DAY 1 WRAPPED UP
It’s finally here, the Champions Cup Finals, and we’ll be recording every bit of it. The Champions have arrived in Malta, all of which have been preparing themselves incessantly for this moment and a chance to win it all. On our opening day, we’ll be partially completing the Group Stage with some starting matches. From what I can gather after just Day 1 – this is going to be an event to remember!
FURIA ESPORTS vs tyloo (16-14)
An incredible opening match graced the start of the Champions Cup Finals. FURIA Esports, one of our invited teams would match up against TYLOO, the qualified contender from Asia in an epic battle for an early foothold into the competition and specifically, in their group. What ensued was an arduous match-up, with swings of momentum.
Taking place on Mirage, FURIA started out on the T-side, taking the lead with a 10-5 lead. TYLOO were definitely on their back foot, as they entered half time attempting to recuperate from 8 consecutive lost rounds, disrupted by a win at the end. Heading into the second half, FURIA’s lead quickly disintegrated. Now on the T-side, TYLOO picked up the first two rounds, and then 4 more to set the score at 11-12: they were in fact leading. At this point, the tension on the stage was indeed palpable. The rounds that ensued led up to a 15-14 scoreline for FURIA, they then managed to end the game and deny TYLOO a chance to deuce. A 16-14 timeline, with a total of 9 clutches won and an evenly stacked team was the only way to kick off the Champions Cup Finals. The highlighted player of the game is none other than “arT” for FURIA, packing the most kills (26) resulting in the highest rating (1.42). TYLOO will not be happy with the loss – expect them to bring the heat in their next match tomorrow.
With regards to individual performance, the two teams were stacked against one another and everyone seemed to carry their own weight. For FURIA though, “arT” did in fact standout, earning the most kills, damage and first kills to climb to the highest rating of 1.42 in the lobby. FURIA now earned a 1-0 start in Group A, the game setting the tone for the entire event.
Hard legion esports vs team spirit (16-14)
Meanwhile, in Group B – a similar epic narrative set the structure in motion as Team Spirit and Hard Legion Esports settled their differences on Train. With Hard Legion taking CT side, they started the match with a confident round win, following by Team Spirit claiming 6 consecutive rounds with little remorse. Bear in mind that these two teams were meant to encounter one another in the European Champions Cup Playoffs, with Team Spirit opting for a forfeit in that situation. 6-1 up, Team Spirit failed to maintain their groove, as Hard Legion answered back with 5 rounds of their own, even the score at 6-6. The round would go on to conclude in HDL’s favour, at 8-7. These continuous back and forth became characteristic of the second half too, Hard Legion kept winning rounds and Team Spirit kept responding – at one point jumping from 15-10 to 15-14. Hard Legion decided to disallow the comeback to come into fruition, ending another lengthy 30 round match with a 16-14 score.
Forester for Hard Legion would claim the best rating for the game, with the most kills (28), while Krad earned the most damage and most assists to help claim the victory. It really went down to the wire here and Team Spirit shouldn’t be discouraged – the casters were definitely ecstatic over another 30 rounds of pure competition! Hard Legion now head Group B, while Team Spirit sit at a 0-1 scoreline.
Two games, 60 rounds – it’s already looking rather promising.
MOVISTAR RIDERS VS ENCE (16-7)
Movistar Riders came to play! This was probably my personal favourite game of the day – ENCE, one of the favourites invited to the event, would have to match up against Movistar Riders, one of the qualified teams from the European Champions Cup. The BO1 took place on Overpass, with Movistar Riders marking the scoreboard first as the Counter-Terrorists. Following the above much, Group A was already beginning to shape up and nobody enjoys kicking off a tournament with a loss. The map progressed with 3 consecutive rounds from the side of ENCE, steadily forging a small lead, to an extent where the scoreboard st at 5-2 for the Finnish organization. That would all end very quickly thanks to the efforts made by Movistar Riders, headed by steel. The rest of the first half was rather ugly for ENCE, conceding the remaining 8 rounds with little contention. The Riders carried this momentum into the second half as the terrorists and simply made it look easy, winning 6 more rounds to end it at 16-7 on Overpass.
Once again, steel stood out as the player of the game, with the most kills, damage, assists and first kills, culminating to the rating of 1.65. ENCE will definitely have to pick themselves up after this loss and regain, while Movistar enjoys a 1-0 start to their Group Stage.
G2 ESPORTS VS BIG (16-12)
The second match of Group B would have G2 Eports, the well-known invited team competing against BIG, one of the teams qualified for the event through the European Champions Cup. Finding themselves on either side of Inferno, G2 as CT and BIG as T; neither were aware of how close it the match would be – a little spoiler, it’ll consist of a few tidal waves of rounds.
