The semi-finals of Elisa Masters is set with four teams looking to reach Sunday's Grand Final.
There was plenty of talent on display in Espoo, Finland, but the four remaining teams have earned their spot in the top four standing at this event.
Sprout Gaming was able to win Group A earlier in this event and booked a bye to the first of two semi-finals matches. They will have to hold-off BIG in their match.
Group B's top team Fnatic will look to keep their momentum going in the second semi-final match as they face-off with Astralis, who battled through the quarter-final match against ENCE to reach this golden opportunity to reach a Grand Final stage for the first time in a while.
Both matches will have plenty of firepower to showcase. Here is a look at Saturday's action:
What: Sprout vs. BIG, Elisa Masters
Where: Espoo, Finland
When: 09:30, Saturday 19th November 2022
How to Watch: Elisa Esports Twitch
Odds: Sprout 1/1, BIG
The first of two semi-final matches pit a team from Denmark against the pride of Germany. Team Sprout and BIG will battle for a spot in the Grand Final of Elisa Masters. Both teams were able to have a solid run out of Group A.
Sprout was able to finish at the top of the table with a 4-1 record. They also enter this match on a three-match winning streak. The real issue is when these teams met in the Group Stage. BIG was able to get a very convincing head-to-head win.
BIG didn't have an easy path to reach this match as they had to survive a quarterfinal match against 500 who they beat in two maps.
Sprout hasn't been on the right side of the win/loss column against BIG in their last two matches, as they lost on the same map of Vertigo with the same exact score of 16-11.
They need to find a way to break the hold held over them by BIG. Neither of these organizations sit inside the top 10 in the current world rankings but a win here could easily get either team within the talk of trending upward.
BIG has had Sprout number as of late, but this match is much bigger stakes with more than one map set to be played. BIG has the firepower to win one map, but Sprout has the better chance in the long run.
The second semi-final match of Elisa Masters features two teams who know each other very well. Fnatic and Astralis renew their rivalry with a spot in the Grand Final on the line. Astralis were able to compete on Fnatic’s level in their first meeting of this event, losing 16-7.
They have a chance to rebound after claiming a victory against ENCE in the quarter-final round. Fnatic comes in fresh as they earned the bye by winning Group B with a 4-1 record. Their lone loss came against Complexity Gaming.
Fnatic enters on a three-match winning streak and will be trying to get to the Grand Final, a place they have been far more recently than their opponent in this semi-final.
Astralis has reached a level they have been scarce off for some time. They had a very poor showing in their match against 500 to close out their Group matches as they were held to just one point in a 16-1 blowout on Ancient. They can't let that happen again, especially in a match that will have at least two maps played in this best of three series.
These teams used to butt heads quite frequently, but with the number of roster moves in the past two seasons neither team looks to have an advantage over the other. The one consistent factor for Astralis is blameF, who has been a mainstay for his team. He is also the type of leader that could help Astralis play shocker against fnatic.
An outright win is going to be tough for Astralis, but they certainly have a chance to cover the spread. Expect a back and forth battle that could easily propel the winner to a Championship crown in Sunday's Grand Final.