First up in the best of three bonanza was SK Gaming
taking on MVP PK
. On paper it was a straightforward game and in reality it was not much different, it took only two maps to decide and the first was a 16-5 destruction on Inferno. The second was closer, with the first half actually ending 6-9 in favour of MVP PK, however as the Brazilian side switched onto the Terrorist half of Cobblestone, they took the 10 rounds required to win 16-10, dropping only one. A big series for Fernando "fer" Alvarenga
paved the way to the SK victory.
Running concurrently was Cloud9
taking on Heroic
, the most recent Major Champions against a Danish team currently ranked 12th. The first map distinctly reflected this disparity in form, as the Americans took Overpass 16-1 with Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham
posting an impressive 2.01 rating and 20 kills. The second map was not as straight forward however, as the first half of Inferno saw Heroic pick up 6 Terrorist rounds. Moving onto the Counter Terrorist side they managed to hit a streak, dropping only 2 rounds on their path to 14. However it was at this point the Americans decided enough was enough as they took the remaining five rounds of the map, ending 16-14 on Inferno and 2-0 in the series.
The next pair of matches started with Faze Clan
. Another that was to be straightforward both on paper and server, this time with the current world number 1 crushing the world number 30. Mirage was the most clear cut at 16-2, whilst overpass had Tyloo give themselves a chance with 5 Terrorist rounds, before being again dismantled 6-1 in the second half and 16-6 overall. Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer
who has been showing some great personal form lately continued it, leading the scoreboard on both maps.
The other match in the pair was Fnatic
who had a good showing at the Major, against Gambit Esports
who have a new fifth in the form of Denis "seized" Kostin
. Finally a series that went the full three maps, as both teams looked capable of winning. First to draw blood was the Swedish side as they looked dangerous on their preferred map of Inferno. Freddy "KRiMZ" Johansson
continued his fiery personal form as he ended 30-13 in their 16-8 victory. The second map of Overpass is not known to be one of Fnatic's stronger maps, and Gambit took full advantage of that as they struck back 6-16 in what turned out to be a full team effort. The decider was Cache, a map statistically better for Gambit but far from a problem for Fnatic. With that being said, a solid CT half from Gambit saw them take a 2-13 lead into the second. Despite Fnatic waking up and taking 9 rounds in the second, their backs were to the wall and they eventually fell 11-16 and 1-2 in the series.
The next two matches returned to the 2-0 meta, with the first being G2 Esports
taking down Renegades
. Renegades had recently lost one of their strongest players, Keith "NAF" Markovic
to Team Liquid
. In his place, Joakim "jkaem" Myrbostad
was stepping in. The team, especially with a stand-in, were no match for the French side who often have a habit of pulling out incredible performances. The first was rough enough, a 16-8 on Cobblestone, however it was the second on Mirage a 16-2 that really buried the series.
The next being a showdown between Natus Vincere
. HellRaisers are another team using a stand-in, this time being Kevin "HS" Tarn
in place of Issa "ISSAA" Murad
. The first map saw HellRaisers take a first half lead of 6-9 before Natus Vincere came good in a big way in the second half, stringing together five rounds before losing three. From that point on they only dropped one more round to take the map 16-13. The second map was slightly easier, with Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev
pulling a 1.96 rating as they dropped 0 terrorist side rounds on Inferno whilst they took the map 16-6 and the series 2-0.
Finally onto the last two matches of the day, with the first being Mousesports
taking on Virtus.pro
who were showing their first moves with their newest addition Michał "MICHU" Müller
. It took three maps to separate them, with the first requiring overtime. Cobblestone saw two equally traded halves where the Terrorist sides came out 8-7 leaving us at a 15-15 stalemate. It was the Polish side who took 7 of the 10 overtime rounds however as they took an early 0-1 lead. Despite this lead, it was the Mousesports side who from that point on were very much the champions of the second halves. Inferno and Mirage both had close first halves, the first being a 9-6 Mousesports lead and the second being a 7-8 Virtus.pro lead. However, the second halves of each map went 7-1 and 9-1 respectively for Mousesports, both being strong CT sides. One incredibly important player, especially in the final map, was Chris "chrisJ" de Jong
who has really shown what he is made of lately.
Finally the last match of the day, Astralis
took on Team Liquid
. Another 2-1, this time in favour of Astralis with their latest addition Emil "Magisk" Reif
. The first map seemingly set us up for an easy 2-0, with the Danes taking Mirage 16-4 and Reif ending on an impressive 24-8. Inferno looked to be heading to the Danes as well as they were up 9-3 at one point in the first half. Team Liquid weren't ready to roll over just yet however and they came back all the way to 9-11 before Astralis levelled the score. Eventually it was the North Americans though who tied the series 1-1 with a 13-16 victory. Finally Train looked to be competitive in the first half with Team Liquid managing to hold onto 6 CT side rounds, but Astralis showed them how to shut it down as they took the 7 required, only dropping 1 as they took the map 16-7 and the series 2-1.