing two-map thrashing
— Heroic defeated Ninjas in Pyjamas in two maps to qualify for playoffs
— Natus Vincere bested BIG in a seeding match to earn a semi-final berth
— Vitality clinched the final spot in the playoffs after taking down OG
— Cloud9 beat FURIA for a semi-finals berth
Playoffs bracket is set
03:44 - Striker
|IEM Rio 2023|
Who else but Ax1Le to close it out? Cloud9 are through to the semis
03:18 - Nohte
Much like on Vertigo, the end of the map came down to the teams trading rounds, but this time it was Cloud9 who came out ahead thanks to their considerable lead. Sergey "Ax1Le" Rykhtorov was the difference-maker for his side on the map, securing pivotal multi-kills to help them gain that lead on the CT side, and he closed things out in style with a 1v2 clutch that came down to the wire.
Ax1Le is unstoppable
03:04 - Nohte
FURIA made some inroads at the start of the second half and briefly stole the lead from their opponents. However, Ax1Le has been a terminator on A since full gun rounds got underway and has brought his team back into things with triple and quad kill rounds, with Cloud9 once again leading at 13-10 as they near victory.
Cloud9 secure lead at halftime
02:47 - Nohte
The Ancient decider between FURIA and Cloud9 is well underway. There haven't been any highlight individual plays outside of a near 1v4 clutch from André "drop" Abreu, and much of the first half has been in the control of the IEM Dallas 2022 champions. FURIA managed to win three rounds in a row early into their CT side, but were otherwise unable to string together rounds until the end of the half as Abay "HObbit" Khassenov led the way to an 8-7 lead for his side.
Vitality lock in the last playoffs spot
02:15 - Striker
Despite giving up another pistol Vitality quickly reached map and series point. They gave away a great chance to close the match then and there when Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen's smoke push gave OG a way back into the retake on A and Shahar "flameZ" Shushan's 10-second defuse kept them alive.
Don't call it a comeback
02:02 - Nohte
It got hairy for a second, but FURIA put a stop to what looked like a comeback in the making from Cloud9. Alas, the Russian team started to show signs of life way too late, and a back-and-forth trading of rounds resulted in the Brazilians taking the map over the line, 16-9.
Ancient will decide which of these teams gets to skip directly to the semi-finals of IEM Rio.
Vitality pick up where they left off on Overpass
01:41 - Striker
OG have been struggling so far on the Terrorist side of Overpass, with just clutches from flameZ in the pistol and Abdul "degster" Gasanov deeper into the first half keeping them in the fight. Since Vitality have been able to buy up guns, they haven't even let the Terrorists put the bomb down.
saffee and yuurih power FURIA to 13-2 lead
01:34 - Nohte
The situation got no better for Cloud9 later on in the half as FURIA only further established their foothold, conceding just two rounds en route to posting a 13-2 lead at the end of their CT side effort.
After a lengthy break, we're back underway with FURIA in control
01:19 - Nohte
It took a while for the second map of the series to get underway, but now that it is... FURIA are flourishing. The Brazilians are off to the races with a 9-0 start on the CT side, with Rafael "saffee" Costa in particular shining with a 16-1 K-D, a 5:0 record in opening duels, and a quad-kill round to his name.
A swift finish and we head to Overpass
01:03 - Striker
No drama as Vitality stroll to a quick closing on Inferno. This was a masterclass of a map from Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut, who ends the map with a 33-2-12 score, over 150 ADR, and 10 multikills. He did not have to pick up the AWP a single time throughout this half to get those kinds of numbers.
Vitality dominate the rest of the T side
00:48 - Striker
Vitality are poised to force a rematch on Overpass with a forceful Terrorist side. Apart from a couple of retake situations it hasn't even been very close, and OG are now trailing 4-11 going into their own offense.
ZywOo sits at the top of the board, of course, with 23 kills in the first half alone.
Cloud9 edge it out
00:34 - Nohte
FURIA put up a good fight, but it wasn't enough: Cloud9 grabbed two rounds on the defense to give themselves a buffer on what had been their weaker side during regulation, and managed to convert upon that lead to deny FURIA a victory on their map pick.
