Natus Vincere and ENCE won their Champions Stage quarterfinal matches Friday to round out the final four of the PGL Major Antwerp in Belgium.
Natus Vincere beat Heroic 2-1 to stay unbeaten in the major, while ENCE swept Copenhagen Flames 2-0. They joined Team Spirit and FaZe Clan in the semifinals, while Heroic and the Flames were eliminated.
Thursday marked the opening of the Champions Stage, an eight-team single-elimination bracket played on the heels of the Challenger Stage (May 9-12) and Legends Stage (May 14-17). The Swiss System format was used to determine which eight teams would advance in each prior stage. All matches in the first two stages were best-of-one except elimination and advancement matches, which were best-of-three.
Champions Stage seeding is based on final standings in the Legends Stage. Champions Stage matches are best-of-three until the grand final, which is best-of-five.
NaVi dropped its opening map 16-10 on Inferno, giving Heroic hope for an upset. But NaVi eked out a 16-14 in on Ancient to even the match and took the deciding map, Nuke, 16-8.
Denis "electroNic" Sharipov of Russia posted 75 kills and a plus-23 kills-to-deaths differential, both game highs, to guide NaVi. Martin "stavn" Lund led the all-Danish Heroic squad with 60 kills.
ENCE earned a 16-10 win on Vertigo and a 16-12 triumph on Nuke to beat Copenhagen.
Lotan "Spinx" Giladi of Israel had 50 kills and a plus-22 to carry ENCE. The Flames were led by Denmark's Jakob "jabbi" Nygaard, who had 41 kills.
The Champions Stage continues Saturday with two best-of-three semifinal battles:
--Team Spirit vs. FaZe Clan
--ENCE vs. Natus Vincere
PGL Major Antwerp prize pool:
1. TBD -- $500,000
2. TBD -- $150,000
3-4. TBD -- $70,000
5-8. FURIA Esports, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Copenhagen Flames, Heroic -- $35,000
9-11. G2 Esports, Team Vitality, Imperial Esports -- $8,750
12-14. BIG, Cloud9, Outsiders -- $8,750
15-16. Bad News Eagles, Team Liquid -- $8,750
17-19. forZe, Astralis, MIBR -- no prize
20-22. Complexity, Eternal Fire, IHC Esports -- no prize
23-24. 9z Team, Renegades -- no prize
--Field Level Media