Vitality are through to the upper bracket semi-final of Group B after securing a victory over FURIA in two maps. The Frenchmen started off by climbing back from a deficit on Overpass, but refused to concede any ground once they gained control, securing their map before converting an early lead on Nuke into a narrow 16-14 victory to take the series.
The win sets up a match between Dan “apEX” Madesclaire‘s men and Natus Vincere, who survived an opening map loss to Renegades by dominating on Dust2 and Nuke to book their own spot in the upper bracket semi-final.
FURIA got off on the right foot at the onset of Overpass, Vitality‘s map pick, posting a 6-2 lead thanks to multi-kill rounds from Kaike “KSCERATO” Cerato and Yuri “yuurih” Santos. That edge did not last long though, and FURIA‘s lead rapidly began to dwindle once ZywOo came online and the Frenchmen got back in the running, bringing themselves within one round of the Brazilian team by the break. Vitality‘s good form continued into the second half as they took firm control on the defense, with ZywOo securing back-to-back quad kills and Richard “shox” Papillon finding flanks in key rounds as their side conceded just two additional rounds en route to a 16-10 finish.
The situation began to look increasingly dire for FURIA as Vitality put up a stalwart defense on Nuke, running up a 9-2 lead before Andrei “arT” Piovezan‘s troops finally began to consistently crack through. After clawing back to six rounds at halftime, a pistol win and ensuing conversions allowed FURIA to tie things up, and they briefly pulled ahead with another set of rounds to take the lead for the first time on the map. However, Vitality‘s map control began to constrict the FURIA defense, and with Lucas “honda” Cano being shut out, the Frenchmen were able to attain match point before a triple kill from Jayson “Kyojin” Nguyen Van helped them close things out, avoiding overtime with a narrow map victory.
For Natus Vincere, it seemed to be a tale as old as time in their opening LAN match, one which they typically struggle in regardless of their opponent and often results in the team starting tournaments from the lower bracket. Indeed, it seemed Renegades were set to make that a reality as they put up a throttling performance on Inferno, leading 11-4 before putting a halt to a comeback effort from Natus Vincere in the second half to take the map 16-10.
However, the trio of Denis “electronic” Sharipov, s1mple, and Valeriy “B1T” Vakhovskiy flipped the script on Dust2, battering Renegades 16-6 with s1mple picking up an AWP ace in the process. The decider, Nuke, was equally as one-sided as Natus Vincere ran away with the T side, putting up 11 rounds by the break before wasting little time in closing out the map following the side swap to take the series.