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Liquid goes four OTs to top mousesports at IEM Cologne

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Team Liquid eliminated mousesports 2-1 Friday in a match that needed quadruple overtime to decide the final map, part of a hectic day at the $1 million Intel Extreme Masters Season XVI – Cologne.

Team Liquid and Virtus.pro survived to see another day in the Group A lower bracket, while Gambit Esports, G2 Esports, Astralis and Heroic also notched wins.

Liquid started off with a 16-9 victory on Nuke before mousesports replied with a 16-12 win on Dust II. In the deciding round on Inferno, Liquid rallied from a 10-4 deficit to tie the match 15-15 and force the first overtime. Neither team could separate itself until the fourth overtime, when Liquid prevailed 28-25.

Canada’s Keith “NAF” Markovic led Liquid with 43 kills in the final map alone and 73 kills overall, tied with American teammate Jake “Stewie2K” Yip. The loss eliminated mousesports.

Not to be outdone, Astralis used a triple-overtime win on their way to sweeping FaZe Clan in the Group B upper bracket. Astralis won 16-13 on Dust II before its lengthy 25-22 triumph on Nuke.

In the same bracket, Heroic took down Team Spirit 2-1 with a double-overtime win on the final map. After Heroic’s 16-13 opening win on Overpass was countered by Spirit’s 16-12 victory on Nuke, Heroic forced overtime and eventually won in the second OT 22-19 on Ancient. Spirit and FaZe Clan moved to the lower bracket of Group B.

Gambit Esports and G2 Esports reached the Group A upper-bracket final with a pair of 2-1 wins Friday. Gambit bounced back from a 16-10 defeat on Ancient in the first round to beat Ninjas in Pyjamas, prevailing 16-5 on Inferno and 16-8 on Dust II. Meanwhile, G2 also lost its first map, 16-8 on Dust II, before trouncing BIG 16-1 on Mirage and 16-4 on Inferno.

The last match of the night stretched to nearly 3 a.m. local time in Cologne, Germany, as Virtus.pro bested Complexity 2-1. Complexity got off to a hot start with a 16-6 win on Mirage before Virtus.pro rallied with a 19-15 overtime win on Dust II and a 16-13 triumph on Overpass.

The group stage will run through Sunday, with two groups of eight teams competing in double-elimination brackets. The top three clubs from each group will advance to the playoffs July 16-18. Eight of the 16 group stage teams directly qualified before the tournament, while eight more advanced via the play-in stage held Tuesday and Wednesday.

The tournament marks the first competitive CS:GO event played on LAN in roughly 16 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Though the teams are facing off in person, they are in a studio setting as opposed to an arena with fans.

Six matches are scheduled for Saturday:
–BIG vs. Team Liquid (Group A lower bracket second round)
–Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. Virtus.pro (Group A lower bracket second round)
–Natus Vincere vs. Team Vitality (Group B upper bracket second round)
–Astralis vs. Heroic (Group B upper bracket second round)
–Renegades vs. FURIA Esports (Group B lower bracket first round)
–FaZe Clan vs. Team Spirit (Group B lower bracket first round)

Intel Extreme Masters Season XVI – Cologne prize money, Pro Tour points, BLAST Premier Points:
1. $400,000, 1,800 Pro Tour points, 3,200 BLAST points — TBD
2. $180,000, 1,400 Pro Tour points, 1,600 BLAST points — TBD
3-4. $80,000, 1,100 Pro Tour points, 1,000 BLAST points — TBD
5-6. $40,000, 825 Pro Tour points, 400 BLAST points — TBD
7-8. $24,000, 575 Pro Tour points, 200 BLAST points — TBD
9-12. $16,000, 325 Pro Tour points, no BLAST points — TBD
13-16. $10,000, 125 Pro Tour points, no BLAST points — mousesports, Complexity, two teams TBD
17-20. $4,500, 60 Pro Tour points, no BLAST points — Team LDLC, OG, Sprout, Evil Geniuses
21-24. $2,500, no points — Bad News Bears, MIBR, Team One, ViCi Gaming

–Field Level Media

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