Natus Vincere and Evil Geniuses went unbeaten as the big winners Tuesday in the first day of group stage play at the $600,000 ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals in Odense, Denmark.
Both squads were near flawless in opening action of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament, with Na'Vi outscoring opposition 48-19 in three maps while EG outpointed their opponents 48-21. Both teams clinched berths in the upcoming playoff bracket, which begins on Friday.
Their reward: a best-of-three duel with each other on Thursday in the Group A upper-bracket final, with the victors earning a bye into the semifinals as the top playoff seed out of the group. The loser will start the playoff round in the quarterfinals as the group's second seed.
During the opening day of the double-elimination group stage, Na'Vi quickly pounced on TYLOO in bumping them to the group's lower bracket, winning 16-6 on Dust II. Na'Vi then swept MIBR 2-0, winning 16-9 on Train and 16-4 on Dust II. MIBR had beaten FaZe Clan 16-12 in single-map opening-round action earlier Tuesday.
Meanwhile, EG advanced by crushing Fnatic 16-3 on Mirage in their opening match, dropping the losers to the Group A lower bracket. Geniuses then swept past 100 Thieves (a 16-8 winner over Heroic on Vertigo in their opener), winning Mirage 16-8 and Nuke 16-10.
In Group A lower-bracket activity, FaZe eliminated TYLOO 2-1 and Fnatic ousted Heroic 2-1 -- with both winners rallying after losing their opening maps. In the lower-bracket semis on Wednesday, FaZe will take on 100 Thieves while Fnatic battles MIBR, with the winners facing off for the group's No. 3 seed in a playoff play-in match on Thursday.
All eight teams in Group B played their opening-round, single-map matches Tuesday, with Astralis prevailing over Renegades 16-8 (Inferno), G2 Esports defeating Sharks Esports 16-13 (Inferno), mousesports taking down ATK 16-9 (Nuke) and Team Liquid triumphing over North 16-12 (Vertigo).
In the group's upper-bracket semifinals Wednesday, Astralis will play G2 Esports, and mousesports will face Team Liquid. The winners will clinch playoff spots as the group's top two seeds and will battle on Thursday for the Group B top seed and a playoff bye.
In Group B lower-bracket action Wednesday, Renegades will go head-to-head against Sharks Esports and ATK will play North, with the losers eliminated from the tournament and the victors advancing to the lower-bracket semis.
Matches in the tournament's playoff bracket, which is played from Friday through Sunday, will be best-of-three maps in the quarters and semis and best-of-five in the final.
ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals prize pool
13-16. $14,000 -- TYLOO, Heroic, two others teams TBD
--Field Level Media