THE LAST GROUP STAGE
Today was the last group stage of the finals, seeing competitors from groups C and D going head-to-head for their places in the quarter-finals. It was to be a longer night than usual, as we had no fewer than 3 overtimes to contend with. All in the name of good Counter-Strike, of course! Here’s what went down:
AGO vs sharks (2-0)
Group C’s opening match saw the Sharks coming out strong on Train, leaving little breathing space for AGO in the first half. AGO replied in kind on their T side, reversing the scores and going to overtime. AGO managed to create a big-enough advantage to secure the map 19-17.
Reeling from the loss, Sharks were still unbroken as they headed into Dust2. But AGO was determined to finish them off, taking the pistol round on T and 8 other rounds to give them a sizeable lead in the first half. Although Sharks similarly won the second pistol round, there was little they could do to beat the Poles, and they lost 16-11.
FORZE vs lpsp (2-1)
The first map, Nuke, saw both sides trading rounds, with no clear advantage until OT, when forZe ran with the map 19-16.
Overpass saw the Danish side recover with a 13-16 victory. More consistent gameplay in both halves gave them the advantage over Forze.
It was neck-and-neck once again in the deciding map, Mirage. On paper, forZe had a 58% win rate on the map, compared to LPSP’s 23%, but the Danes still managed to put up a great fight, taking it to a second overtime. Like the first OT, forZe just managed to find those few extra rounds to edge them over the finish line, taking the map and the series 19-17.
Ldlc vs sj (0-2)
This match was a 2-map affair, with SJ proving on the night that they were the superior side. Inferno was a nightmare for the LDLC, as they conceded 2-16 to the SJ, barely making a dent in their defense on T side.
By comparison, LDLC put up a better fight on Train, but the Finns were simply too much for them, winning the series at a convincing 9-16.
havu vs unique (0-2)
Mirage was one of both teams’ best maps, and it was a close result. A near-impenetrable CT side by Unique left little room for Havu to maneuver, and took the map 12-16.
Inferno was a closer affair, with both teams doing the heavy lifting for rounds on their respective T sides as expected. Winning 5 rounds on CT gave Unique enough wind in their sails to take the series 14-16.
lpsp vs ldlc (2-0)
Based on LDLC’s previous performance, this result was to be expected. However, the Wolves weren’t ready to roll over just yet, managing to keep pace with LPSP. However, AnJ’s breakaway performance of 124.6 ADR and 34 kills was more than enough, taking the map 16-12.
Inferno was ever so slightly more contested, with LDLC managing to take 1 more round than in map 1. Still, performances from the losing side were on par with LPSP, but it just wasn’t in them. They conceded the map and their place in the quarter-finals 16-13.
sharks vs havu (0-2)
Narrowly missing victory on their first run in Train against AGO, Sharks decided to go for it once again. It was a photo finish, but Havu managed to pull off a win in the final round on a semi-buy to close out their ‘away’ map 14-16.
Still, the Brazilians were not giving up. They fought bravely, but Havu’s T side overwhelmed them, managing to get just 6 rounds on defense. Although losing the pistol round in the second half, Havu managed to pull it back, and missed elimination on a 13-16 scoreline.