Vertigo is up next as FURIA look to bounce back.
Forcebuy wars kick off Inferno between OG and Vitality
00:23 - Striker
Overtime it is!
00:20 - Nohte
We're all tied up at 14-14 after buster steps up big
00:15 - Nohte
A triple kill defense from Timur "buster" Tulepov kicked off a spree of rounds for Cloud9, and they've managed to tie things up. Are we headed to overtime, or can one of the teams steal the map away in its dying moments?
It got hairy, but OG got it over the line
00:03 - Striker
After those individual plays OG were quick to reach map point, but struggled to close out the map with six opportunities to do it. Vitality saved a couple of close situations to threaten overtime, but OG got the last round at the final hour thanks to a crucial double on B from degster.
Cloud9 get off to a strong CT side start, but FURIA are in the lead again
00:01 - Nohte
Cloud9 did a solid job of locking FURIA out of bombsites at the start of their CT side, winning five rounds in a row to take the lead, but FURIA are right back to winning ways with three in response — it's 12-11 as Inferno reaches its closing stages.
niko rubs salt in the wound with an ace
23:43 - Striker
It's FURIA with a three-round buffer at the break
23:42 - Nohte
FURIA went on a six-round run in the middle of the half after recovering a 3v5 situation with a defense of the A bombsite. Multi-kills from Andrei "arT" Piovezan were key in that stint, but Cloud9 prevented a blowout half thanks to key rounds from buster and Dmitry "sh1ro" Sokolov. The Brazilian team lead 9-6 swapping over to the T side of their own map pick.
Now degster jumpshots apEX
23:37 - Striker
What a play from flameZ
23:30 - Striker
Words cannot describe that play. Just watch it. It's 8-7 for OG.
Vitality take the lead on Mirage
23:18 - Striker
Cloud9 capitalize on FURIA's fumble, but it's still a tie game
23:14 - Nohte
Cloud9 jumped out to an early lead on Inferno after capitalizing on a poor setup from FURIA in the second round. The Brazilian team won the pistol off the back of a triple kill from Yuri "yuurih" Santos, but a double sandbags setup in the following round came back to bite them as KSCERATO was caught out.
The Russian side converted their force-buy in that round and won the two that followed, but were shut down by the aforementioned Brazilian duo in the first full gun round before a triple kill from arT helped FURIA even the score, 3-3.
The veto is in for Vitality-OG
23:00 - Striker
Just one last playoffs spot is up for grabs in the series between Vitality and OG. It's a rematch from the opening round, where OG prevailed with a comeback on Overpass, and the map will be in play again if it goes to the decider. Here's the full veto:
1. OG removed Nuke
2. Vitality removed Ancient
3. OG picked Mirage
4. Vitality picked Inferno
5. OG removed Anubis
6. Vitality removed Vertigo
7. Overpass was left over
NAVI reign supreme over BIG
22:03 - GSTK
That German comeback never arrived; Natus Vincere closed out Inferno in style with a 16-8 scoreline, guaranteeing the Ukrainian side a spot in the semi-finals in Brazil.
All is not lost for BIG, who will instead begin their IEM Rio playoff run from the quarter-final stage.
|Natus Vincere||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|61 - 35||+26||89.4||1.42|
|49 - 39||+10||80.7||1.20|
|44 - 46||-2||70.7||1.01|
|35 - 39||-4||62.1||0.98|
|39 - 43||-4||65.2||0.95|
|BIG||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|48 - 43||+5||70.5||1.10|
|48 - 50||-2||72.3||1.03|
|43 - 45||-2||74.7||1.00|
|36 - 43||-7||58.8||0.86|
|26 - 47||-21||64.2||0.69|
The two remaining IEM Rio group stage games will go live in an hour's time at 23:00 . Those matchups are:
|IEM Rio 2023|
NAVI within two rounds of victory over BIG
22:00 - GSTK
The Ukrainian roster, spurred on by Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev's 23 frags, are now two rounds away from picking up a 2-0 win over the Germans, a victory which would allow the squad to bypass the quarter-finals and start the playoffs from the semi-finals.
