G2 to ECS S1 semis over Liquid
G2 have edged out Liquid 2-1 (12-16 on Cobblestone, 16-6 on Dust, and 16-11 on Nuke) to make it to the semifinals of the ECS Season 1 finals.
The Group A decider match of the ECS Season 1 finals was a rematch of the opening match for both Liquid and G2, with the latter team having to defeat NiP earlier today in a best-of-three elimination match.
Liquid's map pick of Cobblestone kicked off the series but it was a T-side starting G2 who got the ball rolling on the first pistolround, with Cédric "RpK" Guipouy picking up two TEC-9 entry kills and Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom netting two frags as well. G2 capitalised off of this early start to overwhelm Liquid in the early gun and anti-eco rounds and moved ahead to a 6-0 lead.
A triple kill from AWP terror Josh "jdm64" Marzano in the seventh round finally put Liquid on the board and this hold inspired his teammates to also hold their ground as Liquid picked up four more rounds to make the score 6-5 for G2.
shox led the G2 camp across the three maps
Despite Spencer "Hiko" Martin getting a quad kill in the seventh round, it was here that G2 picked up a round win again and the French-Belgian team were able to close out the half 9-6, although the final round saw a strong triple kill hold from Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev give a final round to Liquid on their CT side.
s1mple was also a force to be reckoned with on the second pistolround as his quick double kill helped Liquid secure the pistol and equalised the score after the anti-ecos. With solid teamwork all around on the first gunround, Liquid then moved into the 10-9 lead and appeared poised to begin the final push to close out the map.
This final push seemed assured after the 21st round, when jdm64 won a one-versus-two on the A bombsite due to due close range quickscopes (and overall had a triple kill that round). However, after going up to a 15-9 score, Liquid appeared in a dangerous state as G2 began to win rounds back.
Hiko was a potent force on Cobblestone and Nuke
With a Liquid tactical pause called late in the half, it was only on the 28th round that Liquid were able to close out the map thanks to the anti-asphyxiation heroics of jdm64, who picked up a quad kill on the B bombsite to gift Liquid Cobblestone 16-12.
G2's map pick of Dust2 was next in the works but it was actually a CT side Liquid hold from s1mple and Nick "nitr0" Cannella on the first pistolround that destroyed G2, with both players picking up two kills apiece.
The third round however saw the activation of the G2 force buy and with ScreaM picking up three neat kils and partner in crime Richard "shox" Papillon tagging along, G2 secured an early round in the first half. G2 shortly powered ahead to a 6-2 lead, including RpK winning a one-versus-two on the seventh round.
Despite some overall solid holds from Liquid, it was a much stronger G2 side that closed out the half 10-5. The second pistolround easily went G2's way, and with duo ScreaM and shox hitting their stride, G2 easily closed out the second map 16-6.
G2 overall held their own on Nuke, despite the map's newfangled state
Nuke, the latest re-addition to the map pool and a map with a still developing meta game, was the decider map with Liquid starting the map off with a successful T-side execute. A G2 pistol force buy in the next round however reset Liquid's economy and put the French-Belgian team on the advantage.
Despite Liquid picking up a scattering of T rounds here and there, the first half was a story of G2's superior defense and included shox getting a ninja defuse in the smoke on the fourteenth round. G2 finished the half up 11-4.
The second pistolround saw Liquid breathe some wind into their sails with a successful defense that did not allow G2 to plant the bomb. Liquid continued to defend succesfully, including winning a three-on-five on the 20th round which particularly pleased teammate s1mple. G2 clinched the round afterwards to make it 12-10 but solid defending in the next round saw Liquid defuse a bomb at B site and inch closer to equalising.
G2 force bought and rushed A site and despite Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski picking up three kills, shox and ScreaM teamed up to somehow overwhelm the site and take the round; G2 then won the anti-eco and moved up to 14-11. Despite Liquid's final attempts at holding, G2 ultimately closed the map 16-11 and took the series 2-1.
K - D
Adil 'ScreaM' BenrlitomScreaM
66 - 46
Richard 'shox' Papillonshox
66 - 50
Cédric 'RpK' GuipouyRpK
63 - 49
Edouard 'SmithZz' DubourdeauxSmithZz
54 - 52
Alexandre 'bodyy' Pianarobodyy
38 - 49
stich writes for HLTV.org and can be found on Twitter