Fnatic, Liquid pick up playoff spots at IEM Chicago

Fnatic and Team Liquid wrapped up playoff spots thanks to wins Wednesday at the Intel Extreme Masters in Chicago.

The two teams moved on to the third round of the Group B upper bracket and will meet Thursday, with the winner earning a guaranteed spot in the semifinals of the playoffs of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament. The loser will face the team to emerge from the Group B lower bracket; the winner of that matchup advances to the quarterfinals as a high seed while the loser advances as a low seed.

Each eight-team group will have three representatives in the single-elimination playoffs. The quarterfinals and semifinals -- taking place Friday and Saturday, respectively -- are each best-of-three, while the grand final on Sunday is best-of-five.

Fnatic swept eUnited in second-round action Wednesday, winning 16-13 on Overpass and 16-11 on Inferno. Liquid squeaked past mousesports. After mousesports earned a 16-11 win on Mirage, Liquid posted a 16-9 victory on Inferno and a 16-10 decision on Nuke.

Mousesports dropped into the lower bracket, where it will meet BIG, a 2-0 winner over Natus Vincere on Wednesday. Luminosity Gaming produced a 2-0 victory over AVANGAR to earn a lower-bracket date with eUnited.

BIG earn two tight decisions against Na'Vi, 16-14 on Dust2 and 16-13 on Inferno. Luminosity got past AVANGAR 16-14 on Inferno and 16-10 on Train.

In Group A lower-bracket action Wednesday, NRG Esports and Team LDLC.com each earned two wins to set up a win-or-go-home showdown Thursday.

NRG rallied past MVP PK 2-1, then eliminated MiBR 2-1. After falling 16-11 to MVP PK on Dust2, NRG won 16-9 on Train and 16-8 on Inferno. MiBR also jumped in front of NRG, winning 16-10 on Inferno, but NRG bounced back for a 22-18 victory on Cache and a 16-11 decision on Train.

LDLC.com had a similarly tough path, topping Renegades 2-1 and North 2-1. Renegades topped LDLC.com 16-12 on Overpass before LDLC.com won 16-14 on Cache and 16-2 on Mirage. North also could not hold the lead it built with a 16-8 win on Dust2, falling to LDLC.com 16-10 on Nuke and 16-10 on Mirage.