BIG now need to win eight in a row to recover and close out Inferno in regulation.
s1mple aces BIG to earn his team their 11th
21:49 - GSTK
It's an ace for s1mple, and it's long overdue after his 38-kill performance on Mirage earlier.
NAVI lead 9-6 over BIG on Inferno
21:46 - GSTK
BIG have been swept aside ever since their 3-0 start to Inferno, finding just three rounds in the remainder of the opening half.
Ilya "Perfecto" Zalutskiy is struggling individually despite the scoreline being comfortably in his team's favor. He currently sits bottom of the scoreboard with just two kills and 11 deaths to his name.
All eyes are now on BIG to see if they're able to stave off an 0-2 defeat, or will the Germans come back and force all three maps?
k0nfig's heroics not enough to overcome Heroic
21:40 - Nohte
That's a wrap — a double kill from Casper "cadiaN" Møller and triple from Jakob "jabbi" Nygaard sealed the deal on the series, 16-9, with Heroic completing their run through the lower bracket to qualify for the playoffs. Ninjas in Pyjamas bow out of the event in 7-8th place, unable to pull off another comeback on Inferno like they had done against 9INE on Tuesday despite a stellar individual performance from Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke on Inferno.
Heroic on series point
21:33 - Nohte
Heroic are one round away from qualifying for the playoffs of IEM Rio, but NIP are making them work for the victory. A 15-3 lead for the Danish side has waned to 15-8, but for now it only looks like a matter of time before they close things out.
NAVI up 5-3 over BIG on Inferno pick
21:24 - GSTK
We're back in the server after Natus Vincere prevailed in a double-overtime affair on Mirage (22-20) to lead 1-0 in the series.
Once again, it's Natus Vincere who are off to the better start, and the Ukrainian-majority roster are up 5-3 on the T-side thanks to a heroic triple-kill entry of the A bombsite in round seven by Andrii "npl" Kukharskyi.
It's all smiles in the Natus Vincere camp right now, as a result. Andrey "B1ad3" Gorodenskiy is giving his players fist bumps before the rounds have even ended, while Denis "electroNic" Sharipov couldn't look happier after a strong start to their map pick.
jabbi continues to shine as Heroic race ahead on Inferno
21:07 - Nohte
Heroic's sickly star wants the series over with. jabbi has been racking up frags on the T side of Inferno alongside Martin "stavn" Lund as the team have jumped ahead to a 10-2 lead, helped by a quad kill and 1vs3 clutch from jabbi.
NAVI best BIG after double overtime affair on Mirage
20:56 - GSTK
BIG will definitely lament being unable to convert their map pick after launching an impressive recovery from a 5-10 deficit to reach map point, 15-14, at one stage in the game.
Regardless, the series now moves to Inferno, Natus Vincere's pick, where the Ukrainian-majority team have a 56% win rate compared to the Germans' 47%. It is important to remember that no team will be eliminated at the end of this best-of-three; instead the winner will earn a semi-final berth in Rio, while the loser will start their playoff campaign from the quarter-finals.
BIG versus NAVI goes to double overtime
20:44 - GSTK
30 rounds wasn't enough to separate the two sides, and nor was a further six as we enter double overtime on the Mirage opener.
s1mple and Josef "faveN" Baumann have both broken the 30-kill barrier at this point, with the Ukrainian in particular coming alive in overtime; he's added seven kills over the six rounds played so far.
Time to see if double overtime is enough to determine a winner.
BIG versus NAVI goes to overtime on Mirage
20:33 - GSTK
BIG's second-half recovery lacked the momentum to earn the Germans victory in regulation, with the two teams now set to duke it out in overtime on the Mirage opener.
Can the Germans withstand the pressure and close out their map pick, or will NAVI spoil the party and go 1-0 up in the series?
Heroic ease past NIP on Overpass
20:28 - Nohte
jabbi's stellar individual showing continued for the rest of Overpass as he helmed a strong offensive half for Heroic, helping them clean-sweep the T side for a 16-5 victory. We're headed to Inferno as Ninjas in Pyjamas look to stave off elimination.
