Gambit secured on Saturday a spot in the IEM Summer playoffs with a 2-1 victory against Complexity in Group A’s lower bracket final. The CIS team came out strongly in the series, taking Mirage in dominant fashion, but then faded in their own map pick of Overpass and required all 30 rounds to run out victorious in a tit-for-tat Vertigo affair against a stubborn Complexity side.
It was far from plain sailing for the current world No.1, and Vladislav “nafany” Gorshkov admitted after the match that exhaustion is starting to become a problem as events come thick and fast. “This is the fourth tournament in a row so it’s a bit tough, I guess,” he said, adding that he expected Complexity to pose such a threat to his team. “Everyone right now is prepared for us because we are number one.”
Complexity made a bright start to the series with a flawless pistol on Mirage, but their energy and poise waned as the half wore on. Gambit took control of proceedings after buying up and went on an 8-1 run, but a late slip-up – losing a round against pistols on the B site – gave their opponents a much-needed moment’s peace and slightly shifted the momentum before the break.
Overpass began with Complexity keeping Gambit‘s players at bay with a water-tight defence, with Benjamin “blameF” Bremer and Valentin “poizon” Vasilev opening up rounds for the team on multiple occasions. Down 1-8, Gambit finally put some rounds together on the back of a successful eco, but Complexity held on and went into the break on double-digit territory.
Sergey “Ax1Le” Rykhtorov kept Gambit in the game with a 1v2 clutch in the pistol round, but there was no respite for the CIS side. Complexity hit back immediately and took the reins of the game, locking down the map shortly afterwards with a clutch from blameF, who defended the bomb with a well-placed Molotov.
The odds seemed to be stacked against Complexity heading into Vertigo, given Gambit‘s near-flawless record on the map (92% winrate in the last three months in 12 games), but blameF‘s troops refused to let up. They bounced back from a 0-4 start and enjoyed a spell of dominance, but the half was still won by Gambit following a late resurgence from the CIS side.
Complexity took control shortly after the break and regained the lead at 13-12, but just like in the first half, it did not last long. Gambit tightened up and hit series map point thanks to an Ax1Le clutch, though they only put the game away in the final round of regulation, with nothing but Desert Eagles, as Complexity tried their hardest to force overtime, but without success.