While Group A has been top heavy, Group B is a much more diverse product with only one team sitting firmly in the lead heading into the final day of the group stage at ESL One Katowice.
Fnatic looked poised to take the apparent weaker group pretty handily, and that prediction ended up being true—but it definitely wasn’t easy for them.
Starting with their opening series against Team Aster, it was clear that Fnatic weren’t going to just waltz into the playoffs like Team Secret in Group A. Aster fought them tooth and nail in those two matches.
Fnatic managed to pull away early in game one, but in game two, Aster made some spectacular plays, fueled by Dota 2 legend Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung, who recently joined up with the team for an unknown amount of time despite being under contract with Tigers. Fnatic barely managed to keep a kill advantage through the end of the game, squeezing by with a sweep.
Their next series against Alliance wasn’t as strenuous for the top SEA squad. Fnatic swept the Europeans and moved on to do the same to the second-seeded Chaos Esports Club.
Their only loss over the first two days came at the hands of compLexity Gaming, who despite having a very up-and-down tournament, seemed to pull it together to secure a split with Fnatic.
Below Fnatic, there’s a tie for the second seed between Chaos and Ninjas in Pyjamas. The two teams share a 5-3 record, and neither squad holds a tiebreaker over the other because they split their head-to-head series on the second day.
And even further down in the standings, Aster and compLexity are tied for the final spot in the playoffs. At 3-5, their most important matches are ahead of them, including the final game of the third day where they’ll likely face each other to see who moves on and who goes home.
Unfortunately for Alliance, their 1-7 record puts them in the same boat as Group A’s For The Dream. They will play out the final day before heading home to prepare for their next event.
The playoffs at ESL One Katowice begin at 10:30am CT on Feb. 21.