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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Gambit eliminate Astralis from IEM Summer; OG defeat Virtus.pro to secure playoffs

Astralis was playing catchup throughout the series against Gambit as the two teams crossed paths in an early elimination match, with the Russian side reigning supreme (16-8 Inferno, 16-7 Overpass) and marching on in the tournament. To earn a place in the playoffs, Gambit will have to overcome one more team – Complexity.

Posting a 1.81 rating for the series, Sergey “⁠Ax1Le⁠” Rykhtorov was a thorn in Astralis‘ side, with a solid performance from Emil “⁠Magisk⁠” Reif proving insuficiend to keep his team afloat. Astralis‘ 9-12th finish in IEM Summer follows a 6th place from Flashpoint 3, with the Peter “⁠dupreeh⁠” Rasmussen and co. hoping for a better showing at the final event of the season, IEM Cologne.

Ax1Le was in the zone against Astralis, aceing the Danes on Inferno

In the match played on the B stream, OG brushed aside Virtus.pro (16-10 Mirage, 16-11 Overpass), building on their strong opening win over NIP and securing at least a place in the quarter-finals. Meanwhile, Dzhami “⁠Jame⁠” Ali‘s squad has been relegated to the lower bracket where they will have to overcome Spirit and the winner of NIPHeroic to reach playoffs.

Gambit looked unstoppable early on Inferno as Ax1Le‘s sharp aim propelled them to a 5-0 CT lead. Lucas “⁠Bubzkji⁠” Andersen and Andreas “⁠Xyp9x⁠” Højsleth pulled off a 2v4 on B to get Astralis back into it, with Magisk coming online to make it a competitive half in the end. The Danes claimed the pistol and followup after the switch, only for Gambit to shut the door on the comeback with seven unanswered rounds (16-8).

The Russian team’s Terrorist side was equally dangerous on Overpass. With Ax1Le topping the scoreboard again, they dominated Astralis across the board, taking 10 rounds in the first half. Lukas “⁠gla1ve⁠” Rossander‘s team got a couple of rounds to start their offense, but Gambit closed out the series in no time as Timofey “⁠interz⁠” Yakushin clutched out a 1v1 on A in the final round.

The momentum swung back and forth in the first half of Mirage as both OG and Virtus.pro went on five-round streaks, but Aleksi “⁠Aleksib⁠” Virolainen‘s team switched to the offense slightly behind, 8-7. That deficit was quickly nullified as Aleksib‘s men puz up a near-flawless T-side, winning their map pick 16-10.

On Overpass, Virtus.pro‘s pick, OG were barely contested in the first half as the European side got the upper hand after winning the second-round force and didn’t let go. Nikolaj “⁠niko⁠” Kristensen picked up a couple of key multikills early on and the rest of the team chipped in, building to an 11-4 lead. Down 13-4 shortly, Jame‘s team didn’t falter and brought the game back to 13-11 with a strong streak, but OG managed to break their bank and bring it over the line, 16-11.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

G2 move past FPX in IEM Summer; Astralis eliminate Extra Salt

G2 came back from a map down to beat FunPlus Phoenix 2-1 in IEM Summer and book a place in the playoff stage ahead of Sunday’s Group A upper bracket final against Vitality. nexa‘s charges were worthy winners in the series – which could have ended in just two maps if it wasn’t for an otherworldly performance from Pavle “⁠Maden⁠” Bošković on Ancient -, continuing their good run of form after finishing Flashpoint 3 in third place and easing past Extra Salt in the opening round of the tournament.

G2 were helpless to stop Maden on Ancient as the Montenegrin player produced a career-best 2.15 rating (42-19 KD-D, 154 ADR) to inspire FPX to an impressive victory, their second on this map after they beat Astralis 16-7 earlier on Thursday.

huNter- led G2 to victory with a 1.33 rating

G2 hit back on Dust2, a 29-round affair despite FPX’s slow start, before completing the comeback with a dominant performance on Inferno, with Nemanja “⁠huNter-⁠” Kovač leading his team in rating on both maps (1.45 and 1.55).

Meanwhile, Astralis bounced back from their opening loss to FPX with a 2-0 victory over Extra Salt, who join Sprout in exiting IEM Summer after the first day of play. The North American side made a promising start full of impetus, racing to a 7-1 lead on Vertigo, but then lost steam and ceded control to the Danes despite a lively performance from Josh “⁠oSee⁠” Ohm (1.58 rating, 114 ADR).

Astralis kept the pressure on and picked Extra Salt‘s defence apart during the early stages of Nuke for a 7-0 lead. The North Americans finished the half down by five and still managed to put some rounds together after the break, but they never really looked like threatening their opponents, who ran out comfortable winners to set up an exciting clash against Gambit on Friday.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Virtus.pro eliminate Spirit from EPIC League CIS

Virtus.pro defeated Spirit 2-1 in a series played on Inferno (16-12), Dust2 (5-16) and Overpass (16-7), securing a spot in the EPIC League CIS consolidation final, which they will play against the loser of Akuma vs. Gambit. The match to decide the second finalist following today’s upper bracket final will take place on Sunday, the last day of the tournament, ahead of the Regional Major Ranking (RMR) event’s grand final.

