NRG beat HellRaisers to book playoff spot in Shanghai
The Group A winners' match kicked off on HellRaisers' map pick, Mirage, with Kirill "ANGE1" Karasiow denying a 1v3 clutch by Damian "daps" Steele to put his team in the lead as Terrorists. After building up their economy, NRG responded with two successful rounds, but that was not enough to stop HellRaisers.
ANGE1's men kept shutting down NRG vigorously, losing only one more round before hitting double-digits. Still, with a quad-kill from Vincent "Brehze" Cayonte and a successful retake in the 15th round, the North Americans were able to reduce the deficit to 5-10.
HellRaisers further added to their lead in the second half, convincingly winning their CT pistol before following that up with an anti-eco. Although NRG then got on the board with a third-round buy, HellRaisers strung three rounds together to hit map point. The North Americans still made a slight climb back into the map, but the Europeans eventually closed out the map with a 2v3 clutch from Issa "ISSAA" Murad and Bence "DeadFox" Böröcz.
Kristjan "fejtZ" Allsaar then found an impressive quad-kill with an AWP, but Jacob "FugLy" Medina won the 1v1 for his team to remain in control. Nevertheless, HellRaisers rallied back with three rounds in a row, bringing the gap to 3-5.
That was the start of a great run from the European side, who shut down any chances of their opponents stringing rounds together or building up an economy, going into the break with an 8-7 lead.
The second half was all about NRG's water-tight defence, with the North Americans losing just two rounds before locking down the map, 16-10, to take the series to Train.
The decider map started with ISSAA finding a clean triple-kill to help HellRaisers stop NRG's fast A execution in the pistol round. Once they got their economy back on track after two ecos, NRG reduced the deficit to a single round, but their opponents remained in the driving seat thanks to a quad-kill by the Jordanian player.
After that, however, NRG kept breaking through the defence, losing just one of the next eight rounds to go up 8-5. HellRaisers nearly pulled off the following round with nothing but pistols, but FugLy denied them with a 1v2 clutch. Then, HellRaisers won the last round of the half to bring the scoreline to 6-9.
The second half began with NRG picking up their third pistol of the series, but it quickly turned into a chaotic affair. Rounds went back and forth before HellRaisers put their foot down, bringing the deficit to 10-11.
That was when NRG tightened up their defence to stop their opponents for two straight rounds. And even though HellRaisers still responded with nothing but pistols, it was in vain as NRG would put the series to bed in the 27th round.
|NRG||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Ethan 'Ethan' ArnoldEthan||58 - 48||+10||82.4||1.27|
|Tsvetelin 'CeRq' DimitrovCeRq||55 - 45||+10||75.4||1.16|
|Jacob 'FugLy' MedinaFugLy||53 - 49||+4||74.8||1.10|
|Vincent 'Brehze' CayonteBrehze||44 - 54||-10||62.5||0.96|
|Damian 'daps' Steeledaps||45 - 51||-6||66.5||0.91|