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G2, Team Vitality off to hot starts at IEM Winter

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G2 Esports and Team Vitality notched a pair of wins on the first day of the Intel Extreme Masters Season XVI Winter event on Thursday.

The two teams will face off Friday in the third round of the Group A upper bracket.

G2 got by TYLOO 16-13 on Mirage to start the day, then swept Team Liquid 2-0 with wins of 16-13 on Vertigo and 16-14 on Dust II.

Vitality took MOUZ to overtime before notching a 19-16 first-round win on Overpass. They proceeded to rout Ninjas in Pyjamas, 16-6 on Inferno and 16-9 on Mirage.

Sixteen teams are competing for a share of a $250,000 prize pool. Opening-round matches were best-of-one, followed by best-of-three series for the rest of the group stage. Six teams will reach the single-elimination playoff bracket Sunday, Dec. 11 and Dec. 12, with the quarterfinals and semifinals best-of-three and the finals best-of-five.

Two teams in Group A already were eliminated Thursday. After TYLOO moved into the lower bracket, they fell 2-0 to OG, 16-10 on both Mirage and Inferno. MOUZ also lost their lower-bracket match to Astralis, 16-6 on Ancient and 16-10 on Nuke.

In earlier first-round matchups, Liquid beat OG 16-12 on Mirage, and Ninjas in Pyjamas topped Astralis 16-8 on Nuke.

The Group B lower bracket will kick off Friday. Gambit Esports,, BIG and GODSENT won their opening matches Thursday, with Fnatic, ENCE, FaZe Clan and Heroic on the losing end of those results.

Intel Extreme Masters Season XVI Winter prize pool:
1. $100,000 — TBD
2. $42,000 — TBD
3-4. $20,000 — TBD
5-6. $10,000 — TBD
7-8. $6,000 — TBD
9-12. $5,000 — TBD
13-16. $4,000 — TYLOO, MOUZ, TBD, TBD

–Field Level Media

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