BIG take the lead on Mirage
20:24 - GSTK
Can the Germans keep going strong and close out their comeback? Or will Natus Vincere stabilize and wrap things up just in time?
BIG start to eat into NAVI's lead
20:13 - GSTK
Natus Vincere continued their strong CT-side stance as the first half concluded, winning four rounds on the trot to sport double digits at the interval.
BIG have looked far more competitive since the side swap, though, winning five of the first seven rounds to reduce the deficit down to just two, 10-12.
Natus Vincere are now back on rifles after needing to watch their finances for the past two rounds. There's still a long way to go before the Germans could potentially salvage their map pick, but they're on the right path at the moment.
NIP recover toward the end of the half
20:12 - Nohte
Heroic's strong lead dwindled toward the end of the half after k0nfig and Daniil "headtr1ck" Valitov bailed NIP out of a handful of late-round situations, with the Danish team's opening kills not being enough for them to convert upon a handful of advantages. Still, a stolen round right at the end of the half will keep Heroic happy as they move over to the T side with a 9-6 lead.
NAVI up 8-5 as first half nears its end
19:53 - GSTK
Alas, s1mple and his perpetual brilliance came to the Ukrainian-majority roster's rescue, with the marksman locking down the B bombsite on the defense to keep NAVI in the driver's seat and prevent the Germans from getting a foothold.
Like he never left
19:51 - Nohte
jabbi hasn't lost a beat upon his return to the server, going 6-0 in the first two rounds to give his team early control. Heroic converted upon that start and strung together six rounds in a row before Ninjas in Pyjamas recovered a 3vs5 situation for their first round, but Heroic immediately answered back and are still in control, 7-1.
NAVI narrowly up over BIG to get Mirage opener started
19:46 - GSTK
The Germans and Ukrainian-majority lineup are relatively neck and neck midway through the first half, but it's Natus Vincere who are in the lead by one round, 5-4.
NAVI to duel BIG for semi-final spot; Heroic to face NIP in do-or-die series
19:16 - GSTK
The next set of games are due to begin at 19:30 .
Heroic will face off against Ninjas in Pyjamas in an elimination battle. jabbi, who was subbed out during map two of the Danes' brawl versus TheMongolz on Tuesday, is set to be back in Heroic's starting lineup for their bout versus the Ninjas. The winner of the must-win game will earn a spot in the IEM Rio quarter-finals, while the losing team will be sent home in 7-8th place.
Natus Vincere and BIG will brawl on the B stream for a chance to earn a semi-final berth in Brazil. Funnily enough, the two teams last met at the IEM Rio Major in November, where the Ukrainian-majority roster prevailed in a hard-fought two-map series to send the Germans home. It's important to note, however, that the losing team won't head home from Brazil in this rematch, but will instead start their playoff campaign from the quarter-finals.
|IEM Rio 2023|
Vitality close out the series on Overpass
18:33 - LucasAM
Vitality got it past the finish line with an absolutely unstoppable Spinx, who not only broke 40 kills in the first map, Anubis, but then broke 30 in 25 rounds on Overpass, tallying 31 with three in the final round that made it 16-9 in his team's favor.
|Vitality||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|73 - 34||+39||126.2||1.91|
|43 - 35||+8||73.0||1.19|
|45 - 38||+7||74.7||1.13|
|34 - 31||+3||67.8||1.13|
|31 - 41||-10||67.4||0.94|
|FaZe||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|43 - 44||-1||80.1||0.99|
|39 - 48||-9||73.1||0.95|
|38 - 44||-6||72.4||0.93|
|37 - 46||-9||64.9||0.82|
|22 - 45||-23||44.3||0.62|
FaZe win crucial CT pistol round
18:18 - LucasAM
FaZe, who were down against the ropes after a poor attacking side on Overpass, are on the mend after winning an all-important CT side pistol round which put them right back up into a five round game as they won the first four of the second half on the trot.
