Group A: VP electric, NiP humble C9
Virtus.pro have topped group A at the ESL ESEA Dubai Invitational, defeating EnVyUs 16-7 on de_cache, while NiP eliminate Cloud9 from the tournament, winning 19-16 on de_dust2.
The winners' and losers' matches of Group A of the ESL ESEA Dubai Invitational finally saw the production go live from Dubai itself, with players relocating to the outdoor stages with the city's skyline as the scenic backdrop for the in-server action.
Virtus.pro kicked off the plow immediately on de_cache, where the Poles began as T-side against the renowned CT defensive play of EnVyUs. Unfortunately for the Frenchmen however, they could find no response to VP's extreme aggression, with Filip "NEO" Kubski and Paweł "byali" Bieliński in particular making strong plays.
byali has been red-hot in Dubai, having only been fazed by smoke machines apparently
Finishing the half at a shocking 15-0 scoreline for Virtus.pro, the game saw EnVyUs make a brief resurgence on their T side, where the Boys in Blue picked up seven rounds.
But it came too little, too late and Virtus.pro finally managed to defend an A-site take, winning the map 16-7 and advancing into the semifinal, with a guanrateed minimum of $25,000 in prize money assured.
In the losers' match, the Canadian-Americans of Cloud9 took on the Swedish-Finn composition that is NiP on de_dust2.
The first half saw Cloud9 mostly in the driver's seat, with Mike "shroud" Grzesiek winning a crucial clutch on an important gun round after NiP began to rally with a four round comeback. C9 finished the half in the lead at 9-6.
NiP punished Cloud9 for sloppy play on the second pistol, and successfully won the pistol. An equally sloppy rush onto B by the Ninjas in the next round brought them into the clutches of Sean "seang@res" Gares' Five-Seven, giving the American IGL an all-important 3K. As a result, NiP failed their anti-eco and had their economy reset.
NiP survive the losers' match, but it wasn't pretty
Cloud9 continued the lead on CT, and the 21st round saw NiP unable to hold a B-site take, with Adam "friberg" Friberg accidentally killing a teammate in a two-versus-two. NiP rallied in the next round, fortuitous for the Ninjas as Cloud9's economy was weak and forced the North American team onto a double save.
The crucial 25th round saw both teams with full equipment and Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert gave his teammates some hope with an early double kill, allowing C9 to go up 14-11. NiP clawed their way back into the game on the next round, bringing the score eventually to 14-13.
One of the most bizarre retakes of 2015 followed in the next round, with Cloud9 having five members and failing to hastily gain control against three NiP players on catwalk, thus losing the round and giving NiP the momentum to gain match point.
Cloud9 somehow survived the final round of the game, forcing overtime. The North Americans won the first round of OT despite Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund picking up a vital 3K. The name of the game continued to be C9's lack of coordination on CT and GeT_RiGhT warming up to levels of yore, as NiP took the last two rounds of the first half.
On the second half of overtime, NiP star GeT_RiGhT once again helped his team shut down Cloud9, giving the Ninjas the match victory at 19-16.