Virtus.pro take down fnatic, to final
The second semifinal of the $250,000 ESL ESEA Dubai Invitational saw Virtus.pro upset fnatic with a score of 2-1 (7-16 on de_cbble, 16-5 on de_train, and 16-4 on de_cache).
The ESL ESEA Dubai Invitational second semifinal pitted together Virtus.pro and fnatic, two rivals who have an eerie history in 2015 of playing close semifinals games at $250,000 tournaments: at ESL One Katowice, at the ESL ESEA Pro League Season 1 finals, and at ESL One Cologne.
With all three previous semifinals sharing a similar history of Virtus.pro starting out red-hot on their first map, only to be grinded out to a defeat by fnatic later in the series, fnatic's map pick of de_cbble was a must-win for the Polish team heading into this semifinal.
Virtus.pro finally get semifinal revenge over fnatic in 2015
VP got off to a strong start on their CT-side by winning the pistol round only to be promptly eco'ed by fnatic, a recurring phenomenon for any opponent of the Swedish powerhouse in the playoffs.
fnatic's T-side half was truly the Markus "pronax" Wallsten show, with the team's IGL putting in a strong performance and continuously countering the rounds VP picked up with fnatic roundwins, putting the Poles on a near constant state of having a poor economy. fnatic finished in the lead at 10-5.
fnatic took the CT pistol only to be eco'ed in kind by Virtus.pro. However, the Swedish pistol-play was much more dynamic than VP expected, and after a narrowly won 20th round, Virtus.pro lost the next anti-eco to bring the score to 12-7 for fnatic.
A brief technical pause did not help the Polish team revitalise, and fnatic hammered in the final touches to the VP coffin on de_cbble, winning with a convincing 16-7 scoreline. Robin "flusha" Rönnquist put in yet another dominant performance.
flusha shone on de_cbble
On de_train, Virtus.pro won a CT pistol round that was hectic on all levels for both teams, with Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas ultimately winning a one-versus-two to clutch the round. The Poles then activated a quintessential VP-style wall of defense, rocketing up to a 8-1 lead before fnatic responded with two of their own.
With the half finishing 11-4 for VP, the Poles simply refused to let up, and with Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski leading the way in fragging, VP easily snagged the second map with a score of 16-5.
Virtus.pro kept up the aggressive pacing in their T-side on de_cache, walking up to 6-1 in the early part of the third map, with Snax once again firing on all cylinders and winning a crucial one-versus-two following a sloppy execute by VP.
Snax was galvanic on maps two and three
The savage sack of fnatic did not let up there however, with all of VP's players playing superbly well, including Paweł "byali" Bieliński winning an unlikely one-versus-three. In the next round, team fragger Snax somehow fended off assaults from multiple angles by fnatic to give Virtus.pro another round. Virtus.pro finished the half with a dominant 11-4 scoreline.
Youngster byali scored four kills on the second pistol round and virtually handed VP the momentum to finish the game by that point. Despite fnatic picking up one more round, the game was a closed-off matter with Virtus.pro cruising to a 16-4 victory.
K - D
Janusz 'Snax' PogorzelskiSnax
63 - 41
Filip 'NEO' KubskiNEO
48 - 34
Paweł 'byali' Bielińskibyali
47 - 45
Wiktor 'TaZ' WojtasTaZ
40 - 44
Jarosław 'pashaBiceps' JarząbkowskipashaBiceps
40 - 42