Vitality are imposing themselves on FaZe's map pick
18:08 - LucasAM
Vitality are looking like they are winning the mental game in the clash of heavyweights in the group B lower bracket semi-final pitting them against FaZe. Powered by Israeli star Spinx, the international squad has hit double digits and is leading in a bid to close the series out 2-0 as they take on the task of attacking.
OG send fnatic packing after utter domination
17:47 - GSTK
Regardless, a further two rounds proved to be all fnatic could muster before OG got back onto the saddle. The niko-led roster overturned a 3vs5 deficit in round 20 to get onto map and series point before a rush of the B bombsite shortly after — including a P90-armed Adam "NEOFRAG" Zouhar — got OG over the line, 16-5.
The loss subsequently ends fnatic's run through IEM Rio, a defeat William "mezii" Merriman's troops will undoubtedly be upset with. The European mix will now turn their attention toward the BLAST.tv Paris Major, with fnatic having 24 days to get into shape before their Legends Stage run begins.
As for OG, they now look toward their playoff-deciding series later on Wednesday. The multinational squad will play the winner of FaZe versus Vitality at 23:00 , with the apEX-led lineup currently 1-0 up after a trip to overtime on Anubis.
|fnatic||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|33 - 31||+2||88.4||1.10|
|20 - 34||-14||66.5||0.75|
|24 - 34||-10||49.4||0.71|
|20 - 32||-12||57.9||0.68|
|17 - 35||-18||55.3||0.64|
|OG||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|34 - 23||+11||102.0||1.50|
|39 - 21||+18||85.1||1.44|
|42 - 19||+23||76.5||1.43|
|28 - 24||+4||84.4||1.20|
|22 - 27||-5||54.6||0.97|
Overpass kicks off with Vitality in the lead
17:46 - LucasAM
Vitality are continuing to hold strong after putting up a fantastic defense on Anubis and have started their Overpass tallying four out of the five first rounds. Emotions are running high on the apEX-led side as they see the possibility of running away early to make a bid for the second map of the series after securing their own pick in overtime.
OG lead 13-2 over fnatic at the break
17:34 - GSTK
It's the niko show at the minute as the Dane is currently leading the server with an eye-popping 23-6 K-D and 117 ADR; nobody even comes close to matching his firepower.
The 24-year-old has been the backbone of OG's dominance in the server on Vertigo thus far, and the European side sit up 13-2 at halftime — three rounds away from completely trouncing fnatic and sending them home from Brazil.
This is not the fnatic many expected to see today.
OG ensure comfortable first-half victory over fnatic
17:27 - GSTK
Alas, OG refused to give fnatic the respect needed for their foes to get back into the game, instantly stealing the momentum back with an in-your-face rush to effortlessly race to double digits, 10-1.
If Mirage looked bad, fnatic are absolutely nowhere to be seen on their own pick. Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson has just one kill (and 12 deaths) to his name, whilst Fredrik "roeJ" Jørgensen and Dion "FASHR" Derksen are marginally better at two and three kills, respectively.
OG are now just five rounds away from taking home a lopsided 2-0 victory and eliminating their rival European combine from IEM Rio.
Spinx spanks FaZe as Vitality secure their map pick in overtime
17:25 - LucasAM
Vitality went into overtime with the momentum on their side and did well to win two CT rounds, losing only the last of the first half to a Helvijs "broky" Saukants ace. The star of the extra rounds was none other than Spinx, however, who smashed FaZe with back-to-back quad-kills to close things out 16-19, finishing the map with 42 kills and a 1.95 rating.
OG keep pressure on fnatic to start Vertigo
17:13 - GSTK
OG, who won seven of the final eight rounds on Mirage en route to a 16-6 trouncing, have continued to sit firmly in the driver's seat at the outset of Vertigo. OG currently sit on a 5-0 lead on the CT-side, a feat made possible by degster and niko, who have 17 kills and just four deaths between them.
fnatic will undoubtedly start to be feeling a bit anxious in the server. Vertigo is their map pick, and it's imperative that the black-and-orange win the map if they're to stay alive in Rio a little while longer.
