paiN punched their ticket to Sunday’s grand final of DreamHack Open March North America following a stunning 2-1 victory over World No.6 Liquid in the semi-finals. The ESEA Advanced team will look to defend their DreamHack Open January title against the winner of Extra Salt vs. High Coast in the best-of-five tournament decider.
Gabriel “NEKIZ” Schenato did not hide his delight with the victory, which comes just six months after paiN moved to North America, saying: “As I said yesterday, our team is so powerful, we’re so talented, and I knew that we were going to win.”
saffee put on a dominant display on Dust 2
It was just his first map ever against a tier-one team, but Rafael “saffee” Costa tore Liquid apart on Dust 2. The 26-year-old AWPer’s stellar performance was exactly what paiN needed to pull off an upset as he finished the map with a 33-11 K/D and a 2.07 rating.
Liquid looked a revitalised side on Overpass as they strolled to a 12-3 lead, with Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski finishing the half with a 22-7 score and a 143 ADR. The North American team lost just one round in the second half before wrapping things up to take the series to Inferno.
paiN jumped out to a 6-1 lead on Inferno before Liquid adjusted their defence, with only three rounds separating the two sides at the break. The Brazilians managed to steal an important round in the second half when they had just three rifles, putting Liquid against the ropes, and, with Rodrigo “biguzera” Bittencourt leading the charge, quickly put the game past their opponents.