MLG Columbus CS:GO - Friday Recap
Bright and early on Friday morning, a horde of enthusiastic fans filed into the Nationwide Arena for the first day of MLG Columbus’s main event. With eight of the best CS:GO teams in the world battling for an unprecedented prize pool of $1 million, this week is set to be a historic milestone for the growth of competitive Counter-Strike. A roaring crowd greeted the players as soon as the first match kicked off.
Quarterfinal 1 - Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. Natus Vincere
With their fifth player missing, and their coach filling in to round out their lineup, no one was expecting Ninjas in Pyjamas to make it too far in this tournament. The fact that they made it out of group stages with a substitute player was an achievement in itself, but meeting Na’Vi in the quarterfinals proved to be too great of a challenge for the Swedes.
Na’Vi, largely considered a top 3 team in the world right now, put on a dominant performance to eliminate NiP in two straight maps. While there were moments of brilliance from the Ninjas, and a comeback looked possible on a couple of occasions, the power of Natus Vincere prevailed.
Quarterfinal 2 - Fnatic vs. Astralis
Every empire falls eventually, and we began to see the cracks in Fnatic’s reign of terror when they lost to Team Liquid in the groups. That loss set the stage for them to have to face a formidable opponent in the quarterfinals: the Danish squad of Astralis, who dominated their group and appear to be at the top of their game this week.
While Fnatic certainly didn’t play up to their usual standard, the real story in this matchup was how strong and confident Astralis looked. With a combination of brilliant shooting, smart reads, and some amazing clutch rounds, Astralis played something akin to a perfect match of Counter-Strike. They dispatched Fnatic in two maps, including a commanding 16-5 win on Cache (which was Fnatic’s map choice.)
From the ashes of Fnatic’s last several months of dominance, we might be seeing the emergence of a new CS:GO superpower.
Quarterfinal 3 - Team Liquid vs. Counter Logic Gaming
After some upsets during group play, the stars aligned to make for a bit of a poetic scenario during this quarterfinal match. Two North American teams would meet in the playoffs of the first ever North American CS:GO major, and they’d do so under the roof of a 20000-seat North American stadium - the same stadium that the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets call home.
CLG opened the first map with a series of strong rounds that made it look like they had this match in the bag, but Liquid dug deep and mounted a huge comeback. Closing out the first map 16-13, Liquid then put on a clinic on map two, closing out the series with a 16-6 result on Mirage. Huge individual performances from adreN and s1mple were enough to get Liquid through to the semifinals and send CLG packing.
First thing Saturday morning, the last of the quarterfinal matches will be played between Luminosity and Virtus.pro. The winner of that match will take on the recently victorious Team Liquid in the semis, while on the other side of the bracket, Natus Vincere will face Astralis in the other semifinal match.
As always, you can catch the remaining two days of action on Twitch, or join us back here for daily recaps of the rest of tournament. By Sunday evening, one of these five remaining teams will have emerged victorious, earning themselves $500,000 in first place prize money.