Windigo defeat Valiance; to grand final at ZOTAC Cup Europe Finals
Valiance picked up the CT pistol on Train, but they wouldn't end up grabbing a couple of easy rounds off the back of it as Windigo won the force buy with a simple B site push. However, thanks to Aleksa "Impulse" Stankić's impressive performance (15-3 K-D by round 9), Valiance was still able to secure a lead early on, going up 6-3.
The CT defenses were unlocked by Yanko "blocker" Panov's 3K in the following round, which got Windigo back into the game. The score was soon tied at 6-6, with rounds traded back and forth in the last part of the half. However, Valiance claimed the last one, locking down B, to go into the T side with a minimal 8-7 lead.
An A site push worked out for Valiance in the pistol, and with clean anti-ecos, the Serbian side was 11-7 up before Windigo had their first buy. Simeon "dream3r" Ganev and Viktor "v1c7oR" Dyankov combined for four frags on the A site defense to win the round, but no momentum was built as Nestor "LETN1" Tanić punished the Bulgarians' aggression in the followup with a quick double.
As the score was 14-8, Valiance went for an A execute which they won despite losing the first two picks, in part thanks to Luka "emi" Vuković's ivy flank. Windigo kept Valiance on map point shortly, but the Serbian squad soon closed out their opponent's map pick 16-9.
On Cache, Windigo was off to a strong 5-0 start after winning the pistol and first buy, cleaning up the anti-ecos convincingly as well. With a simple A fake, Valiance netted their first round of the half, but the B site was locked down in the next round which reset the economy of the Serbian team.
As the score was 8-1, Valiance managed two back-to-back rounds wins, where they got quick picks while fighting for mid control. Going back to late-round executes didn't work out for them as v1c7oR and Georgi "SHiPZ" Grigorov were holding down the sites confidently. With some good individual plays, Valiance was able to win two more rounds before the switch, making the score 10-5.
Anel "NENO" Ceković and co. stacked A on the pistol, with A main popflash working out perfectly to shut down the Bulgarians' offense. The score was 10-8 when the first buy round happened, with Windigo winning it, but Valiance bounced back to make the deficit just one round, 11-10.
That's when the B site fell to just pistols and Kamen "bubble" Kostadinov's Deagle did work in the afterplant to stop Valiance's comeback. The Serbian squad did add one more round to their tally, but Windigo continued to abuse the B site defense to win Cache 16-11.
Winning the second-round force gave Windigo a 3-1 CT start on the final map, Mirage, with Valiance quickly responding with rifles, successfully hitting the A site four rounds in the row. SHiPZ's AWP quad kill in mid finally stopped the bleeding for Windigo and allowed them to go up to eight.
Valiance finished the half with another successful A split (7-8), equalizing the score with the CT pistol win, as LETN1 and Impulse combined for five unanswere kills. However, once again, they fell to Windigo's force buy, but struck right back with one of their own to make the score 9-9.
The Bulgarian side didn't falter, though, hitting sites hard on the T side to get to the edge of victory, holding a 14-10 lead while Valiance were on just pistols. NENO and co. held on, winning the unlikely round, but SHiPZ was relentless, carrying his team to a 16-12 victory and a place in the grand finals.
|Valiance||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Aleksa 'Impulse' StankićImpulse||74 - 43||+31||89.4||1.46|
|Nemanja 'huNter-' KovačhuNter-||68 - 49||+19||93.1||1.33|
|Luka 'emi' Vukovićemi||49 - 55||-6||66.7||1.00|
|Nestor 'LETN1' TanićLETN1||42 - 49||-7||64.2||0.92|
|Anel 'NENO' CekovićNENO||35 - 52||-17||55.1||0.83|