NiP, SK & C9 to IEM Oakland playoffs; Astralis eliminated
With wins in the last two matches, Cloud9 and NiP secured playoff spots at IEM Oakland, while SK's good start to the tournament allowed them to make the bracket play over Astralis and EnVyUs.
Facing SK on Train, Cloud9 picked up the early momentum with a second-round force buy, going on a run of four round wins after that. SK's first gun round was a successful one and it broke Cloud9's economy, but another anti-eco blunder cost them the opportunity to take control of the match on the T side of Train.
Throughout the first half, Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham was impeccable, making up for his lackluster performance in the previous match against Envy. The North American AWPer boasted a 23-3 K-D at one point of the match but finished the half 24-6 as SK woke up towards the end of their Terrorist side.
Cloud9 extended their 10-5 lead from the first half by winning the second pistol, however, Ricardo "boltz" Prass's double on the force stopped the North American side from building momentum early in the second half. It didn't add up to much in the end, as two from William "RUSH" Wierzba and one from Skadoodle opened up the first buy round for Cloud9, and they were able to close out the game from there to ensure their place in the playoffs - as well as eliminate Astralis from IEM Oakland 2017.
K - D
Tyler 'Skadoodle' LathamSkadoodle
30 - 11
Tarik 'tarik' Celiktarik
19 - 17
Jake 'Stewie2K' YipStewie2K
18 - 15
Timothy 'autimatic' Taautimatic
14 - 13
William 'RUSH' WierzbaRUSH
13 - 16
After winning the CT pistol on Nuke, NiP set themselves up for a comfortable lead and put themselves in a good economic situation by securing the first buy. The key man in the round was Fredrik "REZ" Sterner, who picked up two kills on the lower site to deny the bomb plant. Envy first round came in round seven, and they importantly followed it up with another one, as Christophe "SIXER" Xia picked up a double entry with the AWP. (6-2)
As the half went on, Envy slowly took over the momentum, with Vincent "Happy" Schopenhauer spearheading his side with 17 kills on the T side. In the end, the French team was able to minimise NiP's lead to just one round before switching to the defensive side of the map.
NiP went on a six-round winning streak at the start of the second half, making the score 14-7 and putting Envy in a tight situation. A triple kill from Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom stopped the bleeding, but only shortly, as the Ninjas confidently closed out the game 16-11 with the youngster REZ topping the scoreboard.
K - D
Vincent 'Happy' SchopenhauerHappy
24 - 21
Adil 'ScreaM' BenrlitomScreaM
23 - 16
Christophe 'SIXER' XiaSIXER
21 - 19
Cédric 'RpK' GuipouyRpK
16 - 18
Alexandre 'xms' Fortéxms
8 - 21
The final game of group A was the one between TheMongolz and Astralis. The Danes had to win against the Asian team to have a chance to move on in the tournament and didn't struggle to do so. After losing the CT pistol round and the following two rounds on Inferno, Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander's side dropped only one round to Enkhtaivan "Machinegun" Lkhagva and co. before the switch. (11-4)
With Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen dropping 29 kills, Astralis had no issues closing out the game on the Terrorist side. Despite dropping a couple of rounds along the way, the final score was a convincing 16-6 in favor of the Danish side.
K - D
Enkhtaivan 'Machinegun' LkhagvaMachinegun
15 - 20
Temuulen 'Zilkenberg' BattulgaZilkenberg
12 - 20
Bold 'ncl' Batsuhncl
13 - 17
Erdenedalai 'maaRaa' BayanbatmaaRaa
10 - 15
Tsog 'Tsogoo' MashbatTsogoo
7 - 15