Gambit have secured a spot in the IEM Summer semi-finals with a convincing 2-0 victory over Evil Geniuses on Dust2 (16-10) and Overpass (16-11), not needing the Mirage decider. Both Sergey “Ax1Le” Rykhtorov and Dmitry “sh1ro” Sokolov were the big heroes for Gambit, as they posted 1.50 and 1.43 ratings, respectively, with impressive performances on both maps.
Up next for Abay “Hobbit” Khasenov and company will be a match against the red-hot G2, a team that has shown great form all tournament long with a 3-0 record including a 2-0 victory over Vitality in the Group A upper bracket final match that put them straight into Saturday’s semi-finals. Meanwhile, Evil Geniuses will have four days to plan their revenge, as they will take on none other than Gambit in their BLAST Premier Spring Final opening match.
“They surprised us,” Hobbit said in the post-match interview regarding EG’s Overpass pick, known to be one of Gambit’s stronger maps. “We prepared Inferno, we thought it was going to be Inferno, but they just picked Overpass and that was a mistake by them.”
Despite the veto, Gambit made it clear early on that they weren’t going to be surprised on the server, and took an early lead on the defending side of Dust2, although several good plays in close situations by Tsvetelin “CeRq” Dimitrov put Evil Geniuses right back in the game. The majority North American squad then took Gambit for a ride, taking the lead early on in the second half, but it was finally the CIS squad who were able to secure their pick 16-10.
The Russian squad didn’t let up on Overpass, starting on their preferred CT side and running away with an early lead as they had done on their own map pick earlier, winning eight of the first ten rounds played after a brilliant quad-kill in the pistol round by Ax1Le. A 10-5 lead in the first half was then converted into a victory as Gambit put a stop to Evil Geniuses’ comeback attempt by winning a late eco round which put them on match point, after which the deal was sealed, 16-11.
“I have confidence in this team, we’re having a lot of fun and feeling motivated,” Peter “stanislaw” Jarguz said regarding his team’s 5-6th placing at IEM Summer. “This is a good first showing and hopefully for the next tournament we’ll just improve. Let’s build that consistency again because we’ve just been placing last for God knows how long and hopefully this is a good start towards a brighter future for us.”