G2 kicked off the opening round with a defuse victory, following up on it twice more to solidify a 3-0 scoreline. BIG decided to simply not allow G2 to continue winning rounds, instead, absolutely deflating them with 6 rounds of their own to shift the game in their favour, 6-3. G2 replied with 4 rounds and BIG took another to finish round 1 at 7-8 in favour of BIG. Not much alternating here, replaced by consecutive round wins. G2 charged into the second half unphased by the resistance offered by BIG in the first round, evidently doing so by stringing 9 rounds interrupted by 4 of BIG’s – G2 took the map 16-12, thanks to a confident second half. BIG simply failed to show up on CT and let the lead slip out of their hands, possibly due to the fact that smooya‘s superb performance, especially in terms of kills (26) wasn’t backed up by any of his teammates. On the other hand for G2, JaCkz put up some fantastic numbers, achieving 27 kills and the most damage, while huNter- earned the best overall rating.
With an avoidable loss, BIG set themselves up for an unideal start here at the Champions Cup Final by not capitalizing on their opponent’s slow start, while G2 storm ahead, determined to progress through the tournament. BIG has been in worse situations as exemplified by the European Champions Cup, and certainly won’t let this affect their other games.
FURIA VS MOvistar riders (2-0)
Our first best-of-three of the event, the winners from Group A, namely FURIA and Movistar Riders set out to remain undefeated within this event, having both won their earlier matches. This was one of the most anticipated matches of the day – let’s learn how it went down.
The two maps to be played, those of Inferno and Nuke respectively, were yet to be played by both teams, so no team had any situational advantage here – it was a pure face-off to settle who’ll be jumping into the first seed of the Group A. Jumping straight into Inferno, FURIA’s success in claiming the first two rounds was equalized by three from the side of the Riders, with a memorable grenade play to boot too.
The map went on with 2 more rounds for both teams before FURIA went ahead to secure 5 rounds in a row, to end the first half at a score of 9-6. Movistar would start out as CTs repairing the damage with 3 rounds, but at a certain point, FURIA decided to just run away with it and end the map on the back of some incredible plays. It will be noted that Inferno was in fact, Movistar’s map pick.
Moving on to the second map of Nuke, Movistar were definitely worried knowing that this was FURIA’s map pick. Hastily, they picked up 5 of the 7 opening rounds before FURIA began picking up the pace. The Brazlian’s pushed to end the first half of the map at a deficit scoreline of 7-8. Yet again, just like in the first half, FURIA would inevitably run away with it in the second half. Movistar did put up a commendable fight to hold them off for so long, thanks to some sneaky plays too.
Movistar simply couldn’t handle FURIA in the late-game on both maps, resulting in the 2-0 win for FURIA. Statistics wise, the standout player from the series seems to be “yuurih”, with the most kills at 39 and the most first kills too (12), achieving the best rating. His teammate on FURIA in “KSCERATO” also put up some great team numbers, such as the most damage and the most assists.
G2 Esports vs HARD LEGION ESPORTS (2-0)
Watch out – KennyS is in form here in Malta! So much so, that Hard Legion did, in fact, have a tough time trying to shut him down, instead having a rather unpleasant experience due to him. This best-of-three, settling the first seed for Group B who’ll be going straight to the semi-finals on Saturday and bypassing Friday, wasn’t nearly as close as the one prior. On the maps of Vertigo and Mirage, Hard Legion did their best to fight off G2 Esports.
Vertigo, as you can imagine, was the pick of G2 Esports, a few of their new strategies were revealed at their last event cs_Summit5, where they quickly made it their playground. However, Hard Legion was clearly prepared for them, as evident in their responses in certain halves when they managed to read G2 perfectly. Anyway, G2 set the pace of the map with 3 rounds of their own – Hard Legion returned the favour. This pattern continued in the first half, as Hard Legion kept winning due to a very well-prepared CT side, putting them in the lead at 8-7. However, while they clearly had the chance to fortify CT, their T side left much to be desired in the second half.
G2 Esports, surprised at how well Hard Legion defended themselves, put the throttle down to go on and win 9 of the 10 remaining rounds of the map to end on a 16-9 score. It wasn’t the prettiest loss for Hard Legion and they definitely felt defeated, though there isn’t much you can do with “huNter-” picking you off throughout the round and “kennyS” simply owning. Hard Legion let the second half slip, and possibly, the series.
The second map had less contention than the first one – HL didn’t seem to have the opportunity to recover and approached Mirage in a rather deflated manner, conceding the opening 6 rounds seemingly in an instant. G2 continued to perform despite some rebuttal from the opposition, ending the half at 12-3 on the CT side. When Hard Legion had to chance on CT, new life flowed through them, recuperating 4 subsequent rounds. As you can imagine, this simply was a case of too little too late, but the effort ensured that they went out fighting. G2 would go on to win one more map to seal the deal through a 7-16 scoreline, an 2-0 in the series.
Throughout the series, “huNter-” was simply unstoppable and topped both leaderboards backed by his teammates, having the most kills (43) and damage (102.2) to claim the highest rating of 1.46.
So that was Day 1! An exciting day with a touch of delay due to the ridiculously long maps, as our Champions refused to let anything slip by. With G2 and FURIA cleared for the Semi-Finals on Saturday, all the remaining teams have everything else to play for come Friday.
Stay updated through our site to view our updated schedule.