Valiance, Space Soldiers qualify for DreamHack Masters Marseille
Valiance are through to DreamHack Masters Marseille after stunning Heroic in two maps, while Space Soldiers have booked their spot in France with a 2-1 victory over North.
The series began on Valiance's map pick, Inferno, with Nemanja "huNter-" Kovač and co. securing a quick 3-1 lead after countering Heroic's pistol round win. From there, Valiance lost only three more rounds until half-time to grab an 11-4 score.
Just like in the first half, Heroic picked up the pistol round but could not follow that up. After that, Valiance went on to hit map-point, and then finished things off after conceding just one more round, 16-6.
Next up was Train, and Aleksa "Impulse" Stankić's new squad got off to a flying start on their opponents' map pick as they strung the first seven rounds together. It was only then that Heroic hit their first round on the board, but Valiance remained in the driving seat and secured yet another 11-4 half-time lead.
Heroic came from the break ready to turn things around, eventually reducing the deficit to 8-11 after picking up their third pistol round of the series. But that was simply too little, too late, as the Serbians tightened up their defence to wrap things up, 16-9, and book their place at DreamHack Masters Marseille.
K - D
47 - 30
41 - 32
37 - 28
36 - 28
30 - 27
The second semi-final of the closed qualifier kicked off on Space Soldiers' map pick, Cobblestone. North began the series with a successful CT pistol, but the Turkish side immediately replied with a four-round winning streak to take control of proceedings.
Although the Danes then won four rounds of their own, Space Soldiers remained calm and collected, losing only one more round to bag a 9-6 half-time lead. From there, the map was a keenly contested affair, but Space Soldiers managed to prevail in overtime, with Buğra "Calyx" Arkın sealing the deal, 19-16, with an impressive 1v4 clutch.
North opened up their map pick, Nuke, winning their third pistol round of the series. Still, Space Soldiers responded well in the third round thanks to two entries from Ahmet "paz" Karahoca with a saved MAC10, and, from that point, kept pressing on the Danish team with a very tight defence.
Down 6-9 by half-time, North won their fourth pistol of the encounter and kept denying Space Soldiers' strategies. The Danes did not let Engin "MAJ3R" Küpeli's men build up any economy, losing only two rounds before taking the series to a third map with a 16-11 victory.
Starting out as CTs on the decider map, Inferno, Space Soldiers picked up their first pistol round of the series. North were able to win their force-buy, however, and then string two more rounds together. Still, Ismailcan "XANTARES" Dörtkardeş and co. never let their opponents chain rounds together, and switched sides with a one-round lead.
Nevertheless, the course of the game changed drastically in the second half, with Space Soldiers having a near-flawless CT-side to wrap things up, 16-8, and secure their spot in Marseille.
Broken tag Broken tag
|| Ninjas in Pyjamas
| Space Soldiers
||North America qual.|
DreamHack Masters Marseille will run on April 18-22 with 16 teams battling it out for a share of the $250,000 prize-pool. The playoffs stage of the tournament will be held at Le Dôme, and you can purchase tickets to the event here.