North take down NRG to book semi-final spot
For a large portion of Nuke, it looked like North's pick would backfire horribly as the Danes found themselves down 1-9 on the CT side after a chaotic start as rounds went back and forth and successful force buys were traded.
North then finally got some breathing room as they held NRG back two rounds in a row, giving their economy some much-needed stability. Damian "daps" Steele then went huge, helping Tsvetelin "CeRq" Dimitrov to turn around a 2v4 situation before pulling off a 1v2 clutch in the following round. Things were starting to look bleak for North, but then Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye got a quad kill to his name to reduce the deficit to seven rounds before the end of the half.
NRG further extended their lead by taking the pistol round, but, just like in the first half, they were unable to capitalise on that. Little by little, North imposed themselves on the game, with Casper "cadiaN" Møller's 1v3 clutch in the 20th round, followed by a successful 1v1 from the former Rogue in-game leader, preventing NRG from getting a foothold in the half.
But the biggest blow to NRG's hopes was yet to come. In the 26th round, they shockingly lost a 5v1 situation to Valdemar "valde" Bjørn Vangså, who killed all opponents without losing a single point of health. That round left the North Americans in a state of disarray, with North taking advantage of that to complete an impressive - and unlikely - comeback from 4-12 down.
The first half of Inferno, NRG's map pick, was keenly contested from the get-go, with neither side able to stamp their authority on proceedings. NRG managed to win the half with a trio of kills by CeRq in the final round, and they kept pressing on after switching to the CT side as they won the first two rounds, bringing the scoreline to 10-7.
North responded with a third-round buy and then put together a small run of rounds, eventually retaking the lead. NRG immediately tightened up their defense to overcome the deficit, but North picked up the pace and won four rounds in a row to reach match point.
With his team against the ropes, CeRq turned the hero as he denied cadiaN a 1v3 clutch with a USP kill through a smoke to force a 30th round, in which the North Americans would also come out victorious to restore parity at 15-15.
The first overtime could not determine a winner as both teams won two rounds on the defensive side. In the second overtime, NRG were far too hot for their opponents to handle as they took two rounds in both halves, with a stunning ace by Vincent "Brehze" Cayonte locking down the map for the North Americans.
It all came down to Cache, where North had defeated NRG back at IEM Chicago, earlier in the month. And just like in Chicago, the North Americans hopped out to a massive early lead after winning a series of close rounds. The Danes only managed to get on the board eight rounds into the game, but the half ended in a surprisingly close 9-6 scoreline as North continuously kept the Terrorists at bay with a tight defense.
The Danish side came out of the break with all guns blazing, picking up four rounds without response to take the lead for the first time on the map. A successful eco by NRG still gave the North American team's fans some hope, but North were unfazed by that and kept up the pace, putting the match to bed in the 27th round in convincing fashion.
|North||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Valdemar 'valde' Bjørn Vangsåvalde||83 - 67||+16||94.9||1.31|
|Markus 'Kjaerbye' KjærbyeKjaerbye||70 - 64||+6||73.4||1.09|
|Nicklas 'gade' Gadegade||66 - 68||-2||77.9||1.08|
|Philip 'aizy' Aistrupaizy||61 - 56||+5||63.6||1.06|
|Casper 'cadiaN' MøllercadiaN||53 - 55||-2||60.7||0.99|