Gambit, FURIA, and Natus Vincere are through to the playoffs of ESL Pro League season 13 after the final matchday.
Going into the final three series of the group, all of which were played concurrently, both Gambit and FURIA had already secured a spot in playoffs before facing each other. But their series was still important since it’d decide which CS:GO team would finish with the top spot and earn that important quarterfinal or semifinal bye.
Both of their first two maps started the exact same way with FURIA trailing 9-6 at halftime after their T-side. Gambit’s second-half T-side on Vertigo was superior, though. The reigning IEM Katowice champions relied on big performances from both Sergey “Ax1Le” Rykhtorov and Abay “Hobbit” Khasenov. FURIA put on an impressive CT showcase on Inferno with nine straight rounds to close out the game and force a third map.
FURIA again went into halftime trailing 9-6, but this time after starting on the CT side. They only claimed a few more rounds on their T-side but were unable to slow down Gambit, who ran over them 16-9.
The final playoff spot came down to both Natus Vincere and Cloud9. C9 needed a win and either a Na’Vi loss or a FURIA loss. Na’Vi had the head-to-head victory advantage over C9, meaning a win for them would essentially be all they’d need.
Na’Vi answered with a strong performance from who else but s1mple against TeamOne. He had some help, though, in the form of a great series from flamie as well. They won their series 2-0.
C9 went the distance against MIBR on both Vertigo and Overpass but fell short in both games. They lost Vertigo in overtime and lost Overpass in the 30th round on a failed ninja defuse.
Gambit will join the other top seeds in Heroic, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and the eventual Group D first-place team in the play-in matches. The winners of those matches will get a bye to the semifinals, but the losers still get a bye to the quarterfinals.
FURIA and Na’Vi will start in the round of 12. Group D play begins on March 25.