Astralis, FURIA stay afloat at ESL Pro League Season 18

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Astralis and FURIA Esports won their respective matches Friday to advance to the Group A mid-bracket semifinal at the ESL Pro League Season 18 in Malta.

Astralis swept GamerLegion 2-0 and FURIA beat Ninjas in Pyjamas by the same score. The two losing clubs dropped into the lower-bracket semifinal.

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 to the 2024 IEM Katowice event and the 2023 BLAST World Final.

On Friday, Astralis topped GamerLegion 16-12 on Vertigo and 16-8 on Inferno. Benjamin “blameF” Bremer led the all-Danish Astralis squad with 51 kills and a plus-21 kills-to-deaths differential, while teammate Nicolai “device” Reedtz added 43 kills on a plus-18 K-D.

FURIA earned 16-12 wins on both Mirage and Nuke to sweep Ninjas in Pyjamas. Yuri “yuurih” Santos led the all-Brazilian victors with 44 kills and a plus-16.

Group A action continues Saturday with three matches: –Astralis vs. FURIA Esports (mid-bracket semifinal) –ORKS vs. Grayhound Gaming (lower-bracket quarterfinal) –GamerLegion vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas (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 –TBD 21-28. $8,000 — TBD 29-32. $4,000 — TBD