VeryGames take out Astana 2-1
Despite being on the brink of defeat on map two, VeryGames will move on to the grand final of SLTV StarSeries VII after a 2-1 win over Astana Dragons (12-16 on de_mirage_ce, 16-13 on de_inferno_se & 16-2 on de_nuke_se).
After their sensational win over Ninjas in Pyjamas, VeryGames' next obstacle were home squad Astana Dragons, who had quite a bit of trouble overcoming fnatic in their first match.
Nevertheless, it was the CIS-based squad who had the better start on de_mirage_ce, going up 5-0 on the Terrorists side.
shox showed early on in the match that this would be his day
Richard "shox" Papillon's two 1-on-2 clutch wins in a row gave VG their first rounds, but they still couldn't get into the game as Astana quickly put together four of their own for 9-2, including two quad-kills by Kirill "ANGE1" Karasiow.
Kevin "Ex6TenZ" Droolans then changed gears and picked up an AWP which quickly resulted in 3 kills by the in-game leader and a round win, but didn't help VG too much as they still ended up trailing 4-11 at the half.
After dropping the second pistol round as well, the last chance for a comeback was the early buy round for VeryGames, and thanks to a 1vs1 clutch by Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom, his team stayed in the game.
The round after that, Edouard "SmithZz" Dubourdeaux finally woke up from his 1:16 slump and recorded 3 kills to force Astana on a double eco.
Mihail "Dosia" Stolyarov great solo defense on the B site snapped VG's streak at 14-8, but they quickly carried on up to 14-12, making it seem like they were capable of repeating their achievement from the NiP match two days ago.
Karasiow wouldn't have it though as he scored 2 important entry kills, while Yegor "markeloff" Markelov finished off the remaining members in the A bombsite, putting Astana on match point and soon after clinching the map with a 16-12 score.
After winning their opponent's pick, Astana then continued on their own map selection de_inferno_se with another 5-0 lead as CTs.
VG snatched the second buy round, but fell behind 7-1 before Papillon had another great round and scored 4 kills.
However, a great retake by Markelov and Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev in the B bombsite, and then a 4-kill round by Dauren "AdreN" Kystaubayev propelled Astana Dragons to increase their lead all the way to 11-2.
Things started going downhill for Astana at the end of first half on inferno
The last train for the French-Belgian squad was a semi-buy with only three rifles, and they somehow managed to convert it along with the last round of the half, once again thanks to some nice play by Papillon, putting the score at 11-4 for Astana at the half.
Another big comeback seemed to be in the making when a very aggressive CT pistol by VG turned out fruitful, with Benrlitom scoring two particularly nice headshots, eventually bringing the score to 11-7.
Astana's first buy round win celebrations were immediately cut short by a 1-on-1 clutch from Nathan "NBK" Schmitt which reset their money and brought VG even closer scorewise.
A perfectly executed B attack gave Karasiow's team a 13-10 lead, but everything went downhill from there as their opponents set up perfectly for the rounds to come.
Schmitt's three M4A4 kills helped force Astana into money troubles, and before long the score was even at 13-13.
In the next and potentially crucial round, Droolans sent his team aggressive down mid and it caught the Dragons off guard, resulting with another triple-kill by Papillon and forcing another eco from their opponents which set up map point situation.
The map ended in the next round with Dubourdeaux getting 3 SCAR-20 kills and completing another unlikely comeback by VeryGames, 16-13.
The decider was to be de_nuke_se, which Astana Dragons hadn't played very often since the team spawned, unlike VeryGames who frequent on the map.
Starting at the CT side, VG finally had their first good map opening of this tournament, going up 5-0 with Papillon showing signs of what was about to happen with another 3K in the first buy round.
ScreaM's 81 headshot percentage was unprecedented, but shox surely takes man of the match honors
The Dragons then finally executed a good attack, despite being in a 4-on-5, to make the score 5-1, but it was the only round they managed to win as Terrorists as Papillon and Benrlitom dominated the rest, the former having 21:2 score when the result stood at 10-1.
With a combination of timely aggression and hitting their shots, VeryGames stomped over their opponents and led 14-1 at the half.
The second half was only a formality despite Astana winning the pistol, as they succumbed to a second round P250 and armor buy which practically ended the map 16-2, and thus the match.
K - D
77 - 39
59 - 46
53 - 46
42 - 49
40 - 47
VeryGames will be awaiting their grand final opponent with a 1-0 advantage in a best-of-five series, scheduled for Sunday around 15:00 .
Astana Dragons will play against NiP later today around 21:00 in the consolidation final in hopes of getting a second shot at the French-Belgian team and the $7,000 prize for first place.