AVANGAR and Renegades reached the semifinals of the $1 million StarLadder Berlin Major with opening victories in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament's New Champions Stage on Thursday.
The field is comprised of the final eight teams competing in best-of-three single-elimination matches.
Renegades opened the day with a 2-0 victory over the Finnish team ENCE. Renegades removed Overpass while ENCE removed Vertigo.
The match then began on the Renegades' pick of Mirage. They jumped out to a commanding 11-4 lead at halftime and went on to a 16-5 victory.
It was then onto Nuke, and ENCE's map pick appeared to bring better fortunes with a 9-6 lead at halftime. However, Renegades quickly rallied to outscore ENCE 10-3 and close out the match.
"WE DID IT, BOYS," Renegades tweeted with a video of the team celebrating at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
AVANGAR's match against Vitality would prove to be much more competitive, and ended in a stunning upset.
After Train and Nuke were removed, Vitality picked Mirage. A tight battle saw AVANGAR lead 8-7 at halftime and then cruise on to a 16-9 victory. Next up was AVANGAR's pick of Inferno, but Vitality returned the favor, going up 9-6 at halftime and earned a hard-fought 16-11 map win to even the match.
Dust2 would be the final battle over Vertigo and Overpass were removed. AVANGAR quickly built a dominating 12-3 lead at halftime. With their backs against the wall, Vitality managed to close the gap to 12-6 before AVANGAR sealed the victory 16-10.
AVANGAR and Renegades will meet in one semifinal on Saturday. The other semifinal will be determined by Friday's matches: NRG vs. Natus Vincere and current No. 1 Team Liquid vs. former No. 1 Astralis.
-- Field Level Media