NEO tops the scoreboard as Virtus.pro eliminate Gambit
Virtus.pro pick up their first win in Saint Petersburg after a drawn out affair against Gambit. The final score was 2-1 (16-6 Inferno, 13-16 Train, 16-13 Cache), with Filip "NEO" Kubski being the star for the Poles.
In the first elimination match of EPICENTER 2017, Virtus.pro won the pistol on the CT side of their map pick, Inferno, but couldn't get off to a good start. Gambit's force-buy proved deadly for the Polish defense on B and the Kazakhstanian side bounced back and went on to get a 5-1 lead.
In the following round, that was a full buy for both sides, Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski opened things up with a sneaky smoke play on short, but it was the B defense of Paweł "byali" Bieliński and Filip "NEO" Kubski that held things together and got Virtus.pro another round on the board. Thanks to Jarosław "pashaBiceps" Jarząbkowski doing a lot of work with the AWP, the Polish side was able to rack up rounds, tying the score at 5-5 and finally forcing Gambit to eco. That seemed like a breaking point, as Dauren "AdreN" Kystaubayev and co. didn't seem capable of putting up a fight in the rest of the first half, finishing it 10-5 down.
After winning the second pistol, Virtus.pro survived an anti-eco scare and won the crucial first buy round with a fast take of banana, during which they got kills on both of the B site defenders. Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas's team had a slip up at 14-5, allowing Mihail "Dosia" Stolyarov to pick off a player in alt-mid with a Deagle and then rotate to B to lock down the site and four kills in total. However, that was only a temporary setback for Virtus.pro, who shortly finished the map 16-6.
Gambit took over the early game on Train as they won the pistol and the following two, and then, after losing a 1v1 in the first buy round, were able to reset Virtus.pro and go 4-1 up on the T side. That put the Polish side in a disadvantageous position, as TaZ and co. were forced into lacking buys, which Gambit was able to exploit.
In round 8, AdreN timed his push perfectly, walked out ivy and flanked the A site defense, winning his side the round and making it 7-1. Once again reset, Virtus.pro opted for a single AWP buy combined with four pistol-armors, and it paid off. NEO opened it up with a kill in T mid and the rest of the squad joined in to secure a perfect, clean round. The Poles recovered after that, finishing the CT half with just a single round deficit.
Gambit were on the way to take the control back, as doubles from Rustem "mou" Telepov and Bektiyar "fitch" Bahytov secured them the pistol round, and the A site force-buy offensive from Virtus.pro was handled easily by the team from Kazakhstan. However, Dosia, fitch and Abay "Hobbit" Khasenov went eco-hunting against Glocks in the next round, that backfired—and gave Virtus.pro a way back into the game (10-8 for Gambit).
The B site defense was the backbone of Gambit's CT side, and it held strong as they clawed the score back to 14-11. NEO and pashaBiceps then combined with two apiece for a key round win on A, which broke Gambit's money, and the score was soon 14-13. In an all-important round, Hobbit and mou were able to resolve a 2v2 after plant on A, with the AWPer defusing the bomb with just 0.008 seconds left on the clock. That round got Gambit on match point, with another after plant win securing the 16-13 map win for Dosia's team.
A confident start on the Terrorist side of Cache saw Gambit go up 5-0, but Virtus.pro replied in round six, locking down the A site. NEO was once again the main man for Virtus.pro, playing a pivotal role in the Poles bringing back the score with some clean round wins that allowed them to rack up a bank as well.
That economy bonus saw Virtus.pro keep the pressure on Dosia's team despite losing some rounds, and finish the first half with an 8-7 lead. Adding the second pistol round win extended the Poles' advantage, and they found themselves at a 13-11 up soon. Gambit were putting up a fight, with many rounds being tight, but Virtus.pro were able to close out the after plants and eventually finish the game with a 16-13 scoreline on Cache and a 2-1 for the series.
K - D
Filip 'NEO' KubskiNEO
73 - 47
Jarosław 'pashaBiceps' JarząbkowskipashaBiceps
63 - 53
Wiktor 'TaZ' WojtasTaZ
54 - 51
Paweł 'byali' Bielińskibyali
53 - 58
Janusz 'Snax' PogorzelskiSnax
44 - 53