StarSeries XIII day one wrap-up
We take a look at the first day's matches at the SLTV StarSeries XIII finals taking place at the CyberSport Arena in Kiev, Ukraine from June 19-21.
With six teams competing at the SLTV StarSeries XIII finals in the CyberSport Arena in a round robin format for four playoff spots, the first day of action promised to set the ground for who might advance.
The Bulgarians of GPlay, who entered the tournament at the last minute in lieu of Titan dropping out due to work commitments, broke out onto the wider scene with an auspicious opener against EnVyUs, winning 16-14 on de_dust2.
This result is not the first time that EnVyUs have been upset with the exact same score and map, and the event's opening atmosphere hearkened back to CLG's underdog victory over the nV team during MLG X Games Aspen.
Whether the surprise victory can be chalked up to EnVyUs' slow best-of-one starting matches or GPlay's hunger to prove themselves is probably a question that can be answered in more than one way. Regardless, it gave GPlay a crucial win in the groupstage.
v1c7oR has a reason to be happy about GPlay's day one performance
The next match was an equally impressive opener for Gamers2, as the Polish outfit cruised to a fairly comfortable victory against HellRaisers. In the latter team's defense, they are attending the event without star player Mihail "Dosia" Stolyarov, and instead using Dmitry "hooch" Bogdanov.
With Jacek "MINISE" Jeziak leading the charge in terms of frags, Gamers2 shut down HellRaisers 16-6 on de_overpass and gave themselves a much needed win in the round robin group.
HellRaisers had a chance to return the score and worsen EnVyUs' two-time consecutive championship-winning streak at StarSeries, however the Frenchmen recouped themselves and shut the CIS-region team down 16-7 on de_cache.
Edouard "SmithZz" Dubourdeaux scored far above any other player in the game, earning an astounding 1.94 rating by the match's end.
The next game saw the two remaining teams of the tournament have their debut, Na`Vi and FlipSid3. With both teams fielding various mixtures of Ukrainian players, the match promised to be a bit of a hometown derby.
Despite his overall team's results, s1mple's performance is no doubt on its way to a top 3 standing
Working in a fashion similar to Titan, FlipSid3 put wunderkind Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev in positions to get frags, which shows in the game's statistics as his 1.54 rating is bounds above his teammates. However, Na`Vi were utilising a higher calibre of overall players and Denis "seized" Kostin and Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács in particular helped power Na`Vi to a 16-13 win on de_cbble.
K - D
Ladislav 'GuardiaN' KovácsGuardiaN
25 - 19
Denis 'seized' Kostinseized
22 - 17
Danylo 'Zeus' TeslenkoZeus
26 - 25
Egor 'flamie' Vasilyevflamie
19 - 21
Ioann 'Edward' SukharievEdward
16 - 19
K - D
Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostylievs1mple
31 - 21
Yegor 'markeloff' Markelovmarkeloff
19 - 21
Vladyslav 'bondik' Nechyporchukbondik
20 - 23
Georgi 'WorldEdit' YaskinWorldEdit
15 - 20
Andrey 'B1ad3' GorodenskiyB1ad3
16 - 23
Na`Vi stayed in their seats to face-off against GPlay, the undoubted dark horse of the event. Despite a dominant and aggressive 12-3 Terrorist half on de_inferno, the Bulgarians found themselves growing increasingly frustrated as Na`Vi mounted an even more impressive T half.
Na`Vi therefore became the first team to achieve a 2-0 standing in the group after taking de_inferno off of GPlay 16-14, in perhaps the closest game of the first day.
The next game saw FlipSid3 playing Gamers2 on de_mirage. This game broke the trend of close games with FlipSid3 frankly crushing the Polish side and it was s1mple once again who led the charge, putting up a 25-8 scoreline with a final rating of 1.97.
The penultimate game of the day was interesting for a variety of reasons. In the game, GPlay played another game that went to 30 rounds, however this time the Bulgarians won over HellRaisers 16-14 on de_inferno.
The close loss will be felt especially keenly by HellRaisers as it effectively bars the team from progressing to the playoffs. The game also highlights that GPlay remain a team prone to wild variations in momentum-based play, able to sometimes put up monstrous halves and then choke them away.
The final game of the day gave Na`Vi a chance to break away from the pack and earn a third straight victory.
However, it was the Polish Gamers2' turn to shine on de_cbble, and a strong CT half combined with a batch of mistakes from Na`Vi saw the Polish team running away with the game.
SZPERO's Gamers2 become the third team to achieve two wins in the groupstage
18-year-old Michał "MICHU" Müller helped put the nails in Na`Vi's coffin, and ultimately keep the groupstage close after day one's end, as the Poles ended the game with a 16-8 win over Na`Vi.
With the groupstage still appearing fairly close, aside from HellRaisers' results, tomorrow's action promises to be equally thrilling.
The first match begins at 10:00 with EnVyUs playing FlipSid3 and HLTV.org will be active as ever to bring updated scores, photos, and information to you as it occurs.