Spirit, who had been looking like a top contender throughout the event after ending the Swiss stage with a 3-0 record and not dropping a single map until the upper bracket semi-finals, where they hit a wall and took a thrashing from Gambit before eliminating Natus Vincere from the tournament, are out in fourth place after this defeat and will see 1,300 RMR points added to their total ranking count.

SANJI had several important contributions for VP on Overpass

Inferno opened the series, Virtus.pro’s map pick, and although Spirit were first to take a 3-0 lead on the CT side, Dzhami “⁠Jame⁠” Ali and company were quick to turn things around with five successful attacks in a row before a back-and-forth tussle ended up with a 9-6 scoreline in favor of VP at the half. Three opening USP kills by Mareks “⁠YEKINDAR⁠” Gaļinskis kept his team ahead as they went on to lead 13-6 before Virtus.pro made their way to match point. Spirit gave it one final push to try and turn the tide, but were unable to bridge the gap and fell short 12-16.

Dust2 became Abdul “⁠degster⁠” Gasanov’s playground early on as he helped Spirit turn the lost pistols around in the forcebuy, after which the team led by Leonid “⁠chopper⁠” Vishnyakov stomped all over Virtus.pro giving up just one more round all the way to a dominant 13-2 scoreline on the CT side. After the half, the two teams split six rounds in what ended up being a one-sided victory for Spirit, tying the series up 1-1 and ushering the decider map.

Neither team was able to take control of Overpass in the opening rounds as a series of forcebuys and anti-ecos going both ways ended up with an even scoreboard after ten rounds, but it was finally Virtus.pro, with a particularly impactful Sanjar “⁠SANJI⁠” Kuliev, who were able to get ahead at the half with a 9-6 lead. Things eased up for VP on the CT side, as Spirit dropped off winning just one more round while Virtus.pro when on to take an ample 16-7 victory, thus securing a spot in the EPIC League CIS consolidation final.

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Sprout eliminate FaZe from Flashpoint 3

Sprout beat FaZe 2-1 in the Flashpoint 3 lower bracket after losing in the opening round to Heroic, and have now survived the first round of elimination matches. Josef “⁠faveN⁠” Baumann and company fell behind after the initial map in the series, Mirage (10-16), but were able to win their own pick of Dust2 in-extremis (16-14) before closing the series out on Train (16-10).

FaZe’s ills continue with this loss as they are eliminated from the first Regional Major Ranking (RMR) tournament of the year in last place. The international squad have been struggling to perform since bringing on in-game leader Finn “⁠karrigan⁠” Andersen and star player Russel “⁠Twistzz⁠” Van Dulken to revamp the roster and have since gone out in 9-12th place at IEM Katowice, 17-20th at ESL Pro League Season 13 and 13-16th at DreamHack Masters Spring.

Sprout remain alive in Flashpoint 3 after their victory against FaZe

FaZe got off to a good start in the series taking a 3-0 lead on the attacking side of Mirage, but Sprout were quick to retaliate and claimed the lead early on after putting up several strong defenses. karrigan and company made inroads to try and regain the lead, making it 7-7, but the Germans were able to win the final round of the half to remain ahead. Despite winning the pistol round, Sprout struggled with the task of attacking, and finally faltered as FaZe took their map pick 16-10.

Sprout took the lead on the offense in Dust2, but weren’t able to dominate early on as FaZe won a couple of close rounds to start to gain momentum and build an economy on the CT side. Helvijs “⁠broky⁠” Saukants and Marcelo “⁠coldzera⁠” David did much of the heavy lifting with dual AWPs on the way to a 10-5 lead. The German squad put forth a strong start on the defense and made a strong push to take the map. faveN made two big plays in crucial rounds which tipped the balance in Sprout’s favor as they managed to take it in the last round, 16-14.

FaZe didn’t manage to close the series out on Dust2 and lost in the decider

FaZe won the first pistol round on the attacking side of Train, but three Desert Eagle kills on the forcebuy by Denis “⁠denis⁠” Howell gave his team the second round, after which faveN and company went on to dominate on the defense, giving up just four rounds to set up a possible upset. FaZe started to scale the comeback mountain on the CT side, but were cut short as Sprout cruised to a 16-10 victory to eliminate the international squad and stay alive in the Flashpoint 3 lower bracket.

Up next for the German squad will be the second round of lower bracket play, where they will play the loser of BIG vs. mousesports in another all-or-nothing match for survival in the tournament. “I don’t care who we play, but I think we’d have better chances against BIG,” faveN said in the post-match interview, “because it’s a domestic match-up and it’ll be about mental games, so I think BIG would be better for us.”

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G2 eliminate Astralis from DreamHack Masters Spring

The first playoff game of the tournament saw G2 take down Astralis in three maps, with Nikola “⁠NiKo⁠” Kovač standing out for his team, posting a 1.35 rating. G2 proved to be the better team Train and Vertigo, securing them with 16-7 and 16-8 scorelines, respectively, and only Nuke went the way of the Danes as Emil “⁠Magisk⁠” Reif and Lucas “⁠Bubzkji⁠” Andersen shined.

