SK have won the 2017 edition of EPICENTER after defeating Virtus.pro in a five-map thriller.
The series began on Mirage, SK's map pick, where the Brazilians were slaughtered in the pistol round as they failed to pick up a single kill. After securing both anti-ecos, Virtus.pro won the first full gun round thanks to Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski, who caught two opponents off-guard before playing the timer against Fernando "fer" Alvarenga.
Down 0-5, SK finally managed to get a round on the board, punishing Virtus.pro for playing aggressively. The Brazilians would continue picking up rounds, but Virtus.pro did not let their lead slip and went on another great run that was only briefly interrupted when Marcelo "coldzera" David won an eco round for his team with a trio of CZ kills.
Virtus.pro further added to their lead by winning the pistol round with an unconventional strategy, pushing A and then going all the way through connector to B, with Filip "NEO" Kubski getting three kills to his name. The Polish team also won the subsequent anti-ecos, but they hit a brick wall called coldzera once SK bought up.
The Brazilians kept their defence very tight and reduced the deficit to 13-10. Paweł "byali" Bieliński then paved the way for his team to hit 14 rounds with key frags in A, with Virtus.pro instantly regaining control of proceedings to lock down the map, 16-10.
Next up was Inferno, where SK took the pistol round in convincing fashion, only to lose to Virtus.pro's eco B push in the next round, with NEO getting a kill on the defusing opponent with an R8 Revolver.
The gun rounds were played at a very high pace, but neither side managed to stamp their authority on the game, with only three rounds setting the teams apart at the end of the half.
Up 9-6, SK further added to their lead by winning the pistol round, courtesy of a quad-kill from Ricardo "boltz" Prass. That was the start of a phenomenal run from the Brazilians, who would win six more rounds without response to lock down the map and equalise the series.
Virtus.pro did not let that map loss get to them and came out on Train with all guns blazing, winning six rounds right off the bat. SK then finally got a round on the board after catching the CTs off-guard with an A push and winning the subsequent 2v2.
The Brazilians could not build on that round win, however, and had to deal with a hard economic reset. The scoreline bloomed to a 12-1 advantage for Virtus.pro, but SK kept themselves in the game by taking the final two rounds of the half, the second of which thanks to a triple kill from fer.
SK came from the break a different side and put together a tight defence in a bid to keep the Poles at bay. Every time that a round went Virtus.pro's way, SK hit back immediately, leaving Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas's men strapped for cash. Despite that, the Polish team would be able to reach map point thanks to a sensational 1v3 clutch from Snax, but SK fought back to tie up the score at 15-15.
The Brazilian team took a two-round lead in overtime off of great plays from coldzera and boltz, with Virtus.pro winning the final round of the half. With the momentum now in their favour, SK won the first round as Terrorists to hit map point before Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo closed it out with a stunning 1v2 clutch.
Cache began with Virtus.pro jumping out to a 5-0 lead on the CT side following some messy rounds that could have easily gone either way. Since SK had made those rounds so expensive for their opponents, when the Brazilians finally managed to secure a round, the Poles' money was left in tatters.
Still, Virtus.pro came within touching distance of winning an eco, only for Epitacio "TACO" de Melo and coldzera to overturn a 2v5 situation after slowing down the pace of the round. SK remained in the driving seat for the rest of the half, which ended with a 9-6 scoreline in the Brazilians' favour.
Now playing on the Terrorist side, Virtus.pro came out of the gate with fire in their belly, winning nine of the first ten rounds to instantly reach map point. The Brazilians would still get a couple of rounds on the board, but there would be no miraculous comeback. The Polish team had a crushing economic control, so they kept buying until they eventually won their 16th round of the game, taking the series to an all-deciding fifth map.
It all came down to Cobblestone, where SK won the pistol round and the following anti-ecos to start the game with a 3-0 lead. Virtus.pro then up a great defense in gun rounds and used a double AWP setup almost perfectly, which saw them win seven rounds in a row, immediately putting the Brazilians in danger of getting blown out.
SK then brought that streak to an end, but Virtus.pro replied immediately off of a quad-kill from NEO. Still, the Brazilians still had some money to work with, so when fer picked up a triple kill in the next round, the Poles were left with no money in the bank, which paved the way for FalleN's side to bring the deficit to 8-7.
NEO came up huge in the following pistol round, getting four kills to his name before byali finished the job with a fadeaway headshot. SK lost bought eco rounds, but they came fighting back once they got money to work with, winning two gun rounds in a row.
Virtus.pro went on another three-round streak to bring the scoreline to 14-9. It looked like the game would soon come to an end, but there was some fight left in the SK side, who kept their defence very tight, even after Virtus.pro had reached championship point with a triple-kill from TaZ, to take the game to overtime.
The first overtime could not determine a winner as both teams picked up two rounds on the Terrorist side - with Virtus.pro wasting two match points. In the second overtime, SK won three straight rounds as Terrorists, and they locked it down just one round into the second half.
|SK||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Marcelo 'coldzera' Davidcoldzera||130 - 92||+38||80.7||1.27|
|Ricardo 'boltz' Prassboltz||114 - 98||+16||83.4||1.16|
|Fernando 'fer' Alvarengafer||111 - 109||+2||86.9||1.11|
|Gabriel 'FalleN' ToledoFalleN||103 - 92||+11||74.6||1.08|
|Epitacio 'TACO' de MeloTACO||78 - 104||-26||60.9||0.83|
|Virtus.pro||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Filip 'NEO' KubskiNEO||119 - 103||+16||91.2||1.16|
|Janusz 'Snax' PogorzelskiSnax||102 - 104||-2||75.0||1.08|
|Paweł 'byali' Bielińskibyali||105 - 110||-5||80.6||1.02|
|Jarosław 'pashaBiceps' JarząbkowskipashaBiceps||93 - 110||-17||65.0||0.92|
|Wiktor 'TaZ' WojtasTaZ||75 - 109||-34||55.6||0.78|
EPICENTER 2017 Final Standings: