Liquid to playoffs over mousesports; HellRaisers eliminate Gambit
Liquid have booked their spot in the StarSeries i-League Season 4 playoffs after beating mousesports 2-1, while HellRaisers have eliminated Gambit from the event, also on three maps.
The series between Liquid and mousesports kicked off on the former's map pick, Train, with the North American side prevailing in a back-and-forth CT pistol. Still, mousesports immediately restored parity with five Deagle headshots from Miikka "suNny" Kemppi, who set his team up for a 3-1 lead.
The European mixture further added to their lead in the gun round with a B execution, but were caught off guard by a force-buy from Liquid in the next round. Two rounds was the best that they could string together, however, as mousesports kept piling the pressure on the defence and lost only one more round to switch sides with an 11-4 lead.
Just like in the first half, Liquid picked up the pistol but could not follow that up. This time around, however, the North American squad responded very well in a force-buy of their own, which marked the beginning of a great run as they equalised the score at 13-13.
Starting out as Terrorists on their map pick, Mirage, mousesports looked set to secure their T-side pistol, but Liquid took control of the round thanks to a triple-kill from Keith "NAF" Markovic in a 2v3 situation.
Despite mousesports securing the first gun round with a nearly-flawless B execution, Liquid remained steady with a very tight defence to bag a 5-1 lead. Then, two triple-kills from suNny helped his team break their opponents' economy, with the Europeans bringing the deficit to a minimum. The rest of the half was a close affair, with the North Americans securing a 9-6 lead.
As Terrorists, Liquid got off to a great start to the half, losing only the gun round before hitting 14 rounds. mousesports then found a lifeline as they picked up four rounds in a row, but Liquid eventually wrapped things up, taking the series to a third map.
The decider map was Inferno, and Liquid got off to a great start as Terrorists. Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski and his teammates lost the first gun round, but they kept showing great composure and constantly broke through mousesports' defence, taking a crushing 12-3 lead into the second half.
Following Liquid's pistol round win in the second half, mousesports knew they had a mountain to climb to turn the game around. They started a great run in the next round, eventually bringing the deficit to 12-14, but then the North Americans strung two rounds together to take the map and secure a playoff spot.
K - D
Jonathan 'EliGE' JablonowskiEliGE
67 - 70
Nick 'nitr0' Cannellanitr0
69 - 52
Russel 'Twistzz' Van DulkenTwistzz
67 - 58
Keith 'NAF' MarkovicNAF
57 - 67
Lucas 'steel' Lopessteel
47 - 60
The Gambit vs. HellRaisers clash began on Overpass, the Kazakhs' map pick, in a chaotic manner. Following their CT pistol win, Gambit could not succeed in the following anti-eco, but they would then be able to win the fourth round with nothing but pistols.
HellRaisers would not back down, and responded by winning six of the next seven rounds, securing an 8-3 lead. And even though Gambit then picked up two rounds in a row, Kirill "ANGE1" Karasiow's men prevailed in the final stages of the half to grab a five-round lead.
In the second half, HellRaisers yet again countered Gambit's pistol round win to go up 12-6. The PGL Major Krakow champions still tried to get back in it, but HellRaisers would easily lock down the map, with Issa "ISSAA" Murad leading the charge for the team on 25 kills.
Next up was Inferno, HellRaisers' map pick, where Gambit opened up the action with a quick 3-0 lead after grabbing their Terrorist pistol round. HellRaisers won the first gun round, and, although Rustem "mou" Telepov came up huge with a 1v3 clutch in the subsequent round, managed to follow that up with four rounds more.
Still, the CIS-based squad did not throw in the towel and picked up five rounds in a row, only to be stopped in the 15th round. Gambit carried that momentum into the second half and secured their CT pistol to grab their tenth round on the board.
Despite planting the bomb in the pistol, HellRaisers forced in the next round. That bore fruits for ANGE1 and co., who brought the deficit to a single round. Nevertheless, Gambit tightened up their defense and went on a run that saw them win the map without too much effort.
Mirage, the decider map, quickly became a nightmare for Gambit, who won the pistol but then lost nine rounds in a row. The Kazakhstani's team then finally picked up the pace, winning four of the last five rounds to bring the deficit to five rounds.
HellRaisers began the second half with a successful CT pistol, but Gambit responded in quick fashion in a force-buy and followed that up with two more rounds. The game then entered a scrappy period as rounds went back and forth, but then HellRaisers kept the Terrorists at bay three rounds in a row to seal the deal.
K - D
Rustem 'mou' Telepovmou
59 - 53
Denis 'seized' Kostinseized
45 - 49
Mihail 'Dosia' StolyarovDosia
47 - 53
Abay 'Hobbit' KhasenovHobbit
43 - 54
Dauren 'AdreN' KystaubayevAdreN
41 - 52
Here is how the Swiss stage currently looks: