FunPlus Phoenix were unable to bounce back from their 0-2 loss to NIP on Thursday and have now fallen to Vitality, 1-2, in the Flashpoint 3 lower bracket. This second defeat puts them out of the running in the Regional Major Ranking tournament, although they will fight in the 9-12th place decider bracket to try and maximize their Regional Major Ranking points.
Vitality, who have at times struggled to find form since signing Jayson “Kyojin” Nguyen Van in lieu of veteran Cédric “RpK” Guipouy, had been knocked down to the lower bracket by their DBL PONEY countrymen in the opening round, but have been showing growth with victories against OG and FunPlus Phoenix in the lower bracket to remain in contention in the RMR tournament, where they will next face the winner of Heroic vs. Complexity.
“I don’t care who we face, I don’t care who’s going to win. It’s just about us, not about the other team,” Dan “apEX” Madesclaire said when asked about their possible next match-up. “If we show up and we play good Counter-Strike, I feel like we’re a really good team. Both [Heroic and Complexity] are really good, but let’s just see how it goes for us.”
Four kills by Martin “STYKO” Styk gave the first round of the series to FunPlus Phoenix, who started Dust2 on the attacking side, but Vitality struck right back in a back-and-forth that went the way of the European squad, 4-2, but then Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut and company took near complete control, winning eight of the final nine rounds to make it 10-5 at the half. The second half turned out to be a one-sided affair as FunPlus Phoenix fired on all cylinders, with every player putting in their bit to turn the scoreboard around, 16-13.
FunPlus Phoenix took a 3-0 lead on the attacking side of Inferno, but Vitality struck right back linking four of their own before STYKO brought things back to even with an ace, springing his team ahead to a 9-6 lead at the half. FunPlus Phoenix retook a 2vs2 afterplant to hit double digits in the second pistol round, but Vitality struck right back, led by apEX on the scoreboard, and didn’t let go until they crossed the finish line, 16-12, to force a decider map.
The third map, Vertigo, also started off being a close affair early on, but Vitality held strong on the defending side, finding a 7-3 lead after 10 rounds before Jesse “zehN” Linjala was able to outmaneuver apEX in a 1vs1 clutch situation. The two teams then traded rounds back-and-forth, ending 9-6 in favor of the French squad. Vitality won the second pistol round and stormed through the terrorist side, with ZywOo leading the way to a solid 16-10 victory in order for the French team to advance through the lower bracket.