TSM to ESL ESEA Dubai grand final
TSM are the first to advance to the ESL ESEA Dubai Invitational grand final after a 2-1 victory over NiP (de_dust2 7-16, de_mirage 16-8, de_inferno 16-10).
The first map chosen for the first semi-finals best-of-three was NiP's pick, de_dust2, where the Swedes started as Terrorists, setting a quick pace throughout the entirity of the half.
With a pistol round in the bag, Richard "Xizt" Landström led his team to a 6-0 lead with quick pushes, through short in the first gunround, and split B in the second, enforcing a tactical pause on TSM's side.
That seemed to be fruitful enough, as the Danes picked up two in a row afterwards, just for NiP to reply with two gunrounds of their own to make it 9-2. As the Swedish side was unable to win duels across the entire map, TSM were allowed a third in the half, but that was all the ESL One Cologne semi-finalists could do for the remainder.
The second pistol round went TSM's way by the skin of their teeth, and they also survived both scary anti-ecos, in both of which NiP were in in a number advantage at certain points.
Another solid performance from f0rest helped NiP win de_dust2
The teams then exchanged two rounds for 13-7 as TSM pushed through short to win a forcebuy, but NiP's one at the B bombsite shut them down again, which was enough to close map one out at 16-7.
de_mirage followed and it was NiP yet again picking up the initial pistol on the Terrorists side and make it 3-0 in their favor to start things off. A quick A split didn't work out as well in the following round, TSM's crossfire disposed of the offence.
A couple of forcebuys went 50:50, as in the first, TSM barely won a 2-on-1 against Xizt, while in the second Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund's insane 180-degree Tec-9 double forced TSM to save two weapons.
A rush B backfired into NiP's faces, but another forcebuy afterwards kept TSM on low economy for 5-4 in the Danes' favor before NiP tied it up again after Xizt's 1-on-2 off of Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg's triple. Three peculiar buys afterwards didn't put a dent in TSM's armor, but towards the end of the half, Aleksi "allu" Jalli showed up with six kills in two rounds to set the score at 8-7 in favour of Finn "karrigan" Andersen's squad.
The Danish in-game leader himself was having a good game, as usual on de_mirage, and his team's quick mid rush overpowered NiP for 11-7 after another two scary anti-ecos. Quick link push in the first gunround gave them another round, as well as abusing Adam "friberg" Friberg alone inside the A bombsite for 14-7.
As usual, karrigan was in the spotlight on de_mirage
NiP managed to hang onto their mirage lives for a round, but it wasn't enough to get them back in the game, as we could see TSM tie the match at 1-1 before the server switched to map three, de_inferno.
There it was TSM to start as Terrorists that time around, and picked up the first pistol round as they won a 2-on-2 afterplant on the B bombsite for a flying 5-0 start after a quick A split in the first gunround.
Xizt's five kills in the next two rounds helped NiP get up on their feet, eventually for 6-5, still in TSM's favor, which was when Nicolai "device" Reedtz defended an afterplant situation on B with a solo triple in a 3-on-3. A three-rifle forcebuy on NiP's side worked out well, and another 3-on-2 retake went their way too before they made the half 8-7 with a solid defence on A.
A clean pistol round put them up on 10-7 before they gave a weapon away before running into a B stack, which was enough for TSM to start rolling rounds in, when NiP's economy was shredded into pieces. Time and time again NiP were unable to make a good enough entry into either of the sites, and TSM stormed through the remainder of the rounds to advance to the grand final at 16-10.
K - D
Nicolai 'device' Reedtzdevice
64 - 51
René 'cajunb' Borgcajunb
54 - 49
Andreas 'Xyp9x' HøjslethXyp9x
45 - 49
Peter 'dupreeh' Rasmussendupreeh
44 - 45
Finn 'karrigan' Andersenkarrigan
43 - 52
Next up at ESL ESEA Dubai Invitational is the second semi-final of Virtus.pro and fnatic, kicking off as soon as both teams are ready.