Gambit have advanced to the IEM Summer grand final following a swift 2-0 win over G2 in the semi-finals, setting up the first-ever encounter against OG in the best-of-five title decider of the $250,000 event. The Nemanja “nexa” Isaković-led side have been eliminated in joint-third place as they could not live up to high expectations following a convincing display in the group stage, suffering their fourth consecutive loss to the CIS-based squad since February.
The favorites got their first official taste of Ancient in the semi-final series and showcased a high level on the newest map with a terrifying performance on the CT side. Gambit clearly put in the work to be ready to play the map in case G2 decided to pick it, which Abay “Hobbit” Khasenov confirmed in the post-match interview.
“Big respect and thanks to our analyst and coach, they expected [G2 to pick Ancient],” the Kazakhstani star said, adding that the team did their homework when it came to analyzing how G2 played the map in their group stage affair against FunPlus Phoenix. “I would say it was 60% of anti-strat and 40% of our game.”
Gambit got off to a flying start in the series after opting for Vertigo, their most successful map as of late, securing a comfortable victory on the opener on the back of a near-flawless Terrorist side. G2 looked out of their depth against the slow-paced style of the CIS squad, putting together only two solitary rounds in the first half as they couldn’t keep up with Gambit‘s mid-round calls.
The French-Balkan team kept their spirits high and slowly chipped away at the massive deficit after the second pistol round went their way, but they were ultimately too far behind and their opponents clinched the last few rounds necessary to pick up the series lead.
G2 hoped to catch Gambit unprepared on Ancient, which Vladislav “nafany” Gorshkov‘s squad had had yet to play in official matches, but it was just the opposite that ended up being the case. The world’s No. 1 team looked more than capable in their debut on the newest addition to the map pool and left their adversaries in the dust after yet another dominant display, this time starting on the defense. G2 didn’t give themselves much space to work with after claiming just two rounds in the first half once again, and after some early struggles in the second Gambit went on to clinch a convincing win to make their way to the grand final.