Anubis goes to overtime
17:11 - LucasAM
FaZe lost their initial steam on the attack on Anubis as Vitality won five out of the last eight rounds of regulation, even hitting match point, before giving up the thirtieth to a forcebuy. A key to Vitality's impressive defense was dupreeh joining the star duo of ZywOo and Spinx with 26 kills to his name before extra rounds.
OG batter fnatic 16-6
16:50 - King Dempz
A Terrorist pistol win felt necessary for fnatic, but they couldn’t hold the post-plant after an A execute. An up-tempo B hit on the force-buy also fell flat for fnatic, and they bled out the rest of the game.
Vertigo up next, and it is a much more comfortable battleground for fnatic according to the stats.
FaZe lead on Ancient, on the way to stealing Vitality's pick
16:49 - LucasAM
FaZe are off to a fiery start on the attacking side of Anubis and have already regained their lead on the map back, 11-10, with veterans Håvard "rain" Nygaard and Finn "karrigan" Andersen leading the way nearing 20 frags each. If they keep up the pace on the attack, they are well on their way to taking a 1-0 lead before the series moves over to the own map pick of Overpass.
FaZe keep hope alive with five CT rounds on Anubis
16:36 - LucasAM
The squad led by karrigan didn't sit back, however, and won three out of the final five rounds of the half to go into the preferred attacking side with only a mild deficit for such a one-sided map.
OG’s offense mauls fnatic
16:33 - King Dempz
OG are taking a commanding 10-5 lead into the second half thanks to a simple yet brutally effective T side. There were plenty of fast executes and contact plays that fnatic simply didn’t have the firepower to repel; one of their handful of rounds came thanks to a gamble stack on A.
OG cruising on their T side
16:32 - King Dempz
Repeated hits towards B netted OG a 4-0 lead, but they then walked into a stack on A with fnatic on a force-buy. A scrimmy walk out onto A in the following got OG straight back on the board, and they’ve continued to dominate.
It has been too easy for OG so far, they are winning the majority of the duels they take and fnatic are playing too scared in the sites, not really holding crossfires and allowing their defenders to get isolated.
apEX 1vs3 clutch keeps Vitality par for course on T side Anubis
16:19 - LucasAM
fnatic and OG kick off on Mirage, Vitality and FaZe start on Anubis
16:04 - King Dempz
OG should be considered slight favorites for this series, as they won the two times they have faced fnatic this year. The second of those matches took place in early April and featured the exact same veto, Mirage, Vertigo and Ancient.
fnatic open on the CT side, but they have lost the first two rounds and will be taking an eco in the third.
Vitality took a close series the last time these two faced off, at ESL Pro League, and they won Anubis in that series as well.
Jabbi returns to Heroic's starting five
15:33 - LucasAM
Heroic have announced that jabbi will be back in the server when Heroic take on Ninjas in Pyjamas in the lower bracket final. The Danish youngster felt unwell and sat out his team's lower bracket semi-final bout against TheMongolz.
Coach Richard "Xizt" Landström, a former Ninjas in Pyjamas player, had to stand in to help his squad in their 2-1 victory, playing his first match in nearly two-and-a-half years, but will be back to standing behind the Heroic today when they face his former organization.
Four teams that qualified for the Major will brawl in the lower bracket
15:12 - LucasAM
The final day of group play is about to kick off in Brazil, with four teams that have the Major on the horizon about to brawl in the Group B lower bracket. fnatic and Vitality, who made it straight to the Legends Stage, are set to play against Challenger Stage hopefuls OG and FaZe, respectively.
The Group B elimination matches will be followed by the Group A lower bracket final pitting Ninjas in Pyjamas up against Heroic, who had to play with coach Xizt in their bout against TheMongolz, and the playoff seeding match between Natus Vincere and BIG.
The day will be rounded out by the Group B playoff seeding match between FURIA and Cloud9 and the final lower bracket bout pitting the winners of the first two series of the day in a do-or-die match for a chance at playing in front of the Brazilian crowd at the Jeunesse Arena.
The day's full schedule is the following:
|IEM Rio 2023|