SK Gaming came from behind to beat OpTic Gaming 2-1 and punch their ticket to the quarter-final stage at the ESL Pro League Season 7 Finals.
The battle for the final playoff spot began on Train, SK's map pick, even though the first half certainly suggested otherwise. The Brazilian team managed to break through the OpTic defence for the first time eight rounds into the game, but there was no follow-up as the Danes hit back immediately.
SK kept their comeback hopes alive by winning the next pistol, but then they were dealt a heavy blow as OpTic responded in a force-buy. The Danish team would go on to hit 14 rounds, but what followed was a massive run from SK, who kept their defence very tight, even when facing map point.
The Brazilians brought the game all the way to the 28th round, when Jake "Stewie2K" Yip did the unthinkable and clutched a 1v3 with the bomb planted after Jakob "JUGi" Hansen and Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke had opened up the path to the outer bombsite with two kills apiece. It looked like the game would go to overtime, but then SK shockingly wasted a 4v2 situation in the final round of regulation.
Dust2, the map that followed, began with SK winning their CT pistol and the subsequent anti-ecos for a 3-0 lead. Marco "Snappi" Pfeiffer then put OpTic on the board with a 1v2 clutch on the A site, but Stewie2K restored a three-round lead for SK in the next round with a quad-kill. The rest of the half would be a one-way street as the Brazilians would only lose one more round before switching to the offensive side.
Up 13-2, SK further added to their lead by taking the next pistol with a B execution thanks to three entry frags from Marcelo "coldzera" David. Once they had money in the bag, OpTic still attempted to issue a response, but the Brazilians would eventually lock down the map to take the series to Inferno.
Carrying their momentum into the final map, SK got out to a 3-0 lead on the Terrorist side, but then they struggled to get going once OpTic had money to work with, only securing three more rounds before the end of the half.
OpTic came out of the break with all guns blazing and further added to their lead thanks to k0nfig opening up the A site with two kills. After losing both eco rounds, SK bounced back by winning two rounds in a row, but then René "cajunb" Borg put OpTic closer to the win with a triple-kill, leaving SK's players strapped for cash.
coldzera, who had been struggling to find frags up until that point, then, like many times before, came to SK's rescue with a trio of kills, halting OpTic's momentum. That ended up being the turning point in the match as it propelled SK into a winning streak that only ended when they took the map, in the 29th round.
|SK||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Gabriel 'FalleN' ToledoFalleN||60 - 47||+13||75.5||1.22|
|Ricardo 'boltz' Prassboltz||58 - 51||+7||79.5||1.15|
|Marcelo 'coldzera' Davidcoldzera||61 - 51||+10||76.6||1.13|
|Jake 'Stewie2K' YipStewie2K||53 - 48||+5||70.0||1.02|
|Fernando 'fer' Alvarengafer||52 - 66||-14||74.3||0.94|