Team Vitality and Imperial Esports both fought off early challenges in sweeping quarterfinal victories on Friday to advance at the BLAST Premier Spring Final in Washington.
Vitality defeated FaZe Clan 2-0, with a two-point overtime win on the opening map. Imperial also earned a 2-0 sweep over Complexity, buoyed by a hard-fought win by two points on the first map.
Each victorious squad moved on to Saturday's semifinals. Vitality will oppose G2 Esports, who won Group A earlier this week. Imperial will take on Heroic, the Group B winner.
The eight-team Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event began with a double-elimination group stage, with the field split into two groups of four teams.
All matches were best-of-three as winners of each group advanced to the playoff semifinals. Runners-up of each group moved on to the quarterfinals of the playoffs as high seeds, while third-place finishers headed to the quarterfinals as low seeds. All playoff matches are also best-of-three in the single-elimination bracket.
The grand final is scheduled for Sunday, with the winner taking home $200,000 of the $425,000 prize pool. A victory in the grand final also grants qualification to the $1 million BLAST Premier World Final, which will be held Dec. 12-17 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
On Friday, Vitality survived a wild opening map, winning 19-17 on Anubis in a battle featuring four lead changes. Vitality cruised from there, winning 16-8 on Mirage to eliminate FaZe.
Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut of France and Lotan "Spinx" Giladi of Israel each had 48 kills to lead Vitality, with ZywOo sporting a team-high plus-13 kills-to-deaths differential. Canada's Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken topped all players with 56 kills and a plus-17 K/D ratio.
Imperial blew an 11-4 lead before taking the decisive two points in a 16-14 win on Vertigo. Complexity proved no match on the second map, as Imperial triumphed 16-6 on Overpass to reach the semis.
Jhonatan "JOTA" Willian led Imperial's all-Brazilian unit with 40 kills and a plus-11 K/D differential, while American Ricky "floppy" Kemery led Complexity with 34 kills.
BLAST Premier Spring Final prize pool and points distribution
1. $200,000, 3,000 BLAST Premier points, berth in BLAST Premier World Final
2. $85,000, 2,000 BLAST Premier points
3-4. $40,000, 1,200 BLAST Premier points
5-6. $20,000, 500 BLAST Premier points -- FaZe Clan, Complexity
7-8. $10,000, 300 BLAST Premier points -- Cloud9, Astralis
--Field Level Media