Gambit won their first BLAST Premier Spring Final series against Evil Geniuses, doubling down on their recent victory against the American-European squad in the IEM Summer playoffs. This time around the CIS squad had to sweat for their win even more than last time, as they banned Overpass, one of their stronger maps, but nonetheless managed to take EG’s pick of Inferno in a double-overtime affair before securing the series 16-11 on Dust2.
“It doesn’t matter which map we play against any team, we just talk to our coach and analyst and decide which map will be better,” Vladislav “nafany” Gorshkov said after the series. “Sometimes it’s because we feel very strong on some map, but I can’t say what it was this time.”
Abay “Hobbit” Khasenov and company have now moved on to the upper-bracket semi-finals, where they will face the winner of the second fixture in the first match day pitting Complexity vs. NIP, whereas Evil Geniuses are waiting for the loser in an elimination match in the first round of the lower bracket.
The first map of the series, Inferno, started with a strong pistol defense by Gambit, but a B play on the forcebuy proved worthwhile for Evil Geniuses, who flipped the early rounds in their favor. The American-European squad were able to keep up the pressure on the attack, with nafany and company fighting to keep up as they brought it back to a tight 7-8 at the half. The second half started the same way, with Gambit tying things up, but a 1vs3 clutch by Michał “MICHU” Müller kept his team ahead, although the CIS squad struck right back in what ended up a frought second half. The map then headed into overtime, where Gambit were only able to get an edge over their rivals after 12 extra rounds to take the map 22-20.
Evil Geniuses came out determined to tie things up on Dust2, starting on the CT side, as Peter “stanislaw” Jarguz’s men, with Owen “oBo” Schlatter and Tsvetelin “CeRq” Dimitrov leading the way, went on a six round streak before Gambit successfully took a site. The CIS squad then made a solid case for themselves, securing six rounds of their own before the switchto keep things close. The second half was a completely different story, as the nafany-led squad took the reins on the defense dropping just two rounds on the way to a 16-11 victory.