Space Soldiers beat OpTic; book Major Qualifier spot
Space Soldiers have booked their place in the Europe Minor playoffs after defeating OpTic 2-1 (7-16 on Overpass, 16-3 on Cache and 22-20 on Mirage).
The series kicked off on OpTic's map pick, Overpass, but it was Space Soldiers who came out the brighter as they picked up the first pistol round. A third-round buy from OpTic, however, turned the tide in their favour, with the European mixture going on to win four more rounds without response.
Space Soldiers got back into the game with a flawless 3v3 post-plant retake in the next round, but they could not follow that up. Still, the Turkish team tightened up with defence and strung three rounds together to equalise the score at 6-6 before OpTic bagged the final rounds of the half.
After picking up the second pistol, Adam "friberg" Friberg's men quickly increased their lead to 13-6. Space Soldiers still managed to get a round on the board, but OpTic replied immediately to reset the Turkish team, who were left without tools to keep their opponents from locking down the map at 16-7.
On Cache, OpTic looked ready to take control of their opponents' map pick after winning the T-side pistol, but Space Soldiers responded with a succesful force-buy – in which Aleksi "allu" Jalli nearly pulled off a 1v3 clutch.
The Turkish team took control of proceedings after that, with the scoreline blooming to a 5-1 advantage. friberg still called a timeout in a bid to halt Space Soldiers' momentum, but to no avail as the Turkish team cruised to an 11-1 lead.
OpTic then kept their hopes alive by winning the next two rounds, but Engin "MAJ3R" Küpeli's squad quickly regained control of the game, stringing five rounds together en route to a crushing 16-3 win.
Space Soldiers started off Mirage on the right foot, picking up a flawless CT pistol, the anti-ecos and the first gun round. As the Turkish team kept tightening up their defence, there was little that OpTic could do to break through in the game.
In the 11th round, the European squad were close to winning their first of the map, but Ahmet "paz" Karahoca and Buğra "Calyx" Arkın clutched a 2v3 situation. Still, a 1v2 from Kevin "HS" Tarn got his team back to the game, who would reduce the deficit to 4-11 by half-time.
friberg then came up huge with a 1v3 clutch to give his team some breathing room, and that round marked the beginning of a six-round streak from OpTic. Even though Space Soldiers would reach match-point, OpTic then managed to take the game to overtime.
Emil "Magisk" Reif and co. kicked off extra-time with the lead before switching sides, but it were Space Soldiers who would finish things off on the second overtime, 22-20, after a hard-fought battle for a place in the Major Main qualifier.
K - D
Buğra 'Calyx' ArkınCalyx
81 - 50
Ismailcan 'XANTARES' DörtkardeşXANTARES
67 - 63
Engin 'MAJ3R' KüpeliMAJ3R
58 - 56
Ahmet 'paz' Karahocapaz
52 - 58
Engin 'ngiN' KorngiN
41 - 59