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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Liquid book IEM Katowice playoff spot over Vitality; Gambit eliminate Heroic

Liquid are the third team to clinch a spot in the IEM Katowice playoff stage following a hard-fought win over Vitality, who took the lead in the series in an overtime Nuke victory but looked somewhat the pace in the remainder of the series as Jonathan “⁠EliGE⁠” Jablonowski and Gabriel “⁠FalleN⁠” Toledo powered their team to victory. Meanwhile, Gambit claimed another scalp against world No.6 Heroic thanks to an imperious display by Dmitry “⁠sh1ro⁠” Sokolov, and are now just one victory away from reaching the playoffs.

The main-stream series began with a blistering start from Vitality, who romped to a 6-0 lead on the CT side of Nuke with some great fragging output by Dan “⁠apEX⁠” Madesclaire and Cédric “⁠RpK⁠” Guipouy. Liquid responded in a low-economy round thanks to a quad-kill by EliGE, and used that momentum to rally back and bring the deficit to just three rounds before the break.

Liquid will take on the winner of NAVI-FURIA in the group final

Vitality came out of the break the livelier of the two sides, winning five of the opening six rounds of the half to get within striking distance of victory. Liquid tightened up after that and took the upper hand, coming back from five map points down to force overtime. However, their efforts would be in vain as Vitality won two rounds in each half to lock down the map.

The French team carried their momentum into Vertigo as they hopped out to a quick 3-0 lead, but the landscape of the game changed once Liquid had money in the bank. Apart from a brief period of respite for Vitality thanks to two great rounds by Mathieu “⁠ZywOo⁠” Herbaut, the rest of the half was dominated by the North Americans, who took ten rounds into the break. Liquid showed no signs of slowing down after the side switch, and even though things got a bit testy after Kévin “⁠misutaaa⁠” Rabier gave the French side a lifeline with a stunning Desert Eagle quad-kill, they would be able to close out the map comfortably.

Liquid took control from the outset on Mirage and finished the half on double-digit territory as Vitality were against the ropes for most of their CT side and could not string rounds together. It was roles reversed after the break as the North Americans could not hold the opposition back in the early stages, but a comeback was beyond Vitality: EliGE and FalleN stepped up to the plate and pulled the team over the finishing line as apEX‘s troops seemed to run out of gas in the dying stages.

Meanwhile, viewers on the secondary stream were treated to a back-and-forth brawl that had spirited comeback attempts thwarted in the closing stages of Overpass and Inferno. After those two closely-contested maps, Mirage ended up being a demolition job as Gambit breezed past their opponents in a game that saw them win all five clutch situations, three of which by sh1ro, who posted a 1.85 rating.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Complexity overcome G2; secure BLAST Premier Spring Finals spot

The return of Valentin “⁠poizon⁠” Vasilev to the fold after a two-month break seemed to have worked wonders for Complexity who have ended their poor run of form leading up to the event with two 2-0 victories, first over Vitality and now G2.

A back-and-forth series between Complexity and G2 saw Benjamin “⁠blameF⁠” Bremer and co. dig themselves out of disadvantages on both maps, with William “⁠RUSH⁠” Wierzba commenting in the post-match interview that the team had a “change of mindset, realizing that even when we are down, it doesn’t matter”.

The 26-year-old American player also touched on his living situation and the team’s poor recent results, noting that these wins make the struggles worth it. “Despite living in hotels, wins like this make up for it, honestly. I forget all about the shit period we had”.

blameF and k0nfig spearheaded Complexity in the series

A 4-1 lead for Complexity on the T side started off Mirage, but the Nikola “⁠NiKo⁠” KovačNemanja “⁠huNter-⁠” Kovač combo got rolling after that, and powered G2 to a 9-6 lead before the half ended. The French-Balkan side won the second half pistol as well, only to again lose the force which gave the momentum over to blameF‘s squad.

Six rounds in a row went the way of Complexity before François “⁠AmaNEk⁠” Delaunay broke into B on his own with just a pistol, making the score 12-12. Then, RUSH stepped up with two key rounds to lock down the approaches, but the score was again tied at 14 apiece. In the decisive moments, Kristian “⁠k0nfig⁠” Wienecke came alive, clutching out a 1v1 against NiKo and spraying down four in the final round to make it 16-14.

Unlike on Mirage, G2 managed to win the pistol as well as convert the second round on Dust2, setting up a strong foundation on the offensive side of the map. After finding themselves 5-0 down following NiKo‘s clutch, Complexity started finding success with their double-AWP setup and brought the game back to 7-8 to end a hectic half.

Frantic action continued after the switch. Complexity won the pistol but G2 stop their streak early and looked to put down a foot on the defense. Just when things were looking good for Nemanja “⁠nexa⁠” Isaković‘s team, their A hold faltered to an eco push. That set Complexity on the path to victory, taking Dust2 16-12.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Virtus.pro breeze past mousesports to clinch cs_summit 7 final spot

Virtus.pro have booked the first spot in the cs_summit 7 grand final following a 2-0 win over mousesports. Both teams arrived in the semi-final stage with a perfect record, but the CIS side reigned supreme on both maps, Train and Mirage, and didn’t let their opponents gain any momentum throughout the series.

The match began with mousesports taking the pistol and the next two rounds on Train, but the game took a U-turn once Virtus.pro bought rifles and displayed an impenetrable defense, winning nine rounds in a row. mousesports were able to take only two more rounds thanks to successful hits on the B site.

SANJI was the top-fragger of the series

Dzhami “⁠Jame⁠” Ali‘s men carried the momentum into their T side and won the first three rounds before conceding one to mousesports‘s full buy. Virtus.pro, however, still had enough money to buy rifles once more and won the following round, breaking mouz’s economy. The CIS team took advantage of that and locked down the map.

Virtus.pro showed no signs of slowing down on Dust2, and clinched the first round as Jame and Timur “⁠buster⁠” Tulepov converted a 2v3 situation in the after-plant. They added four more rounds to their tally before mousesports ended their streak on the back of a B site hold. The CIS team focused on hitting the A bombsite as mouz struggled to hold it and switched to the CT side with a commanding 11-4 lead.

mousesports lost the following pistol, but they fought their way back into the game with a successful force-buy. Virtus.pro, however, didn’t allow the international team to gain momentum and answered back with their own scrappy buy. The CIS side were in control for the rest of the game and comfortably won the map to reach the title decider.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

fnatic beat Cloud9 to clinch cs_summit 7 semi-final spot

fnatic came back from a map down to defeat Cloud9 2-1 and book their spot in the semi-final stage of cs_summit 7. The Swedish team looked a bit rusty at first as they were surprised on their own map pick of Vertigo, where Patrick “⁠es3tag⁠” Hansen produced his best performance since joining Cloud9, but then put on breathtaking offensive displays on the following two maps, Inferno and Overpass, to turn the match around.

The Swedish side, who will face the winner of the match between OG and Heroic next, looked promising early on as they hit back after losing the pistol and put some rounds together, but things quickly went downhill. Cloud9 tightened up their defence and dominated proceedings for the rest of the half for a 10-5 lead, with es3tag impressing with a 21-6 score and a 134 ADR.

KRIMZ helped fnatic to win the series with a 30-bomb on Overpass

Cloud9 came out of the break guns blazing, winning five rounds off the bat to hit map point. Freddy “⁠KRIMZ⁠” Johansson then gave fnatic their first round of the half with a 1v2 clutch, but it merely delayed the inevitable by a few moments as the international team locked down the map in the following round.

Inferno began with fnatic looking the brighter of the two sides and they hopped out to a 6-3 lead following two streaks of three round wins. But their grip on the game was never strong, and Cloud9 grew in confidence after winning a half-buy. The international team were in control in the closing stages of the half, unlocking the A defence with precise executes time and time again for an 8-7 score.

But the second half brought a more resolute fnatic side. The Swedish team set the tempo and ran all over the Cloud9 defence, dropping just two rounds before securing the map.

