fnatic over Liquid to Pro League semis
The final team to advance to the semifinals of the ESL Pro League Season 3 finals are fnatic as they defeat Liquid 2-0 (16-6 on Cache and 16-13 on Mirage) in the Group B decider match.
The last match at the ESL studios in Leicester was the Group B decider match between Swedish powerhouse fnatic and the last American hope, Team Liquid. Both teams were fighting over the chance to be the final and fourth team to advance to the semifinals in London at the Indigo at the O2 venue.
The first map, Cache, saw the Swedish team pick up their T-side pistolround despite Liquid player Nick "nitr0" Cannella snatching three kills towards the round's end. fnatic then leapt out the gate and moved forward to a 5-0 score before Eric "adreN" Hoag picked up a quad kill to give Liquid their first round of the game.
Despite this moment of respite, it was all the fnatic show for the rest of the first half, led by Dennis "dennis" Edman, and the Swedes finished up 13-2. On the second half, it was again dennis who stood out in the second pistolround with a CZ75 triple kill to secure the second pistol for fnatic.
dennis had a strong performance on Cache
Liquid then kept up the NA dream with a plucky forcebuy round that saw them use tec9's to reset fnatic, but dennis yet again turned the situation around in the next round with a quad kill with the CZ75 to move the score to 15-3. Despite Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski and Kenneth "koosta" Suen each getting 3K rounds to help move Liquid up to six round points, fnatic were finally able to close out the map 16-6.
Mirage was the second map and fnatic yet again rocketed up to a 5-0 T-side lead before koosta's AWP shut down fnatic and put a round on the board for Liquid. This time around, the American team were not about to allow fnatic back into the game and nitr0 & co. began to slowly put more rounds on the board, eventually equalising at 5-5.
Liquid actually managed to continue holding a lead in the first half, despite fnatic picking up two more rounds, which included Robin "flusha" Rönnquist picking up a lightning-fast four AK kills; the Americans thus finished up 8-7.
fnatic managed to hold off a Liquid B-site take on the second pistolround, but a plant on that round allowed Liquid to buy early and win off of AK47 kills, and this win gave the team momentum to pull ahead to a 11-9 lead.
However, the famous grind mentality of fnatic came into play soon and Jesper "JW" Wecksell and flusha began to shut down Liquid, going up to a 14-12 lead and within inches of closing out the series.
Although Liquid managed to grab another round, it was fnatic who ultimately triumphed 16-13 on Mirage.
K - D
38 - 27
47 - 35
43 - 32
38 - 29
29 - 31
There will be no games tomorrow (just a press conference you may or may not have heard of) as teams and production move to London for the semifinals of the $512,000 event. The match-ups for Saturday's games can be found below:
|16:00||Ninjas in Pyjamas||vs. Luminosity|
stich writes for HLTV.org and can be found on Twitter