Thursday only featured four matches, each a best of three, that set apart teams who advance straight to the playoffs from each group and teams who will have to fight for their survival on Friday.
First of the day came Faze Clan
and two almost identical maps set the sides apart. First, Overpass started out as a 6-9 lead for the Terrorist side of Cloud9. This was followed up by a dead even 7-7 second half, handing the Americans the 13-16 victory as Timothy "autimatic" Ta
finished +10 with an ADR of 100.5.
The second map finished in favour of the Americans also, this time 14-16, however it was Nikola "NiKo" Kovač
who had the best performance finishing +11 with an ADR of 105.9 at 33-22.
Next up was a best of three that went the distance between Mousesports
and Ninjas in Pyjamas
. The first half of Nuke started out very even with an 8-7 victory for Mousesports, however this didn't bode well for the Counter-Terrorist Ninjas in Pyjamas. Sure enough, Mousesports shut down their CT side 8-2 to finish the map 16-9.
A strong looking lead then as the match moved into Overpass, however straight out of the gates Ninjas in Pyjamas took a 5-10 Terrorist side lead which, despite a closer second half, was too much for the Mousesports side to come back from, 10-16.
Forcing a third map saw Ninjas in Pyjamas with the momentum however the Swedes looked to be losing control on their Terrorist side of Train early on. They found themselves 5-1 down before turning up the heat and taking six rounds in a row and eventually finishing the half 6-8 up. A second half pistol round looked to be the perfect start for the Swedish side but Mousesports weren't out of it yet as they finally regained the lead 10-9. Ninjas in Pyjamas figured out their Counter-Terrorist side straight after that however, only dropping one more round in the series finishing 11-16 and 1-2.
Another Swedish side stepped into the spotlight next as Fnatic
took on Natus Vincere
. There has been disruption in the Natus Vincere camp since the reported wishes of Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev
and Egor "flamie" Vasilyev
to leave the side. This didn't stop them taking one of Fnatic's favoured maps from them to open up, as Inferno finished 7-16 as all of Natus Vincere seemed to be firing on all cylinders.
Fnatic managed to keep themselves in the match on Cobblestone however as one of the most consistently impressive players in the scene Freddy "KRiMZ" Johansson
carried his team to victory. He finished +11 with a 26-15 score as the rest of his team had three negative players and one level. His performance managed to allow the Swedes a 16-11 victory and a lifeline in the series.
An extremely close Overpass saw the key player for Natus Vincere turn up once again, as if it was ever in doubt, as Kostyliev finished 32-19 and along with Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev
dragged his team to a nail biting 16-14 victory in the map and 2-1 in the series.
slammed Team Liquid
in unusual fashion. The North American side took a close Mirage 16-14 before getting blown out of the water 3-16 on both Overpass and Cache. These demolitions were orchestrated by Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander
and Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz
respectively. Rossander finished his map 24-9 with an ADR of 113.4 and an HLTV rating of 2.12. Meanwhile Reedtz finished his 25-5 with an ADR of 129.5 and an HLTV rating of 2.19.