Gambit beat Liquid for a playoff spot in Marseille
Gambit took a 2-1 victory over Liquid (12-16 Overpass, 16-8 Mirage, 16-14 Train) to advance to the playoffs of DreamHack Masters Marseille.
Liquid started off on the right foot on Overpass, Gambit's map pick, as two quick entries set them up to win the pistol round. Gambit tried to bounce back quickly with two consecutive force buys, but fell short, allowing the North American side to build up a lead in rounds and economy.
In round five, Liquid's aggressive A play was punished with two kills and Gambit got on the board, but would end up reset as Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken picked up two key mid-round kills in the follow up. A similar scenario happened just a couple of rounds later, with Liquid then riding the economy to a 9-2 lead. At that point, Denis "seized" Kostin's team finally afforded another buy, took the round and powered on to a 9-6 half.
Epitacio "TACO" de Melo's 1v2 clutch in the pistol round was followed up four more rounds won, with quite a few of them coming down to the wire. However, that was of little comfort to Gambit who were already 14-6 down at that point. Abay "Hobbit" Khasenov's 3K with the AWP in the next round gave them a fighting chance, and combined with a force buy win on Liquid's match point, allowed them to close the distance to 15-11. Dauren "AdreN" Kystaubayev then clawed his team out of a tough situation on B, but Liquid closed it out with just pistols soon, running over A to make it 16-12.
Gambit got exactly what they needed in the series after losing their map pick by hitting the ground running on Mirage, grabbing a quick 6-0 lead. Four tight rounds followed then, with Liquid losing two closely and claiming the other two, which was enough to break Gambit's bank.
The American side got some momentum and carried it toward the end of the half, recovering from a 0-7 start to make it a 6-9 half. Nick "nitr0" Cannella's team was looking to further close the gap at the start of their CT half as the team's IGL and TACO pulled off a retake in a 2v4 in the pistol, but fluffed the anti-eco to allow Gambit to go 12-7 up.
Liquid's seemingly desperate triple-AWP setup yielded two kills in round 22, but seized sneaked into the backlines to allow for his teammates to take over B and plant the bomb. Off the back of that, Gambit won the map not much later, 16-8.
Mihail "Dosia" Stolyarov's three headshots marked the start of Train, the decider map. Gambit got the first round of the map, but their sloppy anti-force play was punished by Liquid who slowly picked them apart and finished on B. Liquid were 4-1 up soon, only to lose their momentum to AdreN's 3K with Gambit's only gun of the round in round 6.
The score was shortly tied at 4-4 and then again at 5-5 before Gambit broke away into the lead and finished their CT side 9-6 up. Hobbit lead his side to another pistol round win with a quad kill and Gambit were slowly getting a chokehold on Liquid, who lost the first gun round to contact-B play (13-6).
TACO did better on the B defense in the following round, despite only having a CZ-75, the Brazilian found two frags and grabbed an assist on the third, allowing Liquid to grab their first CT round. Liquid were able to get five in a row, closing the deficit to two round (13-11). It came down to the wire in the end, but at 15-14 AdreN and Hobbit turned a 2v4 situation on its head to win Train 16-14 and the series 2-1.
K - D
Dauren 'AdreN' KystaubayevAdreN
74 - 58
Rustem 'mou' Telepovmou
60 - 54
Mihail 'Dosia' StolyarovDosia
50 - 55
Denis 'seized' Kostinseized
53 - 60
Abay 'Hobbit' KhasenovHobbit
56 - 57