FaZe Clan and Cloud9 won their respective matches on Saturday to advance to the grand final of the ESL Pro League Season 17 in Saint Julian's, Malta.
Both squads overcame early deficits to pull off 2-1 victories, with FaZe Clan roaring back to down Natus Vincere and Cloud9 mounting a rally to knock off ENCE.
The $850,000 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament began on Feb. 22 with 32 teams divided into four groups for the triple-elimination opening round.
The group-stage winners moved into the quarterfinals, with the group runners-up landing in the Round of 12 as high seeds. The four third-place teams entered the Round of 16 as high seeds, and the four fourth-place teams went to the Round of 16 as low seeds.
The tournament champion will receive $200,000 plus berths in the Intel Extreme Masters Cologne this summer and the BLAST Premier World Final in December.
On Saturday, Natus Vincere took command with a 16-7 win on Ancient, but FaZe responded by earning a 16-8 victory on Nuke before prevailing 16-9 on Mirage.
Canadian Russell "Twistzz" led the winning side with a match-high 64 kills and a plus-27 kills-to-deaths differential. Ukraine's Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev finished with 62 kills, but was NaVi's only player with a positive K-D ratio at plus-11.
After falling 16-10 on Ancient, Cloud9 used wins on Overpass (16-12) and Vertigo (16-9) to punch their ticket to the grand final.
Three players noted 65 kills for Cloud9, with Russian Sergey "Ax1Le" Rykhtorov's plus-20 K-D differential leading the pack. No one on ENCE finished with a positive K-D ratio, but Pawel "dycha" Dycha of Poland supplied a team-high 56 kills against 57 deaths.
The tournament ends Sunday with the grand final:
--FaZe Clan vs. Cloud9
ESL Pro League Season 17 prize pool and points distribution:
1. $200,000, 3,000 BLAST Premier points, qualification for Intel Extreme Masters Cologne and BLAST Premier World Final
2. $90,000, 2,000 BLAST Premier points
3-4. $50,000, 1,200 BLAST Premier points -- Natus Vincere, ENCE
5-8. $35,000, 500 BLAST Premier points -- Heroic, forZe, MOUZ, Team Vitality
9-12. $25,000 -- Outsiders, FURIA Esports, paiN gaming, G2 Esports
13-16. $20,000 -- 00 Nation, Fnatic, Team Liquid, Movistar Riders
17-20. $15,000 -- Eternal Fire, BIG, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Astralis
21-28. $8,000 -- MIBR, IHC Esports, SAW, Complexity Gaming, OG, Grayhound Gaming, Rare Atom, Team Spirit
29-32. $4,000 -- Evil Geniuses, Imperial Esports, Rooster, ATK
--Field Level Media