Kinguin outlast Imperial, advance to grand final in Milan
The first semi-final of the Europe Regional Finals began on Kinguin's pick, Dust2. The Poles clinched the pistol round as Counter-Terrorists, but a forcebuy win in the following round saw the momentum swing in Imperial's favor, as they climbed to a 5-1 lead after Žygimantas "nukkye" Chmieliauskas's 1v2 clutch in the first full buy.
Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas's team replied with one as Jacek "MINISE" Jeziak and Paweł "reatz" Jańczak combined with a double each, but they couldn't string more together. The European side went on another five-round streak, with nukkye coming out on top of another clutch along the way, to secure double digits.
Kinguin gave themselves a chance by locking down the last three rounds, but they weren't able to defend a B retake in the second pistol round, as Nemanja "nexa" Isaković grabbed a triple on the way to a 12-5 lead.
TaZ and reatz proceeded to put in a triple and a quad-kill in the first two gunrounds, which led to a 13-10 scoreline, but they found themselves up against the ropes when Kevin "kRYSTAL" Amend decided a 2v2 situation with a double-kill. Imperial grabbed map point after nukkye gave his team two openings and closed out map one at 16-10, surviving a low forcebuy from their opponents.
nexa started off Mirage, Imperial's pick, with a quad-kill in the pistol round. Although the European mixture conceded the third round to an eco from Kinguin, they were able to go 5-1 early on to put the Poles on the back foot.
However, with the help of big plays from reatz and MINISE, Kinguin made it 5-4 and turned around two 2v4 situations in a row on the back of a quad-kill from Mikołaj "mouz" Karolewski and a triple from Karol "rallen" Rodowicz, securing eight out of the last nine rounds for a comfortable 9-6 half on the defense.
A close exchange on B saw Kinguin add their 10th on the board, but Imperial replied with Deagles to set off a streak of rounds going their way. Coming out on top of numerous close retakes, kRYSTAL's team took the lead, with Kinguin unable to stop them until it was 13-10.
One round going the way of the Polish side was enough to send Imperial on low economy and equalize the scoreline at 13-13 after a couple of shoddy buys, which seemed to reinvigorate Kinguin, who equalized the series at 16-13, 1-1 once rallen clutched a 1v1 in the last round.
Train was set to decide the series, with Kinguin getting off to a 2-0 lead as CT after TaZ stepped up with a quad-kill in the pistol round. Imperial took over in the first gunrounds, as Rokas "EspiranTo" Milasauskas put in four kills of his own in the first to take a 3-2 lead, but they were soon on the back foot when Kinguin strung five together.
Unphased by TaZ's loud taunts, nukkye got his first kills on the board with a 1v2 clutch to give Imperial their fourth round, although the economy reset came in right afterwards and the Poles secured a 10-5 half.
Jesper "TENZKI" Plougmann & co. closed the gap to two with a pistol round win, but a clutch from reatz swung the match back towards Kinguin, who ran away with two more close rounds. Imperial only needed to win the next round to break their opponents, which helped them lower the deficit to just one.
Despite losing a 2v1 at 15-13, Kinguin were able to close out the match with a low buy in the last round, as TaZ got a pick outside with an AK-47 to draw out opponents from lower, where the CZ-75s did the rest of the work in close range.
|Imperial||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|65 - 57||+8||92.6||1.18|
|70 - 60||+10||78.4||1.10|
|58 - 60||-2||73.6||1.02|
|55 - 65||-10||70.2||0.95|
|46 - 58||-12||66.5||0.92|