fnatic over TSM to Group D final
fnatic are the first team to make ELEAGUE's Group D final after defeating TSM 2-1 (16-12 on Cache, 11-16 on Mirage, and 16-6 on Cobblestone).
As usual, Thursdays at ELEAGUE represented the semifinals for the group, with the teams having received their seeding in the previous two days and fighting over a chance to advance to the group final and thus play in a televised match as well as advance to the playoffs of the $1.4 million tournament.
The first semifinal of Group D was between the group's first seed fnatic, who have lately looked like a team revitalised thanks to Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer's return, and the group's last seed TSM, a North American team who lost all their matches yet who put up quite a fight in many of them and pleasantly surprised many.
Swede Dennis "dennis" Edman continued his pattern of crucial pistol kills for fnatic on the first pistolround, picking up two quick USP kills to help the Swedish team secure a round win and advance to 4-0 (with TSM buying early on the third round thanks to a bomb plant and yet crumbling on the execute).
olofmeister was the avant garde for fnatic on Cache
TSM quickly came back with a statement that they were not just some run-of-the-mill North American team however, and entries from 17-year-old Hunter "SicK" Mims and 24-year-old Pujan "FNS" Mehta gave TSM the fifth round. Continuing good T-side form from TSM managed to give them two more rounds before fnatic answered back with a solid hold.
The next two rounds flip-flopped as the two teams struggled over each other's economy but it was ultimately the Swedes who persevered in the half and finished up 9-6.
Two Glock entry kills from olofmeister secured the second pistolround for fnatic but the elite level team were surprisingly eco'ed by TSM on the next round thanks to CZ75 action from Timothy "autimatic" Ta and Kory "SEMPHIS" Friesen. Not to be outdone in the art of styling on opponents however, fnatic won the force buy right afterwards which included four Desert Eagle kills from the red-hot olofmeister.
TSM managed to neutralise fnatic's lead on the 21st round and the team actually narrowed the scoreline to a surprising 13-12 (which included strong play from SicK), but fnatic finally refound their form and closed out TSM's map pick 16-12.
The next map was Mirage, fnatic's map pick, and it was TSM who opened with style on a CT pistolround hold, with FNS and Danish stand-in Casper "cadiaN" Møller each picking up two frags apiece. Successful defense from the North Americans moved the score to 4-0 until Deagle kills from fnatic finally gave them a round.
SEMPHIS went to work with the AWP on Mirage
With team captain SEMPHIS landing numerous shots with the AWP and with the rest of the team also defending well, TSM actually moved up to a 9-1 score before fnatic finally began to win narrow site takes and the half ultimately finished 11-4 for TSM.
fnatic demonstrated their resolve and obstinacy on the second half however as Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson and Jesper "JW" Wecksell helped out on the second pistolround and this time it was fnatic's turn to steamroll ahead as the Swedes got as close as 11-9 (for TSM) before an A-take from TSM included SicK picking up three AK headshots and reversing momentum of the game.
A quad kill from cadiaN in the next round (which included shutting down a fast A ramp CT push) and a one-versus-one victory from autimatic in the 25th round turned the game completely around and TSM surprised many with a 16-11 win on the second map.
Cobblestone kicked off with a vengeful fnatic opening on the T-side pistolround that saw them move up to 3-0. TSM at first looked like they came prepared on the first gunround as SEMPHIS picked up two crucial opening kills with the AWP while holding as a CT.
KRIMZ's one-versus-two on the fifth round gave TSM a one way ticket to Tilt Capital
However, two key rounds transpired afterwards: KRIMZ managed to win an improbable one-versus-two on the B bomsite which included a jumping fadeaway TEC-9 kill and dennis then won a one-versus-three on the B site in the next round.
These two slip-ups sent TSM off the tilt deep end and fnatic cruised to a 14-1 finish on the first half, with nary a whimper raised from their North American rivals. fnatic picked up the second pistolround and TSM then began a meagre attempt at a comeback, picking up five rounds, but ultimately fnatic closed out the map 16-6 and advanced to the Group D final.
K - D
62 - 51
56 - 57
59 - 48
60 - 50
51 - 50
stich writes for HLTV.org and can be found on Twitter