Team Aster and Team Liquid each recorded a win and a tie to get off to a 2-0-0 start at Bali Major 2023 as the first group stage commenced Thursday.
Team Aster swept Invictus Gaming and tied Team Spirit to rest atop the Group A standings with Team Liquid, who swept Blacklist International and tied with Shopify Rebellion.
There’s a five-way tie atop Group B, as Azure Ray, Gaimin Gladiators, nouns, PSG.LGD and Quest Esports each collected a win and a tie.
Eighteen teams from around the world were invited to compete for a $500,000 prize pool. The winner will receive $200,000 and 600 DPC points, and the runner-up will earn $100,000 and 550 DPC points.
Group Stage 1 will run from Thursday through Monday, with a single round-robin format and all matches best-of-two.
The top four teams from each group will advance to the upper bracket of the playoffs, while the 5th and 6th place teams from each group advance to the lower bracket. The playoffs will be contested in a double-elimination format from July 5-9. All matches are best-of-three, except for the Grand Final (best-of-5).
Aster posted a 54-minute win on green and 31-minute win on red over Invictus Gaming. They also avenged a 41-minute setback to Team Spirit on red with a 34-minute triumph on green.
Liquid seized a 38-minute win on red and a 37-minute win on green over Blacklist International before posting a 30-minute win on Shopify Rebellion. The Rebellion, however, countered with a 33-minute win on green to earn the draw.
In Group B, BetBoom Team earned a draw with Azure Ray and 9Pandas were swept by Gaimin Gladiators in their lone respective matches of the day. Bleed Esports and Evil Geniuses lost both of their matches to reside in the cellar of the group.
Group A standings (match W-D-L, map record)
1. Team Aster — 1-1-0, 3-1
1. Team Liquid — 1-1-0, 3-1
3. beastcoast — 0-2-0, 2-2
3. Invictus Gaming — 1-0-1, 2-2
3. Shopify Rebellion — 0-2-0, 2-2
3. Team Spirit — 0-2-0, 2-2
3. Tundra Esports — 0-2-0, 2-2
8. Blacklist International — 0-0-1, 0-2
8. Execration — 0-0-1, 0-2
Group B standings (match W-D-L, map record)
1. Azure Ray — 1-1-0, 3-1
1. Gaimin Gladiators — 1-1-0, 3-1
1. nouns — 1-1-0, 3-1
1. PSG.LGD — 1-1-0, 3-1
1. Quest Esports — 1-1-0, 3-1
6. BetBoom Team — 0-1-0, 1-1
7. 9Pandas — 0-0-1, 0-2
7. Bleed Esports — 0-0-2, 0-4
7. Evil Geniuses — 0-0-2, 0-4
–Field Level Media
(Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)