William “⁠mezii⁠” Merriman opened Overpass with a 1v2 clutch in the pistol round to put Cloud9 into the lead. That was the start of a dominant run by the international team, who raced to a 5-1 lead, but then fnatic tightened up and gradually took the upper hand for an 8-7 lead. The Swedish team carried that momentum into the second half and ran away with the game, with KRIMZ adding 13 more frags to his tally as he spearheaded the team’s attack against the helpless Cloud9 defence.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

NIP clinch cs_summit 7 playoff spot over Dignitas

NIP were the only team in the last chance stage to have finished the group stage in fourth place, without a single win, after losing to Virtus.pro and Cloud9 in their Group C bouts. Despite the rocky start in the tournament, Björn “⁠THREAT⁠” Pers’s men impressed early on in their match against Dignitas, and although they weren’t able to close the series out in two maps after taking a big lead just one round away from match point, they were able to wrap it up in the decider, meaning Patrik “⁠f0rest⁠” Lindberg and company, who had shown promise in the group stage with two very close 1-2 losses to OG and a 2-0 victory over Complexity, will now have to watch the remainder of the event from the sidelines.

The series started out on Dignitas’ map pick, Train, but was a blowout from the start as NIP dominated the CT side and closed it out quickly on the attack, 16-4. Vertigo didn’t fare much better for the Swedish-Norwegian squad early on, going down 6-9 on the CT side, but they were able to bring it back to a 16-14 victory on the attack. Fredrik “⁠REZ⁠” Sterner and company then went on to secure the Inferno comfortably, 16-8, to take the series and assure their presence in the cs_summit 7 playoffs, where they will have a chance at exacting revenge on Virtus.pro in the quarter-final.

nawwk dominated on Train with the AWP

NIP kicked the series off with a four round streak on the CT side of Train before giving up a single round, after which they continued to hold the line on the defense giving up just two more rounds on the way to a dominating 13-2 half. Dignitas secured the second pistol round with a B retake, but weren’t able to follow it up against the forcebuy, after which NIP closed out the first map 16-4.

The Ninjas once again got off to a leading start on Vertigo winning the pistol round on the attacking side, after which Tim “⁠nawwk⁠” Jonasson won a 1vs3 in the anti-eco to continue charging ahead. After a 9-6 half, NIP secured the second pistol round and nawwk won another clutch, a 1vs2, to bag the first buy round, going up 12-6. Dignitas then started to come to life, putting together a comeback attempt which they were able to convert in the last round of regulation, winning it 16-14 to force a decider map.

Dignitas carried their momentum into Inferno, going up 4-0 on the attack before NIP managed to win a pistol buy to get on the board. Nicolas “⁠Plopski⁠” Gonzalez Zamora and company then went on a tear, turning the scoreboard on its head before switching sides with a 10-5 lead. Dignitas managed to do some damage early on in the second half by linking two rounds in a row, but couldn’t keep it up as NIP turned up the heat and secured the map and series to advance to the cs_summit 7 playoffs.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Virtus.pro beat FURIA to book cs_summit 7 playoff spot

Virtus.pro are the third team through to the cs_summit 7 playoffs following a 2-0 victory over FURIA in Group C’s upper bracket final. The CIS side took the lead in the series with an all-round display on Inferno, while Overpass was a one-man show as YEKINDAR pulled off countless multi-kill rounds and a few crucial clutches to help the team recover from an 11-4 deficit.

“I’m happy I had a good game because on Inferno it was a bit harsh for me,” the Latvian said after the match. “It was a bit unusual to play a team like FURIA, their individual style is really hard to adapt to. Usually, I’m usually not playing against that type of players.”

The first half of Inferno was a keenly-contested affair played with high intensity. Neither side managed to stamp their authority on the game or string more than a couple of rounds together, with the two in-game leaders, Dzhami “⁠Jame⁠” Ali and Andrei “⁠arT⁠” Piovezan, topping the scoreboard for their respective teams.

Virtus.pro move on to the playoffs

Virtus.pro came out of the break looking a more resolute side and started to put some rounds together, bringing the scoreline to a 13-7 advantage on the back of a 1v4 clutch by Sanjar “⁠SANJI⁠” Kuliev in the first full gun round. FURIA were not fazed one bit, though, and went on a solid run to restore parity at 13 rounds, but the CIS team were unwilling to let a comeback happen and ran over the Brazilian defence in the closing stages of the game to lock down the map.

Having lost all but one of the last five games played on Overpass, FURIA seemed to be in trouble as they headed into the second map, but they surpassed all expectations, racing to an 11-4 lead with a strong defensive showing.

And then the YEKINDAR show began. The Latvian player, who had ended Inferno with a modest 14 frags, went 27-5 in the half and averaged over 200 damage per round to inspire Virtus.pro to a comeback victory against the Brazilians in what turned out to be a completely one-sided half.

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