We're talkin' about playoffs?
After two days of group stage action, the six-team playofs bracket at the final major CS:GO event of the year, the BLAST Premier World Final, has officially been set.
While both reigning IEM Rio Major grand finalists in Outsiders and Heroic are heading home early, the remaining six teams are moving on to the double-elimination bracket. The two group winners in FaZe Clan and OG will move on to the semifinals, while Liquid will face NAVI in one quarterfinal and Vitality take on G2 in the other.
It’s somewhat surprising to see both FaZe and OG earn a bye to the semifinals, but for different reasons. Back in November, FaZe went into the IEM Rio Major as the reigning champions and a popular pick to repeat but fumbled massively on the Legends Stage, going 0-3. But in the last two BLAST events, they’ve looked more like the team that lifted the trophy at Antwerp, winning five out of their last six matches with the trio of ropz, broky, and Twistzz firing on all cylinders.
After a pretty dismal run at IEM Rio and the BLAST Fall FInal, OG have come out firing at the Global Final with back-to-back wins over Heroic and Vitality. The duo of degster and flameZ have looked very good for OG, with degster averaging an impressive 1.53 K/D over five maps played, which included 40 kills in an overtime win on Anubis over Heroic.
Before the semifinalists play, though, the quarterfinals will have to be resolved first. S1mple will take on his former team in Liquid in the first matchup of Friday, Dec. 16, when he and NAVI take on the lone NA representative. NAVI have looked a little shaky so far with a 0-2 loss to Vitality and a too-close-for-comfort victory against Heroic and now must face a Liquid team that actually beat them in their last meeting at the BLAST Fall Final.
After NAVI vs. Liquid, an absolutely star-studded match between G2 and Vitality will take place. G2 squandered an early lead against FaZe in their opening match but rallied with a dominant win over the reigning Major champions in Outsiders, capped off with a nearly flawless 16-1 victory on Mirage. Vitality are still struggling with consistency, having beaten NAVI 2-0 to start their World Final run but then getting 2-0’d by OG of all teams.
The remaining six teams are still eyeing the lion’s share of a $1 million prize, as well as the honor of lifting the final significant trophy of the 2022 CS:GO calendar.