A series of shock upsets from FunPlus Phoenix have secured the team a spot at the $250,000 Summer Intel Extreme Masters XVI.
FPX was directly invited to the European closed qualifier, but they weren’t expected to go far. The HLTV-ranked #17 team was up against juggernauts including FaZe Clan, BIG, and G2 Esports. Despite their low seed, FPX managed a trio of 2-1 series victories to earn a spot at the main event.
After winning a play-in match against SKADE, FunPlus Phoenix was scheduled to play against German side BIG. Both teams narrowly won their own map picks. Asger “farlig” Jensen was the lynchpin of game three, putting FunPlus at set point with an insane three-man spray. He ended the first series with 59 kills to 44 deaths.
A victory over BIG gave FPX some momentum, but G2 Esports was expected to be an even bigger challenge. Things started out well for FunPlus Phoenix, ending the T side at 10-5 on Train. Right after a dominant 16-6 victory on their map pick, FunPlus fell victim to a monster performance by G2’s François “AmaNEk” Delaunay. His 19 kills produced an insane 111.1 damage per round, more than tripling the output of Luka “emi” Vuković.
The final map was tense. FPX’s 6-2 lead was cut to eight rounds over G2’s seven, the smallest possible advantage. FPX lurker Jesse “zehN” Linjala exploded, racking up 31 kills with 132.3 damage per round. He also won six out of seven duels against G2 star player Nikola “NiKo” Kovač.
FunPlus Phoenix advanced through the qualifiers in the winner’s bracket alongside OG. G2 Esports continued its run in the lower bracket, earning a spot at the $250,000 event with a win over mouseports. Intel Extreme Masters Season XVI will begin its summer tournament on June 3. The event will feature almost every top CSGO team in Europe, including Astralis, Heroic, and Gambit Esports.