NRG have won the iBUYPOWER 2018 Spring Invitational after sweeping Liquid 2-0 (16-9 Overpass and 16-11 Nuke) in the grand finals.
The series started on Liquid’s map pick, Overpass, where Tsvetelin "CeRq" Dimitrov single-handedly secured the 3-0 lead for NRG with a pair of triples and a quad kill. Liquid finally got a round on the board in first gun round as Lucas "steel" Lopes’ double entry on the B-bombsite allowed for a much-needed plant, forcing the CTs to save.
NRG's save paid off in the following round as Liquid were quickly dismantled on the B bombsite following Ethan "nahtE" Arnold’s triple kill. NRG went on to pick up two more to extend their lead to five rounds, until Liquid ended the streak to pick up their second of the half. Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski came close to giving Liquid their third win as he planted the bomb with 8hp in a 1v1, but Damian "daps" Steele was one step ahead and secured the defuse.
Liquid’s half buy proved to be effective as Keith "NAF" Markovic picked up a double and forced the CTs to save once again. This triggered a series of rounds favoring Liquid, who brought the deficit to 6-9.
Liquid got back into the thick of things after NAF opened up the second half with an ace to secure the pistol. Liquid tied the game 9-9 after securing both anti-ecos, but a triple from Jacob "FugLy" Medina in the following round turned the tides. With no money in the bank, Liquid were unable to hold off NRG, who secured six straight to take the lead in the series.
The series shifted to NRG’s map pick, Nuke, where Nick "nitr0" Cannella and co. shut down several outside attempts to pick up the 3-0 lead. NRG were able to get on the board in the following round, but nitr0 outplayed daps in a 1v1 in return, which set Liquid up for a 7-1 lead.
Vincent "Brehze" Cayonte was able to reduce the deficit by three with his back-to-back doubles and a save round by Liquid. That was the start of a great run from NRG, who only lost one of the last seven rounds of the half to bring the deficit to a minimum.
Liquid came out red-hot in the second half to win the pistol and following anti-ecos for a 10-7 lead. That's when a great deal of damage from Brehze’s USP-S early in the round crippled Liquid, allowing the team to secure the retake and the defuse.
With a shattered economy, Liquid could not hold back the likes of Brehze and CeRq, who continued to hound on their opponents' T-side to help pick up six straight rounds. After NRG reached match, Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken tried to keep his team in the game with a near Deagle ace but was stopped short by NRG, who claimed the $10,000 prize and the iBUYPOWER 2018 Spring Invitational title.
|NRG||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Tsvetelin 'CeRq' DimitrovCeRq||49 - 32||+17||88.9||1.33|
|Ethan 'nahtE' ArnoldnahtE||40 - 34||+6||89.0||1.28|
|Vincent 'Brehze' CayonteBrehze||40 - 33||+7||81.5||1.13|
|Damian 'daps' Steeledaps||33 - 30||+3||68.0||1.10|
|Jacob 'FugLy' MedinaFugLy||26 - 31||-5||61.8||0.95|
iBUYPOWER 2018 Spring Invitational final standings: