Virtus Pro and OpTic Gaming secure semifinal spots at ESL One Birmingham

The playoffs are now set for this weekend.

Image via Valve

The day one trend at ESL One Birmingham continues. The action in the second day saw even more fan favorites exiting the tournament early, including squads like Vici Gaming and even The International 7 champions Team Liquid.

Meanwhile, teams that need a big boost in Pro Circuit points made it safely into the playoff bracket. Fnatic survived their decider match against Team Spirit, coming back to take the third game after losing the second in just under 21 minutes. As usual, it was Abed “Abed” Yusop and Djardel Jicko “DJ” who carried the load for their team in the series—with DJ in particular styling on Team Spirit with Sand King in the third game.

Fnatic will face OG in the quarterfinals, for a shot at a top four finish in this tournament.

Group B saw Brazilian team paiN Gaming come out on top in the decider match versus Team Liquid. Though the TI7 champions struck first, paiN Gaming retaliated with incredible force in the next two games. They made great use of Morphling in the second game, allowing William “hFn” Medeiros to run roughshod over their opponents.

The third game went even more smoothly, with paiN closing the series out in just 24 minutes. This result places them in the quarterfinals, where they will face off against DAC 2018 champions Mineski, who triumphed over LGD Forever Young in the group C decider match.

As for the first place decider group, it was three-time Major winners Virtus Pro who came out on top to virtually no one’s surprise. All things considered, they look poised to win the whole event, and maybe even TI8 should they be able to carry their incredible level of consistency to Vancouver.

OpTic Gaming secured the other semifinal berth, thanks to their second place result in the decider group. Should they defeat whoever wins between OG and Fnatic, they will have a great amount of momentum going into the Supermajor next month. The race for a TI8 invite is not over for OpTic just yet—especially not for captain Peter “ppd” Dager.

The first set of playoff games will kick off at 8am CT, starting with paiN Gaming vs. Mineski. Their series will be followed by OG vs. Fnatic.