LDLC overcome NRG; to IEM Chicago quarter-finals
The Group A lower bracket final proved to be a back-and-forth affair right from the start of Nuke, NRG's map pick. Playing on the CT side, Jacob "FugLy" Medina pulled off a 1v2 clutch to kick off the series, and NRG barely remained in the lead in the following rounds, 3-1.
The Francophone squad then turned the score around, but the North Americans went on to take the lead, in part thanks to Vincent "Brehze" Cayonte stepping up to the plate with multi-kills in four consecutive rounds, 7-4. LDLC responded with another strong execution – this time around with nothing but CZs – and won two more until half-time to reduce the deficit to a single round.
In the second half, LDLC got off to a great start, stringing four rounds together without much effort, 11-8. When NRG found themselves at 13-14, Damian "daps" Steele called a tactical pause, inspiring his team to hit map-point with two straight A executions, but they still could not prevail in a 5v3 situation in the 30th round.
In overtime, Tsvetelin "CeRq" Dimitrov and co. managed to grab the lead in the series by closing out their map pick at 19-17, with the 18-year-old and Ethan "Ethan" Arnold both finishing the map with 30 kills.
Next up was LDLC's map pick, Overpass, which began with NRG securing their Terrorist pistol with doubles from CeRq and FugLy. The attacking side kept winning rounds, including the fifth, in which the Bulgarian AWPer and Brehze turned a 2v4 situation around.
Then, although LDLC had nothing but pistols, they got their first round on the board thanks to a quad-kill from Alex "ALEX" McMeekin. NRG hit back immediately with a pair of rounds, 7-1, but that was when David "devoduvek" Dobrosavljevic's troops tightened up their defence to bring the gap to three rounds by half-time.
Even though Brehze opened up the second half with a clean triple-kill, François "AmaNEk" Delaunay and Logan "LOGAN" Corti still managed to win the pistol round, paving the way for their team to eventually bag a 10-9 lead. NRG restored parity, but they simply could not handle LDLC, who went on another great run to take the series to a third map, 16-11.
The decider, Train, started with LDLC winning their Terrorist pistol, an anti-eco and the first gun round to take control of proceedings. NRG responded well, but neither team was able to gain any real momentum in the half, with the Europeans securing a narrow 8-7 half-time lead.
After bagging their fourth pistol of the series, LDLC set themselves up for a massive run, constantly punishing the North Americans' gameplan to seal the deal, 16-8, and book their spot in the tournament's playoffs.
|NRG||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Ethan 'Ethan' ArnoldEthan||68 - 62||+6||92.9||1.22|
|Vincent 'Brehze' CayonteBrehze||66 - 61||+5||79.8||1.10|
|Tsvetelin 'CeRq' DimitrovCeRq||58 - 57||+1||63.2||0.98|
|Damian 'daps' Steeledaps||43 - 61||-18||61.1||0.83|
|Jacob 'FugLy' MedinaFugLy||41 - 60||-19||58.0||0.81|