Empire to Cologne Major Qualifier
The third day of the StarLadder CIS Minor to Cologne 2016 sees Empire advance to the official ESL One Cologne 2016 Qualifier after defeating Fluffy Gangsters 2-1 in the upper bracket final (3-16 on Dust2, 16-6 on Cobblestone, and 16-12 on Train).
Running from April 28 to May 1, the Cologne 2016 StarLadder CIS Minor is offering $50,000 in prize money for the top four finishers and two official spots to the offline ESL One Cologne 2016 Main Qualifier.
Although mainly of interest to fans and viewers in the CIS region, the Minor has shown us both unknown talents doing damage (particularly on the first day) and the elimination of teams such as Arcade.
kUcheR finds another chance to qualify for a CS:GO Major with Empire
Powered by Leonid "chopper" Vishnyakov, Fluffy Gangsters snatched Mirage with a score of 16-3; Dmitriy "facecrack" Alekseyev and co. then answered back with a 16-9 on Cobblestone. The third map of the series then went the full mile on Overpass, moving into overtime but it was Fluffy Gangsters who ultimately won 19-15 with 27-year-old Anatoliy "liTTle" Yashin posting a 1.91 rating and 112.7 ADR on Overpass.
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The second upper bracket semifinal also featured an overtime, as Worst Players (the former Team YP core) and Empire dueled on the first map of Mirage and it was the worst players who ironically bested Empire 19-16.
However, Empire buckled down for the long run and took the next two maps to clinch the series, winning Dust2 16-10 and Train 16-11 with 17-year-old Denis "electroNic" Sharipov putting in a strong performance.
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Fluffy Gangsters and Empire therefore advanced to the upper bracket final to fight over a guaranteed spot to the ESL One Cologne 2016 Qualifier and at least $15,000 in prize-money.
The first two maps of the upper bracket final were extremely one-sided, with liTTle & co. easily picking up Dust2 16-3 whereas Emil "kUcheR" Akhundov and his team answered back 16-6 on Cobblestone (the 27-year-old Ukrainian player had a 1.77 rating and 90.3 ADR on that map).
The final map of Train was much more strongly contested, and it was once again the likes of liTTle, chopper, and Vladislav "El Patron" Kopitin for Fluffy Gangsters and kUcheR, electroNic, and Roman "CyberFocus" Dergach for Empire who dueled it out in a back and forth series that finished 16-12 for Empire by the match's end.
K - D
60 - 43
51 - 42
43 - 52
46 - 47
37 - 54
K - D
59 - 45
55 - 45
57 - 47
34 - 49
33 - 51
As a result of the match, Empire are now in the CIS Minor grand final and have now qualified for the Cologne Qualifier with a guaranteed second place. The teams so far confirmed at the ESL One Cologne 2016 Main Qualifier are:
|Empire||Null element CIS Minor #2||EU Minor #1||EU Minor #2|
|NA Minor #1||NA Minor #2||Asia Minor #1||Asia Minor #2|
Tomorrow will see three final best-of-three games play out at the CIS Minor, the lower bracket final between ANOX and Worst Players at 13:00 , the consolidation final to determine the second qualified team, and the grand final to fight over the $30,000 first place prize.
stich writes for HLTV.org and can be found on Twitter