SK eliminate Gambit; fnatic earn IEM playoff spot
SK stay alive in Katowice with a 2-1 win over Gambit (16-10 Inferno, 17-19 Overpass, 16-7 Train), while fnatic recovered against G2 to earn a playoff spot (7-16 Cache, 16-10 Mirage, 16-10 Cobblestone).
Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo's quad kill on the CT pistol set up SK for a great start to Inferno, Gambit's map pick. The Brazilian in-game leader didn't stop there, and managed to go 11-0 as his team took a 6-0 lead. Gambit then called a tactical timeout and managed a force-buy win, which they followed up by another round, going 6-2.
However, that is where their T side on Inferno ended, SK cleaned up the rest of the half by comfortable shutting down their executes and reading their fakes (13-2). Denis "seized" Kostin was the hero for Gambit in the pistol round, as his mid push yielded him three kills on unsuspecting Terrorists that encroached from alt mid.
Gambit built on that and was slowly closing the lead, however, at 14-10, Marcelo "coldzera" David and Epitacio "TACO" de Melo turned a 2v5 situation on its head with some crisp kills, allowing their team to take the map 16-10.
Starting on the Terrorist side of their map pick, Overpass, SK looked comfortable, dictating the pace of the game and overwhelming the defense of the Kazakhstani side. Making things even worse is that Gambit's two early gun round wins were followed up by bank-breaking losses, meaning they spent the majority of the CT half on low buys.
Towards the end of the half, seized rose to the occasion and grabbed key kills for the defensive side, but that only amounted to four Counter-Terrorist rounds in the end. Gambit got into a favorable afterplant on the A site in the second pistol, but TACO was able to claim the win there, punishing Dauren "AdreN" Kystaubayev's overextension. With the economic advantage going into the second half, SK easily got to a 14-4 lead, when Abay "Hobbit" Khasenov clutched a 1v2 to keep his team afloat.
The team's new in-game leader kicked into a higher gear after that, quite literally leading his side by example in the comeback attempt. In the second half FalleN's AWP was ineffective and Fernando "fer" Alvarenga's aggressive plays were punished, allowing Gambit to slowly bring it back and eventually force overtime. Despite FalleN waking up in the added rounds and SK picking up two on the CT side, Gambit locked it down after the switch and took the win on Overpass, 19-17.
Despite a 3-0 start on the CT side from Gambit on Train, SK were the team to establish dominance first, as coldzera clutched two key rounds, a 1v1 in the first buy round and then a 1v2 that made the score 6-3. SK managed to extend their lead to 8-4 before seized and co. woke up, chaining three rounds together to tighten the gap on the scoreboard.
SK found success with a mixed buy in their last Terrorist round and then won the CT pistol as FalleN went huge to set themselves up for a comfortable end of the game (10-6). Gambit won their first buy round, but SK were playing with leftover SMGs, which allowed them to buy in the followup, reset Gambit and proceed to win the map 16-7.
K - D
Fernando 'fer' Alvarengafer
69 - 55
Marcelo 'coldzera' Davidcoldzera
66 - 47
Gabriel 'FalleN' ToledoFalleN
63 - 50
Epitacio 'TACO' de MeloTACO
54 - 54
Ricardo 'boltz' Prassboltz
53 - 55
fnatic kicked off Cache by taking the first two rounds, but they didn't stay on top long, as G2 then went on a streak by winning five consecutive Terrorist rounds, spearheaded by Dan "apEX" Madesclaire. The middle of the half featured some back-and-forth action, as fnatic tried to establish themselves on the CT side, and managed to get the score to 7-4.
However, in a crucial round, Richard "shox" Papillon pulled off a 1v3 clutch on the A site, breaking fnatic's economy and setting his side up for an 11-4 half. fnatic took the second pistol round as well, but after cleaning up the anti-ecos (11-7), struggled to do much. Kenny "kennyS" Schrub and co. didn't look bothered in the gun rounds, losing only a player or two while shutting down the Swedish side, and eventually closed out Cache 16-7.
The Swedes were off to a good start on Mirage, their map pick, starting 5-0 on the Terrorist side. G2 earned their first round after that, shutting down the clutch attempt by Robin "flusha" Rönnquist, but were promptly reset and fnatic extended their lead to 8-1.
G2 then adapted, putting three defenders around the mid area to stop fnatic's default, which earned them the round and put them on course to finish the half just 9-6 down. However, fnatic won yet another pistol round in the series, going four out of four, by locking down the approach towards A. It was looking like a done deal after fnatic started picking up buy rounds, with the help of Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson who was putting up a masterclass performance.
The last map saw G2 finally pick up a pistol round and go 3-0 up as Terrorists, later on extending that lead even further as Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt got four SG556 kills in round 6. fnatic recovered from a 5-2 deficit in the second part of their CT side, as KRIMZ once again stepped up for the Swedes, this time being joined by flusha. As fnatic finished the half with a 9-6 lead, the duo had a +8 and a +6 KDD.
G2 won the CT pistol to give them an avenue into the game, but fumbled in the anti-eco which saw fnatic go 12-7 up. The Frenchmen mustered an eco win later on, which they followed up by two clutches going their way to keep their hopes for the series alive (12-10). Maikil "Golden" Selim's team then faked out G2 with ease as they sent flusha towards B while they breached A, and built on that to finish the game 16-10 and qualify for the playoffs.
K - D
Richard 'shox' Papillonshox
62 - 51
Nathan 'NBK-' SchmittNBK-
47 - 56
Dan 'apEX' MadesclaireapEX
49 - 59
Kenny 'kennyS' SchrubkennyS
47 - 57
Alexandre 'bodyy' Pianarobodyy
34 - 56