“It is a really good feeling, it is really important for us to win a couple of games in a row,” Nemanja “⁠huNter-⁠” Kovač said about eliminating Astralis in the post-match interview. “Now we need to prepare for Gambit to try and get our revenge.” G2 lost the group stage bout against Gambit 2-1 and will be hoping to put up a better showing against the No.1 team on Saturday.

The game had wider implications than just this tournament, however, as the victory over Astralis saw G2 surpass Spirit in the ESL Pro Tour ranking. Due to that, NiKo and co. have grabbed the last invite for the IEM Cologne group stage, ESL’s flagship event which is planned to take place as a studio LAN event in July.

NiKo was the highest-rated player for G2 on all three maps

A second-round force-buy by Astralis countered G2‘s clean pistol round win on their map pick, Train, and set up the Danes for an early 3-1 lead. A strong T side from the French-Balkan team followed, though, seeing NiKo and co. finish it 8-7 ahead after back-and-forth action. Nemanja “⁠nexa⁠” Isaković‘s double in pop put G2 in position to claim the CT pistol, with the in-game leader showing up with multikills in the following two anti-ecos to fill the gaps for his team. From 11-7 up, G2 rode the momentum to close out the game with a flawless CT side, 16-7.

G2 looked poised to close things out on Nuke as they built an 8-4 lead on the defensive side, NiKo and François “⁠AmaNEk⁠” Delaunay shining for the team as they locked down the late-round situations. However, as the half-time neared, Astralis got back into it thanks to great plays from Bubzkji (8-7), and equalized the score with a 1v4 from Magisk in the CT pistol. Nothing was decided yet, though, as turnarounds, clutches, and eco wins filled the second half, but Astralis managed to close out at the final moment, 16-14.

Apart from an early CT side streak, Astralis struggled to find a footing on the defensive side of Vertigo, the decider map for the series. Strong trading and post-plants ensured NiKo and co. a massive lead heading into the break, 10-5. Lukas “⁠gla1ve⁠” Rossander‘s squad weren’t going to go down without a fight, claiming three rounds early into the offense to make it 12-8. The comeback attempt was stopped by two multikill rounds from nexa, who alongside a stellar NiKo pushed G2 towards a 16-8 victory.

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FURIA eliminate Complexity from DreamHack Masters Spring

FURIA showed their best side against Complexity, eliminating the international squad from DreamHack Masters Spring in a two-map series on Mirage and Inferno, with every player carrying their weight at different points in the match to neutralize a team with a red-hot Benjamin “⁠blameF⁠” Bremer trying to spoil their plans.

“We love to play Complexity, we always have a good read on what they’re doing,” Vinicius “⁠VINI⁠” Figueiredo said in the post-match interview when asked about this being their second 2-0 victory in a row against Complexity, a team they last beat at DreamHack Masters Winter last year. “We struggled on the T-side of Mirage when we had a big lead and then on Inferno we struggled by putting the AWP in the wrong positions, but when we fixed that on match point it was easy for us.”

The series started on Complexity’s map pick, Mirage, and the international squad got off to a 2-0 lead on the attacking side, but they weren’t able to gain momentum as FURIA put up a successful defense in the third round, their first buy. The Brazilian squad then put up a wall, feeling incredibly comfortable with their North American AWPer, Paytyn “⁠junior⁠” Johnson, spearheading his team’s efforts with 17 kills in a 12-3 half.

FURIA gained big first-half leads on both maps played, Mirage and Inferno

Complexity won the second pistol round cleanly and slowly started their climb back into the map, winning five rounds in a row on the defense. FURIA put a stop to it with two successful attacks, although they kept losing ground until hitting match point in the 28th round. Complexity didn’t put their hands up and with an incredible blameF at the helm racking up 37 kills in 30 rounds, pushed the map to overtime. The Brazilians regained composure after the break and took the two first rounds of overtime, which was enough to secure the map 19-17 after switching sides to take the lead in the series.

FURIA were first out of the gate on Inferno, where Andrei “⁠arT⁠” Piovezan, who had been quiet on Mirage, set the pace on the attack. The Brazilians then went off in a completely dominant half, giving up only the first gun round to the CTs before taking an 8-1 lead. Complexity finally found a footing in the half, tallying four more rounds before switching sides.

On the CT side FURIA rushed towards the finish line, winning the pistol round and closing Complexity out early on. The international squad were finally able to find success on their fifth attempt as terrorists, which once again opened a door for them to try and pull off another comeback attempt as they went on to chain two more rounds, although It would ultimately prove to be too little, too late. FURIA hit match point in the 22nd round with doubles by junior and Kaike “⁠KSCERATO⁠” Cerato before closing the series out soon thereafter, 16-11, to move on to the lower bracket final against Vitality.

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HAVU beat Dignitas, BIG eliminate Complexity from FunSpark ULTI

HAVU have reverse swept Dignitas in the first lower bracket match of the day to stay alive in FunSpark ULTI 2020 Europe Final, while BIG defeated Complexity in two nail-bitting maps. The two winners will face off in another elimination series in the lower bracket final, on Saturday at 14:00